12 Rules for Life
Jordan Peterson

by

Jack Shields

Reviews

Crace (2018) in his analysis of 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos says “Order is Masculine and Chaos is Feminine. Therefore to move towards Order, we all need to man up. Happiness is pointless. We are all on this Earth to suffer.” One of the most critical issues that the author appreciates is the realistic nature of the content of the work. Peterson, in his examples, relies on phenomena in which most people are familiar which allows his audience to make associations with their own cultures and societies. In the same vein, Bakerat (2018) in “A Messiah-cum-Surrogate-Dad for Gormless Dimwits:On Jordan B. Peterson’s “12 Rules for Life” indicates that immense brutality characterizes the human life and it is only the development of appropriate skills that would allow them to survive. Through his analysis, Bakerat’s similar philosophies to Peterson strengthens this argument. The hostility in the world today is above ordinary levels which requires individuals to adapt even more so. However, Bakerat is disagrees with Peterson's teaching concerning self- help. He claims that Peterson's statement that “you should find out why that person is in trouble. You shouldn’t merely assume that he or she is a noble victim of unjust circumstances and exploitation” is defeating to the values that he seeks to create in the book.

Misha (2018) in Jordan Peterson & Fascist Mysticism, appreciates the fact that Peterson addresses the real threats within the modern society. One of the most compelling features that the review appreciates in Peterson's book is the desire to create a generation who appreciates values such as hard work, honesty and a sense of responsibility. Misha argues that the modern generation has lost all these values, and the book presents an abundance of advice on how to overcome the challenges. Kunzru (2018) in 12 Rules for Life by Jordan B Peterson review – a self-help book from a culture warrior finds the book suitable and highly reliable. He identifies Peterson as a ‘culture warrior’ with the creation of this book. Despite facing many troubles during his youth, he was able to reach his current position of respect and credibility. Other scholars and commentators are, however, not pleased with Peterson's concern for self. In the same line of thought, Manne (2018) indicates that Peterson’s work would be incredibly profitable for the society as it seeks to model the youths into a product for the future.

Meanwhile, Poplak (2018) makes a blunt assessment by saying that “Indeed, a staunch Tyrannophilia runs through the book like a fugue—the tyranny of the Self, the tyranny of the Ideal Individual, who must take his place at the center of Being (as per Heidegger, thank you very much) and at the center of the mystical sign of the cross (Peterson experiences this motif in a dream), which represents ‘suffering and transformation' in a clear show of disdain with some of the contents of the work”. Additionally, Sanneh (2018) says that the book seems to promote masculinity in the society. In a society that appears to be striving for equality among all gender groups, it is appalling and defeating for Peterson to be in support of the dominance of  masculinity.

Finally, Kate’s (2018) How Jordan Peterson and His 12 Rules For Life Gets It All Wrong says that while Peterson presents some positive ideas that may be useful for the future generation, there is a spirited approach to introduce a society in which the powerful or the commercially mighty will be climbing to the top while the weak will have no place. Kate says that "Chaps need to do work on themselves, and the professor may be of some help. What I reject is Peterson’s mean-spirited contempt for those who want to morph or transcend the old binaries altogether – and who want to be given respect for doing so.” Her perspective of Peterson and the revival of the conservative spirit that Peterson appears to have ushered is negative. Kate sees Peterson as a stubborn luddite when it concerns his views on gender, especially in relation to politics.

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