Sometimes I wonder how individuals draw the line in their evolutionary lifestyle, and I realize that within the philosophy there are all kinds of different conclusions about how to live wild in the modern world. Some climb trees, some still hit the gym. Some eat potatoes, some don't eat tomatoes. Some run marathons, and some do marathon wine drinking. It's a rich and varied world out there, folks.
Others have emphasized the silliness of historical re-enactment, but it's worth reiterating, because I wanna take the idea one step further, to culture. Much of the talk about what's good or bad about the paleolithic model tends to center around diet and exercise, but there are some profound ways that we are, well, being douchebags to each other. And yes, it's bad to be a douchebag. In smart people terms, there are identifiable natural mechanisms at work that detract from human potential and general human goodness. I think it's worth calling them out and playing them down.
We are hard-wired for thinking about nearly everything hierarchically. Paleoanthropology touts the 'alpha male' model, where male hierarchy is formed by "a mixture of strength, hunting skills, and force of personality" (Bond 203), which leads to the alpha male designation.
In short, we want on a biological level to feel smart, strong, influential, and successful. But since everything is relative, this really just means that we want to be better than others around us. We want a better house, a more beautiful wife, a nicer car; in all, better status relative to others and especially to our own social network. These natural compulsions translate into careerism, wealth accumulation, selfishness, and so on -- all of which are 'totally natural' in evolutionary bro-wisdom.
So why's that bad? It may not be. There may be people out there being true to themselves by stepping on toes and that's all good. But there's a lot of unhappy people out there chasing goals they barely understand without ever questioning why they want those things to begin with, or whether the world and they themselves would be better off without those goals.
Introducing: The Douchebag Alpha
Ever meet a guy with an alpha male complex? I'm sure you have. He's the guy that gives orders like he's the boss, interrupts you while talking, rarely smiles, has to beat you at everything, doesn't share with others. You know the type. If you're a woman, you might 'naturally' be attracted to his confidence and social standing (more on this to come in the next blog post). If you're a man, you might respect him in that I'm-not-sure-I-like-or-fear-this-guy kind of way. But if you're astute to the ridiculous game he is playing, then you know the truth -- that objectively, this person is a douchebag.
I know where this discussion is headed. "But hey, it's only natural for a group of people to need to follow someone who can unify the group and take decisive action." Yes, but that's called leadership. Perhaps there may be a fine line between a leader and an alpha-douche. I mean to point out the difference between the two.
5 Things I Hate About Alpha Males
That fratitude. After coming of age, it shouldn't take long to figure out what is cool, and what is uncool. Or what life is about. So stop giving me your I-Am-Hunter face and be real for a second.
False leadership. A circle of friends is no place for a one-man cheerocracy. Take the thoughts, feelings, and ideas of others into account before acting like you run the show.
The motives. The respect? The status? All the girls? Grow the f*ck up.
It's obvious. I bet some men think they are sooo clever playing 'cocky-funny' to girls and sticking their chest out.
It's annoying. In fact, being alpha is bad for everyone, including the alpha. And check this out too.