tl;dr, as provided by Nate Winchester: He’s YouTube Dad. Dad pill means a masculine figure whose answer to existential questions isn’t “kill yourself,” it’s “you can do better”.
The appeal of Jordan Peterson to young men comes down to two things.
1) He answers their most pressing question, which is “Why do anything?”
By redefining religious experience as highly compressed knowledge for practical application, he promises that engaging in practical application will be a religious experience. This has long-term ramifications, but short-term utility.
2) He doesn’t add to their despair with fatalistic judgments.
If you ask the Alt-West, for example, “why do anything?” their answer will effectively be a confused mashup of social competitor answers:
1 “If you have to ask, you deserve not to exist.”
2. “Find a robust, a priori reason like mine.” (This is the attitude of a Boomer, for example.)
3. “Motivate yourself into having motivation.”
Basically, the problem is that these kids are asking why they should work without pay. And everybody else says “Because otherwise we’ll call you lazy and then fire you. “But also, if you work hard and then don’t succeed we’ll call you lazy and fire you. And also, honestly we just fucking hate that you exist, and would you please just kill yourself to make room.”
This attitude is predicted by end-stage rat utopia.
“Within a few generations all such roles in all physical space available to the species are filled. At this time, the continuing high survival of many individuals to sexual and behavioural maturity culminates in the presence of many young adults capable of involvement in appropriate species-specific activities. However, there are few opportunities for fulfilling these potentialities. In seeking such fulfilment they compete for social role occupancy with the older established members of the community. This competition is so severe that it simultaneously leads to the nearly total breakdown of all normal behaviour by both the contestors and the established adults of both sexes. Normal social organization (i.e. ‘the establishment’) breaks down, it ‘dies’.”