Bartolome, thank you very much for your thoughtful and complimentary reply. I write this comment after turning on my computer to write an essay I plan to call “Why Jordan Peterson and his critics are both wrong.”
Since writing the essay above, I’ve studied Dr Peterson in far more detail; he is a very public person, and I find his lectures fascinating. It has taken me several months to understand why I disagree with him.
I remain optimistic that it’s possible to have a positive impact by writing open letters. His refrain “Nobody will debate me” is credible, and lends him legitimacy; he is very intelligent and skillful, but modesty was never my strong point, and I am motivated to rise to the challenge.
It’s also possible that Dr Peterson is willing to listen to critics: I won’t ask you to watch the whole of his Patreon video for October, but he talks about the computer program to identify neo-Marxist courses at the 23:58 mark, for about two minutes. He claims that someone with ideas similar to mine raised concerns with him, and that he considered those ideas carefully. I choose to believe those claims. (I’m even arrogant enough to suppose that he either saw my essay, or someone who saw it spoke to him. Someone from Toronto did try to phone me a couple of times, but the audio cut out, and I’m reluctant to return international calls from people I’ve never spoken to.)
Would I have written similarly to Il Duce or to Hitler? I hope so. I’m an admirer of Admiral Doenitz, who wrote a letter of objection after Kristalnacht, and who eventually was the man who surrendered Germany to the Allies. I think that advocates of peace need to find good words, to ‘Sharpen their arguments’ as Peterson would say. He says in many of his lectures that the only way that society can progress is if the left and right have a conversation with each other. Someone from the left needs to show up to the conversation if that’s going to happen, and I’m willing to try.