My Key Take-aways from the Zizek-Peterson Debate

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  • Peterson is, of course, a conservative. That we do not need to verify over and over again, but something worth noting. But is he a conservative in the worst sense? At the most, he isn’t quite a fascist, but sure harbors ideas which can possibly help forward authoritarian agenda.
  • Reasonable leftists watched this to enjoy. I got in at the last hour or so, and I enjoyed listening to both.
  • Both present clear challenge not to each other, but to the whole liberal-capitalist world. Both challenge the notion of forced-diversity and political correctness but only differ on the other end of the thread. Peterson favors, of course, a kind of restoration of authoritarian, pre-Kaynesian capitalism.
  • I know my Zizek, I think, so I don’t seem to get more surprised at all with him. Peterson is admittedly, an interesting character. What interests me the most how he poses more similarity with a lot of sides of all the political spectrum. He harbors values which, I wouldn’t say essential but, are useful to leftists: mostly with his disdain of the postmodern anti-narrativism which trapped us all in this forced-diversity and political correctness. Only this useful character of his is in the service of the restoration of capitalism.
  • The debate seem to try to resolve behind it how the two camps would address the post-2008, post-Brexit, pro-Jack Ma, pro-Elon Musk, crisis-driven neoliberal world that we’re in right now. They’re not really talking to each other. They’re talking to their respective audiences.
  • Zizek’s last note poses very serious challenges to urban leftists. The first challenge is to “not oblige one’s self to be politically correct.” The second, is to “not be afraid to think.” The first poses a total overhaul of the “gains” of the postmodern turn of the left. The second relates to the first one in a very demanding way. Zizek noted of the dangers of political correctness which comes with quick reductions, symptomatic of lazy thinking.
  • Relating to the last bullet point, what happens with this quick reductions and lazy thinking is a lack in dialectical process in thought. None of the both resolves anything, and never even get to the point closer to self-conscious thinking. It is in this sense that Peterson got it right how it becomes symptomatic of the left to pose for moral high-grounding just because of a sense of high-duty, as supplemented by Zizek as a product of new age thinking, which also has become a part of the postmodern turn.
  • It is in this New Age thinking that Zizek cornered Peterson, and where Zizek also exposed the weakness of the politically-correct left. Political correctness assumes that all conflicts has been resolved already, that giving out the correct pronoun resolves the power-relations surrounding all sources of political issues of identity. Zizek exposes this link between new age and fascism through citing the life and military command Heinrich Himmler, who carries with him a copy of the Bhagavad Gita in war. In this sense, the new ageism of political correctness and intersectionality only repeats the new ageism of the SS in their command to atrocity only happening as a consequence of universe resolving everything but in the present context, not in a sense of a grand accident, but the pseudo-participatory / pseudo-democratic stance of guilt-tripping people into being politically correct.
  • It is in this sense that the call of the Neoreactionaries for intelligence comes of importance. I think the extreme intensification of contradictions placed to us by the multiple crises of neoliberalism and global capitalism has given us the answer to the question “for whom” more clearer than before. The most essential moral question has been answered already and was being reiterated whenever we have a chance. The call for thinking, the call for intelligence, requires a review of method. The current age, I think, is not asking “for whom”, but is now asking “how.”
  • Addendum: I think if we — the urban left from the Philippines — are to move forward with these, in developing a culture of intelligence in the service of the working class and all the underprivileged sectors in the country, we need a total overhaul of how we do things: from our half-serious (rather, post-ironic), almost ritualistic, attitude towards the parliamentary to the way we self-criticize. And it must start, I think, by redefining–and quite possibly revising/updating our notion of liberalism stemming from Mao’s classic text, for us to be more effective in combatting it.
  • Addendum 2: “Seriousness” isn’t revolutionary.

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