Dyson and Goldberg do not represent ‘The Left’, they represent the Neo-Liberal/Neo-Conservate alliance that defines the Political Center of today. Dyson reviled Cornell West in print, at great length, for his attack on Obama’s Neo-Liberalism , as West had promised he would do. Dyson being a supporter of Obama’s domestic Neo-Liberal Agenda, his essay is Dyson at his most verbose, allied to his appetite to dominate rhetorically , a trait he shares with Mr. Peterson, although Peterson seems more resigned in this YouTube video.
Goldberg is now a regular contributor to the New York Times opinion page. She shares that space with Thomas Friedman, Bret Stephens, David Brooks and AEI’s Arthur Brooks: in sum Ms. Goldberg is a Milk-toast Liberal, a supporter of the political status quo: the Neo-Liberal/Neo-Conservative alliance and its Champion Hillary Clinton and her New Democratic fellow travelers.
Dyson is right about Peterson being a Mean White Man. We only need look to his precursors Eric Hoffer, Daniel Patrick Moynihan of ‘benign neglect’ infamy. Or The Bell Curve by Charles Murray and Richard J. Herrnstein or The Clash of Civilizations by Huntington, or Fukuyama’s intellectual riff on Strauss’ philosophical mendacity ‘The End of History’. The intellectual propagandist is all important in framing debate. Not to forgot Mr. Cass Sunstein, Obama’s Propaganda Chief, whose interventions in this area of propaganda included ‘Nudge’, call it Authoritarianism With a Human Face !
The Left isn’t the problem, its the utterly corrupt ‘Center’ that is the nihilism eating away at a Republic, that was long since been swallowed whole by the imperatives of The American National Security State. Place this whole panel, not withstanding Dyson’s more than apt description of Peterson as a Mean White Man, in its bourgeois political context : the search for political respectability, and employment opportunities in the future!
This whole exercise, in the dull witted art of placing blame, is the favorite game of a plethora of desperate indeed hysterical engineers of the dismal political present. ‘The Left’ is its favorite target, as retrograde defense of the failed Neo-Liberal Project, and the failure of one of its central dogmas the Self-Correcting Market, to manifest itself in the political present! Its just a question of degree that separates Goldberg, Dyson and their antagonist Mr. Peterson. Who is not just a ‘Mean White Man’ or defender of ‘White Male Privilege’ but of a Patriarchal system, in this regard, not to forget that both Dyson and West are also ordained Christian ministers. By any measure Christianity is part of the larger religious tradition, in which male power, over its lesser beings is a central dogma. The Abrahamic Tradition is the codification of that Patriarchy. Mr. Peterson expresses this male power as under threat, from the Left and its imperative to a Political Correctness, that seeks to dismantle that hierarchy.*
But the very Project of Modernity, and a Capitalism that is no longer sustainable, except to a rapacious 1%. And the emiseration, even the destruction of a Middle Class, present a confluence of forces that neither Dyson, Goldberg nor Peterson have the political/intellectual/moral capacity to confront. This ‘debate’ is the stuff the great shit-hole of Television, as the last bastion of bourgeois political respectability, within very proscribed political parameters. But more importantly it is a form of political entertainment: the ersatz Gladiators do Battle, to a breathless audience waiting for the first blood to be spilled. Dyson’s ‘Mean White Man’ is part of this dismal battle of political antagonists as entertainment, an abundance of posturing and recitation of ideological cliches. Those aficionados waiting for that blood letting were utterly disappointed!
Added 2:35 PM PDT
* Nothing can be more evident than that Dyson, Goldberg and Peterson are incapable of constructing a critique of ‘The Left‘ , ‘political correctness’, without also constructing a critique of the Patriarchy, and the very language that we use to discuss these ideas. I’m referring to Derrida’s Phallogocentrism, as central to how we think and reason, in a language determined by the patriarchal matrix of Western thought.
The phallogocentric argument is premised on the claim that modern Western culture has been, and continues to be, both culturally and intellectually subjugated by “logocentrism” and “phallocentrism”. Logocentrism is the term Derrida uses to refer to the philosophy of determinateness, while phallocentrism is the term he uses to describe the way logocentrism itself has been genderized by a “masculinist (phallic)” and “patriarchal” agenda. Hence, Derrida intentionally merges the two terms phallocentrism and logocentrism as “phallogocentrism”.
None of these propagandists have any interest in the thought and writings of Derrida, who is now passe, but one of his central insights into our language, and its evolution and practice, that represents linguistic determinism, as an historical phenomenon over time. Language evolved as determined by the Patriarchal imperatives.