Those who see life as a struggle for power divide men into two categories: strong vs. weak, alpha vs. beta, winner vs. loser, predator vs. prey. He who does not get ahead falls behind. He who does not dominate bows down. He who is not a master is a slave.
But the Will to Power comes from zero-sum thinking: “Your gain in power is my loss; your loss is my reinforced will.” If good is power and one’s gain always someone else’s loss, then the sum of good in the world is never not zero.
Once we shift our mindset from scarcity to abundance, start thinking win-win, start playing positive-sum games, we overcome the Will to Power. In practice, this is a shift from power to progress, from competition1 to cooperation, and from control to influence:
- Progress elevates the sum of good in the world above zero.
- Progress happens through cooperation between people that respect, rather than rule, each other.
- Being a good (reliable, responsible, virtuous, etc.) cooperator weaves a large net of cooperative partners, of uncontrolled people willing to cooperate, which builds influence.
With a win-win mindset and a prosocial attitude, we can look at society not in terms of whom to dominate and whom to escape being dominated by, but in terms of whom to collaborate with in order to achieve progress and gain influence.2
|Will to Power||Will to Progress|
|domination & control||cooperation & influence|
|zero-sum game||positive-sum game|
|scarcity mindset||abundance mindset|
|antisocial personality||prosocial personality|
- ‘Competition’ here means anarchic competition. By contrast, healthy competition, as in sports or business, is actually a form of cooperation due to adherence to rules.
- If you worry about a loss of masculinity when you overcome your Will to Power, consider that influence is social status and thus attractive to the feminine.