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The Outlaw


Darth Vader and other villains who have gone over to the dark side. The negative Outlaw, then, thrives in organizations that allow profit and competition to outweigh any kind of moral value or sense of social responsibility and in the ever-present danger that hostile takeovers will destroy the identity (and hence the soul) of healthy companies. Carriers of Outmoded and Revolutionary Behaviors Outlaw brands have a complicated role. They can reinforce soulless, cynical behaviors when values are absent. But they can also assist in bringing down an oppressive establishment, help to open and ease social restrictions, or serve as a safety valve that allows people to let off steam, thus protecting the status quo. In addition, they can reinforce real revolution, breaking through staid and repressive thinking to champion a whole new way. The 1960s can be seen as an Outlaw era, with both countercultural heroes and the cowboys and cowgirls they offended ultimately holding values of freedom for the whole culture—even though their respective definitions of freedom differed. As baby boomers have come into power, they have brought many of these alternative values with them. Ads for NetZero feature mock McCarthy hearings, in which a congressional committee is investigating the Internet, which its members see as un-American because it is free. The brave witnesses, however, speak for the American tradition of free speech and advocate the people’s right to free access. Indeed, overall, the new world of e-commerce has a wonderfully liberated, rule-breaking Outlaw quality to it. Yet brands like Compuserve and AOL lost customers because they blithely signed up more subscribers than they could serve. This new world simply does not operate by the established rules. Indeed, it is a bit like the Wild West, with the rule of law and order not yet firmly established. At this point, only the strongest and the cleverest survive. Many cultures have sacred trickster figures, which act almost completely on the basis of primitive instinct—what Freud would call the id. The coyote figure in American Indian lore, for example, cons people in order to get food, dislodges his penis and sends it ahead

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype