Jordan Peterson and the Woke Mob


Jordan Peterson has this argument against any kind of self-reflection. It is usually deployed against people that he sees as bowing to the mob or backing down from something they said because someone got hurt by their words or actions. The argument is very simple and it goes like this: "Don't try to raise yourself to the standards of the mob. Their standards will continue to rise until it is impossible for you to satisfy them, and then the mob will tear you down as if you never appeased them in the first place." The obvious first issue is that no trend continues for eternity. Thresholds are hit and things halt, or an inflection point is hit. In a case as ambiguous as "woke mob mentality", social norms are so obtuse that incremental increases are very hard to accurately construct. Additionally, in jumbled subjective spaces such as this, each new development necessarily splits the previous social group in a myriad of off shoots, effectively rebasing the movement with every single change. So to even pretend that a loose cobbling of people, like Peterson's definition of the woke mob is, can accurately standardize definitions of incrementation for themselves is completely dishonest and short sighted. To then suggest that there is an organized, efficient, and conscious effort to continue to "turn up the heat" is ridiculous.

I don't think, however, that Jordan Peterson is trying to be dishonest and ridiculous. I think he genuinely believes in the validity of his argument. The problem is that his argument stems from a foundation of delusion and guilt. How this came to be is explained in the next paragraph.

The second problem with Peterson's argument is less obvious and it has to do with his recognized systems of legitimation, and projection of the incompatabilities of a self defined system of knowledge with an external (really non-existant) one. Peterson himself only sees acceptance of the woke mob's moral judgements as impossible because he subjects himself to an internalized and fabricated regimen for validating his own thoughts and opinions for the woke mob. This regimen is gleamed from series of criticisms, both discrete and disjointed, that he hunts for and finds in unreliable environments like Twitter comment threads. What he constructs seems to his system of knowledge legitimation as rationally constructed, but that system exists nowhere in the world outside of his own mind. He isn't actually critiquing or even interfacing with a real metanarrative, (because there isn't one -- the mob itself is a confused, directionless mess, but that's another point) but one that he is making up himself and wracking himself with guilt over.