Been thinking about one particular moment in the the Peterson-Newman standoff, in which Newman is questioning Peterson about why there are more male CEOs in the FTSE 100. Part of the reason for this, Peterson explains, is that men tend to have a personality better suited for adapting to the fierce nature of big business competition. It’s an incredibly pressuring world in which individuals do almost anything to get to the top– blood, sweat, tears, exhaustion, bribes, blackmail, and so on. That’s just the way it is. Not only do men seem to be more representative of people with such a personality, there seems to be an increased willingness by men, compared to women, to endure such conditions. Hence, the make-up of the gender representation in these positions. If women are going to achieve these positions and engage in the ferocious battles for corporate power, they need to adopt these traits. This is what Peterson was indicating he has helped women do. This means that Peterson is a realist. He sees the way things are, and he observes that he has prospective clients who want help adapting, and he helps them do it.
Cathy Newman, on the other hand, besides being flustered that Peterson had the audacity to explain the way things are, responded with something to this effect: well what if we can change the culture of the corporate world such that they adapted more of a feminine-friendly environment? Peterson responded as an objective scientist: go for it. I’m just dealing with things as they are.
But this idealistic tendency on Newman’s part really reflects what Thomas Sowell refers to as the Unconstrained Vision. Rather than think in terms of reality, she adapts the view that mankind itself can be changed so that the Ideal can be achieved. Isaac Morehouse sums up the Unconstrained Vision well:
Those with an unconstrained vision see everything as perfectible. We can eliminate scarcity (this is very different than simply “have an abundance of stuff”, as it assumes time and choice can also be eliminated), we can remake man into a perfect version, we can stop playing by old stuffy rules and simply rebuild a society without greed. If humans are flawed we can remake humans, instead of forming social orders that work around the flaws. We don’t need institutions that channel bad desires to good outcomes, we simply need to remove bad desires.
Newman doesn’t think in terms of how things are, she thinks in terms of changing humanity and human nature itself in order to achieve her own (socially Progressive) vision. She doesn’t think in terms of what women should do if they want to achieve a particular end, she thinks in terms of remapping the “social rules of the game” in order to bring about the outcome she has in mind. In doing so, she thinks of mankind as clay that can be molded to her liking; likely with media-driven retraining (a la 1984), social education, and long-term collectivist planning. She is, in other words, a representative of what should be called “cultural marxism.” She desires the creation of the New Socialist Man.
Consider Rothbard on the NSM:
The traditional socialist answer held that the socialist society would transform human nature, would purge it of selfishness, and remold it to create a New Socialist Man. That new man would be devoid of any selfish, or indeed any self-determined, goals; his only wish would be to work as hard and as eagerly as possible to achieve the goals and obey the orders of the socialist State. Throughout the history of socialism, socialist ultras, such as the early Lenin and Bukharin under “War Communism,” and later Mao Tse-tung and Che Guevara, have sought to replace material by so-called “moral” incentives. This notion was properly and wittily ridiculed by Alexander Gray as “the idea that the world may find its driving force in a Birthday Honours List (giving to the King, if necessary, 165 birthdays a year).” At any rate, the socialists soon found that voluntary methods could hardly yield them the New Socialist Man. But even the most determined and bloodthirsty methods could not avail to create this robotic New Socialist Man. And it is a testament to the spirit of freedom that cannot be extinguished in the human breast that the socialists continued to fail dismally, despite decades of systemic terror.
Hence, Peterson was right to controversially point out that these Progressive hold the same underlying philosophy of the deadly communists of the previous century.