Jordan Peterson and Slavoj Zizek are going to have a debate next month. I have a hard time imagining a more hellish prospect.
First, it’s a debate — regular readers know how much I’ve come to despise debate. They might as well make it a wrestling match or a tiddly-winks contest for all the relevance it will have. It will settle nothing, and just allow a couple of blowhards to shout past each other.
Second, it’s Peterson, a bloviating airhead with nothing but his biases to trot about. I want his 15 minutes of fame to end soon.
Third, Zizek. You can read the opinion of a man who totally favors Zizek; I’m not impressed at all. If he can’t resolve his own personal contradictions, why should I care about his philosophy? (Yeah, I know, a lot of philosophers seem to be colossal assholes, who still manage to say interesting things — Zizek is just one who has also put his personality front and center.)
But also, Zizek is going to lose this debate, not because he will do a poorer job of defending his position, but because a debate is never about who makes the most logical, best supported argument. Most of the audience will be there because of Peterson’s inexplicable popularity, and they will not be budged from their cultish idolatry, and they will totally shut off their brains while Zizek speaks. It’s going to be an ugly mess of childish assertions against a professional obscurantist, and the child will triumph with his audience of man-babies.
Zizek was nuts to consent to this, which is another reason to doubt his competence in performing in this circus.