Although Jordan Peterson’s star has fallen somewhat from its peak two years ago, what he taught and what he represents still matter greatly to today’s culture. When so many other public intellectuals acquiesced to the insanity of postmodernism and identity politics, Peterson became an international sensation by eloquently rebutting this. He rightly saw these trends as a collective refusal to engage with reality and an underhanded means to institute soft totalitarianism.
However, Peterson’s aims were never explicitly political. His discipline was psychology, and so his concern with leftist ideology mostly related to its pernicious effect on people’s hearts and minds. Instead of adopting these bad ideas and consequently making themselves miserable, people were much better off learning from the wisdom of the past. This message resonated with audiences and made him unusually popular.