Jordan Peterson

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Jordan Peterson
Name: Jordan Peterson
Date of Birth: June 12, 1962
Occupation: Professor of Psychology
Ethnicity: Irish, Norweigan, possibly other

By including this public figure on this wiki, we are not necessarily implying they are incel (involuntarily celibate) or are in any way associated with incels. Furthermore, with regards to any actual incels listed on this wiki, inceldom is a life circumstance, not an insult or a movement/community.

Jordan Bernt Peterson (born June 12, 1962) is a clinical psychologist, self-help guru and professor of psychology at University of Toronto. He describes himself as a classical liberal, centrist, and advocate for individualism and free speech. He has been labeled neoliberal and tradcon.

Peterson is sometimes blackpilled in that he says current trends may be fatal. However, different from most blackpillers, he does not support the complete reversal of female emancipation and has never discussed lookism or superficiality as urgent issues. Rather, he suggests to socialize people to be competitive and simply embrace natural human behaviors that decide hierarchies which he regards to be mainly decided by competence anyhow as long as they aren't corrupted by ideology. He also claims hierarchies are crucial for achieving well-being, monogamy, predictability and order, though not order so strict that it hinders the system's ability to change and adapt. He is critical of the New Left, radical leftism (especially Stalinism), identitarianism, authoritarianism, collectivism, and social constructionism.

His main area of study is personality psychology with a focus on the assessment and improvement of personality and performance, as well as the relation between religious and ideological beliefs and human conflict. He has an appreciation for Jungian psychology and for describing social phenomena through fables and allegories.

Peterson on Incels[edit | edit source]

Jordan Peterson has been very critical of incels who have committed violence, but he did give an affirmative nod to incels on the Joe Rogan podcast where he claimed the breakdown of monogamy may be a cause of inceldom,[1] a point that was previously raised by various public intellectuals.[2] Peterson addressed the motivation of incel mass murder Alek Minassian, saying, "he was angry at God because women were rejecting him. […] the cure for that is enforced monogamy. That's actually why monogamy emerges."[3] He also addressed a video at mass murders titled "Message to the school shooters: past, present and future".[4] He said by putting one's life in order one can more accurately judge to which extent one's situation is self-inflicted and then question unreasonable systemic impediment from a stronger position.[5]

Related to the physical and sexual starvation that incels experience, Peterson mentioned evidence of babies dying when starved of physical touch and play[6] and that adults probably also need long-term relationships and friends as emotional support.[7] He said, if left to their own devices, women will choose a dominant man, which contradicts the goal of feminism of making men nicer because it will propagate the genes of aggressive high-testosterone men. He said the gentleman is "heading extinction" and men denied status and rough-and-tumble play become reclusive like Japan's hikikomoris.[8] Peterson identified distinct sex roles in human folklore. He identified "the feminine" as "that which selects", hence nature and chaos are feminine as they also select. He identified "the masculine" as the the hero who explores, creates order and competes for women.[9] He also admitted that, being dependent on men due to high parental investment, women choose from the top of the hierarchy,[10] are often hypergamous and "desire strong and competent men" which plausibly drove the evolution of human intelligence.[11] He also identified a "terrible femininity" in modern culture that is "undermining the masculine power of the culture in a way that is fatal" and claimed that "men cannot control crazy women" as discourse between men and women lacks an underlying threat of violence that keeps discourse between males civilized.[12] Peterson has also been critical of feminist ideologues, calling male feminists "sneaky".[13] Peterson also said that "we live in the fantasy of a sheltered 13 year old girl"[14] and that "the idea that women were oppressed throughout history is an appalling theory".[15]

Incels on Peterson[edit | edit source]

Despite his short rhetoric on 'enforced monogamy', Jordan's ideas and lectures had poor reception on various incel communities. Mostly because of his 'muh bootstraps' and chadsplaining rhetoric, blaming MGTOWs and incels for their own sexual failure (most of the time), even when incels have tried what society has offered them to improve themselves. After a few years of blaming people individually for societal failures, Jordan promoted psychiatry as a solution to societal problems for a bit, and then ended up in drug rehab for a brutal physical dependence to psychiatric medication taken as prescribed.

Jordan is similar to an early Tucker Carlson in many respects with regards to women and dating, as both implied that female nature is a just/rational sorter of male character, and that it is unmanly and hence bad to complain. Tucker has turned 180 degrees on this rhetoric since his first statements, and Jordan about 90 degrees.

Nevertheless, many incels like him for his blunt takes on sexual dynamics, and many incels (among other groups of people) are extreme fans of his.

Beliefs and philosophy[edit | edit source]

Peterson claims that simply forcing people to be nice to one another is insufficient for cooperation and social cohesion. Rather, states need an overarching goal that motivates cooperation, such as economic growth, religious/transcendental goals or restoration/achievement/maintenance of national pride. Peterson regards country borders, social norms and hierarchies as fundamental for a functioning state, but admits there also needs to be some adaptability and flow of information (classical liberalism) to avoid totalitarianism and warfare. He claims it is naive to assume there is a definite set of rules for ideally structuring a state (ideology), except for leaving up the determination of the rules to a competitive, democratic process, a free market of ideas.

He sees hierarchies to be inevitable because people differ in their ability. He regards hierarchies to enable cooperation, and to be necessary for human well-being. When uncorrupted by ideology, he expects rules for fair play to naturally emerge from them (Piaget). To avoid corrupt hierarchies, he claims, it is necessary to keep them fairly flat (decentralization) and use a regulated free market such that the best players prevail and inefficient, corrupt and misaligned players get outcompeted and destroyed by better ones. This requires individuals (especially men) to be socialized to be competitive and to take on responsibility (individualism). Men also need to be socialized to be competitive and dependable to be able to satisfy women's hypergamous preferences and to be steeled against the natural occurrence of psychopaths who would otherwise claim power. He says people have innate tendencies that make them suitable for different positions in the hierarchy, e.g. progressives as pioneers and conservatives as people who keeping things running.

Peterson sees no alternative to decentralized competition because the top of the hierarchy naturally tends to corrupt as it lacks corrective signals from above. He regards democracy (free market of ideas & policies) and capitalism (free market of goods & values) as institutions that determine policy, value and distribution of goods in a decentralized and hence less corruptible manner than all alternatives. A religious/transcendental goal/norm can even give the top some guidance and make it less corruptible.

Peterson warns enforcing equality by a shaming culture (collectivism) is highly corruptible because it admits too much power to centralized institutions enforcing these rules and creates adverse incentives. Enforcement of such rules typically ends up in hands of ideological bureaucrats who one wants the least to be in charge of our private lives. He claims inequality has always existed[16] because people are inherently unequal and slightly inequalities tend to get amplified by Metthew effects, hence the goal of perfect equality is unattainable. Reducing poverty to avoid social unrest is a more sensible goal. Hierarchies and social stratification yield a strong incentive for status ascension which furthers cooperation because ascension can for the most part, only occurs as compensation for one's contributions to the system.

Human beings are born with different capacities. If they are free, they are not equal. And if they are equal, they are not free.


Peterson says one should rather strive for equal opportunity than equal outcome. Equal outcome overemphasizes the rights of groups and fuels resentment, shaming and centralized enforcement of compensation (collectivism). Equal opportunity, on the other hand, holds people responsible, gives people a sense of accomplishment and real status in proportion to their contributions (individualism). Peterson sees collectivism as antithetical to individualism and says exclusively collectivist systems have never produced prosperity. He draws analogies to communist systems that he sees to have repeatedly failed in this manner. Similar to Steven Pinker, he reminds of the fact that current capitalist systems have reduced poverty more than any other economic systems. He accuses Marxism of resentment, claiming that Marxists tend to ignore the fact that rich people are not much happier. Rather, the progress towards wealth or any goal, is what provides meaning, structure and positive emotion. For example, lottery winners do not tend to become happier in their lives and there is no meaningful increase in life satisfaction beyond an income of USD 60K / yr. Marxists, he says, are primarily driven by a hatred for the rich and a sense of moral superiority.

Peterson sees cultural norms for honesty and the primacy of the individual as essential for social trust and stability, and as main reason for the success of Western civilization since this enables cooperation and economic growth. For this reason, Peterson is wary of automation, fearing it could diminish the value of the individual, being outcompeted by machines, bereaving men of opportunities to become responsible and prove their worth.

Collectivists put the group goal (equality in case of Marxists) above the individual. In the extreme, death is justified in the name of it as the individual is not respected. Peterson says, "the group must unite, but under the banner of the individual."[17]

With regards to globalist policy, Peterson said there is a danger in making hierarchies too steep, i.e. too centralized and controlled from “above” as the bottom end will become disenfranchised bearing little or no responsibility. With this he criticized, e.g. the European Union.

This concludes the secular side. Peterson also has a series of esoteric views about so called Jungian archetypes that he believes to have emerged in human folklore and religious scripture. He believes these archetypes to exist across time and space, and to have been shaped by gene-meme co-evolution (drawing on Jung's concept of the collective unconscious) to capture deeper truths about human nature than a typical contemporary atheist would assume. Peterson sees for example the primacy of the individual in Western culture and social norms for honesty to have emerged in such a cultural evolutionary process. He sees this framework of human culture as fundamental for the construction of any meaning, and uses it to justify the importance of traditions. From this concept, Peterson concludes the blackpill that culture protects us from the unknown ways of organizing society that could potentially throw us into chaos by mechanisms that are too complex for us to figure out by other means but cultural evolution:

Something we cannot see protects us from something we do not understand. The thing we cannot see is culture, in its intrapsychic or internal manifestation. The thing we do not understand is the chaos that gave rise to culture. If the structure of culture is disrupted, unwittingly, chaos returns. We will do anything–anything–to defend ourselves against that return.

—Jordan Peterson, 1998 (Descensus ad Inferos)

This bears resemblance to the traditionalist argument by the English Catholic writer G.K Chesteron, that one should know the purpose a tradition or cultural institution was originally intended to fulfill before one demolishes or reforms it. Thus one could view traditions as a form of "cultural technology". This is known as Chesterton's Fence.

A main mechanism by which Peterson believes chaos to occur is when important beliefs are suddenly challenged (e.g. during a loss of culture or religion). Then the negative human emotional response to this tends to be externalized as aggression, since people "prefer war to be something external, than re-forming [their] challenged beliefs". He sees this to be driven by the most fundamental drive of human cognition, especially male cognition, which is the drive to transform chaos into order. (In this case, people attempt to restore order in the world by force, rather than in their belief system.) He sees much of the world wars and cold wars to be driven by this mechanism, with people externalizing their disagreement about collectivist vs individualist orders of society as aggression. Of course other things cause chaos and conflict as well, e.g. when people cease to have incentives to cooperate and end up in downward spiral of resentment, blaming and revenge, often based on group affiliation which likely ties into tribal instincts (identity politics). In major situations of conflict, he says, people lose the value of the individual and justifying the value of "dead over living matter". He says this happens when the group becomes more important than the individual. He claims all major atrocities in human history have been committed by ordinary people who would have been honorable in different historic contexts and with incentives that encourage cooperation.

Criticism[edit | edit source]

MGTOWs on Peterson[edit | edit source]

Peterson offended MGTOWs by calling them "pathetic weasels"[18] for avoiding women and complaining about divorce laws. Peterson later sort of apologized for this,[19] when asked if there was anything he regretted saying in the past. Most manospherian anti-Peterson memes originate in the MGTOW circles.

Other people on Peterson[edit | edit source]

Jordan gained criticism from other academics with regards to his narrative about broad philosophical schools that emerged during a time when there was a decline in the institutional foundations of moral objectivism among the Western population. Philosophers who agree with Jordan about college-campus New Left types and political correctness, such as Hegelian philosopher Slajov Zizek were the most prominent in their criticism. In a broadcasted debate, Zizek accused Peterson of a-historical alarmism.[20] He accused Jordan of injecting motives and beliefs into philosophies where there are none, ignoring the contempt post-modernists had towards Marxists, and propagating false conspiracy theories about constructionism and relativism being a Marxist or, "radical leftist", plot to destabilize the West. Jordan is criticized as confusing opinions of, "is", with, "ought". He is criticized as mis-characterizing philosophical schools which address widespread non-objectivity as saying there should be widespread non-objectivity, or that there should be a death of God. Entire left-leaning internet forums have organized around hating on Peterson, e.g. /r/enoughpetersonspam. However, Jordan is now under attack from the racialist right now as well, due to his professed individualism and opposition to white ethnocentrism.[21]

Some female critics of fairly high academic status have accused Peterson of being an incel himself (which is of course impossible in the years he had his two children),[22] in response to which Peterson threatened to sue on grounds of libel, in response to which some of them apologized for fear of legal action against them.[23] This suggests Peterson is extremely secure in his noncel status.

Cribbing conspiracy theories[edit | edit source]

When Peterson first mentioned "enforced monogamy" in early May 2018, user NKL (pronounced "nickel") insinuated Peterson had been "directly cribbing from him" this talking point as NKL had mentioned it prior to Peterson in a now deleted episode of the Incelcast[24] which was viewed enough to be heavily cited by digital media.[25][26][27][28][29][30] Online media have also accused Peterson of borrowing common talking points directly from the internet manosphere, e.g. about hypergamy.[31]

Even though Peterson may have been inspired by the manosphere, both enforced monogamy and hypergamy are established terms in sociology[32][33] and public intellectuals like Angela Nagle and Roger Devlin have publicly addressed the importance of monogamy before him and is by no means a novel idea.[2] In one YouTube video from new year 2017, Peterson claimed "women and men alike" need to take responsibility for their promiscuity and reject the "misbegotted idea of casual sexual gratification".[34][35] Peterson has also been close to traditionalism for much of his academic career.[36]

Good genes[edit | edit source]

In one video, Peterson claimed the preference for precise symmetry in all kinds of species arose because symmetry is an honest signal of health and good genes,[37] however the link between fluctuating symmetry and disease is weak if not absent and some of the related science has been exposed as fraudulent.[38] This suggests the preference for symmetry is rather a Fisherian adaptation and purely about aesthetics. A survey study by Henderson et al. (2015) summarized:

Contrary to the hypothesis that symmetry cues health, the largest study of facial asymmetry and health to date found no relationship between these variables. Researchers used data from a British cohort study of 4732 individuals and found that facial symmetry at age 15 was unrelated to longitudinal measures of childhood health, including measures of the proportion of childhood years spent unwell, average number of illness symptoms per year, and total number of infections.[39]

See more[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  2. 2.0 2.1 The relation between lack of monogamy norms and inceldom was e.g. discussed by left-wing cultural critic Angela Nagle ([1], [2]), white nationalist Roger Devlin ([3], [4]), French author Michel Houellebecq, American bishop Erastus Otis Haven ([5]) and plausibly many others.