Five Times Jordan Peterson Left His Opponents Speechless

Five Times Jordan Peterson Left His Opponents Speechless

The Daily Wire recently revealed that author, clinician, and commentator Dr. Jordan B. Peterson is joining DailyWire+, and members will have access to his new and previous content

From packed arenas to bestselling books and popular podcasts, Dr. Jordan Peterson has left his mark on Western civilization. His meteoric rise came in large part due to his calm demeanor during heated debates, his matter-of-fact wisdom often leaving his opponents searching for words.

And so, here are five times Dr. Peterson left his opponents speechless.

‘Pseudo-Moralistic Stances On Large-Scale Social Issues’

During an appearance on the Australian show Q+A, Peterson was pressed by an audience member on his philosophy of personal responsibility.

“You have very simple answers to complex questions… you talk about individual responsibility over things it’s impossible for individuals to actually have responsibility over… So I want to know: what is your answer to young people for some of the really big problems facing humanity, like the climate catastrophe, like economic crisis, like the precarious job market?” she asked. “Most of us are never going to be able to afford to have all of these assets to have responsibility over… so what is your advice beyond benial comments like ‘clean your room’?”

“It’s rather difficult to answer a question that ends with ‘your comments are benial’ politely,” Peterson responded, inviting the audience member to rephrase her question while giving her a death stare. After she repeated her query, Peterson said that the issues were “not as far out” of her control as she thought. 

“Fundamentally, I’m a psychologist,” he explained. “My experience has been that people can do a tremendous amount of good for themselves and for the people who are immediately around them by looking to their own inadequacies and their own flaws… and starting to build themselves up as more powerful individuals.”

Peterson added that once people prove competency in their careers and other facets of their lives, they can be trusted as community leaders. “I’m not suggesting in the least, and have never suggested, that there is no domain for social action,” he continued. “I’m suggesting that people who don’t have their own houses in order should be very careful before they go about reorganizing the world.”

Peterson called the woman’s bluff.

“I think generally people have things that are more within their personal purview that are more difficult to deal with,” he said, “and that generally, the way they avoid them is by adopting pseudo-moralistic stances on large-scale social issues so that they look good to their friends and their neighbors.”

‘Ha, Gotcha’

During an interview with Channel 4 presenter Cathy Newman, Peterson dismantled the English journalist’s line of attack and prompted her to check her premises.

“Why should your right to freedom of speech trump a trans person’s right not to be offended?” she asked.

“Because in order to be able to think, you have to risk being offensive,” Peterson noted before flipping the question back on Newman. “I mean, look at the conversation we’re having right now. You’re certainly willing to risk offending me in the pursuit of truth. Why should you have the right to do that? It’s been rather uncomfortable.”

“You’re doing what you should do,” Peterson added, “which is digging a bit to see what the hell is going on. And that is what you should do — you’re exercising your freedom of speech to certainly risk offending me, and that’s fine. More power to you, as far as I’m concerned.”

Newman began to answer but was left speechless. Peterson concluded, “Ha, gotcha.”

‘Where’s The Dominance Here, Precisely?’

Peterson sparred with British GQ journalist Helen Lewis over the nature of so-called patriarchy.

Lewis defined “patriarchy” as “a system of male dominance of society,” noting that men control the majority of wealth and power. Peterson retorted that only a small proportion of men could be characterized in such a manner, and that her argument overlooks many who instead find themselves disaffected.

“Most people in prison are men. Most people who are on the street are men. Most victims of violent crime are men. Most people who commit suicide are men. Most people who die in wars are men. People who do worse in school are men,” Peterson listed. “Where’s the dominance here precisely? What you’re doing is you’re taking a tiny substrata of hyper-successful men and using that to represent the entire structure of Western society.”

Peterson continued to challenge Lewis’ assumption that disparity must imply discrimination. “This is a trope that people just accept. ‘Western society is a male-dominated patriarchy.’ No, it’s not, that’s not true. Even if it has a patriarchal structure to some degree, the fundamental basis of that structure is not power, it’s competence.”

For instance, Peterson demonstrated that individuals hire people for their ability to fulfill a service more effectively than others. “It’s only when a structure degenerates into tyranny that the fundamental relationships between people become dependent on power,” he said. “If you hire a plumber — who’s likely to be male — it’s not because there’s roving bands of tyrannical plumbers forcing you to make that choice.”

‘Who Defines Hate?’

After a talk by Peterson at Oxford University, a student condemned both right-wing and left-wing individuals who desire to drown out other forms of speech — but then asked Peterson whether society should “curtail” the expression of those individuals.

“I’m not an admirer of hate speech laws, but that doesn’t mean that I’m naive enough to think that there’s no such thing as hate speech,” Peterson replied. “There are forms of speech that are utterly reprehensible… I think the best thing to do is to leave free speech alone as much as you possibly can — not because that will result in the perfect conditions for free speech, but because anything else that you’re likely to do is going to make it worse rather than better.”

Later in the discourse, Peterson marveled that any society has managed to protect free speech, since open expression is “difficult to maintain.” He contended that the best possible response to hateful speech is to “let those who utter hateful things do so and let everyone hear them” — ensuring that the ideas are “understood and rejected.”

“The problem with regulating hate speech is very simple,” Peterson continued. “Who defines hate? And the answer to that is, over any reasonable period of time, exactly the people you would least want to have define hate.”

‘That’s A Hell Of A Thing To Say’

During an exchange about identity politics, minister Michael Eric Dyson asked a calm Peterson why he has “rage.”

“You’re doing well. But you’re a mean, mad white man,” he said. “I have never seen so much whine and snowflaking. There’s enough whining in here to start a vineyard… I don’t think Jordan Peterson is suffering from anything except an exaggerated sense of entitlement and resentment, and his own privilege is invisible to him, and it’s manifest with lethal intensity and ferocity right here on stage.”

Peterson confidently kept his composure as he dismantled Dyson’s approach.

“With regards to my privilege or lack thereof — I’m not making the case that I haven’t had advantages in my life and disadvantages in my life, like most people. You don’t know anything about my background or where I came from, and it doesn’t matter to you because fundamentally I’m a ‘mean white man.’ That’s a hell of a thing to say in a debate,” Peterson said.

Dyson doubled down on his remarks, saying that his assessment of Peterson was based upon the “evident vitriol” with which he spoke.  

“It’s conceivable that I am a ‘mean’ man. Maybe I’m meaner than some people and not as mean as others. I think that’s probably more the case,” Peterson responded. “But I would say the fact that race got dragged into that particular comment is a better example of what the hell I think is wrong with the politically correct Left than anything else that could have possibly happened.”