alpha male

The classic alpha male behaviour of Genus Canis is somewhat moderated in Genus Homo by the power of the alpha female. While in either Genus there is a strong tendency to de-escalate conflict and avoid having to kill beta males who unwisely challenge an alpha, the homo tendency is towards more serious and crippling conflict, e.g. war. This is particularly marked in chimpanzee and Homo sapiens troops.

A human exhibiting overt traits of the animal alpha male may be only a gamma class human or even a delta class human, since success in manipulating human groups tends to rely on much more subtle tactics, and in particular on conspiracy with females:

The alpha class human has evolved many means to de-escalate conflict, of which the most obvious are:
  • various means to reform beta males into useful eunuchs or other non-producing helpers, e.g. celibate clergy, bureaucrats, or simply to make them servants even of the beta females
    • cultivate beta female allies so as to ensure that beta males can be called to heel without need to do physical harm to them, e.g. via religion
  • defer to alpha females wherever possible, restraining their authority to situations of great shared risk of bodily harm, e.g. politics and war
  • being nice when there is no great risk in doing so, for instance, no risk that this will be perceived as support for a specific beta male or agreement not to reform beta maless who behave unethically - stupidity is always a risk with diplomacy as a particularly unwise beta can perceive niceness as an endorsement of an increase in their mandate or role, and may need extremely not-nice signals to realize the limits of their power
  • preaching nonviolence even when violent acts are necessary, ongoing, useful and perhaps even suggested by the "nonviolent" leader - though such acts will be condemned when they occur, the gains will be exploited

Mohandas Gandhi in particular mastered this last.