I just finished watching most of the debate. (I skipped the audience Q&A.)
I’m moderately familiar with Peterson, and not at all with Žižek’s work.
Even I could tell that Peterson did not seem prepared. He seemed like he did no research at all on Žižek and just showed up ready to debate his own conceptions of Marxism.
Even so, I didn’t find myself disagreeing with most of what Peterson had to say, and it didn’t seem that Žižek did either. (Again, that’s probably because Peterson was unprepared and didn’t have much to challenge Žižek on.)
Two moments did stand out to me, though.
One, earlier in the debate, when I believe Peterson was making some point about how even though there is inequality in our Western capitalist society, the poorest among us are still pretty well off, how the poor were benefiting from the capitalist system in spite of the inequality. And I mostly agreed with that, until he made a ridiculous comment, something about how the wealthiest capitalists are not keeping all the flatscreen TVs locked away so the poor can’t get them.
My immediate thought was: Okay, sure. Poor Americans do have flatscreen TVs. But what about healthcare? That’s something that the wealthiest among us are fighting to keep poorest among us from having access to.
And the second moment that stood out to me was later in the debate, when Žižek challenged Peterson to name any postmodern neoMarxist who wields significant influence, and Peterson was not able to name a single one.