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It’s an alpha male thing: what dominant chimpanzees and Donald Trump have in common | via The Guardian

“Chimpanzee politics can be intricate, but they always obey the rules of social dominance. Because chimps and humans evolved from a common ancestor going back 5-7m years, we humans know deep in our brains what social dominance is all about. Our expectation that social status can be seized through physical power and threat – that the strongest, biggest and boldest may indeed lord it over the rest of us – is very old, awesomely intuitive, and deeply ingrained.

Social psychologists today distinguish between the social dominance form of human leadership, on the one hand, and leadership through prestige on the other. Both are grounded in human evolution, but the prestige form is younger, tracing back a mere million years or so to the time when our hominid ancestors began to form culture. In the prestige paradigm, leaders attain their authority in the group by demonstrating culturally valued expertise – as, for example, in cooking, defending the tribe, healing, peacemaking, or (in the modern world) science, education, technology, the arts, business, law, medicine, communication, and so on.”

Full text: It’s an alpha male thing: what dominant chimpanzees and Donald Trump have in common | US news | The Guardian

Very interesting article.

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13 comments on “It’s an alpha male thing: what dominant chimpanzees and Donald Trump have in common | via The Guardian

  1. Kaian
    September 15, 2017

    I remember watching that meeting, and thinking it the most vulgar and unabashedly oleaginous stunt in recent memory. Then Senator Chuck Schumer posted a short clip online of himself and his aides, openly mocking the Trump kowtowing session, and my heart was gladdened.

    And regarding this article, may I just say “By his own admission,Trump is not an especially introspective person. Nor is he retrospective or prospective”: spot on 😂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. dpmonahan
    September 15, 2017

    I think the alpha male concept is close to the end of its usefulness. Yes we are primates and the concept captures a few elements of human behavior that are on their fullest display in middle school, but as meta-narrative of all male behavior it is unconvincing. It is used to justify behavior based on evolution when other forms of behavior have proven much more successful for passing one one’s genes.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      September 15, 2017

      The two things don’t always go hand in hand. Humans have very often developed behaviours we thought were going to achieve X (consciously and subconsciously), but it turned out we didn’t really get there.

      So the alpha-male concept is (or has been) really our reading, or our decision of what the best method is. And not just for reproduction, but for social survival. The alpha male has first dibs on resources. In a social sense, even today, the concept of the alpha male translates to the leader, the head of the household, the dictator, the patriarch, the president. Pair that with the theory of aristocracy and we get politics, new and old.

      Liked by 2 people

      • dpmonahan
        September 15, 2017

        Some corners of the internet would define the head of household as a beta male stuck with raising kids, the alpha being the guy who gets sex without responsibility.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        September 15, 2017

        For the love of Be’Jesus, don’t go with the internet definition of ANYTHING! Ever!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. inspiredbythedivine1
    September 15, 2017

    This explains why Trump is Putin’s boy toy. Putin’s much more “manly” and powerful which simply causes lil Donny to swoon when he’s near him. It’s kinda sweet, if ya’ think about it.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Steve Ruis
    September 15, 2017

    Hey, it is not just chimps! David Letterman, a late night TV show host, used to play a game “Trump or Orangutan?” He would show a shock of hair, orange, and then ask the audience or guest to discern whether it was Trump’s hair or an orangutan’s? He would then full the focus back and you could see which it actually was.

    So, Donald Trump’s association with other great apes is no monkey business!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Anony Mole
    September 15, 2017

    Good find! Disturbing find. So, the president of the United States is a shit-flinging blowhard who, with every outburst, hacks away at the prestige of the highest Office of the United States. Nice.

    Can I order an asteroid strike to go please. Yeah deliver to 1600 Penn…

    Here’s the current Zillow:
    https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1600-Pennsylvania-Ave-NW-Washington-DC-20006/84074482_zpid/

    Liked by 3 people

  6. agrudzinsky
    September 15, 2017

    In my opinion, Trump has become a “talking head” now. He does not make any decisions. His orders are either blocked by the courts like the immigration ban or stuck in Congress like the Obamacare repeal. He is forced to sign laws which seem contrary to his will like the sanctions against Russia. What he says internationally does not matter – military decisions are made by the generals who are way more competent and disciplined. Despite tough talks on various international issues, I have not seen any major shifts in U.S. foreign policy. Strategic partners are the same and the U.S. only strengthens their support (Japan, South Korea, Europe, Israel). Strategic foes are also the same, and the U.S. builds up pressure against them (Russia, Iran, North Korea). Trump’s role now is to create a picture for the media while letting other people do their jobs. What he says or tweets does not matter now because things are controlled by other people. I like this situation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      September 16, 2017

      Absolutely true from a political perspective. At the moment I’m more interested in the social dynamics. How people still embrace the concept of the alpha-male (or simply power, even former power) even when all the evidence says we shouldn’t.

      Like

  7. Bela Johnson
    September 16, 2017

    Yes, so the question is, will we co-evolve humanity or keep degrading back into Neaderthal behavior? It’s deeply shameful that ‘we’ continue choosing to digress. Badly, in this case.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on September 15, 2017 by in activism and tagged , , , , .
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