Our understanding of the beta male’s status as an underappreciated, and downright derided figure in modern American society is reasonably well developed, but what is his true utility? While an answer to this question has been touched on before, I posit that an even clearer resolution can be found through an examination of the modern American system’s consumerist imperative.
Our society starts adhering to this consumerist imperative by promoting the growth of rampant materialism amongst Americans from an early age, with the media as a main tool. Young Americans learn early on that “bigger is better,” regardless of whether it actually is. A celebrity-centric, materialist culture heavily focused on spending and the trappings of it (as well as how to look like you have it) is the result. Add American culture’s uniquely competitive and adversarial nature to this and you’ve got an even bigger phenomenon, with Americans all striving to outdo one another in this materialistic effort (“Keeping up with the Jones,” or Kardashians) and spending money they don’t have in the process.
Then the society uses a host of clichéd but heavily romanticized tropes about the “American experience” that are designed to reinforce all of this.
The first important trope is “The American Dream” (sizable suburban home, some land, fence, two $30,000+ cars, etc.), which is romanticized to an extent that many Americans can’t be satisfied with anything less as a long term goal. That, combined with the promotion of the rabid materialism mentioned earlier, makes them susceptible to overspending in order to reach that goal, ensuring that they never have much to save. Of course, thanks to the promotion of the trope, most Americans still feel it is all worth it even if they can’t afford it and go into debt.
Then you have another important trope involving work ethic. This stems from America’s puritanical roots, and is a key reason why Americans work more and vacation less than almost anyone else in the developed world. This is the type of trope that keeps the average American worker bee laboring almost constantly.
All of these things, combined, help to ensure that the average American is always spending, never saving, and constantly producing with relatively less leisure. The wage slave, the majority of the USA’s populace, can’t save and thus can’t stop working. The average American is, in essence, a slave to consumerism.
The tropes noted are particularly important, since they essentially cover the bases even for most of the minority of Americans who earn more (upper middle class or above) and could in theory end up saving more. Because materialism and consumerism are so heavily promoted and “bigger is always better,” those who make more rarely use the surplus to save or build any real wealth—they just spend more.
Thus, you have a game in which nobody really wins. Even when you do “win” (read: succeed as a capitalist and gain a high income), you end up losing because you spend it all trying to outdo everyone else and live up to the materialistic ideals that have most likely been drilled into you (and if the consumerist impulse doesn’t get them, then absurdly high school debts will). In the end, even a good number of these high-earning individuals have nothing more to show for it than those below their income level (unless, of course, they’re aware of these tropes, which most Americans aren’t).
This is actually kind of an intricately brilliant formula, and would probably do wonders for anybody at the top of society looking to maintain hegemony. Such individuals may maintain an ethos of inter-generational wealth (read: controlled spending, prudent wealth-building investment, etc.) that preserves their status and allows them to maintain control of America’s financial and industrial life.
This entire system counts on one crucial piece, however, without which things would likely grind to a halt.
The Indispensable Beta Male
Seeing through the rigged nature of the sexual marketplace is as hard as seeing through the larger economic game. In fact, I think a lot of the tropes associated with our modern sexual marketplace are intimately related with the consumerist and materialist tropes we’ve been talking about. Yes, it is true that the vast majority of the grunt work that keeps the foundations of our society sound (e.g. infrastructure maintenance, defense, law enforcement, etc) is carried out by beta males. I’ve written about that before, but the beta’s usefulness to the economic system goes well beyond that.
Married men make for vastly superior wage slaves, and the beta male is the most common and most useful of all married men—they form the backbone of this entire system. Their instilled “duty” to their wives and family is easily co-opted and exploited to fit the rigged materialist game. Now it is not just about competing with other individuals, but rather outdoing other families (bigger houses, two or three nicer cars in driveway, bigger vacations, better and more expensive private schools, etc.). The element of family just makes the stakes a lot higher, and it is the beta’s support that makes such an increase possible: his labor and devotion facilitate vastly greater sums of expenditure (he’s got a lot more to pay for), while subsequently freeing those he supports (wife and children) to focus almost entirely on consumption. He’s doing all of the producing, ensuring that they are free to lay back and take more than they give without much thought.
The ability of a betatized and married man to see through the game and avoid its pitfalls is much lower than that of a disconnected single guy, especially when said single guy is anything like Roosh, Heartiste, or any other number of manosphere men. Because he is a devoted beta, he’ll see few other options aside from slaving away into eternity and going into debt to provide the American Dream for those he loves, who are free to benefit immensely from said labor and consume absent much thought to how much of a contribution they themselves will make.
The game knows that the consumerist ethos it promotes is especially effective on women, who shop and consume more often and more leisurely than men do and are much more wary of their social status relative to one another (which means they’ll want to compete more with other women, spending more in order to do so). Modern marriage serves to link the beta male to these women. Result? He is likely to face a lot more pressure from his wife to push further and further (bigger house, money for shopping, bigger cars), pressure he’d be less compelled to give in to as a carefree bachelor. Women are often a little less willing than the average guy to drop out of the consumer culture and generally more willing to invest deeply in it. By linking these women with devoted betas who are willing to provide at all costs, the game helps to keep men in the fold more firmly. If those men were on their own, they’d be far less likely to play.
The presence of a wife will also make it more likely that more of his income goes into consumer purchases than it would on his own. Women do much of the shopping in these families, and thus control how much of total household income is spent. All of this is key to keeping the worker bee in line, and also ensuring that there will be more future worker bees (kids = much more money spent come Christmas time and many other occasions = even more indebted and dependent worker bees = profit).
In the case of divorce? The game has a simple solution: shift laws in women’s favor so as to guarantee that, more often than not, they will garner a larger sum of the male’s income (alimony, punitive child support, etc.). The game realizes that women are more prone on average to their message of consumerism, so it seeks to ensure that a decent sum of money still remains in their hands in all scenarios.
Thus, the sexual marketplace is geared to create more married, beta males and, in doing so, shift a larger portion of the nation’s money supply into the direct or indirect control of those more likely to spend it (women). The game needs devoted, married betas in order to work, and they’re the main force holding it all together. If too many men start going their own way and forgoing marriage (and the expensive duties now intimately linked to the institution), the game might lack for players.
Will enough of the male population remain invested in order to keep everything going? This remains to be seen.
Read More: Why Money Can No Longer Save The Beta Male