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Sometimes you hope that you are just some sort of Alice in Wonderland and that the world around you is not as bad as it is. But in EU Wonderland nightmares do come true.
The European Union is by my knowledge the biggest experiment ever on our planet where independent countries freely give up their authority and independence. The Netherlands is one of the founding fathers, as part of the BeNeLux, where the 3 midget countries Belgium, Luxemburg and Holland joined forces mainly for economic reasons. That made sense, they are connected, geographically and historically. It was a smart move.
But in time the EU has become a monstrous project, that has joined extremes over the entire continent. In my country, Holland, the citizens have lost contact with the people in power. Their own government. This is true for their local city representatives, the provincial reps and even more for the national government. A majority of the people do not feel that their voices are being heard or that they feel they can have any impact on the big decisions that are made.
But now we have a new entity on top of our own government. That is the EU government with a President. Interesting enough, people do not seem concerned at all about this, because it is so unrealistic and so far beyond their imagination of how such things work, that they will never embrace it or protest it. It is like you try to make a little child understand what the cosmos is and then make it think that it is only a smaller part of the bigger. The child will either go insane if it tries to gasp the idea, or just neglects it as it is too difficult to understand. That does not mean the kid is stupid, the kid is just protecting itself and focuses on the essentials for its life.
Now Alice is just realizing it is living a nightmare. This EU was forced down upon us. We can prove it, because we, the citizens of Holland voted NO against the constitution of the EU, and still after letting us sleep again our government said YES a couple of years later. We were still sleeping and dreaming. The kid just woke up to find out that all of a sudden, daddy was no longer in control but that the daddy of the neighbors was now controlling its own papa and mama. That is what I call a nightmare.
The EU, which is officially not a democratic institute, because it does not represent the voice of its people, is now electing a President. That will be the face we Europeans see on TV when there are big decisions being made in the world. This person is in fact the Obama of Europe. Only, we have no idea who this Obama will be. And we will never be able to vote for any such person. It is in fact the same kind of decision procedure as in the People’s Republic of China. There are some pigs, more important than the other animals, that together decide who will be the biggest pig. Alice in Wonderland was not as bad a nightmare, as she had no pigs in her Wonderland. She only had rabbits, humpty dumpty, madhatters and more fantasy figures.
Now Alice is watching the news, reading the the UK pig called Mr Tony Blair will be the ueber pig of the EU. Then a bit later it seems that the Dutch pig Mr Jan Peter Balkenende is probably the new ueber pig. And this morning she woke up to find that the Belgian pig Mr Rompuy will be the chosen one. Mr Blair has too much charisma so it will offend the cocks and pretzlheads. The Dutch pig has no identity whatsoever, but his animals once voted no against the constitution plus he is too friendly to Obama. And now we have the totally unknown pig of Belgium, who is more of a snail that the cocks like and who is not too friendly to Obama, probably Obama does not even know he exists. And a snail is slow, slimy, hides and if you want to get rid of them you just poor some salt.
What is the point you might say. The point is that Europeans are being ruled by an ueber pig that will represent them. And they never even voted for him or her. They have no control over him, as this ueber pig does not have any responsibility towards the EU citizens. Still he will be on TV discussing with Ting Tong of China and Hussein Obama of America about major topics.
I just hate the idea that the father of my neighbor kids is telling on TV what is going to happen in my household. And I have no idea where to go to if I do not agree, or even say that I determine myself when I wake up and go to bed again. I think I want to go to bed again and hope I wake up in a dream next time. Where I understand the scale of things again and where I feel passionate about those that represent me.
Hurray for the American Lesbians in Vermont. Soon they can get married.
This all feels very perverted. There is also something as principles and real freedom for all human beings. This girl only wished that she were to have any right at all……
I have been analyzing and feeling what is the best scale on which to “box” people today. Boxing people, putting them in pigeon holes etc, was something that you had to learn from the Kotler marketing books. Then we entered the modern times, say late nineties, and all of a sudden it was hard to box people.
All of a sudden those who bought at Gucci, also bought at the low end shops. Nothing made sense anymore, all that we learned was in vain.
I am convinced though that there is always a way to “box” people. The only truth is that the old way of boxing does not work anymore. Those boxing categories were made during “broadcasting” times. Where it was easy to reach each and everyone with one message centrally. There was no real feedback coming from customers, they had no voice.
In this era, it is easier for customers to speak louder than any marketer of a big brand. They are not bound by rules and they are not being paid for what they say.
Anyway, during a lot of talks I have with people around me, I finally realized how we can define two clearly separated groups in modern Western society. I am convinced that by aiming communication on any of these two extremes, you will get to the heart of these groups. These groups cannot be seen as living in separate hoods or not being friends etc. But the difference is based on their beliefs.
The simple question: what do you prefer, peace or freedom? will give you remarkable insight.
There is a big group that is driven by keeping things the way they are and not bothering others. They would even stand up for another group, if others would bother that group. Whether that group deserved it or not, they are driven by restoring peace. Keeping things as they are. This group loves freedom and wants to live in a comfort zone. They do not want to hear noise that would make them feel discomfortable or would ruin their feeling of everything is fine. People all share common values and people are generally good. In fact the only bad people are those that are disturbing their peace. It is easy for them to speak out what they think and they bond openly. They are more group thinkers.
The other big group is driven by freedom. They believe that there is something to fight for and they discriminate more between people. This group is very active in commenting and showing their opinions. They think and feel that some of their basic values and life standards are under attack. They also do not see people as victims, but as potential warriors and heroes. For this group it is more difficult to be open about what they think and believe. They do look for companions, but not as openly as the peace lovers. They tend to be more individualist.
I think that brands can relate to both groups. But to get real share of mind and heart, I believe you will have to go for one of these groups. The connection with your target group will be much stronger then, as opposed to serving both these groups simultaneously.
The place for friends, that was the biggest social network for years, is now quickly dropping on the wrong side of its Internet Life Cycle.
It is very interesting to see that on the internet the lifecycles go much faster than in any other industry. I expect that this is a big opportunity for smart marketers and entrepreneurs. The market leader cannot only be challenged, it can also be beaten. You do that by trusting on a bigger, better product and using virality and time as your best friends.
Looking at the Dutch situation, it seems very possible that Facebook will takeover Hyves. It seems unrealistic right now to a lot of old thinkers. Though I think it is a reality that will come through within two years.
More about this news: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/mar/29/myspace-facebook-bebo-twitter
This I received today in my email. Everything about it is hilarious. Never knew that an economic downturn could be so much fun!
simple but effective