Professor of psychology and public speaker Jordan Peterson has announced the formation of an international consortium that would serve as a kind of populist alternative to the elitist World Economic Forum (WEF) and provide a countervailing force against globalist aims and narratives.
Peterson laid out his plan in an appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast, telling him that an inaugural event of the group is being planned for the cusp of October/November 2023 in London.
Around 2,000 business, cultural, and political figures will be invited to take part in the consortium, he said, adding that he wants the discussions open to the public and membership in the organization to be as broad as possible.
That would put participation at a similar scale to the WEF’s recent meeting in Davos, Switzerland, which amassed around 2,700 international leaders, Wall Street executives, central bankers, and celebrities.
Peterson said that a core idea of the consortium—which does not yet have an official name—will be to provide an “alternative vision of the future … an alternative to that kind of apocalyptic narrative that’s being put forward, at least implicitly, by organizations like the WEF.”
‘Year of the Polycrisis’
Critics have argued that the WEF uses scare tactics and paints a dire picture of the future to justify proposed solutions, such as the Great Reset.
For instance, ahead of this year’s WEF meeting, the group declared 2023 the “Year of the Polycrisis,” laying out an extensive matrix of threats, with a strong focus on the supposed emergency of climate change that critics have lambasted as unfounded alarmism.
The Great Reset, which has been associated with the controversial slogan “you’ll have nothing and you’ll be happy,” puts forward a top-down approach to managing various threats that include rejigging capitalism to distribute its benefits more evenly and strengthening the global architecture of multinational institutions.
Critics of the Great Reset say it’s an attempt by international organizations to undermine national sovereignty by centralizing power and decision-making at the expense of individual freedoms and local communities.
There are also concerns that the solutions the scheme proposes involve a high degree of economic interventionism by governments and social engineering by global elites who want to impose progressive values and beliefs on traditional-minded populations.
As an alternative to what he described as the WEF’s “apocalyptic narratives,” Peterson said the consortium wants instead to “put forward a vision that’s enticing and inviting.”
“Imagine you can have the world you want” with “none of this Malthusian Limits to Growth nonsense.”
The Malthusian Limits to Growth is a concept based on the notion that population growth will eventually outstrip the food supply, leading to widespread famine, disease, and death.
A key criticism of the idea includes that it’s overly simplistic and fails to account for the complex interplay of food production, population, and technological advancement. It’s also inconsistent with historical data, as the model’s dire predictions have failed to pass despite a growing global population, as food production has kept pace through advancements in technology and agriculture.
“We get our act together,” Peterson said, “and everyone can have enough—and maybe more than enough.
“There is no limit to the abundance the natural world can produce,” he added.
Core Ideas of Peterson’s Consortium
Peterson listed some of the core ideas that will be discussed at the October/November 2023 meeting, including enhancing energy production and distribution, protecting individual freedoms against tyranny, and pushing back against falling birth rates with pro-family policies.
“You don’t get to save the planet by making energy prices so expensive that no one poor can afford them. That’s off the table,” he said, adding that the development of alternative sources of energy would be welcome but “you don’t get to impose your utopian vision in the service of your narcissism on the poor.
“We’re going to try to make the poor rich—try to alleviate poverty,” he said.
Experts have criticized agendas like the Green New Deal for pushing technologically immature solutions by government dictates and subsidies, making energy less reliable and more expensive, with a disproportionate impact on the poor.
Peterson said a key discussion point of the consortium will be how to obtain “energy and resources at the lowest possible cost, as rapidly as possible, to the largest number of people around the world.”
Another is to look at ways to manage governance in order to “stop the march of something like pathological gigantism,” which he described as big and growing power by a combination of corporate, governmental, and media in what he described as a kind of “corrupt collusion.”
He also said that discussions would involve exploring a “pro-human” view of stewardship.
“How do we prioritize our attempts to establish our states and our international relationships properly, so that we prioritize human well-being” in a way that’s in harmony with nature to the extent possible, while avoiding the trappings of the Malthusian idea that there are too many “mouths on the planet to feed and that you’re evil if you just think about having children.”
Further, Peterson said the consortium will explore policies that would counteract falling birth rates by encouraging stable, two-parent families that are “child-centered.”
“In the West, because we’re very immature, we think that the purpose of a marriage is the happiness of the people who are involved in the marriage, the husband and the wife. And that’s just not the purpose of marriage at all,” Peterson said.
“The purpose is long-term facilitation of their psychological and spiritual development and the establishment of an environment that’s beneficial to children,” he added.
He also touched on the primacy of voluntary cooperation among members of societies, rather than top-down coercion.
“One story is power rules everything,” he said. “But that’s not a very good story. It’s a very pathological story.”
Peterson argued that taking responsibility at the most local level is key to preventing the rise of tyranny. He said this is based on the idea that personal responsibility should be taken at each step of oneself, family, community, state, and nation.
“The idea is you have to produce a hierarchy of responsibility, distributed responsibility, as an antithesis to tyranny,” which Peterson suggested could be a model for good governance.
He said this idea is rooted in Western tradition and is an antidote to the notion that power is the only factor that rules.