Lobsters vs Crabs: A response to Kyle MacDonald

A video response to NZ Herald mental health columnist Kyle MacDonald?s opinion piece about Jordan Peterson.


Kyle MacDonald, New Zealand Herald columnist and co-host of popular Newstalk ZB show ?The Nutters Club?, is fast becoming the mainstream media?s ?go-to? mental health expert, with increasingly frequent appearances on publicly funded television (he was on Three?s ‘The Project’ last night).

In his podcast, The Confident Mind, MacDonald (who charges $120 – $180 for a fifty minute therapy session) suggests that capitalism is the source of people?s stress and anxiety. A ?global wealth tax? and ?all sorts of radical political measures? are needed to combat this, in his view.

During clinical psychologist and bestselling author Jordan Peterson’s visit to New Zealand last month, MacDonald published an opinion piece titled “The problem with Jordan Peterson’s advice for young men”. In it, he claims that Peterson “derides compassion, attacks feminists and refuses to listen to the voices of the oppressed”. He accuses the psychologist of “punching down”.

In this same column, MacDonald suggests that Peterson is holding the people who listen to him ?in thrall?. In other words, Peterson fans or supporters are gullible, mindless followers, held captive under the spell of a modern day Rasputin (watch the video). 

Hardly a compassionate thing to say about people trying to better themselves and find some meaning in their lives. Talk about punching down.

We should all “stop listening to Peterson”, according to Kyle. But his arguments against Peterson ? that he encourages individualism at the expense of collectivism and provides an “intellectual springboard” for the alt-right ? are obviously politically motivated and easily debunked (watch the video).

Mental illness is arguably one of this nation’s most urgent social issues. Our depression and suicide statistics are through the roof. Having spent the majority of my adolescence and early adulthood undergoing various treatment methods for depression and anxiety, I have more inside experience of the mental health system in New Zealand than most people ever will. I?ve seen how bad it is. We?re a country in crisis. 

Jordan Peterson?s message of taking on personal responsibility, aiming high and finding meaning is clearly resonating with millions of people around the world. Listening to him and applying his advice to my life has had a hugely positive impact on my own mental health.

It?s irresponsible bordering on reckless for someone in Kyle MacDonald?s profession to use his public platform to discourage New Zealanders from listening to someone who could help them.


Kyle has blocked me on Twitter.

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