Monday, February 24, 2014
EDWARD BERNAYS | Updated 2/24/14 | *Men with Bulging Brains have Time for Occasional Smile* | [1pub11513 ~ 2pub2/10/14 ]
“... During WWI, Bernays worked as a press agent in the United States, promoting America’s war aims under the propaganda slogan “making the world safe for democracy”.
The campaign was extremely successful in shifting the skeptical American public into supporting the war; this success led Bernays to ponder about the potential role that propaganda could play during peacetime.
After the war ended, he set up his own business: the Council on Public Relations—marking the first time that the phrase was ever used. Aided by his famous uncle’s theories, he planned to expand on tactics already developed by PR gurus George Parker and Ivy Lee. Bernays was particularly interested in managing the way that crowds of people felt and acted. The thought of buried irrational forces hidden inside human beings intrigued him, and he saw an immense opportunity to propel his career by attempting to manipulate the collective unconscious.
After reading Freud’s General Introduction to Psycho- Analysis, Bernays formed an idea: perhaps the best way to sell products was not to provide individuals with facts, but instead to play off groups’ irrational emotions. If Freud’s theories were correct, then it could be assumed that individual insecurities could be transformed into consumerist motives—effectively replacing practical needs with irrational wants.
"... Emil Ludwig represents Napoleon as "ever on the watch for indications of public opinion; always listening to the voice of the people, a voice which defies calculation. 'Do you know,' he said in those days, 'what amazes me more than all else? The impotence of force to organize anything.'"
... *in 1909 from G. Stanley Hall, the noted psychologist and president of Clark University, Freud hesitated briefly, partly from a frugal reluctance to lose income from his practice in Vienna for several weeks , but at a deeper level because he shared the standard prejudice of the European intelligentsia that America was an outpost of crude materialism, religious oppression, and shallow thinking ... to join other prominent European and American scholars in giving a series of lectures to commemorate Clark's 20th anniversary ... Thus we must go back to the time before those New York emigrees arrived, a time when Sigmund Freud made his only trip to America . He did so in answer to an invitation*
... The Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, in partnership with Jewish World Watch, convenes the first international summit of its kind, "Informed Activism: Armed Conflict, Scarce Resources, and Congo." http://www.clarku.edu/<<
.. The propaganda system of the first World War and this commission that he was part of showed, he says, it is possible to "regiment the public mind every bit as much as an army regiments their bodies." These new techniques of regimentation of minds, he said, had to be used by the intelligent minorities in order to make sure that the slobs stay on the right course. We can do it now because we have these new techniques ...
.. This is the main manual of the public relations industry. Bernays is kind of the guru. He was an authentic Roosevelt/Kennedy liberal. He also engineered the public relations effort behind the U.S.-backed coup which overthrew the democratic government of Guatemala...
.. His major coup, the one that really propelled him into fame in the late 1920s, was getting women to smoke. Women didn't smoke in those days and he ran huge campaigns for Chesterfield. You know all the techniques—models and movie stars with cigarettes coming out of their mouths and that kind of thing. He got enormous praise for that. So he became a leading figure of the industry, and his book was the real manual.
(From Chomsky's "What Makes Mainstream Media, Mainstream": a talk at Z Media Institute, June 1997) http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/bernprop.html