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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Target Intimidating Customers by Impersonating Police: Nietzsche on Weakness Seeking to Dominate

In the PBS series Downton Abbey, the Victorian countess, magnificently played by Maggie Smith, delivers a reverberating line as fit for my hometown in the second decade of the twenty-first century as for a village in Britain a century earlier. Referring to the local physician, who had just been raised to the position of military manager of convalescent centers during World War I, the countess remarks in frustration after a rejected request, “We give these little people power and it goes to their heads like strong drink.” This poignant quote fits like a glove in the case of the typical store manager and assistant managers, especially in my decaying hometown in the U.S. a century after World War I. In this essay, I apply Nietzsche's philosophy to a rather distinct pattern that I discovered there decades after I had left for college.

The full essay has been incorporated into (or swallowed up by) On the Arrogance of False Entitlement: A Nietzschean Critique of Business Ethics and Management, available in print and as an ebook at Amazon.