In the short history of this blog my single biggest viewing day has been a tad under 5000 views. The article that garnered so much attention was a short piece examining the way that our old buddy Jordan Peterson twists the meaning of common words to suit his own nefarious purposes. The reason that it got so many hits is because somebody chose it for a Google Chrome selection of the day; in other words, it popped up in people’s feeds. The funny part is that I have no doubt that the Google staff member who selected it assumed that I was a lefty because I criticized Peterson.
The irony stick thus goes something like this:
Peterson is a lefty who masquerades as a righty because he is a professional wolf in sheep’s clothing, what is also known as a dissembler. He succeeds because people are stupid.
The left in general take Peterson’s stance at face value and assume that Peterson is what he falsely positions himself to be and thus draw the conclusion that he is the enemy. The reason for this is because people are stupid.
(Note that Peterson himself is on record on multiple occasions declaring that he is not on the right and is a lefty. But people believe what they want to believe.)
The next step is when someone on the right, (yours truly), criticizes Peterson it is assumed by both sides that the person doing the criticizing must be a lefty. Thus my piece gets linked to by a prog left organization. But the best bit is yet to come.
Many of the people who followed the link to my site were righteys who erroneously assumed that I was a horrible lefty because I had attacked their great man. One has only to peruse some of the comments on the article, all of which I approved because I found them hilarious. For example:
Clear giveaway you’re a Leftist when you call Peterson’s followers “mindless fanboys”. Saul Alinsky tactics straight from “Rules For Radicals”. Demean and belittle people with opinions you don’t like in an effort to marginalize them. Actually, you just can’t understand the concepts he relates. So you’re a little slow I’d say.
The slow regularly project their own limitations onto others.
A typical response from the left. The millions of JP followers are mindless or stupid but you have a superior intellectual pedigree that gives you a position to insult us.
Needless to say, it was a fun day at the comment approvals desk that day.
A quick glance at my beliefs and opinions page would have immediately dispelled the belief that I was a lefty. People are lazy as well as stupid, but more to the point it is a great comfort to assume that someone attacking one of the people in whom you have placed your faith is one of the enemy. It is far more confronting when the person doing the attacking is on your own side because then you might be forced to consider the arguments.
With this background in mind, let us now turn our attention to Ben Shapiro’s disastrous interview yesterday with Andrew Neil of the BBC.
Shapiro has made a career out of intellectually beating up dumb college students on lightweight subjects. As The Z Man points out, he is the intellectual equivalent of Mike Tyson in this regard, a boxer who carefully chose inferior opponents until he finally came up against someone who could really fight. Yesterday Shapiro came up against someone who could fight and he was found wanting. He unwisely agreed to an interview with no preparation on his part because since it was the BBC he automatically assumed that the interviewer was a lefty and thus his intellectual inferior.
Too bad for him that it turns out that Andrew Neil is an intellectual heavyweight not given to acceptance of snowflake behavior. Shapiro had an on-air meltdown and accused Neil both of arguing in bad faith and of being a lefty, as the two are supposed to be synonymous. Unfortunately for Shapiro, Neil is not a lefty at all; he is among other things the chairman of The Spectator.
Shapiro walked out of the interview as he declared that he couldn’t be bothered with it anymore. He must have been congratulating himself in Los Angeles for a job well done when at some point he received what must have been the very unwelcome news as to whom his interlocutor actually was. Shapiro then spent the rest of the day frantically trying to undo the damage by admitting fault and apologizing to just about anyone who would listen. But when you’ve built a reputation on facile slogans such as ‘facts don’t care about your feelings’ it can be rather damaging for your own career when you chuck a hissy fit because someone is asking you hard questions for the first time.
Like Peterson, Shapiro has built up credibility with the Right by executing very stupid SJWs at every opportunity. SJWs, whether they are silly girls on campuses or silly interviewers on prog left channels, are the useful idiots of the left. They allow charlatans like Peterson and Shapiro to establish their bona fides. Peterson’s real job is to undermine men on the right who want to make something of themselves. Shapiro’s own role is to prop up the lie that is Judaeo-Christianity while simultaneously defending ethnic nationalism for Israel and civic nationalism for the Western world.
Shapiro’s big mistake is that he fell into the trap of believing his own bullshit. He created a mythology of being a brilliant debater by debating idiots. But because he is not very smart he started to believe the lie, and he got lazy and arrogant. Watch the end of the interview where Shapiro closes it down. Here is a man supremely confident in his own superiority; he has no idea that the ground is about to fall away beneath him. Just because you are less stupid than the people whom you fight, does not then mean by default that you are smart.
The battle lines between the left and right are nebulous and hard to define. We are not stretched out across a field wearing opposing uniforms. Shapiro got destroyed because he mistook a real enemy for a false enemy. If that is confusing, walk it back and work it out. If you are on the right then the only way to correctly identify your allies is whether or not they are operating from a basis of seeking truth. Of course, it also helps if you’re not very stupid. And the left does not hold a monopoly on that burden.