There are two ways people view the world, the troubles of the world, one is something like software, culture, education and the other denies all of that, culture and education, the first I would call secular and perhaps liberal, perhaps progressive and the other I would call religious, despite that perhaps few really believe the whole religion, but these are the folks who think people cannot and do not change. I’m not saying these are two well defined camps, most folks probably believe something between, some combination of the two, education helps, but basically there’s not much for “human nature.”
Surely I’m not the only one sees the trap of it?
As always, if there be readers, please, if you know of someone who has already invented this wheel, please, tell me.
I think we are caught between these two paradigms, frozen into powerlessness.
As always, something is missing, the third leg of the table is not described. Education helps, but not apparently enough, or we can’t pre-educate them to want it, we can’t force it on anyone, and to what degree we believe the second thing, a flawed or evil human nature, it means we know the first thing cannot work. We do it anyway, it seems like the only thing, seems to work a little, we are playing the long game, but again:
If we know the other thing, then we know that isn’t it – these principles are opposing, and cancel each other out, but we haven’t identified the third possibility, that there is another explanation, the larger context in which the apparent conflict changes.
I am convinced that were the mechanism of antisocialization more visible, if we stopped discounting it, we could see the falsity of the second thing. As long as this isn’t allowed to be visible, as long as our never ending punishments and threats are exempt from the causation of reality, we shall be trapped in this endless bait and switch: education, yeah, doesn’t work, human nature.
It is a terrible thing to see, once you see the game, you can’t believe in the long game of progress anymore. The long term application of a small pressure, in the absence of no opposing force – no reason for the evil human nature, no causation resulting from our rough social control – that’s a plan, albeit a slow one, but once you see the opposing force, once you realize our long term tiny progress of education is up against threats and violence that begin in infancy, well, then we can see an imbalance in psychological, emotional and social power.
I’ll take your tiny hope – but I offer a bigger one, a real one: stop the violence, stop the social control, stop the spanking. If your kid won’t go down the coal mine without a beating, here’s a new idea: he doesn’t go down the coal mine. Spoil your magic trick, did I? I’m not saying the world wouldn’t change radically. Isn’t that the idea? Eventually somebody will figure out a way to do what we use the coal for without beating anyone – if we stop just settling for that, if we stop pretending the beating isn’t hurting anything. I know.
We think some beatings are OK, makes you strong, that way our team wins the rugby and our country wins the war, and I’m telling you, the thing that makes you win the war makes you fight the war, makes you need the war. The way we think it ends, a “war to end wars, a battle to end battles” – don’t you think it’s time we tried something else? That hasn’t worked out in a few thousand years, maybe ten. Again, the thing that makes you win the war makes you fight the war, makes you need the war – this is quickly obvious when punitive abuse has causality, when human nature requires an explanation.
This is a blog just to say human social maturity precedes sexual maturity, and we only wish folks like Freud had their finger on it. Honestly, don’t go, ha.
Man, I just couldn’t get anything said a few years ago, I found the one I was looking for, and that was it, but I read it and I got nothing from it, looks like we’re doing it again. Like I was being careful not to offend anyone or something, working hard to not say it – perhaps I have changed.
It starts with a few, I’m going to say facts. Data points.
One, human sexual maturity comes sometime after ten years of age, usually well after, a few years, sometimes seven years after, rarely at nine or younger? Two, after weaning, the children spend their days among children, the older ones raising the younger ones. This seems true to me, I got it from the Nurture Assumption, a tome with a bad point but a lot of information from a lifelong writer of science textbooks and I think her picture of the traditional human situation was pretty normal, she cites well known names, as in part two, among others.
Another name for sexual maturity, is of course, adulthood, and puberty is the end of human socialization, I mean science knows, every year is less important, we are more malleable every year than we will be in the next one. If our teachability is less every year by almost any rate at all, there isn’t much left after an average of twelve or thirteen years. Sure, it can be a lifetime of learning, but you are working and learning some grownup thing, while the kids are still outside teaching each other society.
I think maybe learning doesn’t slow to a trickle after puberty but significantly, perhaps instead teaching ends after puberty, when we age out and leave the children’s group, and then again, when the babies age out of the nest and into the group outside as the cycle rolls on.
To whatever degree any of that is true, human life, human culture is decided and propagated in childhood, and this is important, it seems to me – so it’s pre-pubescent, human society is sexually immature. Freud is wrong that it’s all about sex and whole branches of biology are missing it that it’s all about reproduction, that the violence serves the reproduction of our genes, no, this is not the order of causality, our entire life is written out before sex enters into the conversation. It’s the other thing, like the EP boys say, sort of, except it’s bloody horrible and not at all the way things ought to be – it’s the fighting.
Things that perhaps blur the lines between the unconscious and simply lying or playing silly bugger (a Britishism for feigning stupidity and/or ignorance).
Returning to teaching, Sapolsky said on video that he and his peers are a competitive, alpha wannabe bunch and he talked about the stress of it, and if academia is a tournament of the most aggressive and loudest and scariest, then most jobs and professions are. My thesis here is that the strength tournament of boyhood stays in place for life in all matters – not an endorsement. I confess, if I read someone else saying that, I would assume it was indeed written with weird, violent glee and approval. I feel I must always clarify, I’m saying this is what is wrong, this is what is wrong with the “way it is,” this is what I would change, this is an argument to human life, not just an explanation I’m making – and if this is the case in the place where we think the brainiest little dweebs ought to rule, if that is the dynamic in the place we set aside for rational thought and the development of real knowledge, and if we don’t set it aside for that, then we don’t set it aside for nuthin’, and I mean sex and reproduction and all that too, Freud. The selfish gene.
Sorry to say, humans are historically aware enough of the selfish gene to have invented their solution for it, genocide. If Richard is suggesting humans don’t get human groups, then who has been fighting? Why does every ten year-old with a television know the phrase “you and your whole family?” A bit of a pet peeve of mine, this was some sort of revolution, the science that echoes the world we all see every day anyway? Violence wins again, if there was a fix for violence we wouldn’t be ruled by some version of the bloody Sopranos.
If we are more like an extrapolated bonobo, then maybe sex and breeding win, but we seem more like the other team. It remains to be shown that the bonobo love of loving requires a lot of violence to make it possible, which is what using the selfish gene to defend the patriarchy and a world of conflict is saying. You read all the popular science today, there is no way out, of course things are this way because of this and this and this, sorry about that, we had a good run, didn’t we?
Didn’t a few of us, I mean?
I mean, of course we’d rather talk about sex, there is maybe some point in talking about sex. Violence ends all conversations.
We do talk about sex, of course, bloody endlessly, and there are options, options aplenty – it’s the faux taboo, there is no taboo regarding talking about sex, I mean there are conflicts, we don’t tell everyone what our partners like and such, but even the most conservative societies talk about it enough to have a lot of rules, explicit rules and such. Ha – Dune is back, and honestly, a little bit of Dune stayed with me all these years, specifically, “a feint within a feint,” and maybe a third feint, and this is the context in which talking about sex is a taboo, like what the Hell is telling you you’ll go blind if not talking about sex? Sex is subject to a lot of control and rules, many rightly so, of course, many not, and that requires a lot of talk. Repressing sex is like not thinking of the word banana, you have to keep a filter for the proscribed thing in place twenty-four seven and whether sex is a free thing or not, it is on our minds in one way or another.
You know what we don’t debate all day, what doesn’t have a lot of options?
Fighting. Strength. And of course, the real thing is the thing you can’t even talk about. You hear it everywhere, all day long, I mean far more than you hear exhortations to be heterosexual, or to follow a particular church, or racial prejudices, be strong! Strong for cancer, strong for random massacres, strong to withstand random road crashes that take a whole community’s children.
There are those, many, who see all the strength as patriarchy, strength is the male principle, and sure, there is some of that, but as far as I can tell we are as obsessed with strong women as men, and even strong children, weakness is . . . wow, I’m always hedging, but I think I’m going to say ‘never’ this time, weakness is never encouraged. I mean, they might break you, but we talk about the broken only in terms of strength too. Nobody wants to tell a victim, or hear from one, that they’re weaker now.
Broken and alive we call strong.
They are even talking about the plague that way, ‘survivors’ not sufferers, I mean, ‘they,’ in this case doesn’t necessarily indicate the actual opinions of actual people, but this is all part of it, the propaganda is only a stretch from the dark side of normal, and fascism is only a stretch from the normal primate hierarchy of ‘peacetime.’
Social, all of it, conflict, territory, hierarchy, violence, normally my point is, social and not rational, but today the point is social – not sexual. Again, the Freudian and biology order of operations that puts replication ahead of all as the explanation fails to explain why this could only be the case for a single species among so many – and the standard answer, that we are more complex, social evolution . . . well, everything else is also incredibly complex, isn’t it, like perhaps we didn’t think when we made that argument a hundred years ago.
I suspect the difference with us – and there is one, we have broken the bonds of nature in ways to destroy it all, a thing other creatures have apparently never done, escaped correction and deselection, at least until now – is not based in genes and breeding which is not unique to us, but in the opposite, in the violence, in the advent of our breeding-defeating in-species violence.
But it’s much more fun to talk about sex, or, alternatively, if you can see the violence, to love the horror, like these young monsters of the New Nightmare, and to rave about glory and such garbage. Violent solutions, sure.
But what you are not allowed to do is see it clearly, for what it is.
Here’s me first getting the idea of the human workaround, our system to have more abuse than we might want to give our own children. It starts a bit slow, but since I’m thinking out loud maybe it’s clearer, you can see the steps I often fail to show.
But it’s here below, in short form. Don’t torture yourself.
Variations on the theme . . . not mandatory:
This has the idea in it and an example of ‘workarounds for Nature.’ I’m embarrassed, there’s some stupid petulance in here about a great person, and I’m an idiot. It has more of the foolishness than the good stuff, but the good stuff, unfortunately seems important.
The idea is, folks want to be nice to their kids, but our lifestyle seems to require humans that have learned a lot of hard lessons – so we have institutions, professional teachers and childminders to deliver them. Unrelated adults are utilized for this, allowing many parents to live in line with relatedness theory, bringing a prosocial mix to their children and their childrearing, while still insuring that most people are tempered for the rough purposes of the group. I mean, it’s what the children’s group does too, and it too is many times larger today in many places than in the deep past and full of entirely unrelated kids.
You know, that needs a name.
I have already coined the antisocialization theory of war, this isn’t quite on the same order, let’s see, it’s a workaround to defeat a natural, evolved trait, specifically social theory, so it’s an ‘anti’ again, like antigravity, antidepressants, and surely not antisocial, so it’s anti-relatedness? The antisocialization theory of surrogacy?
Maybe, I don’t hate it immediately. OMG, why do I love these moments, this is my problem, that I love to say the opposite of what everyone wants to hear –
It takes a village – to brutalize a child, when social theory says the parents alone might not have the stomach for it.
– this view of life – mine, not Darwin’s, though his includes mine if anyone knew it – this view of life turns everything upside-down. But put those two things together, this is what you get, all the common wisdom that is supposed to keep us peaceful is all in place, and we are not peaceful, it’s all like this, and means the opposite of what we think it does. Was ‘it takes a village’ supposed to mean it takes that many to control a child? That many to teach empathy? I’m afraid the sad, dark outlook of AST is what explains it, it takes those more unrelated people to abuse, to grow a useful, ‘mature’ human – oops, that’s leaking into part four, that ‘maturity’ for us is a matter of our antisocialization and not really a breeding thing at all.
I say it often, I need to, it’s not happy – but at least things make some sense from here.
I think maybe we’ll go with that accidental segue, the links are long, this was intended as a cliff notes version.
It is exactly our social world that is conflict and groupness, I mean all the strife is not coming from the rational side of our house, is it? We really shouldn’t have this sort of media, it’s madness considering what real people do, certainly it’s crazy to let those people multiply their voice with bots. Morally, I really need not to be there, it’s a terrible compromising thing. I have all but given up that I can use my tiny voice to affect anything there (here . . . ) and what is keeping me there now is not the chance to help anything or anyone, but just that it’s the only place I get any human connection or interaction at all, I feel I must come to the evil meetings or wither and die of loneliness.
I’m afraid social media is the car we will drive ourselves off the cliff in, and most folks won’t automatically know my reasoning, my complaint about it, because for that you need a word that isn’t in the dictionary and you’ve never been taught: antisocialization – antisocialize, as a verb. It means what it sounds like, ‘to make antisocial,’ and you’ve had to scramble a bit to complain, use a lot of single-emotion words, anger, embitter, sadden, perhaps ‘shut down,’ if that hasn’t gone the way of having ‘hang-ups’ yet! No-one has gathered those together under my heading, negative socialization, put the long way.
We talk about ‘socialization’ in a general, generic way usually, ‘all the things,’ and sometimes we hear ‘prosocialization,’ they have indeed created the umbrella term for the bright side of things.
But we have suppressed the verb for the dark side, and so set it free to do as it pleases.
For the dark side, we get nouns, ‘human nature.’ No verb is required, nothing makes us antisocial, right? Born that way, so relax, make yourself at home, have fun, hit somebody (Rickles, to Sinatra) – there is no word and so no crime for what it does to them on the inside.
Ouch. I can say it, I can think it – still hurts. Eesh. Writing is terrible, you see your own awful thoughts and you can give yourself gut-punches. Oof.
But the point of today’s rant/sermon is that there is also no word for what is so wrong that everybody does on social media and that is share the bad news and endlessly repeat examples of the disparity of the white supremacist society in America and Canada and the whole white world, we don’t all of us seem to get that it is all antisocializing, that bad news from good people is bad for you. That because this word and this function doesn’t exist in our society, we don’t seem to worry that all are antisocialized from the constant trauma and when the bad people pull a stunt specifically to antisocialize everyone (terrorism) that all the good folks spread the terror, we must all think people are already as bad as they can be or something.
Perhaps I would tweak other words’ meanings as well, we say ‘terrorism’ as the establishment’s way of labelling what the other side calls freedom-fighting, and antisocializing terrorism is different, maybe I don’t suppose it looks positive to anyone. I mean it all comes in the same package anyway, usually.
I’m not mad at y’all, it’s not your fault, it has been oh so carefully hidden from us this word, this function, this reality, starting with, stop me if you’ve heard this one – I hit him, but it doesn’t hurt him.
OK, stopping. I know you’ve heard it.
Because this function is dark in our lives, both sides of the political spectrum, inasmuch as there are two sides, which is debatable, both sides spread the trauma, albeit with different labels, the mad Right share the Rittenhouse verdict with glee and the normal folks (I can’t say “Left,” as they self-identify, I won’t propagate the myth of the Overton window) share it with disgust, and so there is no-one on social media who hasn’t experienced this crap news and repeatedly. One crows: see the supremacy and one cries, see the supremacy and for the life of me I cannot understand why we would share our losses as thoroughly as they share their wins, don’t we know that’s what the enemy does in war, broadcast your losses and fears at you, to break your spirit?
Don’t we know that we are apparently willingly providing a huge proportion of the “loud enough, often enough” part of the Nazi’s motto?
Again, I’m sorry – we sort of do, but antisocialization isn’t a thing, there isn’t the language. Everything about the human world tells us not to worry about that, everything tells us that we can’t ever be strong enough, and that’s the only word we give ourselves for the whole deal, the mindless Red Queen’s game of “strength.” “What doesn’t kill you,” right? Wrong.
They don’t broadcast that stuff at you in the trenches to make you stronger, and I have such a hard time with this – it’s science that it works the same when we do it, when Rachel Maddow does it, when your parent does it. Science, I tells ya. Rational world stuff, I swear to God.
So stop, don’t hate share, don’t “warn” each other like the enemy loudspeakers do. If you have something helpful and must reference some awful thing from the other side, describe it yourself, use your own words – much of what is outrageous and makes us want to hate share has been carefully psychologically engineered, worded just so. Don’t help them spread those bullets. Use your own words. Acknowledge the losses once, try to learn, and then stop and move on, please.
But then, I’m just different, I suppose, and doomed to simply blowing against the wind forever.
This is a change, this blog is previously published, under the second title, perhaps in the middle of part two, I’ve just been confused about where it belongs. I announce in what is now the second one, part one, that I am beginning, well, this must come first, first as the mission statement, but also that the content simply precedes, there is some past event before we meet our fist modern baby.
The mission? To debunk the Human Nature myth and write a new beginning, a new origin story, where we are innocent and do not deserve the nightmare we have created for ourselves and everything else.
It comes up regularly, a few times a year I try to imagine how all this human nonsense began, how we chimps learned to spank and war. I was on about it again in the very latest blog, part two of the current series, trying to convince myself that the details of the First Spanking, the beginning of our human invention, self-antisocialization, don’t matter, declaring that it happened, accept it, move on – ha. There’s always some point where every crackpot fails, isn’t there.
Actually, it matters greatly in one sense, not in particulars, but in the sense that it was an accident, this might be the entire point of my whole deal, the kernel of innocence I require to write my new origin story. Something like this, an “innocent,” or accidental First Spanking, First Abuse story, and our difference, our uniqueness, our Fallen State, if you will, is only a response, our response to abuse that, hey, perhaps as today in a sense, abuse no-one really meant to do? That response being scar tissue, desensitization, perhaps the repetition of repression as per Alice Miller and such.
I mean, not that infanticide is innocent (one of my guesses, and continuing from the latest blog), I only mean accidental in that the effect, that rather than being dinner, some kid grew up to be a tough one – but any other situation where some little proto-human got a hard time from their parents will do, perhaps mental illness was involved, of course I don’t know . . . but the point is, some accidental First Abuse story – myth – might make us innocent, might make all the trouble a regrettable reaction we’re allowed to talk about and work through, instead of our own, baked in original pro-active badness for which we say nothing can be done.
I need a myth of perhaps demonic/divine/trickster possession, where a parent is unaware of or unable to stop some abuse and watches with tears and regret and confusion as the child grows up as a warrior, perhaps plunging their peaceful life into war. Ah, mixing my mythologies, but perhaps then some story of seven generations of sacrifice and piety restores this family and this countryside to peace.
Oh, wait. Ooh. What if it was like my story, one parent terrorizes the kid in secret? I mean, elements of both, madness, or duplicitous marriage? A Medea tale!
I really want to contract that out, I am no classicist, plus, it sounds painful.
So, the point I would correct is that all is pro-active, that it begins with an act of evil (why reading the book of knowledge is an act of evil in one such story is a question for another blog) out of no-where, out of Adam’s choice – hey, did the authors have some similar goal, in making it Eve’s idea, trying to make Adam innocent? Seems an odd back eddy of intent, when the point seems to be Original Sin, none are innocent. Hmmm. Whups, another time, again – some First Ancestor’s act of will, pulled from their backside, meaning, no explanation necessary, beyond his own qualities, inherent evil and whatnot.
It’s a defiance story for the believers; for me the point is, it’s one Authority, or this guy just decides to be his own authority, God’s will, Man’s will, all will, will, will. No damage, no reaction, no life history, no context, no psychological compulsions anyone earned in life, just the Nature you were born with (which, of course is classical Platonic nonsense, Natures aren’t a real thing). We are presented with Man, having no explanation for himself and thinking and acting like he’s a god, like he needs none. Like so many say nowadays – a man wrote that crap, and a comfortable one, the boss.
Who didn’t write it – a child, a wife, a slave, someone who knows that will for them is meaningless, that their own will is almost no force in their lives at all – the vast majority of humans. I mean, ‘children,’ that’s more than a majority, no matter the adjective, that is all of us. We were there at the beginning too, we children.
Mixed feelings writing this, happy to have gotten here ever, I suppose, sad it took me this long to clarify this point. Ha! This point –
We haven’t Fallen. We were pushed. Meaning, like in Good Will Hunting, it’s not your fault. Abuse is self propagating, and classic chicken and egg – both exist now, it’s quite academic. You are not the born bad creature hurting people, you are the poor, innocent kid getting hurt, why not? – the egg, I suppose if that was supposed to be a metaphor.
Why not? Well, origin stories have purposes, which is my whole point, and us all being told we’re the Man makes certain things happen, enables certain things, makes other things less likely, right? I’m afraid my likely divergent mind has determined that no less is required, and without refocusing our view of the beginning, without noticing that we are that hurting child, nothing gets better, and contrary to popular belief, it really, really needs to.
You are the victim here, and you don’t need to defend and deny and bluster and sputter, none of it. It wasn’t your grown up original sin that created us, it was your pain as an innocent victim that did that. Why not? It’s not your fault.
So, the control begins early, and it’s a slippery slope from bite the teat, lose the teat to bite the teat, take a nip or a slap, and by toddlerhood the parents have slid down it, and “spanking” is for two year-olds, because they aren’t talking and reasoning yet but they are starting to get loud and also to get up and run.
This is where I have more questions than answers, I’m afraid. I try to imagine this age and how we deal with the kids in early stages of human prehistory, and I don’t have much luck, there are many blind alleys provided by my own random logos: first, I thought we would get strict around the fire, but of course long before that we and our babies lived high in the trees, with danger always even closer. The still wild primates, they hang onto the kids until the kids are old enough to understand, is that right?
Then I think, maybe things changed when we built the fence, the village wall? Maybe the kids could roam a little before they understood anything and not get predated for it? Then Mom’s hands start doing other things and the time formerly spent carrying them about until they understood language and dangers got reallocated and a “more efficient” sort of control crept into our lives? Ha – I never hate these just so stories when I first jot them down, this one seems reasonable at the moment – but it doesn’t matter, just so stories don’t matter however reasonable they seem.
I want to quit trying to draw this picture. Frankly, these stories hurt more than they help, these are myths, aren’t they, and if we say they happened in our deep past – the Before Time, same thing – then they gain the respectability of tradition and necessity. I am not looking for a “reason” we beat our children, not a reason that the world can just decide is a good reason, or a good enough one.
Somewhere along the line, we started this behaviour. My attempts to uncover the evolutionary accident that made it a selected for behaviour jumps past an answer to get to a question – we need to think of it as a selected for behaviour, rather than a logical and inevitable one, that’s not the same thing. I often try to make the point that how is a thing inevitable for only one of a million species? But I end up seeing the sense the other way about, from why would it be selected for, why would the effects of child abuse be selected for, and when the effects of horrific, illicit abuse are considered, then the effects are clearly what a moralist might call “bad” effects, anger, frustration, madness, aggression, poor cognition.
So the question is now, why that would be selected for, and I’m afraid there is some crossover with the EP boys and their game theory, but that would be selected for the same reason those twelve angry, mad, aggressive lads in the Dirty Dozen were – the fight, war, conflict.
Again, a reason perhaps – not a good reason. I don’t push my just so stories, or I try not to, but I do imagine that the two behaviours are one and that spanking coincides with more organized group conflict than the chimpanzees engage in, that the two phenomena arose together. The accident has to have been that someone discovered the magic, that a tough life at home makes for a tough adult on a raid, somehow, somewhere, somewhen. After that I fear it’s just drift, the sort of behaviour that takes over the species.
But there are more meaningful questions than what exactly brought about the First Spanking (another just so I have tried is that it was simply failed infanticide, why not, but again, doesn’t matter), like what does “modern” Indigenous or aboriginal child rearing look like?
In the purely WEIRD books I have cracked, I see Chagnon’s portrayal of Yanomami childhood, a warrior society in childhood, and I know and don’t disagree with the criticisms of the tone of it all, the apparent bias. I don’t take that as what “traditional childhood” is or was, or not necessarily, and I think if children live that way, the adults are guilty of not fixing this situation.
Maybe, though. It was a little that way when I went to school too. So maybe all his awful portrayals are real but limiting them to brown people in the forest was the lie. I must admit, from what I see of humanity today, it seems likely to be the dominant thing today in the world that kids are tempered into adults by either peer violence or adult violence. But today seems like everything has gone terribly wrong.
Could it really have been this way for a million years or whatever?
It sounds nightmarish, dystopian forever.
A huge dream of mine, of this project’s is to discover the childrearing that was perhaps hinted at in the Chalice and the Blade, the childrearing before the age of wars, to discover a version of human childrearing that does not send them straight to war and conflict.
I saw Tweets from somewhere in Africa recently that called the system of child abuse a colonial thing, suggesting things were different there and that perhaps they know how. I imagine the Indigenous all over feel that way, and it’s true to a huge degree – but to what degree, and what is the other model, if there is one – I’ve asked before, if any reader has an idea, please, tell me.
Chagnon’s – Meade’s? – story would seem to serve a purpose like the Clovis People rules about human habitation in the Americas – to lie and say there was nothing good we replaced with our awful systems, the cursed terra nullius. So I’m still looking. It’s possible that Chagnon has thrown out the baby of Indigenous childrearing wisdom with the bathwater of his colonial bullshit and documenting warrior behaviour is what you are going to document when you invade to do it. They may not have been living that way until the threat of us came along, we document their natural immune response to our invasion and call them savages for defending themselves.
Ah, I learn as I talk, sorry.
So I would like to think there is another way, but OTOH I think we activate warrior genes with this behaviour and we wouldn’t have just gotten those yesterday or anything. – So again, his racist mistake perhaps wasn’t in describing this lifestyle – it was the boys growing up fighting and any boy who wouldn’t fight would be goaded until he did or died – or even ascribing it to unindustrialized, brown people, but in not including us all, if he suggested our boys don’t do that and we are not a warrior society also.
But I would like to learn that I am being the same negative cynical bastard he maybe was and both things are true, it’s everywhere, but it’s only everywhere because war makes it that way, that child abuse exists as much as a response to a state of war as a prerequisite for it that we always carry with us. Again, suggested already, they go together, hand in hand, child abuse and conflict, as of course do chickens and their eggs, neither is really “first.” It seems the nature of evolution that as an environmental hazard’s likelihood increases, a creature has a mechanism to activate its genetic options to evade it – it’s just really sad that we are caught up making genetic adjustments for a growing hazard – war – which, also us.
I’ve been following this train of thought for a long time now, and frankly, I never could follow yours, or the usual thoughts about these things I think about, I mean. While I struggle publicly to make the point, while I complain that I am forever failing at it, honestly in the privacy of my own thoughts, I think I have a system, I think I have the key and it all falls into place – or it would if I could find the language, or would in a world that would allow things to fall into place.
This sense of totality, it is surely false, I mean everyone else’s is. It occurs to me that if I think I have closed any circles, then I need to draw that. I suppose it’s going to be a series.
I’ll try chronologically first, with the newborn?
The baby arrives and if it is human, it is subjected to forms of control, bite the teat, lose the teat, sort of thing, if the parents have these ideas of control and deterrents, and if they do, there are punishments and deprivations for the child to match every bit of its growth, every increase in its powers to affect. As the child emerges from primordial preverbal life into speech and culture, it meets a powerful, all judging, all punishing god that controls its parents, and all this is familiar, and was always there for the powerless human child, it has no reason to doubt it and all the usual reasons not to question the all powerful beings telling them about it.
This is Christianity, probably all the bible religions, and I suppose probably all of them, and any effect we ascribe in human life and history to the churches is all downstream of human infanthood, which comes first chronologically and logically and no-one would follow and fund these institutions if everything important about human life wasn’t part of the same sad function. And if a child were raised this way, with the control from the beginning and no such punitive god was offered, they would be likely to feel the same way, and perhaps replace the all powerful god who set it all in motion with “society,” or perhaps just the dominant social groups. You see?
Both groups, the science Democrats and the religious Republicans, victims, coerced into a way of life by some large insensate entity, that what or whoever that is, sure isn’t their own parents!
Huh, that might have been sort of new, which suggests I drop it and run before I go back to repeating myself. Cheers.
An insight that we think about inheritance and family trees backwards, or all in one direction, and suspicious that it’s not an accident.
I have really been loving Henry Louis Gates and his show, Finding Your Roots, but this idea has been creeping up on me, he spins stories about a single line of people, generally finding a few grandparents, of which we have four, usually, perhaps a few great-grandparents – and we all have eight of those, in theory, barring incest and whatnot. Some folks see family back to the bloody Mayflower – one of hundreds of ancestors that far back in time, right?
I mean it’s a great show, and we all learn about the times, we get that glimpse, but is it not true that we think of ancestors as multiplying into the future and we only acknowledge perhaps the richest of our ancestors? When really, our heritage multiplies into the past, and rather than having been drawn in a single line, ultimately ideologically from some First Man, is it not just as true to posit that we are amalgamators of our parents and in the end, descend from all of humanity?
The First Man idea, in all of its forms, does seem to suffer the fallacy of our limitations regarding deep time, and I think if we view the tree of descent as a pyramid and count all of our relatives and “our people” and then divide by two going into the past, we will reach Adam and Eve far too soon, something on the biblical scale and not the geological or evolutionary ones. Warning, and waiver: I’m terrible at math. I do all this in English.
If anyone wants to check me, that sounds wonderful, like a conversation or something.
Sometimes it could be anything, bared teeth are bared teeth; sometimes you have to seek other cues, what are the eyes doing? Body language, what is the posture saying?
I have intuited that the smile is intimately intertwined with the snarl. That the difference, whether it’s a smile or a snarl, is whether those teeth belong to your friends or not. A snarl is a threat, and so a smile is one that isn’t aimed at you, a shared snarl among friends, within your group. A snarl says, these teeth are my weapons; a smile says, all these teeth are our weapons.
Like most things human, it is one thing for the in-group and another for the out-groups. Like law and order, law for the out-group, that’s the ‘order.’ Like religions of forgiveness, law for the out-group, forgiveness within.
You Google ‘origins of smiling,’ and you get talk of chimpanzees laughing, but I just watched some and that is open mouth, making noise – that’s laughing, not smiling. My theory here is really the only one there is, I think. Perhaps others have said it and I just don’t know where to look.
Of course it’s all part of the gonzo antisocialization theory suite of ideas, and no-one is there for any of it. I live my life, a naysayer in a life that often seems like a rally, a place where people go to shout together the things I am trying to debunk. Think of the ugly, empty smiles of politicians, and the snarls of the populists that their violent followers pass off as smiles. These lies would never fly if there wasn’t some aspect of it in everyone’s life already. This is what smiles are, is what I’m saying. Violent extremists only make these things easy to see.
That is what a smile is, it’s fierce, a show of strength. I mean, how else could you do it, despite one’s own occasional great fortune, how could you simply smile, happy for all, in this world. A smile draws a circle, right here, right now, within these walls, I am happy, look at me, smiling, perhaps not even knowing what misery you are suffering, you will know that I am feeling good and strong! If you are also, then we are all showing our chompers, a strong and able bunch, look out for us, what can’t we accomplish?
I know, drifting a little off of pure science there, but you get the picture, right? And I’m not saying every smile today is aggressive, only that that’s how smiles began, and what they still are to a great degree. Of course, there are innocent joys to smile about also – any confusion, though, I worry is more of a feature than a bug. The aggressive smilers might prefer some confusion.
I wonder if I ever manage to make it plain enough, does anyone ever get a sense of wonder, that “science” as we know it cannot see much of the world, that things like this oughtn’t be a mystery?
I started with “Don’t spank your kids,” or, “why do we spank our kids,” and the first answer we all know, you have to teach them right from wrong, and if we will allow that adults hitting kids “accidentally” teaches hitting which may be wrong, then the next argument is strength. Right?
So I’ve been addressing that for a few years.
I detest the cursed “Strong” hashtags, the same bloody day, when are we supposed to cry?
The thing, my thing is, if you talk about resilience and strength, about growth from pain, you are not really fighting the trauma, you’re not really with the victims, I mean not in the sense that you’re actually opposing the trauma.
Desensitization is the social goal of much pain, and the usual result of pain anyhow, whether socially intentioned or not, and so strength and resilience are simply the fruition of the trauma, meaning in line, in spirit with the trauma. It’s been a process of evolution to get us here, all of this has been selected for, your strength is very much the evolved socially desired result of the trauma; your support systems after the trauma and your abusers or whatever hurt you have been partners in producing the stronger, more resilient you.
When you heal, and come back stronger, you are not breaking your programming, as perhaps we like to say, not at all, all of it is a part of human social evolution. The thing about the thing, my thing, is this is all of us, or almost all of us. It is a section of a logical mobius strip that part of the present human condition is that we exist in a ubiquitous state of group conflict and so we always blame some group of people for every problem and really cannot even see a problem that each and every one of our groups has in common. How could strength be bad, right? Resilience, survival – this is bad?
I’m saying, it’s enabling, it’s victim- wait, not shaming, not blaming . . . victim burdening, is what it is. Am I re-inventing this wheel, that’s the term, right? The victims are supposed to solve the situation, and my resilience is supposed to be the answer for my tormentors’ violence, for another’s abuse. There is pain and abuse in the world, and what is the answer, that the victims should complain but move on and accept whatever changes are forced upon them. This is gaslighting ourselves.
And – yes! Anything can be both good and bad! If we are talking about a thing that can’t ever be bad, we have left reality for the social world of taboos.
Which, yes, that could also be bad.
That is not being on the side of the victims, when we only care after the fact, and only enough to encourage them to strengthen themselves, and it isn’t looking after future victims to normalize that requirement. We talk about cycles of abuse, and that is it right there, in minimalist, bare as can be: trauma and strength, yin and yang. Cause and effect, action/reaction – I’m saying we should protect people, try to have fewer victims, that if we care, we should attempt to address causes, stop normalizing, even mythologizing the damage.