Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

The West’s leading pseudo-intellectual
by Ammar Ahmad
The Michigan Daily, November 30, 2022

Jordan Peterson is a popular Canadian personality psychologist who has made quite a name for himself by preaching against the use of pronouns, arguing that they violate freedom of speech. In a CBC interview, he uses his spotlight moment to say “I don’t believe that other people have the right to determine what language I use” and that pronouns are “artificial constructions of people I regard as radical ideologues whose viewpoint I do not share.” These hefty accusations definitely initiated a wider public discourse, and Peterson was at the center of it all. But with a bit of cross-examination, it becomes evident that Peterson hasn’t done his research.

So, how did an individual such as Peterson become an international best-selling author? Arguably, his most famous work, “12 Rules for Life,” is a self-help journey that outlines crude laws that one must abide by. The rules include: “Stand up straight with your shoulders back,” “pet a cat when you encounter one in the street” and my favorite, “set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world.” Peterson’s expressive and somewhat playful rules are supposed to envelop subtleties and nuanced observations about the human psyche. Analytically speaking, however, they offer little for those who are seeking some idiosyncratic metamorphosis. These watered-down Nietzschean aphorisms are Peterson’s way of spewing uninspired and underwhelming philosophy.

Sometimes, the poetic reactionary’s alarmism is not just perpetuated by his lack of mild research, but also by his blatant misconceptions. For instance, he attributes the resurrection of Marxism to the French philosopher, Michel Foucault. However, very early on in his career, Foucault overtly denounced Marxism.

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