Jordan Peterson, an example of a sincere bullshitter

What is a sincere bullshitter? It is someone who says things in an irresponsible manner. And what is it to say things in an irresponsible manner? Basically it is to repeat something that one has heard without any attempt at criticism. In this sense, we are all born into the “original sin” of assimilating and constructing a world-view, and repeating things without criticism. What do I mean by this? I have in mind the idea that the mind hates a vacuum of beliefs, and fills it with whatever information is at hand. The result is that in many cases when people are asked to express an opinion, they will pull out of their mental repository anything which is remotely relevant. A good example of this is the result of asking for directions when trying to get to some destination. There were times when I was sent in opposite directions by two helpful direction givers. What does this indicate? For one, it indicates the reluctance of people to say that they don’t know, or that they are not certain; instead they are ready to blurt out whatever comes to their head, which may or may not be bullshit. In any case, the tendency to bullshit is there.

Mind you, I am not saying that most of a person’s world-view is mistaken; not at all. If that were the case, the person would not survive. If you consider the world-view of a primitive “savage,” it is composed of a functioning realism and superstition. Superstition is the result of filling the mental vacuum with beliefs which transcends experience.

Now, combine the idea that everyone has a world-view and the fact that a particular person, such as Jordan Peterson, is in fact very knowledgeable in some field of knowledge, and with the fact that this person has achieved some kind of fame. The result will be what Ortega-y-Gasset calls the “mass man.” He is a scientist who knows his field, and because of this, claims (without warrant) to be knowledgeable in other fields as well.

As Richard Wolff has pointed out, Jordan Peterson is a psychologist, but he is neither an economist nor someone who knows Marxism. Yet, because he has achieved a great amount of internet recognition, has a sense of privilege to express irresponsible bullshit.

His argument against Marxism — and I am not exaggerating — is this:

Stalin was evil.
Stalin was a Marxist.
Therfore, Marxism is evil.

This is an invalid — even a silly argument. It has the same form as:

Stalin was evil.
Stalin was a man.
Therefore, men are evil.


Stalin was evil.
Stalin was a vegetarian.
Therefore, vegetarians are evil.

Listening to Peterson, it is clear to me that he is blurting out stuff about Marxism from the windmills of his mind.

Below are three videos. The first two compare what Peterson says about Marxism with what Noam Chomsky says. [Incidentally, it is always wise to check what Chomsky has to say.] The third is a response by Richard Wolff to Peterson. [Richard Wolff is a self-proclaimed Marxist economist.]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.