Racism as AST, a Case Study

Going to carry on from a previous effort, “Expedient Racism,” another angle has occurred to me upon waking up and managing to find something that seems worth pondering or expressing. So, carrying on about all the sorts of discrimination. There is something wrong there, that every group is a cause and all the forms of hate are seemingly separate, individual battles . . . it seems to suggest we don’t mind the basic idea. This form is bad, that form is me, even if we acknowledge all these versions are bad, somehow, the general, umbrella idea of discrimination and hate is safe, unassailable. We all reserve the right to refuse service on some basis, don’t we?

I think we all see this, it’s maybe not worth talking about, we don’t try to end all hate and anger, we need those or something, but we all feel our demographic should be exempt, some of us feel many, even all groups should be . . . but today’s wake up idea is that maybe sometimes there is something more specific.

I’m old, I’m looking back on my life, forgiving my younger self for not knowing what is going on. I’m from Mount Pleasant in Vancouver, a very multicultural place, but I’m white and I think people from all over the world, people of all colours are guilty of this one: as a kid, along with at least some of the kids around me, I used the terms “jewed” and “gypped.” It means bargaining and winning, right? Taking your money. “He gypped me!” kind of thing.

If I had ever seen a Roma or a Jewish person, I didn’t know it. It is entirely possible I said that  crap in front of some of them, at school or something, but the point is, it’s a cultural racist meme, harmful and wrong, and to be stopped, of course.

But today, I was thinking that when we say that we are complaining about salesmen and businesspeople, about profit and capitalism – that’s our culture. White salespeople and CEOs rule the world, but when I complain, my complain word is some other race, some poor folks mostly on the other side of the world? What would be the matter with complaining that this swine just capitalized on me? I mean, no-one likes getting ripped off.

This is my point, this is the technology of antisocialization.

My group, white north American settler, giving all my hard earned money to companies, my rent, my food, my everything, and as far as I can see they’re mostly white and north American too, but the oppression of poverty and limited funds, the negative emotions associated with the struggle with giving my little money to billionaires, there’s nothing to be done, I can just hold those feelings, try to improve my position, but don’t rebel – I’ve been jewed out of my money.

Store those feelings, and earmark them for an other, the Roma, the Jews – this is antisocialization theory. We abuse our own and keep a reservoir of anger about unfairnesses at home, from our own people – for use when it suits. The whys are not yet ironed out, but I promise you this is the human way.


When your people make their living off of you, that’s exploitative, abusive. When our caregivers discipline us to teach us right from wrong, that is child abuse, and when we are punished as adults, this is also abuse, and generally comes from our own society. Reasons for the punishments do not negate the abuse, it must be a genetic decision that we all think it does, that we all operate this way, it’s sort of amazing. It goes like this: “I didn’t hurt him! I did it because . . . ”

That’s a yes. If you did it because something, you did it. You’ve even said so.

All these things happen all day long, this is the business of our lives, abusing our own and othering, this is warrior society, this is how and why the wars happen, why life is generally a struggle, even for the only animal capable of working together to make the pyramids.

Trouble is, like any addict, we think the problem is the solution. Law and order! Abuse. Morality, in a word: everything is wrong except hurting each other “to teach.”

I thought there would be a fanfare or something when someone solved that. Ah well, solving a puzzle is its own reward, I suppose. My personal trouble is life is never the same again once you see it. I thought we wanted an answer to this; I didn’t know it was supposed to be rhetorical.



July 24th., 2020

One thought on “Racism as AST, a Case Study

  1. Jeff/neighsayer July 29, 2020 / 1:11 pm

    I like this one, best one of the week, it makes a case you can really see, but I always forget to make my arguments additive. The point was supposed to be that if you can see this, maybe credit this example of AST, of our own giving us the gears and the bad feelings and us saving that anger up to unleash on some other in a conflict, then my principle, my logic is on record, as it were. The function doesn’t require that the bad feeling get the other label when it’s first repressed and stored, I think it’s a fluid thing, any anger, stored for any enemy – but this labelled example helps for clarity. I’m embarrassed it took ten years to get there.


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