For a change, this is going to be a short post, written in a few minutes. It feels so liberating not having to put a week of research into a post 🙂
Take a quick look at this ad.
Here’s a transcript:
How do you want to live?
As a decent person? Not a bad guy? A good friend?
Is that it?
Of course not.
King of the hill? Better.
Top of your game? Win.
All powerful. Like a boss.
(and so on)
To me, it captures a lot of what’s wrong with society.
It’s almost serves as a parody of itself and of advertising in general.
It also mirrors what’s been happening around the world (and especially under the current US administration) – the survival-of-the-fittest mentality of the far-right. The idea of embracing the attitude of not giving a frack about anyone else any more. Just focus on your own rise to the “top”.
If you don’t feel that you are immune to the garbage that the world of advertising serves to us, day in, day out, then you may need to work on that. (I don’t think any of us is completely immune.)
Here’s a good article on psychological protection that looks at the extreme scenario where hundreds of people were persuaded to kill themselves at Jonestown in 1978. The message is that it’s essential to be aware of the tools that are used to manipulate us, such as the “six weapons of influence” posited by Robert Cialdini.
These weapons of influence apply, whether it’s being persuaded to drink cyanide-laced punch, to buy a shiny new truck, or to endorse a political system that aims to erode much of the progress that has been made towards a better humanity.
They’ll tell you that just living a good life is not enough. That you need to win. Like a boss.
PS: I’ve covered some related material (including Stanley Milgram’s experiments on authority) in a post on sociopathy.