David Fuller: What happened to Jordan Peterson?
The Rebel Wisdom founder discusses the psychologist's descent into tribalism
Followers of the clinical psychologist and now world-famous member of the ‘Intellectual Dark Web’, Jordan Peterson, have noted a radical change in his style in recent weeks.
Peterson used to produce largely unedited, long-form videos of his academic lectures, but his recent uploads have been highly edited, straight-to-camera monologues addressing the culture wars.
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On 1st July, after being suspended from Twitter for ‘hateful conduct’, Peterson retaliated with an angry broadside against the “woke moralists” who had reported him. He then began to post sweeping polemics aimed at different groups: ‘A message to Muslims’, ‘A message to the Christian churches’ and ‘A message to CEOs’ to name a few.
According to David Fuller, founder of Rebel Wisdom, these videos ‘signalled a watershed moment’ for Peterson, from truth-seeker and mediator between Left and Right to a blinkered tribalist. Unlike the meditative, analytical man he interviewed for Rebel Wisdom, Fuller says that ‘the current incarnation of Peterson is unrecognisable’ to him.
Fuller’s critique of Peterson, which he outlined in a long post on Substack, marks a significant split. Peterson was a celebrated guest in the earliest days of Rebel Wisdom and Fuller was frozen out by his employers at Channel 4 for making a documentary about his work. But now, Fuller says that he is increasingly uneasy about the direction that Peterson and other members of the Intellectual Dark Web are going.
UnHerd’s Freddie Sayers sat down in the studio with the documentary-maker to dig a little deeper into his reservations about Jordan Peterson and alternative media’s part in this story.
I hesitate to attack Fuller as I don’t know enough about him.
However, he seems to be upset by the fact that Peterson has finally learned – and come to terms with the fact – that there is simply no accomodation to be reached with the left. They hate the rest of us and want us dead. They are at war with us all. They are in every educational institution, every government department, every media organisation (new and old) and every corporation. We either fight or die.
Like all the rest of us who simply wanted to be left alone to live our lives, if Fuller doesn’t realise the left’s bellicose antipathy and accept what it is, then he’s either going to be assimilated or destroyed by it.
Also, he doesn’t seem to grasp that those who ought to be able to speak in opposition to the likes of Robert Malone simply refuse to have the debate. There are plenty of highly qualified Covid-sceptics who will take on all comers, but there is no-one from the orthodox side of the debate who is prepared to step up and face them – all we get is mealy-mouthed excuses about “platforming extremists” and other such disingenuous nonsense. Perhaps the truth is that most of the orthodox are either terrified or they know that the story they have helped to tell is grossly simplistic, somewhat wrong, potentially quite harmful, monstrously manipulative and extremely socially destructive.
Now I’ve watched the whole thing, I conclude that David Fuller is the stupid person’s idea of a clever person.
He refuses to pick sides either because he can’t work out which side is wrong (morally or factually) or he lacks the courage to do so.
Malone, Coullough etc are more than happy to debate their science. Freddie should invite them on with anyone from the establishment who unfortunately prefer to smear than debate. If Peterson is the type of person I think he is then he will accept Freddie’s invite.
My interpretation too: he doesn’t seem to grasp that those who ought to be able to speak in opposition to the likes of Robert Malone simply refuse to have the debate.
I agree. The problem is the capture of the institutions is so wholesale it is difficult to know where to start. So Wikipedia edited the pages of Malone etc to try and downgrade their knowledge. Fullfact often uses humanities graduates to check scientific statements. Science has been lost – funding can be traced back to those who are pushing one view which will lead to massive profits for Big Tech and Big Pharma. So the Oxford study on Ivermectin (an off patent drug around since 1973 whose developers were awarded the Nobel prize for medicine and whose safety record is amazing) is still ongoing. Surely at the height of deaths it would have been worth trying even if not effective – but no it had to be completely removed because otherwise vaccines would not have got Emergency Use Approval. These same groups fund MSM . I have yet to see the MSM explain fully using terms such as spike protein/ what RNA is and what it does when administered / B and T cells etc.
David Fuller is so clearly of one view yet cannot see it. That Twitter banned JP yet allows the Taliban he seems to see as reasonable and can only comment on JPs tone. JP has watched his country implement an act which allowed people’s bank accounts to be frozen and unvaccinated Canadians can still not travel out of their state, yet DF expects him to accept these actions with calm impartiality.
I agree. Fuller regrets JP’s failire to try and accommodate those who will not be accommodated: a bit like Judas Iscarriot regretting Jesus’s failure to reach an accommodation with the Sanhedran. While I do not ascribe divinity to JP it is interesting that both took the view the other side is simply irredeemable and ‘ranted’ about them instead! John the Baptist ditto. Sometimes a meeting of minds just isn’t going to happen!
I’m opposed to Beckham being interviewed about his views and I’m equally opposed to criticism of a giant like JP by an ordinary mortal like Fuller especially when it takes the form of analysing JP himself rather than his views. Can we now expect Freddie’s next guest to analyse Fuller’s take on JP and so on ad infinitum?
I must disagree with you on several grounds: firstly I regard myself as being on the left, more the Christian Socialist than the Winner take all Capitalist but I do not recognise at all the attributes you ascribe to me. I am open to the Right (for starters I watch Unherd) and I want no one at all injured let alone dead. I think you must be talking about another Left, perhaps extremeists? Oddballs?
Secondly I am utterly opposed to wokism/cancel culture which I regard as a kind of mass hysteria akin to witchhunts of old. Crazy and highly objectionable.
I agree it is very hard (regrettably so) to reach any kind of accommodation with the other side these days: I’m not sure where I would begin to discuss your hard Brexit, xenophobia, nationalism and BJ approach to government with anyone who saw real merit in those things. Xenophobic nationslism seems to me to be the only result of ‘merit’ to those so inclined with a myriad of negative outcomes which everyone will moan about but none of the other side (to me) will accept is due to Brexit.
In the US it’s as bad and maybe worse. Where does one begin a meaningful discussion with folk who believe it’s okay to carry semi automatic weapons everywhere, reopen coal mines (denying climate change), block all socially beneficial legislation not least on health, go to war on the side of “the most corrupt country in Europe” and prevent black citizens from voting.. where would one even start to look for common ground??
As regards having debates on controversial topics between experts I think the evidence is those things become shouting matches. Far better to privately question both sides to elicit their arguments: then submit those to the other side and then interview each side individually to both make their case AND refute the other side’s case. Otherwise it’s just interruptions, shoutings down and rubbishing insults etc. If you like boxing fine: of you want a considered discussion and reasoned argument then go for my proposal instead.
Final point: I’m not sure what merit there is in only picking sides: ie refusing to engage with the other side and seek some merit or common ground. Granted that, as I say, is becoming more and more difficult as tribalism is so much more fun albeit a lot more dangerous too!!
I don’t really have time for this, but 1-nobody is denying black people the right to vote; 2-nobody except Ukraine is at war with Putin: and 3-would you rather Putin simply had his way.with “the most corrupt country in Europe? Also your description of hard Brexiterers as xenophobic nationalists does not conform with commenters here and elsewhere who hold those views. Finally, if you’re really antiwoke surely it must have occurred to you that the space for that kind of thinkingg on the left has shrunk in pretty much all the cultural institutions they now dominate.
..not in this section of the Left: actually among all my Left leaning friends not one is in favour or woke/cancel culture.
I’m well aware of widespread GOP gerrymandering and having lots of polling booths in white GOP areas while ensuring long lines in predominantly blank areas: and making it as awkward as possible for Black and Dem voters.. all backed by your nice new GOP supreme court judges. You probably think no one is watching but sadly for you, it’s plain to see: plain as the semi automatic in your face..
If putting $8,000,000,000 into a war is not being involved then God knows what the word ‘involved’ means.
- I live in the US and gerrymandering is endemic on both sides of the aisle.
- Despite Biden and others’ rhetoric, it is simply not true that black and democrat voting has been made “awkward” or suppressed as you claim. Please stop, there are significant election issues here – that is not one of them.
- A plurality of justices, left and right-leaning, agreed that Roe was wrongly decided in Casey when they abandoned the privacy argument. The 14th amendment claim was all that remained and it rested on the idea that abortion was commonly accepted at the time it was passed – it was not, the majority of states had outlawed it. The court in Roe created a legislative edict, and that is not, should not, and please god will never be the court’s role. In our system of government, it is up to the states to decide these matters. And they will.
- The semi-automatic in your face, sigh. I suppose you also believe that all US police are racist and out to kill blacks. That is utterly false: far more white are killed by police than blacks annually, police shootings are statistically very rare, and when they do occur they are almost exclusively within the same race, i.e. white on white, black on black, which, incidentally, is also true of homicides. If you would like to argue that all human populations should be proportionally equal in all things, then please explain why you think that as the case.
- On Ukraine – you are right, we (US and EU) are meaningfully involved, and their institutions are similarly corrupt as Mexico and Russia – but it is obvious to me anyway that they are trying to improve and much of their problem is foreign influence, e.g. Russia. Go read what transparency.org’s corruption index explanation is.
You are much less emotional than me.
My comment is “awaiting moderation” as usual.
You talk about xenophobic nationalism. What party did Nelson Mandela lead? The ANC. And every colonial independence leader in the 20thc was a nationalist: Gandhi, Nkrumah, Kenyatta etc. And in the 19th c Garibaldi, Kossuth etc were heroes. Do you object to Italy, Poland, Hungary, Greece – was Bryon wrong etc. Yes, nationalism can be extreme as we know, as can socialism – the Gulag, but there is a place for moderate nationalism like moderate socialism.
Nothing wrong with Nationalism: nothing at all: I’m Irish fgs: we struggled in our nationalist cause for 700 years! But nationalist xenophobia is a very different concept! We in Ireland now have a huge immigrant population and everyone of those people is welcome: they bring a lot to the party. We don’t hate immigrants: we haven’t shut down our legal route like the UK has (to all intents and purposes).. Another type of Nationalism was invoked in N*zi Germany: again with hatred of those who were seen as not fully German/Aryan.. sound familiar. Those guys shut down protests too..
“We in Ireland now have a huge immigrant population and everyone of those people is welcome:”
It’s really annoying to read an opinion that purports to speak for a whole nation. How many Irish people have you asked Liam?
A recent study showed Ireland to be the third worst country in the EU to be black (behind Finland and Luxembourg), with 51% of respondents saying they’d experienced racist harassment within the last 5 years. By contrast the UK came second best (behind Malta) with only 21% of respondents saying the same.
Perhaps Ireland isn’t as welcoming, and Brits aren’t as xenophobic as you portray them to be?
What does the asterisk in ‘N*zi’ mean?
Unfortunately, if you say Communism etc on websites like this, it is OK.
But anything with different letters before *ism immediately gets you “awaiting moderation”.
Lets try Fascism as a test
So I tried another *ism, of wrong kind, and it is awaiting moderation again.
But Communism is perfectly valid word in Western democracies.
My previous reply to your post is “awaiting moderation”.
So you think that you have right to independence but not Ukraine?
If England thought this Ireland would not exist.
USA fought in two world wars to stop Germany dominating Europe when people with names like yours supplied U-boats.
Evidently then, Liam, I’m not talking about you, any more than I’m talking about the likes of Bret Weinstein and other men of intellectual honesty and integrity who happen to be on the left.
I suppose it’s comforting to think of the vocal wokals as ‘extremists’ and they are, but they are not the real problem, as such. There has always been a vocal extreme minority but, in better times, they were ignored and derided. They were not bowed to and obeyed like they were Aztec gods, rather than the coddled, deluded, over-educated, arrested-development midwits that they are.
The problem is the huge number of spineless people across all sectors who capitulate to them. The senior ranks of US & UK politics is awash with people who refuse to open the Oxford English Dictionary and read out its definition of the word ‘woman’. As I said above, corporations, media, government and education are riddled with rank after rank of people who sign up to this toxic woke shit, and hide behind moronic platitudes like “political correctness is just about being polite and respectful – what’s wrong with people who would object to that?”
You call yourself a Christian socialist. Fine. You cannot deny that there is currently a war against Christianity in the western world, both within the churches and from the secular world. People are fired and cancelled for espousing the traditional Christian values that have been the foundational morality of our nation for hundreds of years. At the same time we are all expected to crawl and grovel before sodomites, BLM, Gaia fanatics, de facto satanists or face the wrath of the woke-riddled HR department.
I take your point about debates descending into shouting matches and perhaps you’re right that it’d be better to interview each side separately, and attempt to ask each side equally challenging questions. The problem here is that the lay interviewer (typically an arts graduate) is not equipped to adequately identify and challenge legerdemain and sophistry when science and the scientific method are under scrutiny. Perhaps what’s needed is a forceful moderator with a piercing intellect. That means not a Cathy Newman or an Emily Matilis, or a Joe Rogan or Dave Rubin.
Unfortunately, though, the likes of Andrew Neill and Paxman to whom one might turn are both on record as being on the Wuhan gravytrain, and each has his other transparent political biases. If cornered and forced to come up with a name, Konstantin Kisin is the best I could do.
I don’t know what the answer is, but as long as the orthodox side of the debate are refusing to come to the table unless they have the ability to totally control the environment and the questions, it’s almost irrelevant.
Bret Weinstein is an interesting case, because some of the interviews/conversations he’s had recently have been quite confrontational and there has been vehement, if respectful, disagreement and points have been thrashed out with remarkable openness and intellectual honesty.
To briefly address some of your other points: I am on record as being vehemently against Boris Johnson’s ascendancy to No10. I agree with what Max Hastings wrote about him in the Guardian during the leadership election.
We don’t have a right wing British political party in parliament. We haven’t had that since Thatcher was pushed out 30 years ago. The parliamentary Conservative party is soft left – Blairite, Keynesian, big state, doffing its cap to the woke.
Brexit was an absolutely necessary excision of the UK from a remote, unaccountable, undemocratic superstate that is ruled according to a political philosophy that is alien to the UK. The EU was determined to apply the Napoleonic Code to a nation with a thousand years of common law. The outcome has been less than ideal – nobody expected it to deliver us into any kind of nationalist utopia, but IMO it’s nevertheless better than the alternative.
I’m not xenophobic. I quite like foreigners when I go to their countries. I speak 2 European languages with basic fluency – my ability to converse in German has been decisive while in former Warsaw Pact countries where little English is spoken. But I don’t like uncontrolled immigration to my country. I don’t like having to bend over backwards to accommodate (literally and figuratively) millions of people who bring with them alien cultures, practices, religions, philosophies and languages – volumes of people far too great to integrate into British life in a way that can be accommodated without changing Britain beyond all recognition. I don’t like capitulation to their extremists who seek to denigrate or destroy British cultural heritage. Some of the beliefs and practices they bring are inimical to British culture and history. I object to quotas in employment, education and the media that see people whose heritage is non-British being advantaged over the people whose heritage in this country can be traced back hundreds of years. I object to whole generations of indigenous Brits being unable to afford a house to raise a family because the housing stock has not kept up with the sheer number of people that are now in this country. I object to the idea that the answer to this is to pave over the beautiful green spaces that are a defining quality of the UK.
Did I miss anything?
I think you pretty much covered it all: and while I’m not happy about it, I find myself agreeing with much of what you say. I’ll make two points briefly:
1. You ‘old style’ Brits (what does Brit mean? You nearly had a Sunak fir PM fgs: ideally you’d have had a Badenoch (as if Enoch Powel wasn’t bad enough!): but I jest.. you old style Brits are hopeless breeders unlike us fertile Irish si nothing for it but to import the next generation! You could have have nice white Christian Eastern Europeans but you wouldn’t have ’em!
2. You never got the hang of being in Europe! You always were and still are, geographically! More seriously yoy never quite got the gang of being part of the EU: it was always UK v EU! If you’re a pain in the ass in the club you can’t expect it to eork for you! You gotta play your part. Ireland was always a staunch ally in the EU and if you hadn’t been such a P in the A you’d have had many others! Pity. We miss you.
All tjose things you disapprove of I disapprove of too. We don’t do it as much as you do so we don’t suffer as much.
We’ve always been better at integration than you: most of our freedom fighters were 2nd generation Brits! We converted ’em see? The phrase was “more Irish than the Irish themselves” eg Theobald Wolfe Tone the IRA hero: dies his name sound Irish? Charles Stewart Parnell? Eamon deValera: all immigrants!!!
We ply them with Guinness and before ye know it they’re startin’ a rebellion!
But you know we Irish were far too insular for too long after or independence: now we’re very outgoing and fkexible and confident and relative prosperous thanks in part to our open borders. And the UK for so long so accommodating (not least to us Irish: but we did build yiur canals, railways, roads and most of your roads and buildings so we did contribute): mow you’re gone all funny and you pigs are burried unprocessed, your fruit and veg rot in the fields: you have 140,000 job vacancies etc. We find your approach very strange..
We were literally NEVER going to get the hang of being in the EU. From the beginning it was a project feted to fail. As I said, common law and Napoleonic code are diametrically opposed philosophies of law – what is not explicitly banned is allowed, as opposed to what is not explicitly allowed is banned. On top of that you have the legacy of WW2. It was always going to fail as long as we had living memory of our national identity dating back to the mid 20th century.
If they could have strung it out for another 20-30 years, it would have stuck, but alas, it was not to be.
Do you not find it strange that Ireland fought so valiantly to be free of the yoke of British imperium, only to immediately supplicate yourselves to Brussels, Paris and Berlin? Did you not realise you’d been had when the Celtic Tiger money fountain was uprooted and moved to Warsaw, Prague, Budapest, Bratislava etc?
In other news, can we interest you in taking on a lightly battered northern enclave of your fine island?
As for integration, my father and his sister were raised Irish Catholic.
I get the impression we could have a productive conversation over a glass or three of Bushmills (and stretch to a poteen or three). To my chagrin, one of my best friends is Irish and after 20 years in England, she retreated to Tralee in a hurry at the start of the Wuhan farrago.
I’d like to (try to) shed some light on one point you make:
Do you not find it strange that Ireland fought to be free of the British, only to immediately supplicate yourselves to Brussels, Paris and Berlin?
This is a common query – you’ll also find it uttered, ironically, by the Irish hard left (who hate the EU for not being socialist enough) and the (tiny) Irish ultra-nationalists (you could fit them all into an average committee room, though they have a few oddball websites) who live in a dream world where a small country like Ireland can be somehow independent of both the UK and the EU.
Of course, their position is nonsense. The answer to your query is in 2 parts:
- Ireland is too small ever to be genuinely independent; and
- Irish people are not very nationalist at all – we used to be, but we’re largely a bunch of EU federalists (look at how quickly and happily we ditched the Irish pound).
Re the first point:
Ideally, Ireland’s isolationist neo-nationalists would wish to be “free” of both the UK and of the EU. It’s Mr. Farage’s “sovereignty” dreams transplanted into an Irish context.
Unfortunately, that kind of nation state sovereignty no longer exists. In a world where economies are supra-national and where (apart from a couple of superpowers) independent military deterrence is an impossibility, many national parliaments are little more than glorified county councils. Through hundreds of treaties and thousands of common regulatory standards, national “sovereignty” already has been shared and hollowed out to the point where it barely exists.
It’s the trade-off we make for prosperity.
Ireland has two realistic policy choices – economic reintegration with the UK, or continuing with the larger EU. Any purported third way – “freedom” from both the UK and the EU – is a policy cul de sac, a De Valera style delusion of Skibbereen Eagle proportions.
De facto therefore, an Irish vote to leave the EU would be a vote to be once again dominated, militarily and economically, by the UK. However, seduced as they are by the isolationist romanticism of their nineteenth-century rhetoric, Ireland’s tiny cabal of Irexit daydreamers are in danger of functioning as the useful idiots of British Unionism.
Re the second point:
Prior to Brexit, most non-British people assumed that “England” and “the UK” / “Britain” were synonymous. For most of my life, many English people thought similarly. That was why, for instance, the English football team stands for the UK national anthem, even though they are not supposed to be representing the whole of the UK. Unlike Scotland, or Wales, England never felt the need to have a separate English anthem. The mindset is that, primarily, the UK is England and England is the UK. It’s why England soccer fans (used to) wave UK flags (English flags are much more popular than they used to be). Scotland and Wales? Those pipsqueaks don’t matter. And that’s the essential problem with the “union”. It never was a union of equals in the first place. Scotland’s place in the Union followed from Culloden, i.e., from a bloodbath by the English, followed by the “Highland Clearances”, which were essentially an early form of ethnic cleansing. Northern Ireland’s place in the “union” was ushered in at gunpoint, when Lloyd George told the Irish Treaty delegation that failure to accept partition would result in “immediate and terrible war”, at a time when the Irish were down to their last bullets.
But even had the union been entirely voluntary to begin with, it still would be deeply problematic for its smaller constituent members. Just as you can’t have a realistic “joint venture” between (1) Joe Bloggs & Nephew Keyboard Repair Services Limited and (2) Apple Inc; neither can you have a culturally functioning union between a global power such as England and 3 pipsqueak countries. Even when the English are well disposed towards the shrimps, which isn’t invariable might I add, the Celtic fringe countries will never amount to more than pimples on a large English backside. Culturally, England is always going to dominate. In the past, the Statutes of Kilkenny criminalised the Irish language and Irish sports; but sheer cultural mass alone will have a similar effect. In a few generations, any smaller country united with England runs the risk of ceasing to exist, even as a discrete anthropological entity. Fine, if your real goal is just to be English-lite, but people should at least be honest about that and admit that Unionism merely is a narrowly-English project, intent on eradicating cultural divergence from English mores. Inevitably, the middles classes in any culture seek to ape the socially dominant classes in the culturally dominant country. Which is why, even today, large swathes of South Dublin Irish people speak with faux Home Counties accents and read only right-wing English newspapers. I lived in England for a decade, and certainly did not encounter any upwardly-mobile English people putting on fake Welsh, Scottish or Irish accents lol.
By contrast, inside the EU, there is much greater diversity of culture and more room for tiny countries to retain a distinct cultural identity. That is, while the gorillas of France, Germany, Spain and Italy etc are busy jostling each other, the small fry nations are left alone. No such dynamic would hold (or does hold) in an inherently-asymmetrical “union” between a large backside and 3 pimples, I’m afraid.
So you believe that constituent parts of UK would somehow play bigger part in EU if independent?
But many Scots played much greater role on global stage since act of union by being part of uk.
Lets not forget that Scotland only agreed to union because it was bankrupt.
As it would be now without Barnet Formula subsidies from English taxpayers.
Personally, I am more than happy for Celtic fringe to become independent and stop sponging from England.
Lets try the experiment.
Scotland is free to have their independence referendum after they survive 5 years without being subsidised by England.
What odds are you giving me on that bet?
Indeed it does seem like we could have a real meeting of minds despite our obvious differences. Difference should be not merely tolerated but lauded. In a conversation with a totally like-minded person neither learns anything new. And for sure a few glasses of Jamesons (as well as Bushmills) would be nice.
Can I offer an analogy: let’s say you have a huge back garden and you lay it out as a golf course. Sure you can make up your own rules: do your own thing etc but you might find joining a golf club a lot more rewarding: improve your game: and help others to do likewise. But now there are rules, etiquette and less not so like-minded members. My point is it’s still more rewarding. If you see the golf club as alien and the members as inferior or silly or non-you then sure: you’re best advised to resign. We Irish never saw Europe as alien: we never saw joining as giving up sovereignty: we elect our own govt,, enact our own laws, make our own financial decisions taxwise, expenditure wise and in every other way. We have our own courts, police, army etc. In what way are we not a sovereign nation? Sure there are EU rules but look at the benefits: enormous benefits as regards freedom to travel and settle anywhere in Europe. Tariff free trade with 600m people!
Small price to pay for such huge benefits. I just don’t get it!
We are not free to ban protests or arrest strikers or treat workers badly or abuse migrants but who needs those freedoms?
By the way Ireland has been a net contributor for nany years. And yes the Germans shafted us in our banking collapse demanding that we pay unsecured creditors when legally we didnt have to: but we’ve bounced back stronger than ever. Sh*t happens..
Our monks civilized Europe in the dark ages so we feel we own Europe not the other way ’round! You say Brussels rules us: it simply isn’t true. We rule us.
Ireland is nothing more than shit attached to yacht claiming:
We are sailing…
that is a great summary thanks Al – if you could stomach the bullshit please stand for parliament !
Brilliant posts, all.
Please, will you run for Prime Minister?
Can I upvote you 100 times?
But I am still surprised why German would help you in any former Soviet Block countries apart from Hungary or Croatia?
spot on, Al. Couldn’t find a single thing I disagree with. Wish there were more decent, intelligent and courageous people like you
Too reasonable, Liam : ) They’ll hate you for that
Who’ll hate me: for what? Nobody hates me Frank: I’m far to likable!
Liam – glad you are here and participating. I agree with your implicit complaint about being lumped into an abstraction like “the left,” generalizing a person into an “identity group” is typically unhelpful. I don’t agree with your positions on a variety of topics, but I am glad you are here and participating.
Former BBC journo, what does one expect?!
“there is simply no accomodation to be reached with the left”
Who can know this? Who can reliably predict the future? If anyone could reliably predict even one minute into the future you could make trillions of dollars in various markets and solve giant problems and yet no one proves their ability in any way to claim this.
The way forward is reason and logic. Valid claims. Valid arguments.
If the left can be persuaded but we believe they can’t, we might create that result ourselves as a self fulfilling prophecy. I say with love and respect I think this initial idea deserves to be challenged. Aren’t our choices a better tool than fatalism? Maybe we haven’t persuaded them well enough yet?
“Also, he doesn’t seem to grasp that those who ought to be able to speak in opposition to the likes of Robert Malone simply refuse to have the debate.”
Precisely my thought while listening to that, too.
I was born under communism.
Idea that far left infesting Western institutions and universities want the debate is mad.
They want total control.
That is why they hate people like Franco and Pinochet.
They showed clearly how to defeat Stalinist left.
The is no point reasoning with vermin.
You need Rentokill.
Bertrand Russel, a conscientious objector and pacifist eventually conceded “War was always a great evil, but in some particularly extreme circumstances, it may be the lesser of two evils.” Perhaps Peterson has taken a similar view towards the culture war and decided that dispassionate fence sitting has its limitations. I for one am delighted he has decided to take sides in a conflict that is tearing society asunder. Far better than the masturbatory approach of some others.
Sure he should stay neutral and non involved as we descend into insane tyranny
Peterson’s indignation is entirely righteous. You can only try reasoning with unreasonable people for so long before you realize it’s a sisyphean task.
Exactly. It is simply impossible to reason with people who demonise truckers and trust Big Pharma, and who are prepared to sacrifice literally thousands of lives on the altar of defunding the police and no cash bail etc.
Agreed. The sub-heading of this piece: “The Rebel Wisdom founder discusses the psychologist’s descent into tribalism” would more accurately be amended to “… discusses the psychologist’s growing intolerance of the increasing excesses of The Woke”.
Why not interview Peterson himself?
I believe that Mr Sayers ended by inviting Jordan Peterson to come on for a discussion.
I for one can’t hardly wait: I’m a big fan of the great man.. I’ve not been eon over to the Fuller view..
So, the chap being interviewed is disappointed that Jordan Peterson no longer lives up to his expectations or projections.
This interview really is little more than gossip.
My concern also is that postmodernism and it’s many kooky iterations has captured the institutions and social action groups that have traditionally provided resistance to injustice and inequality. Corporations are licking their chops.
and wile you are at it, how about the WEF too… Or is that a conspiracy too far, even though they pretty much openly say what they are up to.
I tend to agree with James Lindsay’s analysis, that the many identity politics iterations are in fact marxist in their core analysis and structure, shielded by some god armour from an abused form of postmodernism.
I didn’t finish watching this interview. Says it all really. Not impressed with Fuller.
..the second half was better! ie when Fuller stopped taking about JP.
Fullers is decent but very traditional beer.
Canada has no decent beers..
What is the point of Canada anyway?
Just a bit of land between Alaska and USA?
Can we get Theodore Roosevelt for president?
I was never in any doubt where Peterson stood. Rebel Wisdom is disappearing into foggy mysticism. Time to call it a day.
I thought Fuller had wound up Rebel Wisdom. Or is it Chris Williamson who has wound up his podcast for the moment? I tend to get them mixed up.
I have followed Rebel Wisdom and liked their early material on JBP. I have been pretty neutral when I have listened to Rebel Wisdom’s material since then, but that changed when Fuller was interviewed by the Triggernometry team. Fuller levelled some accusations at them regarding Covid and journalistic integrity, which I thought were debatable, but he seemed to me to be upset and convinced of his journalisitc righteousness to the point he was going to skewer them. That was a surprise to me. It showed me that Fuller does have a fixed position on some issues.
As far as JBP is concerned, he has inked a deal with The Daily Wire and the videos mentioned below are produced by them. I don’t think he has become tribal however. There are practical reasons for that positioning. On another forum most of the criticism of these videos are about his tone and the language and delivery, summed up as being provocative.
But is he being provocative? Is he provoking? Is he a provocateur? I think Fuller may think so. But this is a misinterpretation I think.
As JBP said in the Cathy Newman interview; “I’m only a provocateur insofar as when-I-say-what-I-believe-to-be-true, it’s provocative. I don’t provoke. – maybe for humour now and then. I’m not interested in provoking.”
So the question is whether his language and method of delivery is intentionally inciteful (as in from a tribal standpoint)? Or is there some other reason for it – such as to indicate his attitude to the meaning of what he is saying. In other words, he is indicating/signalling the profoundness of the moral corruption of the actions and phenomena he is talking about.
Having read all his books and listened to most of his video material, I think it is the latter.
I believe Fuller used to work for Channel 4, which probably explains a lot. But again, I could be confusing him with Chris Williamson.
No. You are correct. It is Fuller. Williamson is a follower of Peterson’s synthesis.
The problem lies in Fuller’s dichotomous, exclusionary thinking.
Either one is an accredited (via Fuller) “truth-seeker and mediator”….OR….one is a “blinkered tribalist”. The severely ‘blinkered’ & limiting assumption in that declaration is that the truth exists and can only exist in the mediated mid-ground between Left & Right.
This, of course, is entirely untrue.
There is nothing inherent in Truth (whatever it may be) that keeps it frozen midway between any two politicial extremes. It is not and cannot be defined as an in-between entity despite the apparent psychological appeal provided by adopting that ‘impartial’, ‘not-really-this…but….not-really-that either’ perspective so common to most academic studies.
Those who are still caught in that halfway trap would naturally find a vehemently defended position, especially one which is now categorized as ‘conservative’, to be off-putting & tribalist.
They recognize & praise those (like themselves) who rise above the fray (as a real ‘Truth Seeker’) would do. And they are offended by those whom they see as ‘falling’ into “the mud, the blood, and the beer” (as Johnny Cash might say). I can hear them tsk tsk tsking even as I speak.
The problem, of course, is that Peterson is absolutely right. And his broadsides place him squarely in the forefront of the Right. Does that make him a blinkered tribalist?
If I categorically refuse to salute the impossible assertion that men can become women and women, men … does that make me tribalist? More importantly, does it make me wrong? And if the statement is true, that men cannot ever (no matter how many times they click their heels together) become women, then how can anyone who asserts that truth be seen as tribalist?
In the end it is Fuller’s blinkered understanding of Peterson which limits the whole…and it is his condemnation of the Truth as ‘Tribalist’ which actually places Fuller himself entirely within that Leftist Tribe that he pretends to be above.
Well deciphered. Thank you.
Well laid out B Davis. Thank you!
I think we all know what Fuller is, I meet a handful like him every day. They say we must accommodate, we must love the wokies and they will respond to us.
BIG MISTAKE, these people are the enemy and they have battalions of media at their right hand. They hate all we stand for, but more importantly they hate even themselves, for they know whence their ideology leads.
I also thought that these recordings that Peterson has put out recently were quite different than his earlier talks. Whether or not they represent a descent into tribalism I don’t know, but I don’t think they are anywhere close to as insightful or well-done. Slicker, yes, but also bordering on pomposity.
You are also correct. There is a recent one on Youtube where Jordan endlessly talks over his amazing guest (a war and troubles correspondent) and stops us from getting this amazing guest’s full story. It was hard to watch and really did show Peterson in a different light of rather than being insightful and drawing out his guest he was often just sort of ranting aimlessly.
This one “Cometh the Horsemen: Pandemic, Famine, War | Michael Yon and Dr Jordan B Peterson”
Yon is amazing, only was not allowed to speak fully. Peterson needs to watch his recent videos and have a discussion with himself to regain his best side. .
I noticed that JP was talking over his guests from the first interviews after his return following his illness (so about a year). It was very frustrating, didn’t make for good listening, and I stopped watching them.
I disagree. I watched the discussion with Michael Yon and thought it was outstanding. It is not meant to be an interview style but a conversation where they discuss issues – and very important ones at that. I highly recommend it. I do not understand how people find impassioned speech hard to tolerate. This is extremely important stuff they are discussing. On Fuller – I have watched a few discussions he has had over the years and it seems to me that he has always been looking for an opportunity to criticise JP. Why he wants to do that to someone who has contributed so much to humanity is quite odd. He needs to get a life.
It’s not just the interviews. I agree that maybe they are not Peterson’s forte – and really he is not a trained interviewer, and it’s not an easy skill to master. They work best for sure when he and the subject just have an interesting conversation.
But he’s been doing these things like “A message to Christians” which I find really hard to take. Long winded, presumptuous, and while there are a few interesting ideas they aren’t really brought out clearly. The slick camera angles and such are a little annoying as well.
I think it makes him look less like a public intellectual and more like a pundit, which is not a good thing.
I agree that some of JP’s interviews/discussions are very poor. This is often because he has not done the reading, or gets into area of which he knows nothing. I also agree that he is liable to talk or interject way too much.
An example of his not having done the reading was his discussion with Iain McGilchrist. Clearly, JP had not read The Master And His Emissary. (I have).
As for his discussion with Sir Roger Penrose, it was just embarrassing. JP obviously lacked the scientific knowledge to go head to head with someone of this calibre.
All that said, I disagree with David Fuller’s objections to JP’s current political stances. We – and JP in particular – are up against extremely evil forces in the form of Trudeau, the Biden administration, the media, Soros, the WEF etc etc. They have to be confronted and it’s good to see JP joining the Daily Wire as part of this effort.
Sayers tried to engage Fuller to discuss whether taking sides had become imperative at this juncture in our civilisational journey. But Fuller wasn’t having it, and would only reiterate that the middle ground of debate had been lost to “dangerous” tribalism. It was a missed opportunity, and Fuller preferred to drift into a nebulous search for spirituality, in spite of Freddie’s efforts. Shame.
Having followed the up swing in the popularity of JP or Dave Ruben over the years, the open dialogue they had with opposing views has gone. It’s become a shouting match in the past two years. Unfortunately extremists views are like walls they do not make for interesting conversations since walls don’t listen or reason. That JP has become a warrior against an ideology that isn’t ready or willing to concede to having a more common sense approach to life the two fronts have become entrenched camps that cannot move forward to a more civilized coexistence. JP should have stuck to the clean up your own life first before going out on crusades to tell other people to clean up their own lives. This might seem counter intuitive, but in the long run when this wave of craziness is over I could imagine that JP would end up coming out a little less radical. Good common sense should rule, not radicalization and dogma. JP lost me a while back, just like Rubin did. I for one think this was a good interview.
Speaking of platforms choosing whom to interview, I dont think this conversation was up to the quality the Unherd audience have come to expect. Seemed like a reasonable guy who has lost faith in his guru – not much to talk about there. Freddie valiantly tried to draw him into other realms of debate but met a brick wall at each turn.
Fuller’s search for a middle path between contrary camps of thinking seems a bit disingenuous. The so-called progressives demand the silencing of opposing views, and their cancellation, while conservatives are more likely to welcome debate. Witness the number of invitations by conservative social media hosts repeatedly declined by the left. Their religious fervour brooks no opposition.
If David Fuller understood the seriousness of the situation, he wouldn’t be at all surprised why Peterson has gone full-on warrior mode and wouldn’t give a second thought as to “what has happened to Jordan Peterson”.
Fuller’s lamenting the “mutual incomprehension” between right and left reveals a remarkable lack of insight into the impossibility of reconciling utterly opposing world – nay, moral – outlooks.
There are foundational truths that simply cannot be compromised, whether the sanctity of life, the vulnerability of children, the importance of the nuclear family, the corrosive properties of porn, the freedom to speak, and so on.
Debate on such issues is absolutely fine and good. But a co-ordinated assault on those who hold to such values and/or beliefs? That, I’m afraid, is war. This is why Peterson, to paraphrase Christ, finally sold his cloak and bought two swords.
Thoroughly enjoyed the discussion. I admire David Fuller’s honesty. That’s not to say I agree with what he says.
I agree with Mr. Fuller. JP’s tone lately has become extremely off-putting. Did he really need to hang his standard on an insistence that the overweight model was not “beautiful?”
But two counterpoints. I saw him in Boston only a few months ago. He was a different person from the one portrayed here. He stayed clear largely of politics, and he was quite funny. He had an audience of about 3000 mostly millennials eating out of his hand.
Also, he did a quite recent podcast with his father that was heart warming and delightful.
I loved this interview so thank you to both for even doing it and putting it out there and having such an interesting discussion.
I definitely think Jordan Peterson has changed an awful lot from the way he used to be. If you watch his original teaching sessions at UofT he seems relaxed and happy and thoughtful and so interesting. I wanted nothing more than to be one of his students back then. Now he seems very angry and I do agree with David Fuller that Jordan seems to have completely lost interest in ‘teaching’ or persuading people. However, Jordan has been through an awful lot – it was super stressful for him to suddenly be so famous and have people just attacking him unfairly non-stop – and totally misrepresenting his opinions. Then he got so sick and potentially had, or still has, neurological damage from those pills and the akathesia, and then his wife was terminally ill and almost died and then the entire world went crazy about Covid. All those things would seem to cause an unbearable amount of stress. I strongly doubt that Jordan ‘chose’ – as David said – to become more angry and combative and picked a side instead of remaining open to the left. The left absolutely hated him, smeared him non-stop, hated his ideas, refused to listen to anything he had to say, and it was the woke gender-ideology crowd who really started the ‘hate Jordan Peterson’ campaign. Not surprising then that the man bears some anger toward the inflexible ideology that maliciously attempted to destroy him. Complaining that he was mean and not compassionate or understanding about the E. Page person was a little much. Haven’t people within that ideological group said immeasurably worse things about him over the years? Did any one of them ever have any compassion or understanding of him? Or even a smidgen of willingness to listen to what he was saying? Not at all surprising the man is angry. I am angry for him.
Also, when David Fuller talks about having a person who is capable of questioning Robert Malone or Peter McCullough on a show it is absolutely 100% clear what David Fuller’s own opinions are. He has already taken a side – the establishment mainstream narrative side – so his own stated desire for impartiality or presenting both sides is not even true or possible. I don’t think he realizes he is so obvious about it though – he does not want to listen to Malone or McCullough – or have his mind changed, or even be open to what they are saying. He has already decided they need to be ‘debunked’ and anybody who believes them is mistaken and has fallen for misinformation. He has his own confirmation bias going on but gives off vibes that he is above all that and he is the only one capable of being truly impartial. Or him and his amazing ‘thinkers’ like John Vervaeke who he loves but I find to be so boring it puts me to sleep every time I try and watch Rebel Wisdom. Give me the exciting and interesting Jordan Peterson any day rather than the boring, calm, meditation and discussion of Rebel Wisdom.
It seems that the so called “cultural war”, is hitting the heart of Unherd. This is a sense I take from cross reading the comments. I enjoyed this interview & discussion. Both Freddie Sayers and David Fuller stand at different points but both showed respect for Jordan Peterson and for one another. I understand the “battle” points of view, What I don’t like is the attitude “you are either with us or against”. I also understand that comes a time when you take a side on a battle, especially when things are getting seriously overscaled. Still, attacking David Fuller is not a smart move by all means.
Other than that, I also strongly believe that the middle ground (not the centre as in politics) is very worthy and fertile land for cultivation and fruit bearing. If you shoot those who walk on it, or if you shoot them too early, you may loose your most valuable future allies, or valuable negotiators. If some “soldiers” find my notion naive, at least try not not to shoot those who are so near your front’s standpoint of ideas..!
As Freddie Sayers and
Unherd, you have a battle of your own to fight. It’s called Balance..! Good lack with it..!
May God save us all..⚘
Most worthwhile interview. Thank you to both gentlemen. One concern, however, is Sayers’ pallor recently. Is it the lighting? Hopefully not the onset of Sads (or SADS). Maybe have it checked – health (less the lighting).
I would like to know, according to David Fuller, what is a “blinkered tribalist?”
I hope that Freddie is playing devil’s advocate when he suggests that maybe the Enlightenment has run its course and we should “get over it.”
It seems that the ‘institutions’ refuse to honestly address the issues raised by the ‘alternatives’.. and with their overwhelming pervasiveness, automatic authority, not to mention $$, they should be the ones to answer questions… which they never do. Fuller makes no demands on them … very clever and unbalanced misdirection.
Re: answering questions, Steve Kirsch is begging any expert to debate…. that they don’t, tells the tale.
Excellent conversation. It got more interesting as it went on and Fuller started revealing himself and his beliefs; there are similarities with P. Kingsnorth.
I didn’t like the way JP was squinting constantly into the camera; it suggests to me that he’s not entirely candid; when did he start doing that?
Fuller doesn’t understand what Freddie is trying to suggest that concepts of one universal truth and one global village is an anomaly and these concepts are breaking down, humanity is going back to tribes which one can argue is the way humanity works. Fuller made a comment towards the end about what it means to be a human being – this is so characteristic of these liberal types that they think they can think through the messiness of the world and come up with a universal truth that all mankind will want to accept because it is so high and noble. What it means to be a human being has as many meanings as there are human beings.
I suspect anyone who has followed the lectures and interviews of Vervaeke and Peterson (both once in the same department at Toronto U.) will recognises a subtle rivalry between the two – I’m reminded of Dylan’s line ‘Ezra Pound and T.S Eliot fighting in the captain’s tower’- particularly on Vervaeke’s part. Not to suggest a battle of egos so much as one of world views – Vervaeke’s the more philosophical and meditational to Peterson’s the more psychological and political. Fuller just seems to have switched camps that’s all – nothing wrong with that; both P and V are interesting thinkers – but much of Fuller’s reasoning here strikes me as tenuous and somewhat self serving – admirable fellow though I’m sure he is.
I wouldn’t normally get into this but I was bothered by some of the things he has said recently, and it’s a big deal because he has a lot of influence in today’s world.
I only started looking into more of his content earlier this year and thought he was a brilliant man, and he is. Then I was finding more and more of the controversy and I could kind of still see what he was doing, although he definitely seemed more combative than I think of people who get into psych and neuroscience and all that. I think he was right about tribalism in the way Lincoln said a house divided cannot stand. I was kind of hoping he was more like playing the middle to appeal to everyone as if we were human before any kind of party or religion, all that comes after. But, I can’t deny he sounds like the fame has warped him in a weird way. He sounds really angry, he’s making broad claims that are better to state as theories than as empirical science. He gets a lot of his inspiration from Dostoyevsky Jung and Nietzsche but they were just smart people who were spitballing and a lot of the time they had good ideas. That doesn’t mean it’s absolute, unfalsifiable science. And I never hear him say this stuff with the culture wars is his opinion—you should just trust him for some reason and not think for yourself.
That’s not how science works! I definitely don’t want to bring this up as the case in point but it was the thing that bothered me and everyone else now: fat shaming is still bad. Yes it’s better for your heart if you’re in shape but you don’t yell at people for being fat. Then you instantly make it tribalism again, reverse psychology, reaction formation, whatever you want to call it. The trans thing is also a huge leap. I think he meant most the time it’s a being bullied young situation and rarely it’s a dysphoric gene or whatever it’s called but I did my own research after all that drama started and scientists don’t agree with him. NIH articles don’t agree with him. So if anything he’s like a bull in a China shop when he should be a less authoritarian “tyrannical” thinker. I dunno. That did bother me though after I started thinking about it. What kind of therapist would bully his clients into getting healthier? You’d get a higher rate of suicide among other things. Its… I dunno. Lol.
I also wanted to say I found a lot of his earlier stuff really informative and inspirational. I’m doing neuroscience and he was blowing my mind with a lot of it.
‘…Dostoyevsky Jung and Nietzsche but they were just smart people who were spitballing…’ Lol.
J P’s Message to Muslims was a shock to me. I thought he would have much better understood this cult. He should have known its devotees would not respond well to a Dutch Uncle lecture. Previously he had insipid interviews with Islamists that they gleefully took advantage of. What a person of his fame should be dong is arguing against their teachings, and even against its existence – it’s an obvious fraud.
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