When Bambi left Beirut airport a few days ago, the last scene she saw right across from her gate was Dr. Jordan Peterson’s books on the shelves. A refreshing scene of intellectual diversity, and thus social health. With all due respect to Canada, she doubts she may see this diversity of books displayed in the small university town she lives in. If she is wrong, please let her know so she can correct herself and apologize to bookstores managers or owners, whether on campus or outside. Thankfully, just ten minutes away from us, in Amherst, NS, you can see Dr. Jordan Peterson’s books. Why can’t our university town be as open-minded?
Upon her arrival home, she was moved when she opened her mail. Guess why? She received Dr. Peterson’s book in the same format as the picture above. What a thoughtful and generous gift from a dear friend abroad!
As shown at the end of this post, Bambi has at least one older post on Dr. Peterson’s latest saga with his legal battle with the College of Psychologists in Ontario. Let’s be clear here upfront, you may personally agree or disagree with Dr. Peterson. It is your right. Same for him: it is his right to publicly express his opinions. Up to us to decide whether we agree with him or not about this or that topic. Only the frontal lobes of our own brains are supposed to support us with the latter. We do not need anyone to tell us what opinion is socially acceptable or not. For instance, you may have the utmost respect (and gratitude!) for Dr. Peterson, like Bambi or you may hate him to death, not just his ideas. You are free to hold different opinions or even to be allergic to his character. So is Dr. Jordan Peterson, especially in a so-called democratic country. However, we have been living lately in collectively insane times in which Canada looks more like authoritarian states instead of the historically vibrant, even if imperfect, democracies.
Regardless of the above, it is surely not the job of a professional organization, an employer, or a union to act as the “Big Brother” of the Thought Police like in the GREAT Orwell’s book, 1984, which she is currently reading (as Christmas gift from another dear friend). The job of a College of Clinical Psychologists is to protect patients and to regulate, and ideally facilitate not harm, the work of clinicians in order to be able to support their patients to the best of their capacities.
This being said, Bambi will shut up now as she is eager to share with you a quick translation of a column (with thanks to her friend, Mr. Google Translate) written by a clever journalist from Québec, Ms. Natalie Elgrabry. This column was published in the Journal de Montréal on January 13, 2024 (http://tinyurl.com/23aunvkd). It is food for thought for all of us… and especially and hopefully for Canada’s Prime Minister, Mr. Justin Trudeau.
“Jordan Peterson is one of the most influential intellectuals in Canada, if not in the Anglo-Saxon world. He is a clinical psychologist, professor emeritus at the University of Toronto, best-selling author, and a social media celebrity with 3.7 million followers on Twitter.
Recently, Peterson was ordered by the College of Psychologists of Ontario to undergo social media “training” at a cost of $225 per hour, at his own expense, for an indefinite period of time. Failure to do so will result in the suspension of the licence.
The College does not allege any professional misconduct on the part of Peterson. No patient has ever complained. On the other hand, some cyber-woke people denounced his personal interventions on social media. The College, as a vassal of the new inquisitors, disapproves of Peterson’s tweet of support for Poilievre and make some caustic comments about Trudeau.
This “training”, ostensibly reminiscent of the political re-education camps of the Maoist era, raises a crucial societal issue: do a professional order or an employer have the legitimacy to impose a political orthodoxy and proclaim itself the thought police?
The answer should be a stinging and emphatic “No.” A “No” that sounds the death knell of the cancel culture to which we have clearly given too much latitude. A “No” vote that rehabilitates freedom of opinion and expression and condemns intimidation.
This “No” should be declared by Justin Trudeau!
Last February, Trudeau tweeted: “Canadians have the right to protest, to disagree with their government, and to make their voices heard.We will always protect that right. The Peterson affair is an opportunity for Trudeau to prove that he is a man of his word.
And if he had the courage to tweet, he would propose a policy to stem political discrimination in the workplace. After all, significant efforts are being made to prohibit discrimination against discrimination against the public”.