On feminism and masculinism: Freinacht, 1; Peterson and Paglia, 0.


At Metamoderna, Hanzi Freinacht goes head-to-head-to-head with Camille Paglia and Jordan Peterson. He concludes:

The core failure of the intellectual projects of Peterson and Paglia comes from a lack of understanding of developmental sociology. They have both failed to see the simple and fundamental progression: from traditional, to modern, to postmodern, to metamodern.

The context:

And that, my friend, closes this marathon of harrowing academic incompetence. All in all, these were 47 points Of critique, a handful of which would have shot dead an academic discussion of normal standards. (13 + 37 points, but three were interludes with due credits).

Forty-seven points of severe, fundamental faults. That’s either incompetence, dishonesty or the tunnel vision of the fanatic. You decide which one, or which combination of the three.

If you’re one of the many people who have been unable to see through the thin veneer, unable to see these people for what they are – standard conservatives, misogynists, hysterical anti-feminists – this means that your critical thinking has also been curtailed.

So do the right thing and say a painful goodbye to your YouTube father figure, Jordan Peterson. He told you to speak the truth. But he doesn’t tell you the truth, not even close. And neither does Paglia.

Regardless of what one thinks of Freinacht’s opponents, it’s hard to argue that Paglia and Peterson totally represent a stance in keeping with the spirit of the best of the Integral/ evolutionary/metamodernism movement, broadly conceived. They’re smart enough, complex enough in their capacity to hold a multiplicity of perspectives without relativism or aperspectival paralysis, but there’s something about the contraction of their spirit that comes across poorly.

Freinacht pretty much nails the alternative to Peterson’s monological conservatism and Paglia’s idiosyncratic iconoclasm: take what’s good and valuable with feminism, subtract its excesses and defects, add in what’s good and valuable in masculinism, subtract its problems likewise, and then take a both-and perspective.

All three of these thinkers — Freinacht, Peterson, and Paglia — have passionate defenders in the integral community. One prominent integralist that I know has even called Camille Paglia the “godmother of Integral”. It’s pretty evenly matched and by no means a knock-out fight, despite Freinacht’s rhetorical heat (which gets over-the-top).

While I’m sympathetic to the argument that it’s not fair for Hanzi to scrutinize an unscripted video filled with off-the-cuff remarks of Jordan and Camille, I think it’s fair enough. If Paglia or Peterson feel they’ve been unfairly represented by Freinacht, then I’m pretty sure that a round two can probably be arranged.

Overall, I believe that Paglia and Peterson come across as old school culture warriors whereas Freinacht demonstrates the capacity to bring their level of culture-watching acuity but with greater rigor and a broader, more appealing vision of the world. I score this bout as solidly a win by Hanzi.

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