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Community Voices: Spot the Dangerous Alpha Males | Voices of the community

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The mosquito may be the most dangerous animal in the world due to the fact that it carries a large number of dangerous bacteria and viruses. But by far the most dangerous mammal in the world is the man, specifically the alpha male.

In the natural world, outside of Homo sapiens, alpha males propagated their species by aggressively destroying weaker rivals. Intimidation, violence and even killing saved the females in the harem for the winner. Allegedly, this improves appearance, as the stronger ones produce stronger offspring.

During mating season, you see elk, moose, deer, and other male animals fighting each other for dominance and producing offspring.

In primates, the dominant male gorilla uses threats of aggression to establish his control and is rarely challenged. Male chimpanzee dominance is usually achieved by violence, and an alpha can only be overthrown by a stronger alpha or by an alliance of smaller chimpanzees. To avoid confrontation, rank is demonstrated by posture, greater prominence or reduction, and avoidance of eye contact. In human society, respect for an alpha male may be shown by bowing, kneeling, removing one’s hat, or kissing the alpha’s feet or ring.

All strife and war since time immemorial has been promulgated by human alpha males. Many have descriptive names such as Ivan the Terrible, Vlad the Impaler, Alexander the Great, and Ismail the Bloody, who reportedly had 500 concubines.

Human alpha males were responsible for conquests that expanded the Roman Empire, wars in Asia, conflicts between ancient tribes in Europe, and wars throughout the Middle Ages. They also fueled the Holocaust, World Wars I and II, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and other modern hostilities. Putin, the leader of Russia, invading Ukraine, is a vivid example today.

The religious wars and oppression of the past and continue today are the product of human alpha males steeped in the irrationality of religious belief. Religious activities consist of meeting in large groups to demonstrate submission to a dominant entity such as God, the ultimate alpha male, or his proxies. Manifestations consist of closing the eyes, bowing the head, kneeling, prostrating, or raising both hands in supplication, just as a child raises both hands to its parents.

Religious cults, with few exceptions, are led by alpha males who demand unquestioning submission and claim that it is required and is the will of the deity. Charismatic leaders reinterpret scripture and claim to be prophets. Practices and methods of exposure include singing, prayer, long study sessions, faith healing, mission work, or many hours of witnessing. Women’s sexuality is suppressed by very modest clothing, veils, habits, burqas, female circumcision or sequestration. In some religions, having a full beard and wearing a special hat or turban is representative of alpha male status.

Unquestioning submission to the alpha male forced 918 Americans to drink a cyanide-laced drink in Guyana at the behest of their leader, Jim Jones. Some male members of Heaven’s Gate, led by alpha male Marshall Applewhite, castrated themselves before killing themselves to board a UFO that was supposed to transport them to another dimension.

Men who go into politics are usually alpha males or want to be alpha males, and sexual conquest is as much a part of their makeup as it is of other primates. There are sites on the Internet documenting dozens of Democratic and Republican leaders accused and/or convicted of crimes against women.

Political cults are usually led by alpha males and are fueled by a belief in changing society by overthrowing the perceived enemy currently in power. A prime example is the cult of Trump, the alpha male. Most Republicans in Congress defer to Trump’s wishes and dare not oppose what he proposes to avoid his wrath and risking their own careers. Consider Kevin McCarthy, who accused Trump of insurrection on January 6, but did a backflip and flew to Mar-a-Lago to kiss the alpha’s ring.

We must recognize dangerous alpha males and keep them out of control to save our democracy and civilization itself.

David Keranen is a retired teacher.

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