Lazer commented on:
Where would a sigma fit into this hierarchy?
Lazer, thanks for the opportunity to explain this concept, something I find I have neglected and will devote future space to illustrating through mythic, historical, sports, survival, and workplace examples.
To begin with let me separate my self from Huxley's use of the Hellenic alphabet in Brave New World, a book I enjoyed and a concept that I think is being pushed upon us, but off the mark for our purposes. When discussing the masculine axis neo-tribalists are prone to stress hierarchy, with every man looking up ahead and ascending the lineal staircase to masculine realization in accordance to his merit in the hierarchy. But that is hardly realistic is it?
Primal tribal structures—in every example I have studied—have also had a minority of set aside types, the shamanic type for instance.
Imagine a family, in which grandpa gets to the point where he hands over the business to his son, but remains as an advisor, no longer a leader, no longer the Alpha, but a living ancestor continuing to fulfill those more narrow roles he is still suited for.
There are many ways to use this three-type male framework to track individual and group dynamics and to survive as you move from one group setting to another. I think I began using this framework delivering ice cream to supermarkets. I had 34 stops. The names and personalities were many, but the hierarchy had the same players. At a glance I could spot the alpha, the betas and the omega. This is similar to how a ball player reads the players on another team, keeping a sharp eye for the out-of-place piece of the moving puzzle. The ice cream delivery gig will make a good example for another time. For now I will simply explain why I like the three-type view of the masculine axis.
First, we are referring to a relationship to masculine group dynamics that may be partly situational, like the 10 generals of Athens, all competing alpha males, but on the day of battle, only the one whose day it was to lead is recognized as such.
I am most concerned with a man's natural inclination. When I managed a grocery store I wanted the person to fit the job. In predicting danger and aggression the right personality fit is even more crucial. The three types will each have a wide range of subtypes which only concern me in their extreme specificity, in the form of the actual person.
1. ALPHA MALES are leaders and have a huge range of ability and desire to lead, from the cop who questions himself every time he has to verbally impose his will to the megalomaniac politician who just can't get enough of playing with his human chess pieces. What sets an alpha apart is that the leadership role itself, the act of, and responsibility of, compelling others to act in accord with his wishes or the demands of the hierarchy, does not, in and of itself, repel, stress and diminish him. In our socially-engineered world, where we are taught in sports, work and the military that everyone has what it takes to be a leader and where we are subject to hierarchies that attempt to make us as interchangeable as possible, it is sometimes easy to forget that most people are not cutout for true leadership.
2. BETA MALES are people who are most comfortable with following a leader, following social trends, abiding by fashion norms and social conventions, following orders etc. Beta males range from gung ho "Yes, sir, how high sir" guys to griping job-slackers and hesitant followers. The vast majority of men are Betas. They might be like sheep or like rabid dogs, but what they have in common is they don't want to be the first to take a risk and do not want to be alone.
3. OMEGA MALES are alienated men, men apart, men more comfortable operating alone than leading or following. This personality is either vilified or romanticized as a "lone wolf" type when it comes to neo-tribalism, which entirely misses the point. This person can range from a horder, to a scholar, to a serial killer, or a crack-head hunting cigarette butts in the cracks of the pavement. Many people fail to realize that in many masculine settings, an Alpha will use the Omega to achieve his hierarchal ends and the Omega will serve in this way as a means of maintaining his level of autonomy. The best example of this from myth would be King Arthur [Alpha warrior] and Merlin the Wizard [Omega advisor]. In American history we have the example of an alpha and omega working together in the opposite direction with Sitting Bull [Alpha advisor] Crazy Horse [Omega Warrior], and in the more usual fashion as Wyatt Earp [Alpha Law Enforcer] and Doc Holiday [Omega killer]. The movie Tombstone actually does an excellent job of sketching the masculine axis across the caste of characters.
I am tempted to remind myself that the masculine axis is fluid, but it is not.
I am clearly an Omega personality and am probably more alienated than anyone I know. However, I have made a fine Beta. I'm a good team member, good crew member and make things as easy for my boss as possible—so that he won't give me any shit... because when he does, I walk, because I'm really an outcast. Although I have a deep antipathy for leadership positions I have functioned as a coach and even spent four years running a 110 person business. However, as a coach, I defer to my assistant more often than not and lapse into a specialized role. As a general manager I only succeeded because I controlled staffing. I hired and promoted the few leaders I found while I advised them and trained their people, moderated disputes, hired, rewarded, disciplined and fired all on an individual basis. I never addressed more than two people at a time. I only made this leadership position work according to my loner nature because I was an expert in the business among the ignorant and in a position to shape the situation. I would never be able to lead men in combat or on a ball field.
I'm happiest doing the job myself, and can tolerate advising and instructing within limits which are generally the roles alienated men fall into, engaging in specialized pursuits apart, and usually for the benefit of the main body.
Imagine the Masculine Axis with the Alphas in the center, surrounded by the Betas, which are orbited by the Omegas. The Omega is really no threat to the leader other than as an assassin in criminal settings. He is a threat to the Betas and hence the Alpha's asset to be had or lost, used or squandered. My theory is skewed toward the alienated person as I composed it for the benefit of men somewhat like myself, seeking a way that did not require them to be a follower or a leader. My reading of Melville's Typee and Jack Donovan's work convinced me that what I was articulating was the taboo personality, a probable byproduct of any hierarchy which has functioned long enough to generate human debris.
As too where a Sigma would fit into this aggression-oriented view of masculine interaction, I would like to see that articulated by someone familiar with the full spectrum or personality types that the question suggests.