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The Tug Of War Of Marketing

September 27, 2013

In our day and age, marketing is still fundamentally a means of directing human activity. It is an art of persuasion, of compulsion, of behavioral manipulation. We are all inescapably influenced by the push to sell and the pull to buy.

This constant tug of war over human motivation is a symptom of a monetary economy, of a social organization scheme predicated on differential access and individual privilege, where the desire to be of service cannot be separated from the need to profit, and no solution to human problems can stand on its own merit, no act of generosity can be undertaken without compensation.

The result is an escalating cycle of reciprocal thwarting of intent that manifests as an attention arms race. The need to sell drives commerce from one end, while the need to buy is manufactured at the other. Yet the better producers get at pushing consumers’ buttons, the better consumers get at ignoring them. Why should the natural process of humanity providing for its own needs be one of struggle, compulsion, and opposition?

The indications are manufactured demand, the creation of artificial emotional associations with products and services, the intentional retardation of technological implementation through planned obsolescence and a host of other means, and the prevalence of sales-as-persuasion. People don’t need to be persuaded to acquire the things they want and need, so why should influence even be a part of the economic process?

The solution is a system of alignment instead of opposition, of collaboration between those who are seeking and those who are providing. In other words, an economy that is truly in service to humanity.

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