You wrote: “Stoicism, is a tool that is much more useful for people who lead the sort of lives that famous stoics have led — elites living…
Thanks but to be clear my main point in the article isn’t that Peterson is not a Stoic — I think that’s fairly self-evident — but that what he says about anger is false and psychologically unhelpful, as the arguments presented by both Stoics and cognitive therapists help to show.
You wrote: “Stoicism, is a tool that is much more useful for people who lead the sort of lives that famous stoics have led — elites living highly controlled and very secure lives, dealing with the parts of life you can’t control, like death, decay, and the collapse of empire.”
That’s not correct. The famous Stoics lived different lives. Some were Greek, some Roman, many came from various parts of the Middle East. Some were wealthy Roman elites, others were relatively poor. Cleanthes, the second head of the school, was a penniless ex-boxer who laboured watering gardens at night to earn a living. Epictetus, the most famous Stoic teacher in Roman history, was a former slave, who lived a very humble life. What you’re saying might describe Marcus Aurelius -although he didn’t really live a “very secure life” but it’s definitely not true to say that’s how the lives of all the famous Stoics were.
You wrote: “It’s no coincidence that stoicism came of age in ancient Rome among elites.” Stoicism originated in ancient Greece. The school was founded in Athens in 301 BC. It’s true that it did flourish in Rome but it had already been very popular for over a century.
“It’s not a particularly useful philosophy for most areas of life.” — That might be your own opinion but clearly a lot of people do find it to be useful in most areas of their lives. It’s also the philosophical basis of modern cognitive therapy, which has proven to be successful for many people across a wide range of situations in life.