Enslaving The Masses: Lessons In Marketing From Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Nietzsche was yesterday remembered in the Google Doodle. A famously nihilistic philosopher who seemed to side with no one and ambivalently hate everything, Nietzsche was writing in the latter half of the nineteenth century.
Also renowned for his fabulous moustache, Nietzsche wrote extensively on religion, morality, culture and politics. His ideas are still widely discussed and he retains a heavy influence on the philosophical tradition, even today.
Controversial and at times leaving a bitter taste, Nietzsche propounded radical ideas, denouncing democracy which he saw as a declining state of man. It is these ideas that marketers and business-owners should take more of an interest in.
Finding The Will to Power
The driving force behind all life, Nietzsche argued that human beings are motivated by self-interest and driven by their Will to Power.
Ambition, achievement and arguably dominance over others define this Will to Power.
Nietzsche argued that only the weak would not be able to face that they were motivated by goals that society has deemed immoral, unjust and selfish. Selfishness, for Nietzsche, was no bad thing.
Nietzsche advocated a master-slave morality, on which he alleged the foundations of society rested. The weak were slaves to the herd, the pervading socially acceptable code, because there is strength in numbers. In order to survive they must be collectively weak.
Nietzsche derided the slave mentality as weak. The herd is driven by its Will to Power, as it attempts to assert itself over the strong masters, of whom there are fewer.
Masters, on the other hand, define their own morality. They create the goal posts for themselves and do not look to the approval of others for validation. Masters openly acknowledge their self-interest and are motivated by a stronger Will to Power.
Marketers are driven by the Will to Power.
Striving for dominance over others, material wealth and success necessitates stepping over the competition and weeding out the weak.
“But marketing’s all about helping others by sharing content!” you cry. This is a fallacy.
Online marketing is all about maximising SEO and building up your online presence. In order to do this, it is necessary to share. We share for no other reason than to enhance our own position and feed our Will to Power.
The sooner we recognise this, the sooner we will be able to break away from the herd and exert our Will to Power over the masses. We may be indulging the herd by fostering the sharing-is-caring mentality, but this, in the long-run, is only to reach our own goals and ambitions.
What do you think?
Can Nietzsche’s Will to Power be applied to our marketing strategy? Is this the right or wrong way to think about how we create awareness around our brand?