Is it wise to advise alienated young men to be like alpha lobsters?

Bringing them the plague
13 min readJul 23, 2022
A role model for alienated young guys? (Image unsplash)

Of course, no one ever thinks they’ll write something with this bizarre title. Then there was 2016, when so many things emerged whose emergencies won’t have ended before November 2024, and probably for many years after.

As always in the culture wars, a lot of the press surrounding Jordan Peterson gives more heat than light. One thing is clear. Whereas many on the new Left revile him, Peterson has a following. That following is predominantly male, predominantly young. In older times, they might have been called working class, although Peterson himself would reject the term.

Many will be living at their mom and dad’s home. Most will be white. In many cases, they will come from situations, even entire postcodes or communities, that have been scorned by the postmodern-financial-managerial capitalism of the last decades. Their repressed aggression will be played out in hyperviolent online gaming. In many cases, they will also participate in Rightist discord and other chat groups.

Is it a good idea, wise is the old word, to tell these young men to model themselves on victorious lobsters? For readers who think the question shows I’m daft, let’s let Peterson do the talking.

What Lobsters are like, for Peterson

The opening chapter of 12 Rules for Life is direct. On the first page, we’re told that lobsters are of greater interest to we humans, than just being for eating:

Lobsters live on the ocean floor. They need a home base down there, a range within which they hunt for prey and scavenge around for stray edible bits and pieces of whatever rains down from the continual chaos of carnage and death far above. They want somewhere secure, where the hunting and the gathering is good. They want a home. This can present a problem, since there are many lobsters. What if two of them occupy the same territory, at the bottom of the ocean, at the same time, and both want to live there? What if there are hundreds of lobsters, all trying to make a living and raise a family, in the same crowded patch of sand and refuse?

We note straight away Peterson’s sense of environing nature, one of a “continual chaos of carnage and death”. It is going to be a battle for…

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Bringing them the plague

Freud's response on arrival in America, some Camus; blogs of philosophy, psychology, culture and politics. (Formerly Castalian Stream, now less pretentious)