“Bullying” is one of the most obnoxious subjects I can think of; yet if one is to deal with something proven unavoidable, then it is important to explore the subject for understanding.

I as a youth, usually the smallest boy in the class, newest kid on the block, and with Asperger’s Syndrome’s need for companionship yet socially unable to comprehend goings-on, occasionally I suffered from being attacked by some boy for no reason I could see. It got my attention enough to find out those attacking me were called “bullies”. That did not explain bullying to me, however. Those bullies were highly esteemed by their peers, seemed very healthy, were not loners, and the girls adored them, gathering around and laughing while the bully assaulted me.

Apparently the bully’s behavior of pushing others around and starting fights, putting others down and making fun of them, and spreading nasty rumors about others, made the girls love them, and gathered admiring persons around them.

Teachers’ frowns on the behavior did not change it, and the bullys’ threats to terrorize any who might “squeel” on him, made it difficult for teachers to do anything about the problem. Bully’s aggressive abusive behavior brought rewards to them, and continued into adulthood, in more refined forms. The abuse has usually become less physical and more of the “putting others down, and spreading nasty rumors about others” varieties, demonstrating the bully’s cleverness.

The national information networks being established, including those used by store and business security national networks, surely is enticing to be used by bullies to “spread those nasty rumors about others”; because once gotten into the national database somehow by the cunning bully, the victim cannot counteract it. Buying & selling becomes very difficult for the targeted victim, reminiscent of the biblical prediction but without the tatoo numbers on forehead yet.

In a wider view, no doubt the eyes of all the nations have watched to see if the American Democracy really is self-balancing enough to prevent abuse of leftover extreme military might, would the temptation to be a bully be overwhelming, given some seeming excuse? It seems unlikely that bullies will stop, while peers admire it and women love the bullies, and disdain their victims.

From the Asperger’s viewpoint, intellectually understanding it only helps intellectually. Understanding that the bullying phenomenon can be considered merely that some guy having an “alpha-male-itis” fit: the guy (or group) is having a temporary behavioral fit caused by genetic memory of a reproductively successful but species parasitical nature, not helping species survival, when some male ancestor of his discovered he did not have to be a better person to be chosen as mate by the females, it was far easier to just dispose of the other males by driving them out of the safety of the herd so as to quickly convert them into meat for the herd's predators, leaving the females no choice in mating season, a reproductively successful behavior thus propagating itself down through time. And so the alpha-male-itis syndrome is expressing in the bullying fit going on. I remind myself that despite such shortcomings, man is still the best monkey that God has built. Look at the great bridges he has created, the complex computer innards he has crafted, clearly there is more to man than mere freaking-out monkey.

Perhaps understanding of the phenomenon is not just to be found among animal behavior, but also in the human system of interpersonal competition and the rewards society provides to the “winners.” Perhaps the social systems are a best-attempt to tame the alpha-male-itis gene-driven behavior found in many, by taming it into a system of competitive rivalry, instead of striving for a system of achieving to help the species best survive in all ways responsibly. Is polished-up bullying to continue to be effectively our highest standard? If so, surely we will get more of it.

-- Jim Cline 20040825


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