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Did tribal humanity really have alpha males?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Mr. Dictator, Aug 5, 2012.

  1. BasketCase

    BasketCase Username sez it all

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    Nice try. It is common sense. Whoever makes and enforces the rules is the dominant entity. If there's nobody making or enforcing rules, and people are free to do whatever they want, the violent and cruel become dominant.

    This is self-evident simply from reading world history and observing what has happened already in the past.
     
  2. Crezth

    Crezth 話說天下大勢分久必合合久必分

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    How's that, then?
     
  3. Tahuti

    Tahuti Writing Deity

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    Interestingly, the emergence of property coincided with the rise of the state as a social-political institution. Either the state or property may have came first, but both are historically related. Marxist theory holds that the surplusses from agriculture led to humanity's first class-based societies, as the spoils of the agricultural surplusses came to fall into the hands of elites who at some point imposed themselves onto the populace, most likely in the form of government. Which seems like a pretty sensible theory to me.

    I'd personally like to add that as property came alongside the rise of agriculture and agriculture was performed on land - property rights were brought about by a perceived need to define an owner for the land that was being worked upon, with all the benefits it would naturally bestow the owner. If this theory were to be confirmed, it would also pave the way for the possibility that the state and property rights came simultaneously.

    For hunter-gatherer societies, dominance was vested in those who conformed to the group a.k.a. the majority. Nearly perfect equality was more or less required for hunter-gatherer societies to survive, as hierarchy would pave the way for competition and competition would pave the way for infighting. This would be disastrous for hunter-gatherer societies as these basically balanced on the edge of life or death all the time. So these were perfectly egalitarian, to prevent internal strife, and thus increase chances for survival.
     
  4. Midnight-Blue766

    Midnight-Blue766 The filidh that cam frae Skye

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    Actually, in many hunter gatherer societies, people who exhibit egotism and greed are ostracised or even killed by the other members of the tribe. Many > One.
     
  5. Terxpahseyton

    Terxpahseyton One

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    I think it is naive to assume that agrarian cultures where necessarily richer per capita. Point being you shouldn't reduce the matter to material abundance. Rather, what seems crucial to me are the social consequences of agrarian vs. hunter-gatherer never mind material abundance (but such abundance surely could and did mean a great booster for further inequality, you are absolutely right there). Consequences which lie in the different social tendencies those different kinds of making a living favor.
    Do you happen to have some kind of key word or so up your sleeve with which I could go on a google search? That sounds interesting.
     
  6. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    The thing to keep in mind is that any group which is not settled cannot accumulate. Some preagricultural may have been settled rather than nomadic, or at least so for extended periods of time so long as their food source held out. But the groups must be settled to accumulate anything. The nomadic peoples cannot take it with them. A nomadic people before domesticated animals is going to take with them the very least that they have to. They have to carry it themselves, after all.

    So once you have a settled people, now you can accumulate goods. Now you can learn to preserve foods. Now you can consider creating luxuries. And now you have something that can have greater material abundance for some than others.
     
  7. Core Imposter

    Core Imposter Deity

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    Genghis Kahn might be a pretty good example of an alpha male in a nomadic society. Definitely tribal. I suspect the alpha male was with us from the begining.

    Just in my lifetime society has changed from admiring the alpha to deploring him. We are transitioning from a patriarchial system to matriarchial. My spelling might be off there.

    So this thread reflects the ongoing effort to rewrite human history to grease the skids for the looming unholy wombdom.
     
  8. Masada

    Masada Koi-san!

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    This point cannot be stressed enough. Most 'modern' instances of hunter-gathering are more than likely tactical responses to external stimuli. Another Amazonian stimuli to hunter-gathering was due to people like Julio César Arana in the first rubber boom. To avoid slavery, rape, murder and other funfunfun stuff Indians fled into the hills, and abandoned horticulture. In Southeast Asia the expansion of the Burmese, Siamese and Vietnamese states in the long boom of the 1600-1800s helped to create new hunter-gatherers and whole peoples.

    Nomadic =/ hunter-gatherer. For that matter, not all Mongols were nomadic, a fair proportion of them at any given time were settled agriculturalists.

    That's nonsense. The consensus view of Chinggis has always been bad. It's only in the last century that we've been able to see the Mongol irruption as anything but a plague on the settled agriculturalists house. Pax Mongolica and all that nonsense.
     
  9. Mr. Dictator

    Mr. Dictator A Chain-Smoking Fox

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    Anything you're basing this on, besides your personal opinion?
     
  10. AlpsStranger

    AlpsStranger Jump jump on the tiger!

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    This is excellent.

    Those poor victimized alpha males :( It's so sad when privileged people become slightly less privileged. :sad: Remember kids, changing gender roles even slightly means Jehovah will kill love everyone to death.
     
  11. woody60707

    woody60707 Deity

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    Well this saves me time typing the same thing. To make this easy to understand, most woman are happy when their guy kills a spider for them. Not just any male, but "their" male. This is why there are no alpha males in humans.
     
  12. MobBoss

    MobBoss Off-Topic Overlord

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    Since i'm an Alpha Male i'm goint to vote 'yes'.
     
  13. Ailedhoo

    Ailedhoo wonderer

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    You are a man of ego, thats for sure.
     
  14. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    I'm sorry, I don't follow; first you deny the need for an empirical basis, arguing that it is simply common sense, but then you invoke "what has happened already" as justification for your views. So which is it, "common sense" or historical evidence? And if the latter, then what evidence are you referring to?
     
  15. GoodGame

    GoodGame Red, White, & Blue, baby!

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    It'd be good to have a scientific journal reference to discuss from.

    It'd be also interesting to compare to a read of what Charles Darwin suggests in The Descent of Man.
     
  16. Ailedhoo

    Ailedhoo wonderer

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    What is a man? A misarable little pile of secrets!


    Link to video.
     
  17. Midnight-Blue766

    Midnight-Blue766 The filidh that cam frae Skye

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    Actually, a man is a hominid of Genus Homo and Species sapiens, and is characterised by 46 chromosones, bipedalism, and sentience. :p
     
  18. BvBPL

    BvBPL Pour Decision Maker

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    Zoologically, that's not what an alpha male is. A lion that kills the cubs of other male so the lioness go into heat is an alpha male. A wolf that battles other males for the exclusive right to breed with females is an alpha male. That behavior isn't exhibited by humans, jus primae noctis aside.

    Which isn't to say that there isn't a common understanding what we mean when we call someone an alpha male, just that the two ideas of what being an alpha male consists of differ. That difference can become confusing since we're talking about early humans and hominds.
     
  19. BasketCase

    BasketCase Username sez it all

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    Conformed to which group?? The ones who carried the spears and swords.

    .....nonexistent. Your entire list of claims is hypothetical; while it's reasonable to assume that ancient humans might have reasoned the way you claimed they do, there's no evidence they actually did. We can't deduce much about social structure from stone ruins and pieces of bone--except for when we find a fossilized skeleton with a spearhead-shaped hole in its skull.....

    We can guess much more accurately how ancient human societies were structured by looking at the few primitive tribes still in existence today, and by looking at animal societies. And (though there are exceptions) the rule in primitive societies, human and animal, is dominance by the physically strong.

    :shrug: When Einstein first came up with that relativity idea, most people didn't follow that either. Not my problem.


    Both. Also, keep in mind that your position doesn't have any empirical basis either. This thread is almost entirely bereft of investigate-able links, and there are so few testimonies that the theory of egalitarianism in ancient societies is impossible to prove.
     
  20. Ailedhoo

    Ailedhoo wonderer

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    Because the soceities of the past are the same as the societies of today and the animal kingdom is the same as the societies of the first craftsmen. :rolleyes:

    It is not the strongest of the species that survive but the ones most stuitable to change.


    Your ego is showing.
     

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