The priest at my wedding said that people today typically think you’ll be all right if your marriage is 50/50, but that’s a recipe for disaster. He said that, for a marriage to work, both husband and wife have the responsibility to give 100%. In a way, I think this is the message Jordan B. Peterson has for society.
Peterson has emerged from the frozen Canadian tundra as one of the hottest personalities in media today. His message—as complex as it is controversial—is being eaten up by people of all shapes and sizes, but of particular note, by young men, a demographic that has been left for dead by most of polite society. Twelve Rules for Life is his summa of that message.
Peterson’s extraordinary mix of astronomical verbal IQ, deep interest in the causes and effects of totalitarianism, and a robust background in clinical psychology make for an enlightening journey unlike anything else available today—perhaps ever.
It leads to utterly fascinating description of the behavior of the lobster (rule #1) and how that relates to us higher-order species. Of course, making unique comparisons like that will produce as much logically fallacious nonsense from Peterson’s detractors as it does keen insight in the truly open-minded. But that is the situation we face in a society full of people without purpose and also what Peterson aims to correct.
There are legitimate flaws in his reasoning, most notably related to his medical background.
In the second section, he ponders why people are better at making sure their pets take their prescriptions than they are taking them themselves. His conclusion is that some people may like their pets more than they like themselves. And while this is certainly true, there may be another reason why people don’t take their prescriptions—they subconsciously understand that they’re not healthy.
This is the case for the thousands of superfluous antibiotic prescriptions filled for non-bacterial disease and is certainly the case for many psychoactive drugs, which actually compound the problem they’re intended to solve (albeit with positive initial side effects).
Peterson’s adherence to the mainstream meds-first mentality shows here and is a minor blight on an otherwise perfectly-reasoned argument.
His other rules are like Mozart to the ears of an audience that has been subjected to the atonal dissonance of cultural Marxism for the last 60 years: Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world (rule #6), Don’t let children do things that make you dislike them (rule #5), Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today (rule #4), and most importantly, Pursue what is meaningful (rule #7).
As Peterson writes repeatedly, happiness isn’t an appropriate goal for life—meaning is. I would add that happiness is fine, but the one thing that makes people happy above all else is meaning.
We have collectively been lulled into an unnatural and inhumane philosophy of life through various diabolical agents. Twelve Rules is an urgently needed wake-up call for us to stand up and take responsibility for one’s life—not 50% or “just enough to get by,” but everything you can muster—100%.
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