Sunday, July 7, 2013

Alphas Are Actually Betas

I've been a little amused for quite a while about the concept of "alpha." The term came from the study of wolves, and in some convoluted way which I still don't understand came to mean "dominant" and "attractive to women" for humans.

The word "alpha" applied to humans is not an accurate word at all. One of the reasons why is because of perverted human nature, men are going to say "I am Alpha/Sigma and those who disagree are Betas/Gammas/Omegas." Even the word Beta is ultimately going to be an insult. (This dynamic is basically saying, "You're a doo-doo head and I'm not." I've also lost track of the number of times the insecure have screamed at me: "Because you have some criticisms of Alphas you are a Beta!!!" There is also the ever-famous insult about being a "mangina.")

I was once told intelligence is a Beta trait. That's not even worth discussing.

Among wolves, the word "alpha" means one thing, and one thing only: parents. So, then, the alpha wolves are actually beta providers for their offspring. Huh, what? Alphas are Betas? But, but, but...

It was Rudolph Schenkel, an animal behaviorist who, in back in the '30s and '40s, popularized the term "alpha" as it applied to wolves. Later he realized it only applied to wolves in captivity. To wolves in the wild it didn't apply at all.

Later, L. David Mech, who studied wolves in the '70s, also used the term "alpha," but when he realized it was being misappropriated, wrote, "The concept of the alpha wolf as a 'top dog' ruling a group of similar-aged compatriots is particularly misleading."

In other words, the term "alpha" is based on bad science and is wrong right from the beginning.

However, the whole kerfluffe about captive and wild wolves makes me wonder about freedom and slavery. If we had complete economic and political freedom, perhaps the application of "alpha" to men would never have happened? After all, the Manosphere is a reaction - and a necessary one - to the attempt at the imposition of slavery on men by law, and by shaming. And originally it was started by leftist/lesbian feminism, although many women have picked up the tenets without understanding what they are or where they came from.

I find it very interesting that in human prisons there is a strict hierarchy - cop killers on top, child molesters on bottom, whom it is okay to kill. And such a strict hierarchy only exists among prison. It's not for free wolves.

In other words, without feminism the concept of the Alpha would have never taken root. We'd might still be using the concepts of the patriarch, chivalry and the Four Cardinal Virtues, which I think are much more accurate.

Isn't "Men Going Their Own Way" is about freedom from oppression? Or men not getting married? What man in his right mind wants to be a slave? Isn't the word "Alpha" really supposed to mean, "I'm free of women and want they think and maybe I'll get some revenge on them by humiliating them! Mommy is not going to tell me what to do anymore!"

Isn't an Alpha supposed to a model and mentor? Someone men want to be? To imitate? If you think so, try this on for size: would you want someone like Roissy and Roosh teaching your children? Would you trust these (as far as I'm concerned) cads to do the right thing?

The Manosphere is some ways is an initiation rite, a rite of passage - and those are absolutely necessary. By the way, all over the world throughout history all initiation rites for 12-year-old boys were about getting away from mommy and joining the world of men.

Those initiation rites are supposed to be an introduction to a man's world of confidence and competence. You can see this in the Four Cardinal Virtues (which came from the Greeks): bravery, justice, self-control, prudence. For that matter, one of the main characteristics of the original definition of chivalry was an armed man willing to do violence to the bad guys, which requires a sense of justice, self-control...and bravery.

The first time I heard anyone refer to himself as an "Alpha" was Ted Nugent whom I have considered despicable since I was 15 and saw him in concert, and who admitted he had a thing for young teenage girls (Courtney Love claimed she gave him a blowjob when she was 12, which I believe). Over and over he referred to himself as an Alpha. Unendingly. I know people who know Nugent. He's what the English refer to as "unclubbable" - men don't want him in their club because he is a fool. (By the way, I like his music and have seen him twice.)

I was told he tries to push people around and take over because of one thing and only thing only: he has money. Is that what an Alpha is? Someone who can't get along with other guys and destroys business deals because he doesn't how to get along with people?

Not surprisingly, Nugent doesn't have a clue what "alpha" really means.

If you want to apply the correct canine definition of "alpha" to humans, what you get are parents who take care of their children until they are grown and strike out on their own. That is generally called a patriarch.

People imitate each other. There's good and bad to it. It's how we learn, for good and bad. Unfortunately we learn just as much bad as good. You have to separate the wheat from the chaff....and you want to make sure your house isn't built on sand.

Let's do a thought experiment. If the word "alpha" had never been applied to wolves, it would have never made its way into the Manosphere. The whole edifice of alpha, beta, gamma, sigma, omega would have never arisen. The whole complex theology would collapse and disappear. What would take its place? Something more rational and accurate, I like to think.

But I doubt that would happen. It'd be another arcane and bizarre theology, with its own special private language, just as exists now. And since the simplistic understanding of good and evil is "I'm good and you're evil," that's what you get with most religions. God and the Devil.

Feminism does it: Women good, men evil. Now the Manosphere does it back: Men good, women evil.

Why does the Manosphere survive even with so many inaccurate concepts? Because people believe in them. Again, because it's an attempt at freedom, no matter how misguided. If people didn't believe in them, the Manosphere would disappear.

People always look for a religion to live by. It can be something rather retarded, such as Scientology or Objectivism or believing in aliens, the Men in Black, and chips in your head.

If people didn't believe in the government, it would disappear. Whatever people don't believe in, it disappears. I don't mean if people don't believe in the sun or gravity it would disappear. I mean ideas.

I'm going to repeat: if people didn't believe in the ideas of the Manosphere it would completely disappear. However, that is not going to happen. Actually that is a good thing, because there is a great deal of good in it. And a lot of bad.

However, in some ways it is a mirror image of feminism, with its denigration of women as gold-digging, loveless whores who rationalize everything, who seek only "Alpha Fux and Beta Bux" because of "hypergamy" (childish word).

People believe in something because it gives meaning, importance, community, security and structure to their lives. In some ways they don't have to think because they have the answers, even if the answers are wrong.

That's what makes the Manosphere a religion - because it is based on faith (by the way - that is not an insult, because everything is a religion). Because without that faith in it, it would cease to exist. If people didn't have faith in science, science would cease to exist, and the world would go backwards. That also makes science a religion.

The word "religion" means "to bind." To bind together, in a structure that gives security, meaning, importance and community to people's lives.

When people give up their beliefs in something, they have to believe something else, because when they give up a belief, they have lost a part of their self. It has died, so to speak, so unless they want to remain dead, they have to replace it with another belief - another religion.

No one can live without meaning, importance, structure, community and security in their lives. In other words, they cannot live without religion. Even if it's a religion that doesn't quite make the grade.


Paul, Dammit! said...

While this is fairly well thought out, you've got a couple of inadequacies here. Studies of dominance hierarchies across the entire animal kingdom use the alpha/beta descriptor for dominance interactions. This includes Both K-selected species (investing energy in developing and caring for young), and R-selected species (investing energy in multiple offspring), not just wolves. Dominance hierarchy doesn't have anything to do with whether a parent animal is involved with rearing of its' young. Many male animals have nothing to do with that part of life, in fact. Male bears will typically eat their young if they see them, as an example.

Without getting lost in the technical details, You're putting the cart before the horse here by implying that the alpha/beta dominance hierarchy label is inaccurate because it is broadly applied to individuals who display both behaviors at varying times. This actually supports the labeling system as it exists, but it's missing the point- individual behaviors can be classed as alpha or beta, but the labels are meant to reference dominance hierarchy. There is no conflict in an alpha animal displaying beta behavior. The true utility of the label explains its' lasting value.

I think you raise some valid points, esp. in going on about religion, but you need to refine your argument if you want it to be valid. As it stands, you can't support your hypothesis without an accurate understanding of the labeling system you're arguing against.

Bike Bubba said...

The first example of "alpha" I remember is when Naomi Wolf (no I'm not making this up) was coaching Al Gore to pretend he was an alpha male. Rush/Paul Shanklin did a hilarious send-up of it where Gore is chanting "I am alpha male", and Tipper comes in and thinks he's been drinking.