A Fast Review of Zizek and Peterson Debate


From what I knew about political opinions from Peterson and his fans before, those conservatives or what we call ‘alt rights’ believed a conspiracy called Cultural Marxism. It’s about how leftists are using Frankfurt School’s theory to destroy the so-called western civilization. But the funny part is that they don’t know the difference between a liberal and a marxist. What they attack the most are those liberals, even though they easily mix them up with marxists and call them cultural marxists. In fact, the only similar stuff between today’s neoliberals is that, in economic part, liberals claim more about equality and helping the weak ones. But what liberals used in LGBT movement and gender studies, are from Foucault. Foucault is a post-structualist and a post modernist, and he’s the one who said ‘sexuality is a social construct’, which is often used in feminism movement and trans movement. He doesn’t have much to do with Marx and he even criticized a lot about Marx.

Peterson didn’t realize that Zizek actually did lots of critiques on liberals too. From Zizek’s perspective, he thinks liberals are basically capitalists. They’re like a production of such capitalist society. They’re mostly middle class people or higher, well educated and thinking leftist theory is pretty cool and fashionable. He also talked about the issues in liberal’s identity politics. Take an example, you own a big company and you’re gay, when you are exploiting your workers by asking them to work from 9am to 9pm and one day you realize one of your workers is gay too. When he complains about not getting the salary he was supposed to get, you can just tap on his shoulders and say bro we’re an ally, we are both oppressed by such homophobic society and let’s go to protest for our rights, while hes actually the one who’s exploiting the worker and has big power.

Peterson and Zizek can actually make agreement about the excessive political correctness, but the mindsets behind them are different. When Zizek talked about liberal issues, Peterson even complemented Zizek and asked ‘Since your ideas are so advanced what made you ally with Marxism?’

The history of alt right is pretty complicated too and Peterson’s fanbase is mostly from it. There were people on 4chan’s /pol/ that believed in a thing called Dark Enlightenment, and there were some leftists who were tired of too much political correctness. It used to be a community which is consist of those netizens who are introverts irl but when it came to year 2016 when they started memeing about Trump for election, the community became ‘normified’. Lots of populists conservative and alt rights joined in and it became super toxic. They love making videos about ‘triggered feminazi’ while their enemies, liberal SJW making fun of their boomer opinions on religions and such. They’re both pretty popular on social media and always fought, screenshotting another side’s most stupid comments and laugh with their own allies. And so Peterson and Shapiro became popular, because they talked a lot about those hot topics, like immigrant issues and gender issues. Zizek as a post marxist leftist who’s memeable was rarely talked about, he was more of a subculture.

It’s also a problem that, since last century, leftists seem to be more academic and far away from common people, while at first it was claimed for proletariats. Theory became a fashionable thing for those rich and well educated people, they used them to dress them up, and now we can see why right wing populists are more popular, because some working class people are clearly disgusted by those leftists, and so they voted Trump who wanted to offer jobs for blue coats. It’s an ultimate consequence of post-modernism unlike how right wingers defined post-modernism. Trump being the president is a produce of such a liberal society, it’s a lesson leftists should learn from it, and Zizek actually claimed about it too.

So now we talk about what makes Peterson to have so many populist fans. 12 Rules for Life is obviously a dumb book and it is basically chicken soup. But it actually caught lots of white teenager boys’ heart who are unable to get girls. They call themselves ‘incel’ or ‘MGTOWers’.

In incel’s world, Stacy (an 8/10 female) will always choose Chad(an 9/10 male), and so incels start to think about what caused it. They would think maybe they’re not masculine enough like chads, or just being too poor. And in the end they need to put it out, so they conclude that it’s that women only want money or only wanna date men of other race.

Even they regard themselves as social failure and losers, they believe in natural selection and thinking black people are lower than them, and that they should save their race, bring back religious values and reject immigrants and globalism.

Incel is a complicated case. The core problem of their ideology is that they still believe in the old traits that were assigned to gender roles, like men should be masculine and taking all of the responsibility, making money, while women should just be gentle and submissive, and beautiful because it’s the only way to attract men.

The problem inside this kind of old fashioned mindset is that we’re living in a modern world, and most jobs people are going to take don’t need much physical power anymore. Many things are automated by machines, thus there are jobs both available for men and women. In earlier times people had to farm things and carry huge stuff, and when contraceptive technologies were not effective, women were often pregnant and unable to do things. But now it’s all different. And it’s a fact that both men and women are taking new kind of jobs.

Incels don’t know that feminist movement, or should we say a movement that’s for women’s rights and equality is actually beneficient for them. It means women can be strong too and men can cry, and the differences between different biological sex will be less. Instead, incels and feminists love shitting on each other, and of course there are some fake feminists who hate men and blame everything on them, but what they present is the opposite of misogynist incels who blame everything on women.

Peterson is pretty smart for catching these traits in those white teens and sell his book to them. But he at the same time unironically believe in some of his stuff. The interesting part in the debate is when Peterson said, cleaning your room is the first part to make your messy life better and Zizek asked, what if it’s the society that makes your room dirty? And they talked about the case in North Korea.

There are more things I’ll talk about internet politcal community, they’re also a reflection of people we meet in everyday’s life.

On 4chan’s /r9k/, there are those guys who considered themselves a failure and thinking being a women would solve all the problems because they think women can play the victim card. We know especially on those male-dominated internet communities like 4chan or gamer circles, if you’re a woman every man would be desperate. And so it’s also a fact that some of teens in /r9k/ started to transition, taking pink pills and trying to be transwomen, while some of them don’t really identify as women and the result would be them complaining the life after taking pills.

The suicide stream of shuaiby exposed such a community that convince ‘male losers’ to transition to be a women, and saying androgen is the origin of evil, some of them used to be misogynist and after that they became misandry.

This exposes the weakness of identity politics, you can be anything and play the victim card to hate another group. I’m not saying identity politics is really bad and I fully support LGBT movements and such things for minority, it actually helped minority to appear more on mainstream media. But what we should learn from those cases is that sometimes identity politics puts the actual problems in the shadow (economic problems and other social issues) and simplify them to be those identity problems, instead of fixing the real problem. A good example of this is banning racial slurs might slightly help to eliminate racism, but even you ban a racial slur, racists could make more slurs, and that’s the core problem, the racism itself, the hate for a different race itself, and it’s more than a language problem.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store