The Gervais Principle, Generalized

John Doe
3 min readApr 18, 2022


Original RibbonFarm Post: The Gervais Principle, Or The Office According to “The Office”

According to the Gervais Principle, there are three classes of people in an organization: sociopaths, clueless, and losers. Sociopaths and losers know the game while the clueless don’t (hence the label “clueless). Losers know they’re losing the game, where the game is money, and the sociopaths are the ones playing information poker and reaping the excess returns generated by the labor of the clueless and losers.

This three class pattern of describing a group of people shows up in the dating and sex world as well as the social classes in general.

In the realm of dating and sex, there are three classes of people — those who know the game and are winning, those who know the game and are losing, and those who don’t know the game. These correspond the Gervais Principle labels of “sociopath, “loser”, and “clueless”, respectively. In the Red Pill community, these labels are roughly translated to “alpha”, “aspiring alpha”, and “beta”. The “red pill” in the Red Pill community signifies knowledge of the game — more specifically, knowledge of the fundamental nature of men and women. Those who don’t know are said to be “blue-pilled”, while those who know are said to have swallowed the “red pill”.

We discover a similar structure with social class, but instead of just money, it also encompasses culture and politics. In a simplified description of the American social classes, there is the upper class, middle class, and lower (or working) class. The upper class and lower class both know the game. Those in the lower class either resign themselves to being on the losing end of politics/wealth/culture or drive ambitiously into middle class or upper middle class. While those in the upper and lower classes know where they stand and act accordingly, those in the middle class aspire to present themselves as upper-class while really being more like the working class in terms of their lifestyle, position, and habits. In other words, the middle class is clueless.

In Marxist terminology, the upper class are the bourgeois and the middle and working class are the proletariat. The upper class derive their generational wealth from owning the means of production, while the middle and working class are the ones who work, take home a paycheck, and in the process build the massive wealth of the upper class.

NB: Marxists, Maoists, Communists and people of those political leanings understand that there is a large power imbalance between classes but fail to recognize that this distribution of power is a natural process that occurs when people organize in certain ways and not a result of the “greedy evil corporate elite” (which is actually an effect, not the cause of the power imbalance).

Looking the three-tiered class descriptions of organizations, sexual dynamics, and social class, we see that they are each centered around one or more games. These games are the most fundamental of all games — money, sex, and power. Sociopath-clueless-loser is about money and power, alpha-beta-aspiring alpha is about sex, and upper-middle-lower class is about money, sex, and power.




John Doe

Processing information, stacking concepts. Writing this down so I don’t keep thinking about the same things over and over again