Identity and Identification in Politics and Economy: Why “Branding” Cannot Replace Brand Techniques

  • Abstract:

    In a look back upon Weimar Republic’s struggles to become an open democratic society and upon the adverse working of populist messages uniting masses both left and right, this paper sheds a light on populist developments and their working in recent and present times. Starting from Brand Techniques Specialist Hans Domizlaff and his endeavors, to open the eyes of democratic politicians relying on “reason” in their communication with the people, in order to generate and grow awareness about the needs of effective communication to the masses, the paper tries to show the parallels with post-war populist developments, in his home country Germany and beyond, and to link this to his findings on economy and the keys to crisis vs. lasting prosperity and the related criticism of prevailing paradigms weakening Europe, its peoples and its role as example of long peace and prosperity thanks to defending values and their diversity as key to individual and joint success. In doing so, the paper also draws attention upon the necessary steps to evolve from “Mass Psychology”, as proclaimed by Authors like Elias Canetti and Hans Domizlaff and to translate “Group Psychology” as pronounced by Hofstetter into a practical understanding of semiotics, in order to develop effective tools for the communication to people in their diversity, uniting their identification with each others for common causes by means of signs of identity retained significant by groups in their distinction. The paper hints upon the lessons to be learnt and applied by democratic politicians and their assistants, in order to leave the field neither to misleading paradigms nor to populist extremists. Rather, the paper advocates in favor of a populism of qualitative reason and distinction in a new understanding of democracy not lending itself as tool for fascistoid repression of minorities, but rather as a means to unite all minorities, which together are the absolute majority, for the sake of their distinction, which is the root to lasting prosperity for all and peace.