Redefinitions 7 – AST vs Popular Memes, Relatedness

Still having problems finding a way into AST for folks, this will be attempt number I don’t know any more, another series, I suppose. The plan is to keep them short and manageable, hope to make the point with a barrage from many angles. I’ll start with the definition for AST – here’s the first, it means Antisocialization Theory – and then how it alters the narrative of a number of topics.

AST redefines everything, but we’ll try to show how, specifically, for this list of ideas:

human nature

social life

punishment

abuse

anger

empathy

relatedness theory

evolution

strength

resilience

etc. Oh, forgot some (and this will be a feature):

racism

trauma and healing, psychology

Redefinitions – 7. Relatedness

AST, a definition:

AST is the theory of our hurt, the human science of not deterrent and socialization, but of abuse, punitive and otherwise, and our antisocialization, which long word means exactly what it sounds like it means: to have been made antisocial. It is about the dark side of our social control, the stuff we supposedly don’t want to happen, beyond that the person maybe did what they were bloody well told.

The AST Theory of conflict states that the failures and ostensibly unintended consequences of our rough control are deeply and vastly consequential in human life, and its author can get very expansive, imagining it to be the post powerful and destructive force driving us.

The central idea is that structures and ways of being within the human social group – laws and punishments, ordeals, etc., –  add up to pain and trauma for the individual, while laws prohibit simple reactive violence and simple revenge, and so the individual is “charged” with bad feelings, antisocialized and looking for a fight they are allowed to have. The group’s leadership – administrators of the law – can then exploit this reservoir of anger, point it at someone and allow the citizens the “freedom,” not an accident and not irony, we are always seeing this, to deflect and unload their frustrations.

AST asks you to note, that our own people frustrate us, and exploit our frustrations at will in this system, using us to abuse some Other, some human group in a war or a pogrom, or an apartheid. That is what I call the AST theory of conflict, weaponized by our own, to be discharged in some group conflict.

Hmm. Not sure if that will be the one I use every time, but I like it for our first few entries:

AST, “relatedness”

One thing about this theory is that it appears to contradict relatedness theory, social relatedness theory, maybe even the selfish gene. I don’t hide anything, even when I should, I naively believe in truth and science and if there is something going to hurt AST from the past, we’ll deal with it right now. The authors of those theories don’t agree or appreciate AST, at least not yet. Please, don’t ask me about the circumstances, but I said, “Human child discipline is to make soldiers,” and I suppose it just sounded nuts to them. Their very own and also biology’s general theory now, relatedness, says we treat our own people well and others poorly – I seem to have the whole bloody kit and kaboodle upside down and backwards, don’t I.

Of course, that theory basically only counts one thing as mistreatment, the discontinuance of the gene, to wit, early death. It really doesn’t have anything to say about non-lethal abuse; if you survive to breed, you were “unaffected,” protected by your selfish genes. I’ll refer you back to the ‘Abuse’ entry: this is the early disappearance of three quarters of our pain in biological theory, and the severed joint where psychology should attach to it. I know: nitpicker.

I don’t believe relatedness theory addresses abuse at all, and so it does not explain abuse or damage – let alone explain the even worse treatment we withhold for the Other. I believe relatedness theory depends upon the myth of an evil human nature in that it is assumed that we will naturally abuse and kill the Other by default, in fact, it is obvious that it doesn’t think it needs a reason, in fact – it is self evident in that its authors clearly think any good treatment within the group is what requires explanation.

That’s what they “explained.”

The authors of relatedness theory expect violent chaos, except, look, the selfish gene wants to live! I think the last time I mentioned them, I was guessing that they were one of the few that didn’t predicate upon an evil Nature – but I have corrected myself here. It really doesn’t work at all without it, I mean without the evil human nature or a better theory of abuse, relatedness theory lacks a villain – and again, its authors clearly thought kindness was what required an explanation. They don’t think it needs a villain; the villain is “understood.”

I look forward to a world where villains are a little less understood, where the villains are required to be explained instead. For the record, AST explains the lot of it. It’s not hard, there’s three quarters of the world’s data is sitting right there, free, nobody’s using it.

Jeff

May 13th., 2022

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s