Early on in Russia’s Special Military Operation in Ukraine, Jordan Peterson decided to get educated, and chose as his teacher the perpetual warmonger Frederick Kagan. The video of their discussion is here, and I wrote a short post covering the video here.
To summarize my thoughts on the video…
I made it through about 15 minutes of this garbage. I could have heard the same thing in about two minutes on CNN.
A sampling of the many of the comments Peterson received as a result of his choice in teachers…
· This interview was garbage from beginning to end.
· NATO is not only a defensive alliance, it bombed Yugoslavia with no attacks from it on NATO members
· I miss Prof Cohen. And listening to this guy, who seems to be a typical Putin-hater, reminded me
· Kagan is way off base. No mention of the Nazi brigades, no mention of bloated militarization of Ukraine, the illegal Maidan coup, etc. Everything is Putin, Putin, Putin. Donbas is mostly Russian speaking and they are a cancelled abused people. Kagan should take his academic ego and crawl back under his know-it-all rock. Bad choice JP! You can do better!
· Kagan's failure to mention Ukraine's state sponsored neonazi forces shows his hand. I don't trust or believe him.
· Frederick Kagan is schilling for the Neocons.
There were several suggestions that Peterson speak to John Mearsheimer. One of which was mine.
Well, Peterson has taken a do-over. But, first, an update on Peterson news. He has recently joined the Daily Wire. To me, something like this was inevitable – assuming Peterson’s health held out such that he could continue in his task of bucking (for the most part) the leftist turn of his liberalism.
So, with that, on to the subject video, entitled Russia Vs. Ukraine Or Civil War In The West? The title suggests that Peterson is aware of something deeper going on than merely “Putin is the next Hitler.”
I won’t go through a blow by blow. But here are the main themes (and I am not directly quoting Peterson, but offering a flavor):
· I was pilloried for choosing Kagan as a teacher
· I watched Mearsheimer
· It turns out the situation is much more complicated than I was led to believe
· Putin is concerned that the West wants to turn Russia into the same morally depraved hell-hole that they have forced onto Western society
· The fight in Ukraine is a mirror of the civil war consuming the West
· Whatever one might have as a complaint about Putin, he is a far better person than anyone who has led that country in over a hundred years.
Now, Peterson made a few mistakes – he kept messing up on the geography (“…the Russian speakers in the northeast of Ukraine,” etc.). He didn’t touch very much on the history of Western antagonisms in Ukraine. He also decided to get into the economic prediction game (“$300 oil”), which is an easy way for others to attack him if he is wrong on any of it.
But he did point out the extreme risks of this war and of the West’s continued actions. He made a strong statement that there must be work toward a settlement now – and he recognizes this will have to be on terms acceptable to Putin.
He also threw a strong punch at the covid lockdowns, and he took several shots at his disaster of a prime minister, Justin Trudeau.
As I have noted about Peterson before, the arrow doesn’t fly straight, but at least it occasionally comes with a self-correcting function. Considering the very strong left-liberal upbringing and his university experience as well as his filed of expertise, one has to say he really has come a long way.
But he still has a long way to go.
Maybe not quite as long as I thought. A short (23-minute) interview of Peterson by Snorri Másson in Iceland. Peterson makes some very strong points and doesn’t back down when pushed. He gets most forceful and emotional on the topic of physically mutilating minors who are confused about gender. His is an example many Christians could learn from.
He likes the idea of abortion in America being decided at the state level – on such a difficult topic, many experiments are needed. He notes that there are signs of a rational left emerging from the destruction of the crazies (I anticipated this years ago). Bill Maher and Russell Brand are noted.
He makes a very interesting observation on Trump, that Trump – whose entire persona is “I am a winner” – shouldn’t have got caught up in “the election was stolen.” That’s the talk of losers, not winners.
Peterson’s stumble: he says it has been demonstrated in many court cases that the election wasn’t stolen. So he still has a ways to go.