That’s a change. When I started, I toyed with the other version as my title, my catchphrase, before I settled on Antisocialization Theory, ‘the Abusive Ape Theory,’ like that, like the Aquatic Ape Theory, with the connotations of that theory’s history – and it turns out that it’s the whole point that that isn’t it, that the entire order of operations, the natural order of causality is that the abused ape child precedes its abusive caregivers. At least that’s the change I’m going to make, a rule for AST (antisocialization theory in short) that says the child’s experience precedes and breaking it will mean we have left the bounds of AST.
I plan to proceed as though there were an open marketplace where ideas compete for proximity to reality and therefore usefulness, and try a setup where it doesn’t begin with an adult Adam and Eve, or with the Elders, or with the old man God who we acknowledge as a ritualized symbolic actual old man, the meta-alpha, where it doesn’t begin with full grown humans created or released from some mythical bondage, like the Raven story from around here – unless that place of bondage is childhood, then that metaphor might fit. Origin stories that begin with adults, that’s been tried, AST wants to try the other side of that choice, make sure we haven’t missed something.
It’s a chicken and egg story – the chicken and egg story, the reason we love that story – and the chicken came first. Until that chick was hatched, it was a proto-chicken egg, perhaps an odd looking one, but until the chicken inside came out and started acting strange, there were no chickens. When we arrived in the world, our progenitors, our caregivers were already here and every child’s story begins with that – but our story does not begin with all the characters’ back stories. Our story begins, when we, the child, begin to sense things, less literally, when we open our eyes and start reading it.
Antisocialization Theory intends to take this view, that life’s causality begins when our experience begins, with the experience of receiving abuse, prior to perhaps all understanding of anything, after all, slaps and deterrents exist specifically because the little ones ‘lack language and reason,’ these tools are directed at the lizard brain, directed at parts that predate all of human experience, so that is the start. In terms of uniquely human origins, again, AST starts with uniquely human experiences, meaning not feeding, or predation, or reproduction, things many creatures share, but rather social control, punitive abuse.
I’m not sure how I would respond to an objection that finds ‘human nature’ precedent to the lizard brain, to pain receptors, these things, while classifiable as ‘nature,’ absolutely predate humans. I understand that from a social point of view, on the social measure, our parents’ ideas or something come first, as though they didn’t have parents and as though we can’t simply carry that on back to the beginning . . . which, again, AST posits, insists: the chicken exists first.
In a human life, the child exists first.
Perhaps, all the origin stories themselves are infantile, baby stories of the adults we first saw, upon finding ourselves in this life. Perhaps in this corner of mythology, we never grow up and take the other view, never look with adult eyes instead at our infant selves for origins. If we were looking from our grownup selves, I imagine that is where we would start.
Dec. 25th., 2021
Goes to this one next, logically:
Too many people will procreate regardless of their questionable ability to raise their children in a psychologically functional/healthy manner. Being free nations, society cannot prevent anyone from bearing children; society can, however, educate all young people for the most important job ever, even those high-schoolers who plan to remain childless. …
I wonder how many instances there have been wherein immense long-term suffering by children of dysfunctional rearing might have been prevented had the parent(s) received, as high school students, some crucial child development science education by way of mandatory curriculum? After all, dysfunctional and/or abusive parents, for example, may not have had the chance to be anything else due to their lack of such education and their own dysfunctional/abusive rearing as children. If nothing else, such curriculum could offer students an idea/clue as to whether they’re emotionally suited for the immense responsibility and strains of parenthood.
Really, if society is to avoid the most dreaded, invasive and reactive means of intervention — that of governmental forced removal of children from dysfunctional/abusive home environments — maybe we then should be willing to try an unconventional proactive means of preventing some future dysfunctional/abusive family situations. Sadly, though, the prevailing collective attitude, however implicit or subconscious, basically follows: “Why should I care—I’m soundly raising my kid?” or “What’s in it for me, the taxpayer, if I support child development education and health programs for the sake of others’ bad parenting?”
The health of all children — and not just what other parents’ children might or will cost us as future criminals or costly cases of government care, etcetera — needs to be of real importance to us all, regardless of how well our own developing children are doing. A mentally sound future should be every child’s fundamental right — along with air, water, food and shelter — especially considering the very troubled world into which they never asked to enter. Mindlessly minding our own business on this matter has long proven so humanly devastating.
To quote Dr. Alvin F. Poussaint (Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School): “This is the most important job we have to do as humans and as citizens … If we offer classes in auto mechanics and civics, why not parenting? A lot of what happens to children that’s bad derives from ignorance … Parents go by folklore, or by what they’ve heard, or by their instincts, all of which can be very wrong.”
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all good stuff, what I’m afraid I call ‘normal’ good stuff . . . I’ve sort of moved on from “that’s wrong, don’t be so rough,” to worrying about what this roughness really is being selected for, it was an insight that it’s not simply an error, or a lack of knowing, I mean after trying to just tell people – have you tried, to tell folks not to punish? The wall is strong and unconscious, there is more there than a poor guess they are defending. There’s a reason, an evolved, entrenched reason for human abuse of children and criminals and every possible Other there can be, some circumstance has to change before it’s going to go away. So I have this long rap how spanking is war and fascism, because the evolved reason is not civilization or peace, but strength: aggression, for our group conflicts. This gets difficult when we see the good folks trying so hard to law and order and spank their way out of it, we think that’s the way to “good,” which I think we all want to mean peace – but it hasn’t yet. So far, “good,” means the “strength” to win and survive – meaning, as I said, aggression. I swear, the “fixing it” stops, the war and the fascism stop.