The world and humans for students and their parents

The fate of the alpha males

From the book by Andrey Sokolov and Tatiana Sokolova "The world and humans for students and their parents".

The fate of the alpha-males

Brutality, muscularity, victories over the enemy, power and even more power - a model of human behavior common for many centuries.

But man is just an animal. And by this behavior it simply repeats the algorithms that have been reproduced in the animal kingdom for millennia.

In biology, the term alpha male (alpha female) is used to describe a similar model.

Little by little, the concept of an alpha male migrated from biology to sociology, psychology and political science.

But is the life of an alpha male so good?

Many examples show that almost all alpha males end their lives with a knife in the back, like Julius Caesar. They shoot themselves in the head, like Hitler, or die in a pool of their own urine, like Stalin. They are hung upside down in the square, like Mussolini, or they get a bullet near the toilet, like Ceausescu.

Crowned alpha males are constantly waging wars and constantly falling prey to conspiracies and assassination attempts.

Despite the external attributes, candy wrappers, retinues, cool cars and escorts, alpha males live in constant stress, broadcasting it outside, to everyone who is lower in the hierarchy or to neighbors.

If scientists were able to measure stress hormones in human alpha males the way they do in other primates, then it is likely that the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, in alpha males would simply go off scale.

The fate of any alpha male is actually quite predictable. Sooner or later, all of them will fall.

During life or, if you're very lucky, after death.

To avoid personalization, consider what happens in unnamed alpha male primates like baboons.

Male baboons leave their native flocks in adolescence and go to "seek happiness" and "victories" on the side, in other flocks.

Getting into a new flock, a young baboon finds itself in the position of a "salaga", if we draw an analogy with human society, or rather, with the army. And the "salaga", of course, is subjected to all kinds of "bullying" from all the males who came to this flock earlier.

Gradually, after many battles and fights, males rise higher and higher in the baboon hierarchy, depending on the outcome of the battles.

And now, finally, shedding a lot of his own and someone else's blood, having received a huge number of scars and having developed a sea of cortisol and other stress hormones, one of the former "rogues" becomes an alpha male.

Peak of career, peak of fame, peak of luck. The goal was achieved, but enemies are all around. There are no friends at all. Beta males roam their own flock, waiting for the right moment to overthrow the alpha. One has only to turn your back.

Former alpha males, expelled from their flocks, roam the surrounding savannah, and they are also not averse to entering the war again and trying their luck for the position of "king of the mountain".

All this only adds stress and has a destructive effect on all organs and systems of the alpha male's body.

No one manages to withstand such a marathon for a long time, and sooner or later, alpha becomes beta, then scale and descends lower and lower along the hierarchical ladder "dropping stars from shoulder straps".

The most interesting, albeit expected, is that the ousted "general", the alpha male, who has moved to the position of "lieutenant", receives much more punches from higher rank males than a "lieutenant" who is still climbing the hierarchical ladder.

And this is very reminiscent of the fall of alpha males in human society.

As a rule, everything ends with the fact that the former alpha male leaves the flock. In fact, this is an escape. Monkeys do not have judges, lawyers and parliamentary immunity. Those who fell, who could not resist the summit, will inevitably be severely beaten and bitten.

And sooner or later it will happen to every alpha male. There are no exceptions.

Having escaped from the pack, the former alpha male either becomes the supper of other savannah predators, or, if he is lucky, nests in another pack, where he exists in a rather low rank position, but still receives less punches and aggression than in the pack that he once headed. In the new pack, "they do not hold a grudge against him."

All of this is rather sad, though quite fair. And it seems that there is no way out. But he is. And even baboons know how to choose - whether to climb over the heads and corpses in the bloody game "king of the hill" or choose another tactic.

Pavins are pacifists.

It turns out that besides males, whose idea of fixation is “power and glory,” so close to males and even females of the Homo sapiens species, there are pacifist baboons.

These pacifist baboons are often as strong and agile as alpha males. These pacifists could well compete for the position of "king of the hill for an hour" and win, but for some reason they do not.

Instead of purposefully climbing the hierarchical ladder to the alpha-top, these males occupy a certain step, defending their honor and immunity in fights, but they themselves do not show unnecessary aggression.

Having renounced power and fame, they begin to "build a nest" (sometimes "nests"), showing concern for the female (s) they like. And this is not always about sex. Sometimes - this is only about grooming - mutual hunting for parasites and other "goodies".

But the most interesting thing comes in the life of these male pacifists in their old age baboons.

According to the "law of the jungle," these old pacifist baboons would have to be driven out, trampled down, and reduced to the down level. But that doesn't happen.

Firstly, the rest of the males "hold no grudge" against such a pacifist baboon and do not take revenge.

Secondly, the pacifist baboon does not stand in the way of youths striving for power.

And thirdly, his girlfriend is always ready to stand up for an aged pacifist. And fighting on two fronts is a double risk even for the toughest baboon.

And as a result, the pacifist baboon calmly lives out his life in the usual flock, without risking being eaten by a passing lion or beaten by some "major" in the new flock.

In addition, the female friend of such a pacifist takes care of him, looking for parasites in his fur. In essence, it is engaged in the prevention of his health.

As a result, the pacifist baboon not only stays in his “home”, reliably protected by the flock from external threats, and by friendship with the female from aggressive young, but also lives longer than the alpha male.

The pacifist baboon produces fewer stress hormones that destroy the body and engages in fewer fights, resulting in less injury. Friendship with a female allows you to regularly get rid of parasites, get a portion of affection and good mood. All this preserves his health and prolongs his life, compared to the alpha male.

So the possibly peaceful pacifist baboon gets far more benefits than the aggressive alpha male.

And even if the baboon is able to choose whether or not to play the game "who is the coolest here", then maybe a person it will succeed.

Isn't it time to change the fashion from the alpha warrior to the pacifist, and the model of society from the “king of the hill” to mutual grooming?