Thursday, July 14, 2022

Jordan Peterson’s Russia-Ukraine Do-Over

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.


  1. There is no rational left. Maher and Brand are not being rational when they are being leftist. They aren't being leftist when they are being rational. The only version of "left" that COULD be rational is a classical liberalism that is rooted in 18th century morality and culture. Maher will never agree to that because 18th century Western culture was explicitly Christian and morally conservative.

    But good to see JP is learning, in fits and starts.

    He also made a short message to churches. It was interesting. Still maybe not 100% good, but 90% good.

    1. I am open to other ways to refer to those who are clearly left in their politics overall yet have come to see the craziness of the woke culture, covidiocy, militarism, etc.

  2. Peterson resists the leftist accusation that the hierarchies of the west are completely corrupt. He fails to recognize that now that the left controls pretty much ALL of the hierarchies they ARE, IN FACT, CORRUPT. He doesn't want to be pigeon holed as "far right", but the only way to avoid systemic corruption is to become far right. There are still errors, there is still corruption, but corruption isn't the whole point.

  3. Gosh, one would think someone as smart as Jordan could take a Kagan, errrrr I mean a hint..

  4. "...Nazi brigades, no mention of bloated militarization of Ukraine, the illegal Maidan coup...."

    This list is utter garbage on simply the result of a sick mind's meanderings. Stating the facts on Putin is not hatred anymore than stating the facts on Stalin, Hitler and Mao is hatred.

    If Yanukovych hadn't run to his buddy Putin, he would have been able to complete his term. he chose to abandon his office instead.

  5. Interesting that neither JP nor Bionic Mosquito mention that Frederick Kagan is the brother of Robert Kagan, one of the top neocons and whose wife, Victoria Nuland of Ukranian origin and now No. 3 at the State Dept was the brain behind the Maidan coup in 2014. A small but very powerful clique indeed these Neocons.

    1. I did mention it in the first article. Click the link at the end of the first paragraph.

      As for Peterson, he did not.

    2. Correct and thanks. As for JP, I am afraid he is getting out of his league a common trait in Academia, e.g., turning on a dime from a climate change expert to a COVID expert, etc.

    3. This was my reaction when he started making predictions on the price of oil. Like, what are you doing?

  6. I like Peterson but these negative reactions, such as regarding Kagan, were music to my ears as was your critiques. He gets over his skis sometimes (Geography, oil price) but he is an intelligent and articulate man doing mostly good. I like his talks on the horrors of Communism and his Bible series.

    1. Thumbs up. On balance, he has been a force for good. And he seems willing to learn, always.

  7. I also have appreciated Peterson's turn lately to a more questioning position on Ukraine. I don't regard Peterson as a teacher, but many do, and I am happy that he is finding his way ever truthward. I could say the same about Brand. Between the two of them, there are nearly 12 million subscribers to their content. Their ideas and opinions certainly have consequences.

    "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."

    He is a preoccupied man and has imbibed this particular mainstream narrative uncritically, much like he did concerning the controversy over the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the SCOTUS.

    The truth of the matter is that the courts simply refused to hear the cases, at least back then when it mattered. I think a few cases have been heard and some election tampering has been proven since, but always safely "not enough to have overturned the election."

    As for why Peterson chose Kagan in the first place... Neocons have a skill for appearing like the "experts in opposition to the Left" to the uneducated in the history of the American Right. They are the most dangerous wolf in sheep's clothing to the man who still loves the West. The Clintons are lovelier than the Kagans.