On April 19, the controversial University of Toronto professor-turned public intellectual Jordan Peterson will face off against famed Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek for a debate entitled “Happiness: Capitalism vs. Marxism.”
Both men represent opposing ideologies, with Peterson leaning towards the conservative right and identifying more or less as a “Cultural Christian,” whist Žižek, an atheist and Marxist who’s been coined “the most dangerous philosopher in the West,” resides in the realm of Bernie Sanders and far-left ideas in terms of American politics.
The event is scheduled to take place at the Sony Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and tickets have sold out since the official date was announced earlier this year.
The debate had spent several months in the making as the two threw verbal jabs at each other over the course of 2018, with Žižek throwing the first punch when he referred to Peterson as his “enemy” and dismissing his ideas as “pseudo-scientific” during an onstage conversation he had at a Cambridge Union event.
Peterson took to Twitter, stating that he would debate Žižek “any time, any place” after he spent some time trying to argue with the philosopher by tweeting at a profile baring Žižek’s name before Peterson eventually realized that he had been communicating with a fan-made quote bot account.
Rising to fame in 2017 as a torchbearer of free speech and critic of “Cultural Marxism,” Jordan Peterson has become a household name for those who oppose PC culture, feminism and the notion of “white privilege.” His 2018 book, “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, ” quickly became a best-seller.
Peterson, along with other prominent right-leaning figures on YouTube, has been considered by some to be a gateway to the alt-right, the Neo-Nazi fringe element that rose to prominence in 2016 and has currently seized their own alternate reality rabbit hole on YouTube.
Žižek, with his perpetually disheveled appearance and thick accent that can be unintelligible to those hearing it for the first time, looks less like a brilliant academic who’s spent the bulk of his life fiercely critiquing capitalism along with writing a slew of books analyzing philosophy, sociology and politics and more like a shabby drifter.
The Slovenian gained fame during the eighties as he presented an image that was far removed from the highbrow, tweed-wearing snobs populating his profession, setting himself apart by mixing in complex philosophical ideas and social theories with crude jokes and by maintaining a non-pretentious personality.
The event will also be aired on a live stream at petersonvszizek.com and those looking to view it will be charged $14.95.
I, for one, will be rooting for Žižek and anticipate the day it gets uploaded to YouTube.