Jordan Peterson has announced the release of his new book and staffers at Random House are unhappy, so unhappy in fact that they broke out in tears at a meeting with the book’s publisher.
Describing Peterson as “an icon of hate speech and transphobia”, the staffers demanded Beyond Order: 12 More Rules For Life be banned as they accused the best selling author of “radicalizing” and causing a “surge of alt-right groups, especially on university campuses.”
The conflict between staffers and the publisher strikes me as the civil war Bari Weiss famously spoke of in her damning resignation letter from the New York Times last year. There she spoke of a war “between the (mostly young) wokes and the (mostly 40+) liberals, the same one raging inside other publications and companies across the country.”
These tearful Random House employees are the “mostly young woke” Weiss referred to when she spoke of graduates for whom the university campus has served as a radical-Left training ground – individuals who enter the workforce with a set agenda and a fixed ideology, ready to attack every piece of culture that falls outside the rigid parameters of their PC narrative.
For these “enlightened few”, explained Weiss at the time, the “truth isn’t a process of collective discovery, but an orthodoxy that is already known to them. Anyone expressing an opinion outside their ‘opinion consensus’, like Peterson, is a ‘wrongthinker’ who should be shunned, banned and rooted out.
These young wokes’ unforgiving wrath has led to Weiss’s resignation but they have their work cut out for them if they believe that they can intimidate possibly the most influential thinker of our time. They are delusional if they think they can silence the man made famous by his rock solid C – 16 defiance. A man who became the hero of millions by sticking to his guns even at the risk of losing his distinguished Toronto university job, and who demonstrated true conviction when he quit Patreon in protest over the platform’s Sargon of Akkad ban.
There is of course no danger of Peterson not publishing his book. The former professor’s rock-star fame, coupled with today’s internet technology means he is practically impossible to ban or even compromise. Peterson will publish his book, if not with Random, then with another publisher. His renown is such that even if he self publishes it, the book will be an international best seller and his freedom of speech will remain untouched. Figures of lesser standing, and perhaps weaker resolve are sadly not as fortunate. Peterson’s fight is their fight too as he defends freedom of speech, and the inevitability of someone, somewhere being offended by our words.
The solution to a world full of opinions is to toughen up in the face of opposition, and learn to attack ideas, not people.
A proposition that will most likely be rejected by the distraught staffers for whom ‘wrongthinker’ Peterson represents all that is bad with the world. Many would argue that their radical Left indoctrination, coupled with their immaturity, render them incapable of reasoning like adults.
It is ironic that their childish behaviour is a clear vindication of Jordan Peterson’s narrative. Their crying at the news of his new book, is the very stuff the famous clinical psychologist has been speaking about for years – young people’s inability to face, let alone overcome the slightest opposition or adversity. Boys and girls growing up unchallenged and facing no hardship or opposition, the result of which is a generation of what Turning Point‘s Charlie Kirk terms “grown infants” – people who are adult in body but childish in mind.
To most observers, the staffers’ tearful protest is reminiscent of a toddler throwing a tantrum when he/she cannot have their way, but Charlie Kirk, who has debated countless students at countless campuses, would argue that they should not be called adults because they are in fact toddlers in an adult’s body. “We have raised the weakest generation in history” Kirk has asserted in a recent interview, “they have no capacity to be able to endure opposition or suffering..they are fully grown infants.”
Perhaps this dire state of affairs, and not Peterson’s narrative is the issue society needs to address.