The Will to Power

Begin with the music. When Beethoven (himself an Eight) wrote this, his 5th Symphony in C Minor, it was revolutionary and people were horrified at the famous opening.

Friedrich Nietzsche, held that "all is force against force," nothing more. He held that power was a deeper need than love or truth or beauty. Wikipedia puts it like this: "A basic element in Nietzsche's philosophical outlook is the "will to power" (der Wille zur Macht), which he maintained provides a basis for understanding human behavior—more so than competing explanations, such as the ones based on pressure for adaptation or survival. As such, according to Nietzsche, the drive for conservation appears as the major motivator of human or animal behavior only in exceptions, as the general condition of life is not one of emergency, of 'struggle for existence'. More often than not, self-conservation is but a consequence of a creature's will to exert its strength on the outside world.

Style Eights are physically energetic, often charismatic by virtue of their animal attractiveness. I was at an Enneagram conference years ago when the leaders did an experiment. They divided the group into a dozen tables, but secretly told the Eights they were not allowed to talk. They gave each group a generic Enneagram question and after the discussion asked them to pick a leader to speak for the group. Eight of the twelve tables picked the Eight as their leader!

One of Nietzsche's central concepts is "overcoming." That is often the driving force behind style Eight's aggression. They erase themselves, as do all three of the body types, and then over-achieve self-assertion. That's why so many Eights talk so loudly (think Rush Limbaugh's rants – he's not shouting so he can be heard over the noise of the tractor his listener is in). He's shouting like someone who knows down deep he is not being heard for what he has to say. Trump, an obvious style Eight, was never so Eight-ish as when he promised to destroy the way things are working now. His campaign addressed the feelings of powerless and rage that Eights feel.

Here's my song about style Eight, I call it Shining Armour.


In the 19th century Beethoven shocked audiences by shattering musical norms. In our day, Rap music expresses the rage against the cultural norms of the "main line" (white) system. Like Beethoven in this respect, it is often musically sophisticated but not what you would learn (or sing) in public schools.

"We Shall Overcome" is sung out of a black culture that has faced erasure. Within the world of an Eight, you begin down and you move up by breaking down an existing pattern or authority or idea or, in the case of Beethoven, aesthetic norms.


You can see a good film, Grandma, here for free. Lily Tomlin plays a good style Eight. Movies don't often show good female Eights, so this is an exception. Or you can watch any John Wayne movie. He was an Eight in real life and usually played Eights. Clint Eastwood plays an Eight in Dirty Harry. The theme is usually overthrowing or bypassing the usual means of justice to establish justice (or revenge more often) by violence.


Jackson Pollock the 20th century American painter. There are highly energetic, bold, broad strokes and movements in his paintings. Eights tend, like all of the body types, to avoid fine detail, preferring broad picture, physical action and overview.


The popular redneck comedian, Ron White, makes his living flaunting social norms, breaking laws (drugs), and destroying all forms of authority. He does this with foul language, using alcohol and cigars for props. He has impeccable timing, he's a superb story-teller and knows his audience from his gut - their value system, their political positions, their angers and their desires. He is brilliant and offensive and has been on the comedy tour for more than twenty years. Use Ron White to understand Donald Trump, perhaps.

Lewis Black combines humor with angry rants, screaming at injustice and stupidity with occasional breakdowns, if you take his word for it. Here he is on C-span no less.


"If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace

Behind the wagon we flung him in,

And watch his face, like a devil's sick of sin;

If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood

Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,

Bitter as the cud

Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, --

My friend, you would not tell with such high zest

To children ardent for some desperate glory,

The old lie, Dulce et Decorum est

Pro patria mori.


Wilfred Owen, Dulce et Decorum est Pro Patria mori.

(It is sweet and proper to die for one's country).