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Consumer unhappiness making


The philosophy behind much advertising is based on the old observation that every man is really two men — the man he is and the man he wants to be. ~William Feather

Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money they don’t have for something they don’t need. ~Will Rogers

It is advertising and the logic of consumerism that governs the depiction of reality in the mass media. ~Christopher Lasch

Advertising is legalized lying. ~H. G. Wells

Mass production had flourished in the US during WWI and goods were pouring off production lines. The concern was overproduction and reaching a point when people had enough goods and would stop buying. Goods like shoes, stockings and cars were promoted for their durability, and the aim of advertisements then were to highlight products practical virtues. Paul Mazur, a leading Wall Street banker working for Lehman Brothers stated,

We must shift America from a needs – to a desires-culture. People must be trained to desire, to want new things, even before the old have been entirely consumed. […] Man’s desires must overshadow his needs.

In stepped Edward Louis Bernays with the promise of changing the way people thought and behaved. He had seen the success of propaganda during WWI, and was sure that it would work just as well during peace time. But he needed a different name to ‘propaganda’ and came up with the term ‘Public Relations,’ and a new industry was born.


His message,

If you target people’s irrational, unconscious beliefs and fears in your advertisements, you will sell more stuff! He showed corporations how they could make people want things they didn’t need by linking mass produced goods to their unconscious desires.

His idea was,

Let’s make everyone dissatisfied for the good of the economy. The consumer must be permanently dissatisfied, or else consumption will stop. We will train people to be docile, obedient consumers, they will buy more and more things, this will make them happy, and will power the economy forward.

Also a new method of managing democracy simultaneously followed. At its root was the consumer to make the economy work and the masses happy and docile, thus creating a stable society not disturbed and less likely to revolt.

Banks funded stores and consumer magazines to create a society of consumers. Advertising pushes a model of success and beauty that in reality is impossible to attain. Despite this reality people want what they haven’t got and want to be someone they’re not. Not surprisingly there is an epidemic of obsessive, envious, keeping-up-with-the-Joneses and increases in depression and anxiety.

Manipulating the masses
Advertising focused on creating artificial needs, fostering unhappiness with oneself and one’s possessions. In the words of Nancy Shalek, president of the Shalek Agency, 

Advertising at its best is about making people feel that without their product, you’re a loser. Kids are very sensitive to that … You open up emotional vulnerabilities, and its very easy to do with kids because they’re the most emotionally vulnerable.

The primary element of social control is the strategy of distraction which diverts public attention from focusing on profound, important issues and questions of life to those issues and changes determined by the political and economic elites, by the technique of flood or flooding continuous distractions and insignificant information: external appearance, sex, celebrities, sport, fashion, fame, looking young. Competing with others for status and status symbols. Distraction strategy is also essential to prevent the public interest in the essential knowledge in the area of the science, economics, psychology, neurobiology and cybernetics.

Maintaining public attention diverted away from the real social problems, captivated by matters of no real importance. Keep the public busy, busy, busy, no time to think, back to farm and other animals. ~Noam Chomsky, Silent Weapons for Quiet War

A philosophy of futility was drilled into everyone,

Nothing matters, your opinions don’t matter, there is no God, so you might as well go shopping and leave us [your rulers] to make the important decisions for you. ~Unknown

Thus by satisfying people’s inner selfish desires, they are happy (however only momentarily) and docile: the all-consuming person is achieved by advertising (propaganda), credit and product obsolescence. And, the ultimate outcome is for consumers to become enslaved to the banks, and the onerous reality. And, of course, Bernays’ model has been universally adopted by the Matrix, and goes hand in hand with military profiteering, population control, and the concentration of political power.

The side affect of Consumerism
An isolated, vulnerable and greedy type of person has emerged: selfish, self-indulgent, one-dimensional, conformist and repressed, an incomplete individual seeking acceptance. The rise in depression, anxiety, stress, and disease is thus no surprise. According to Oliver James,

I have rejected ‘mental illness’ altogether as a way of characterising disturbance. Like many before me, I have come to the conclusion that it is grossly inaccurate to depict depression, anxiety, or even schizophrenia and other psychoses as physical diseases of the body requiring medical treatment… I contend that most emotional distress is best understood as a rational response to sick societies. Change those societies and we will all be less stressed. ~Oliver James (2007) Affluenza: How to be Successful and Stay Sane, p. xx



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