Stop Worrying About Jordan Peterson and Joe Rogan's Followers

Pete Ross

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“I don’t have anything against Jordan Peterson, but I do worry about his followers and how they take his message.”

I’ve seen the above sentiment expressed a too many times to count over the past few years, both in articles written about the above gentlemen and in comments sections on multiple platforms. It seems to be the current way of acting wise and concerned whilst elevating oneself from the masses. These people preface their statement with neutrality, but add an undertone of superiority by acting as though they’re smarter and just concerned for the little people. It’s kind of like the spouse who doesn’t want to let you go to a party because “it’s not that I don’t trust you, it’s that I don’t trust the other women.” You’re just the poor guy who has no agency or intelligence and can’t handle the wily seductresses who are going to throw themselves at you. Oh, please.

This insistence that we have to worry about Rogan & Peterson’s followers is incredibly condescending, because these people are making the assumption that they’re the ones that have the right message and everyone else is going to misinterpret it. It’s especially hilarious considering that the main thrust of both of their messages is to get your act together. So of course it makes sense that you should worry about their followers, right? The critics then make quips like “he isn’t saying anything that isn’t already obvious” or the worst one “he’s the stupid person’s intellectual.” That last one is blatant arrogance. I’m so smart that I don’t even think he’s smart, and I think you’re all exceptionally stupid.

It must be tough to be so much smarter than everyone else.

As Peterson would say, “how’s that working out for you, bucko?” Peterson and Rogan both have a powerful message that has helped millions of people around the world get their act together and improve themselves, yet here you are in your little corner of the Internet angrily proclaiming them to be pied pipers of the idiotic masses. I’d wager that these critics are actually incredibly unsatisfied with their lives and while they might understand the message on an intellectual level, they haven’t applied any of it in their own lives to find the success that they want.

It’s little surprise that we’re seeing pieces on Rogan recently, such as the bizarre rant by Steve Albini just a couple of days ago. Peterson has been out of the public eye for a couple of years, only just making it back after dealing with his wife’s cancer and an addiction to anxiety medication that he went to rehab for. You know, practicing what he preaches in other words. So our overlords of what’s proper and what’s not needed a new target, and who better than a non-PC, hunting, stand up comedian MMA commentator to direct their finger waving at? Rogan has flown under the radar for a long time, not trying to court fame or large crowds, instead continuing on with his incredibly popular podcast. His problem, apart from echoing Peterson’s mantra of getting your act together, is that he has some guests on that people don’t agree with.

And every neckbeard that criticises him seems to come from the same hivemind, calling him and his guests "problematic." Much as I tire of hearing that word, it makes the SJW drones very easy to spot.

This is where I take issue more than anything with the critics of Peterson and Rogan. Them talking to someone you don’t agree with, having someone on the show that you don’t agree with, just because you consider them a racist and harmful, doesn’t make it true. You’re not the sole arbiter of who deserves and doesn’t deserve a platform in this world. You not liking the guest doesn’t make it “problematic” for them to be on the show. It’s Rogan‘s podcast— he can talk to whoever he wants, and you can listen or not.

The critics and doomsayers of these men expect both of them to be perfect and to say perfect things all the time. When they don’t, all of a sudden think pieces abound about the damage they may cause to society. This expectation is ludicrous, because who in the heck is on 24/7 and never makes a mistake? I remember when Peterson had the debate with Sam Harris, and losers across social media scoffed smugly that Peterson lost and was out of his depth. Instead of keeping score, how about enjoying the fact that two towering intellects can have a conversation on the nature of truth and fact when we live in an age that a vapid family like the Kardashians can amass enough wealth to buy an island.

The main thrust of what Rogan and Peterson have been saying for 5 years now is to get your act together. It takes a certain type of person to interpret that as a dangerous message, to assume that the message is going to turn people into some kind of intolerant racist/sexist/whateverist. The reality is that, despite what the media, Twitter and the condescension crowd on Medium and other platforms want to tell us, Peterson and Rogan haven’t created some army of neo Nazis that is threatening any minority group.

That’s because when you tell people over and over again that the key to happiness, success and meaning is to get your act together and be better, people actually go and get their act together and become better. Their fans are too busy trying to fix or improve their lives and become strongly contributing members of society to be going out causing trouble. The key here though is that none of them were going to do that anyway. It might surprise you to know that the fans of these men aren’t all a bunch of racist, sexist bigots. Quite frankly, it disgusts me that there are so many people out there who are willing to write off a person entirely because they get meaning out of a message that they don’t, or are willing to listen to people that they won’t listen to. That’s pretty much textbook intolerance, and you have the hide to express concern?

So get off your high horse and stop making assumptions about people just because they believe one thing different to you, or because they have a different worldview. Your worry over how a message affects them is nothing more than your own arrogance conjuring up fantasies that aren’t going to happen. You want to worry about something? Worry about the people who are actually going around committing crimes or running lecturers off of campuses, because those people are actually being influenced and are making the wrong choices. Just because you might agree with their worldview, doesn’t make it right.

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I write about career, performance, psychology, self development and business humour. I'm an author, former national competitor in judo and strongman and a former military instructor.

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