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: