Jordan Peterson, transphobia 

Today I would like to write a short, investigative thread which uses my first-hand knowledge of the academic world in order to answer one simple question: Who is Jordan Peterson, and where did he get where he is?

We all know, of course, who Jordan Peterson is. A reactionary transphobe and crypto-evangelical preacher for the internet age. But it seems to me that, even the most critical analyses of him and his work neglects to mention how he got where he is.

Jordan Peterson 

My argument will be a simple one: Jordan Peterson is the single best example we have of a white man failing his way to success. The extent to which his personal connections have been a factor in his professional and public attainment cannot be exaggerated.

The first thing anyone says about him is that he is a professor at the University of Toronto. The assumption is that he got there by working hard and producing good work, like every other academic. This is not the case.

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Jordan Peterson 

In a 2018 article for The Star, Bernard Schiff, professor emeritus at the University of Toronto, admitted that he is singlehandedly responsible for getting Peterson his professorship. In his article, Schiff writes:

'Several committee members now remind me that they agreed to hire him because they were “tired of hearing me shout over them.”'

This is an open admission that he, a powerful white man, singlehandedly used his academic influence to get his friend appointed professor.

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Jordan Peterson 

Professorship and tenure are the holy grails of the academic profession. If you have them, you've truly "made it". And Peterson, with nothing other than one unbelievably bad book under his belt, had made it. But this was not enough. Naturally, you would expect him to use this incredibly privileged position as a launchpad for the international phase of his career. But even this was too challenging: Peterson still needed help from his influential friends.

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Jordan Peterson 

This is where the debate between him and Slavoj Žižek comes in. Compared to Peterson, Žižek's pedigree is without question. Most people have forgotten about it now, but there was a time, following the publication of The Sublime Object Of Ideology, when Žižek was held in the same regard as Judith Butler or Ernesto Laclau. Suffice to say, Žižek earned his stripes. Peterson never did. So how did the two come to share a stage in Toronto?

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Jordan Peterson 

Peterson challenged Žižek more than a year before their debate took place. But few commentators have picked up on who the official organisers of the debate were: a mysterious organisation under the name of Ralston College.

What, I hear you ask, is Ralston College? Well, technically speaking, Ralston College does not exist. This is where things get interesting.

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Jordan Peterson 

Ralston College is supposed to be an opening-soon institute of higher education in Savannah. Its stated purpose is to combat the "rampant politicization" and "oppressive speech codes" of established universities. Its slogan, "sermo liber vita ipsa", means "free speech is life" in Latin. I am not joking.

The president of Ralston College is Stephen Blackwood, the quiet young man who moderated the Person-Žižek debate.

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Jordan Peterson 

The only other notable thing Blackwood has done with his life, is moderate a debate between Peterson and fellow reactionary Roger Scruton, this time in Cambridge University. These two events, Peterson-Žižek and Peterson-Scruton, are the only two things that Ralston College has, to this day, actually done.

The next question is: why am I talking about Ralston College in the first place, if this institution does not even exist?

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Jordan Peterson 

Well, Ralston College's main purpose, along with the promotion of Peterson, is to bring together like-minded white men. Among Ralston's Board of Visitors is one particularly influential white man: a little-known academic by the name of Douglas Hedley. Douglas Hedley is the Principal Investigator of a UK Arts and Humanities Research Council Grant. Which is to say, that he singlehandedly controls who among tens of PhD applicants in the UK receives funding.

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Jordan Peterson 

Douglas Hedley's other main gig, is as Professor at the Faculty of Divinity of Cambridge University. The Faculty of Divinity of Cambridge University... why does that sound so familiar, I hear you wonder. Why, that is the very same place where Peterson received a fellowship not two months ago!

Jordan Peterson 

Which is very strange, when you think about it. Why would Peterson, who is, by profession, a psychologist, receive a fellowship in a Theology faculty?

This is, of course, eliding the fact that Peterson hasn't practiced clinical psychology in years, following ~ allegations ~ that he had behaved improperly towards multiple patients.

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Jordan Peterson 

What's more, this fellowship at Cambridge University which he got through his friend Douglas Hedley, was rescinded within a week because the Cambridge Vice-Chancellor didn't want anything to do with the controversies Peterson would bring with him. (This particular bit of information is something I have gathered from direct sources, and not the official story on the matter.)

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Jordan Peterson 

So, to summarise: every single job and accolade Peterson has ever obtained, including the debates he took part in, were things he was given by friends he had on the inside, and not things that he earned through merit. Every. Single. One.

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Jordan Peterson 

@garfiald I mean, that's unsurprising

Jordan Peterson 

@garfiald quite frankly, cases of merit are probably rarer than hens teeth

Jordan Peterson 

@garfiald It's amazing how utterly unsurprising this is, even though I had never looked into him that much. Thanks for that thread!

Jordan Peterson 

@garfiald
So basically, Jordan Peterson represents every single thing that's wrong with academia. Gosh, just when I thought I couldn't dislike him more.

FYI, Cambridge's official statement about him was: "[Cambridge] is an inclusive environment and we expect all our staff and visitors to uphold our principles. There is no place here for anyone who cannot."

(Source: theguardian.com/education/2019)

Jordan Peterson 

@InvaderXan oh yeah I have a lot more to say about the Cambridge aspect of things if you're interested, I have ~ insider sources ~

Jordan Peterson 

@garfiald
Yes please, I'm very curious to know how it all went down. All I know from what little I've heard is that a lot of people, staff and students alike, were... not pleased, shall we say.

Jordan Peterson 

@InvaderXan the single most important bit of context in order to understand the reception of Peterson at Cambridge is called Noah Carl. Noah Carl is a race scientist, and a fellow at Cambridge University. His appointment has, for the past 6 months, been the focus of a struggle between Cambridge institutions and its students. Protests against him have been spirited, and student protesters have received cease and desist letters from the University.

Cambridge Uni Pol 

@InvaderXan The struggle has been between a decision which the Cambridge establishment does not want to back down from, and widespread public and student discontent with it. This turbulent case is the main motivator for the Peterson fellowship getting shut down at an early stage. From Cambridge's perspective: they didn't want another Noah Carl on their hands.

Carl is still a fellow to this day, btw.

Cambridge Uni Pol 

@garfiald
Ugh. The term "race scientist" alone says a lot about this guy. Seems rather two faced of them to keep him there too. 😕

Cambridge Uni Pol 

@InvaderXan Yeah I'm really not exaggerating when I call him a race scientist. Feel free to check this thread, in which I single out some of Carl's publications:

mastodon.social/@garfiald/1014

Cambridge Uni Pol 

@garfiald
Oh damn. Yikes. Very yikes.

@garfiald another for your pile, please RT:
Jordo was given a speaking gig at the National Gallery of Canada because he was introduced to the Director, Marc Mayer, by some rich tech fuckhead.
The Gallery's entire staff dissented. Members dissented. Protests happened. But because moneyfriend helped, gig went through.
This resulted in a member of the young donors program (me) resigning with the program founder resigning in solidarity, eventually killing that whole donor prog

@garfiald Jordo, Mayer, rich tech asshole from Blackberry fame, all white cis men.

@cpi @garfiald Which particular Blackberry asshole? I can name several, unfortunately, but I’m curious which one you’re cancelling.

@cpi @garfiald Balsillie? Yep, figured that’s who you likely meant.

@georgieboy @garfiald like I have no idea if he interfered on Jordo's behalf, just that Mayer was too spineless to date insult a rich white guy's friend, and thus his tenure was permanently stained.

@cpi @garfiald I didn't know they'd all been involved together, but like calls to like I guess. :(

Jordan Peterson 

@garfiald that's happening, when you do not clean your room often enough

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