[Ted Byfield] In our ever more baffling age, the figure of the 'prophet' reappears

[Ted Byfield] In our ever more baffling age, the figure of the ‘prophet’ reappears

Opinion
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And as of old, his mission is to warn us of the deadly path we are embarked upon

VIDEO: [Epoch Times] Jordan B. Peterson illustrates the striking parallels between postmodernism and cultural Marxism. [Jul 6, 2017]


The role of “the prophet” did not by any means vanish when the Old Testament was completed. “Prophetic figures” have continued with us ever since — but with a difference. We now call them media commentators, and their message need no longer be rooted in God. In fact, it rarely is, and that we currently have a great abundance of “false prophets” becomes ever more evident.

However, we also have a few genuine ones, and they are not hard to pick out because the much more numerous false prophets get so enraged at them. The false ones hurl all the usual stones — “bigot… hate monger… oppressor… misogynist… alt-rightest…” and on and on, and await the expected groveling apology. But the true prophets are defiant. They refuse to apologize. And do you know what usually happens to them as a result? The answer is nothing. The false prophets are all bark and no bite.

Nobody has proved this more persuasively than the greatest prophet of our own current era, (though he would probably be horrified to hear himself so described). I refer of course to Dr. Jordan Peterson, who over the past two or so years has conducted a one-man revolution in media communication. He has assembled a YouTube audience in the millions, and in personal appearances over much of the western world, he has added hundreds of thousands more. All of which raises valid questions: What is the nature of his movement? What does his party stand for. The answer is that he hasn’t got a movement and he hasn’t got a party, and he doesn’t want either. But he does stand for certain principles most of them as old as mankind. In presenting and defending them, he has become omnipresent on YouTube which often carries several different Peterson re-runs at the same time.

On one of these last week, I found him zeroing in on a movement which he plainly regards as the greatest menace facing modern democracies. He sees it as expanding swiftly, gigantically and virtually unopposed, towards the ultimate destruction of our society as we know it. This movement now goes by the name of “post-modernism,” says Peterson, but it is in fact a direct descendant of the old Stalinist-Maoist Marxism, re-packaged but every bit as dangerously destructive as it ever was. It is not an exaggeration to say that it took the lives of millions upon millions of innocent people during the last century. When even its most ardent admirers could no longer stomach defending it, they simply renamed it. “Postmodernism is the new skin that the old Marxism now inhabits,” says Peterson. It is already deeply implanted in the school systems of the western world. Where Marxism has been tried out it has proved “the most destructive political doctrine ever invented by mankind, and that includes national socialism in Germany.”

There needs be a word of reassurance here. Peterson is particularly careful in his use of language because he knows his host of critics are straining to find vulnerabilities in everything he says. His denunciation of the postmodernist bent of modern educators and acquiescent governments certainly sounds extreme, but he was altogether ready to stand behind it. And his denunciations are sweeping. Here are some of them by topic:

On higher education: “I think postmodernism has already demolished the universities. I think irreparably. Whatever the universities are going to be in 15 years, especially on the humanities end, will bear almost no resemblance to what they are now.”

On the human rights movement: Postmodernist influence has reduced the human rights cause to “a poison.” The Ontario commission is a “travesty.” It should be “abolished” and the commissioners “put on trial for treason.”

On the intimidation of the media: Journalists have become so fearful of being blackguarded as “hateful” or “bigoted” that they shrink from covering the story. They know what it is, but they’re afraid to write it. This includes journalists of “massive reputation.”

The duping of ethnic minorities: New Canadians have been so deluded that they have come to regard postmodernists as allies. This will prove to have been a grave delusion, as they will soon discover.

On the indoctrination of children: From kindergarten onward the curriculum has become an indoctrination process in social justice thinking. The focus of virtually every story centers on the acquisition of power and the perceived endless injustices have characterized our society.

On the suppression of history: “Historical education has become so dreadfully inadequate it’s almost as though it was a crime.”

On the “new” public schools: “People need to wake up and see what their children are learning. I would tell people, ‘Do not send your children to public schools.'”

The Peterson video in this article is distinct in that it covers a wider range of his thinking than most, which tend to focus on one or two subjects. I can’t find a date on it, though it was obviously made in the run-up to the last Ontario election one year ago. Peterson saw the Liberal government of Kathleen Wynne as deeply committed to the postmodern view “The goal should be the defeat of every Liberal,” he declared, and he almost got his way. In the June 2018 election, Liberal standing in the 124-seat legislature was cut from 55 to seven, too few for them to even be recognized as a party. The Tories under Doug Ford rose from 27 to 76 and formed the government. As in Alberta, however, a new government does not in itself change the bureaucracy, which in both provinces is deeply permeated with postmodernist thinking.

As with Alberta, only a deep purge of the administration will thwart the postmodernist take-over. Whether that will happen will ultimately depend on how seriously the general public regard the postmodernist threat. It is therefore very important that people hear the prophet himself describe this danger. I’ve just given a few excerpts from it. We’re running his complete interview alongside this column. I cannot adequately emphasize the importance of your viewing it in its entirety.

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