Redefinitions 10 – AST VS Popular Memes, Resilience

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





relatedness theory




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


trauma and healing, psychology


culture, tradition


Redefinitions – 10. Resilience

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 word, 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:

New, May 26th., 2022: there seems to be a cyclic aspect to the life of conflict described, we see societies forever moving towards authoritarianism and war, followed by a relative peace and the slow buildup of bad feelings again, as the chaos fades and the social control is re-established, and . . . grows, relentlessly, towards conflict again. AST makes the point that this is a positive feedback loop, that a violent environment gets more so, that the people make adaptations for it that make it all worse in the next year and the next generation.

This feedback loop is not occurring in the wild violence of the chimpanzee, of the past, which, as we all perceive, is still waning in the human world. This is a feedback loop of the violence we like and do on purpose. Back to the “human nature” myth, why would a static nature have feedback loops and cycles?

AST, “Resilience”

I spend a lot of ink on strength, and of course, “resilience,” isn’t so different, but I suppose the difference is only that resilience knows it’s lost at least one fight already? Ah – resilience acknowledges an objection we perhaps all have at some age, that there is always someone stronger and we are going to lose some. “Strength,” as in the infantile magical state of safety we likely first fell in love with loses power as we learn the world and also loses its critical necessity when we lose a battle or several and realize we still need to live and carry on afterwards. Then we are going to need the sort of strength that even losing cannot debunk – resilience.

Maybe you can be strong again.

If you read the preamble once, or have ever read me before, you know what that serves, what we want your strength for, whatever you can muster again, the war effort still needs you. If you can’t march, perhaps you can teach. If you can’t do that, can we use your image, then? If all else fails, your failure can terrorize someone. I know, like in Fear and Loathing: I go too far.

Mostly, resilience doesn’t mean back to battle, only back to work! When I did this before, I took this tack, I suppose it’s still the one I like, give the objection for you, and then try to answer that.

How can that be bad? Strength and resilience are bad? So you advocate for weakness?

Yes, yes, bloody Hell, yes, I advocate for “weakness,” because there’s a lot of people in that word, all of us at both ends of life and most of it in between. Resilience is what is called “victim burdening,” like, bare bones, context free, whatever it is, whatever your hurt was, it is on you to bounce back strong from it. There are no plans to slow whatever hurt you, you fix this problem by somehow overcoming it, or failing that, at least by making it harder to see.

Interestingly, the autism community (inasmuch as the first batch of random autistics I’ve started to follow on Twitter are a “community’) says this a lot, insisting this is the only path autistics understand and can work with regarding themselves, to address the causes, that we do not seem to respond with the desired strength, that only addressing the causes seems meaningful to them, I mean us. I wish to make the point to us, and to the neurotypical, that it’s not really “working,” for them either, that the world is not really working at all, rather, it is forever falling apart in violence.

Enough, I already know I’ll be repeating much of this function in forthcoming entries, particularly the ones dealing with those who would help us become more resilient, the good folks of psychology.


June 19th., 2022


Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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