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Propaganda and engineering consent

17/10/2016

Propaganda and Engineering Consent for Empire with Mark Crispin Miller and Abby Martin  

The Century of the Self (Full Documentary)

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are moulded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. …In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind. ~Edward L. Bernays (1928) Propaganda p. 9

The nephew of Sigmund Freud, Edward L. Bernays (1891-1995) pioneered the scientific technique of shaping and manipulating public opinion, which he called “engineering of consent.” During World War I, he was an integral part – along with Walter Lippmann – of the U.S. Committee on Public Information (CPI), a powerful propaganda machine that advertised and sold the war to the American people as one that would “Make the World Safe for Democracy.” The marketing strategies for all future wars would be based on the CPI model. Over the next half century, Bernays, combining the techniques he had learned in the CPI with the ideas of Lippmann and Freud, fashioned a career as an outspoken proponent of propaganda for political and corporate manipulation of the population, earning the moniker “father of public relations.” Among his powerful clients were President Calvin Coolidge, Procter & Gamble, CBS, the American Tobacco Company and General Electric. In addition, his propaganda campaign for the United Fruit Company in the early 1950s led directly to the CIA’s overthrow of the elected government of Guatemala.

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