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Know Your Enemy: Edward Bernays -- The Founding Father of Spin and Phony Image-Making

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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 06:24 PM
Original message
Know Your Enemy: Edward Bernays -- The Founding Father of Spin and Phony Image-Making
Edited on Mon Jan-01-07 06:45 PM by Dems Will Win

SIGMUND FREUD AND HIS NEPHEW EDWARD BERNAYS

Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power."
- Benito Mussolini liked this quote so much he attributed it to himself

Part of understanding the current state of the world is to know the history of corporatism, as full corporatism is the future the regressive conservatives have long been implementing. As Mussolini believed, fascism should more appropriately be termed Corporatism, with certain corporate owners becoming partners with the rulers at the top of the power pyramid. Ordinary voters then become second-class citizens and lose the real democratic power that they enjoy in a capitalist state.

This is the danger we face today from the nearly unbridled power of multi-nationals to corrupt and influence the political process and media all over the world. It has degenerated to the point in the U.S. where lobbyists literally write the legislation concerning their industry.

Corporatism is not capitalism, as capitalism merely regulates the market, while in corporatism the select corporate elite dictate government policy and shape the market for their own greedy purposes. Under corporatism, free markets are controlled and manipulated by the few, with little or no thought for the public good.

In Fascist Italy, the corporations actually had their own government legislative body, the Camera dei Fasci e delle Corporazioni! Today, corporatism in America and around the world is subtler, pulling the strings through lobbying and campaign contributions, which in the U.S. makes up 2/3 of the money going to politicians.

The PR Mind-Control of Edward Bernays

"Those who manipulate the unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested largely by men we have never heard of In almost every act of our 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 that control the public mind."-Edward Bernays

Why is present-day corporatism so successful? How have they managed to pull off lies like smoking tobacco is good for you, that nuclear power will be safe and too cheap to meter, or that the jury is still out on global warming? In reality, the Republicans, and their crony capitalist patrons, have a secret weapon: a new sophisticated method of public relations based on the science of psychology. Backed up by the corporate media, this insidious new form of PR is literally a type of mass mind control.

Aiding the corporations in their quest for ultimate gain and profit was the nephew of Sigmund Freud, Edward Bernays, the Father of Spin. He used psychology to build image and to help corporations position their products, even if the product was not good for peopleor might even kill them.

Uncle Sigmund had taught Bernays one thing: emotions have a profound effect on the subconscious. So Bernays cleverly used psychological images to sell his clients wares, tapping deep-down emotions to bend the perceived reality about the product. He wrote the book on propaganda, literally. Bernays book Propaganda had an impact within all large companies and governments, including the Nazis, and they were all soon utilizing his methods. The politicians were not far behind in learning how to spin campaigns for themselves and their corporate contributors, creating an intricate web of Spin, Corporatist/Conservative big lies and little liesa web of deceit that was impenetrable to the casual observer. The public was only told what the Spin Machine wanted them to know.

The result is the world you see today.

After advising the Republicans and Big Oil on how to win the fight to suppress ethanol and put lead into gasoline, Bernays scored another coup during the 1929 Easter Parade in New York City when he arranged for the Torches of Liberty to march. The Torches were cigarette-smoking suffragettes, who proclaimed that cigarettes were part of womens liberationthat women have the right to smoke like men. Ever since the Torches of Liberty, women have seen smoking as a sign of their independence. Score one for emotion, zero for reason.

Bernays stated that emotion could be used to triumph over fact, and that a subtle lie repeated over and over will eventually be believed by the majority of the listening, viewing and reading public. His books Crystallizing Public Opinion, Propaganda and The Engineering of Consent were the foundation of Public Relations, giving corporations and governments a tremendous new power over the mind of the general public.

Bernays realized that by using independent third-party associations, corporate propaganda can be fed through a seemingly objective source, which then issued press releases saying their product was safe. The safety was determined, however, through falsified studies by the phony institutes and foundations he had his clients set up. As communication technology delivered more and more power into the hands of fewer and fewer media owners, who typically sat on the Boards of major corporations themselves, the circle of deception was complete.

The security of modern corporatism and establishment institutions was for the time assured - no matter what outrage greed and old science technology produces.

Since it all worked on manipulating subconscious emotions, the person doesnt even know they are being subjected to PR mind-control. The advertisers could now get you to think almost whatever way they want you to about a productmaking you think you absolutely have to buy it as soon as you can.

Bernays technique was to reframe the issue so that the product is perceived in a more desirable light. In his book Propaganda, he said the public is a herd that needed to be led. It is this herdlike quality, this pliable group mind that makes the population susceptible to leadership and makes it possible to "control the masses without their knowing it."

One of the greatest triumphs of Edward Bernays was forging the decades-long marketing alliance between the AMA and the tobacco industry. Despite many opinions to the contrary, the AMA agreed to state in ads that cigarettes were actually beneficial to health. Smoking was recommended as a treatment for nerves. Even doctors believed it, and a huge number took up cigarettes themselves. This particular deception was successful for a half a century, until the Surgeon Generals Report on smoking comes out in 1965.

Still another campaign involving doctors gets all of America eating bacon for breakfast. Edward Bernays was literally responsible for the deaths of tens of millions over the many years.

It would be decades before the ecological worldview could even begin to compete with the corporatist media and tell the whole truth about the world. Abraham Lincoln had worried that corporations would be enthroned and exploit the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic is destroyed. It seems our Republic is well on its way to that terrible future.

What do you plan to do about it?

Start by reading this book: TOXIC SLUDGE IS GOOD FOR YOU
http://www.amazon.com/Toxic-Sludge-Good-You-Relations/dp/1567510604/sr=1-1/qid=1167693943/ref=pd_bbs_1/102-6016281-0507355?ie=UTF8&s=books

Please remember to recommend to get this out to the blogosphere.


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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 06:32 PM
Response to Original message
1. SAme authors have another book: TRUST US, WE'RE EXPERTS!
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killbotfactory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 06:34 PM
Response to Original message
2. "The Century of the Self" is a video about this man and his ideas
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2637635365191428174

From the creator of "The Power of Nightmares"
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 07:21 PM
Response to Reply #2
13. Thanks, will watch
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 09:27 PM
Response to Reply #2
19. Great documentary. Thanks for posting the link. n/t
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 06:37 PM
Response to Original message
3. And THIS is the evil that the "internets" can undo...!
When the sources of information are diffuse and many, it becomes much much harder to manage the message. The old lies will not suffice and the old methods must be scrapped.

This is the reason we must push, push, push to keep the "tubes" open and freeflowing. The "Big Lie" is past due for a burial.
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Edward Bernays is a critical link
to understanding the dynamics of "perception management."
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 06:38 PM
Response to Original message
4. Gramsci is the master of understanding
Mussolini's take on this.
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 06:44 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Please enlighten! Any linky goodness??
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #6
14. There are numerous Gramsci links on line
http://www.italnet.nd.edu/gramsci/
Stephen Gill's article is very useful.
http://www.italnet.nd.edu/gramsci/resources/online_articles/articles/gill01.shtml

New Left Review is a great resource a well.

Of course Gramsci's Prison Notebooks is the place to start.

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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. thx
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Capn Amerika Donating Member (248 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 06:44 PM
Response to Original message
7. Don't forget Walter Lippman
Edited on Mon Jan-01-07 06:50 PM by Capn Amerika
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Amen
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 06:51 PM
Response to Original message
9. Today's crooks have gone waaay past what the pioneers found....
Perception Management:



Bush's 'Perception Management' Plan

By Robert Parry
Consortiumnews.com November 18, 2004

George W. Bush has been criticized for disdaining fact in favor of faith in his own instincts. But he is savvy about the dangers that information can present to his authority over the government and the American people.

That is why the first priority of his second term has been the elimination of the few government sources of information that could challenge the images he wants to project to the public. Bush doesnt want the State Department or the Central Intelligence Agency portraying his Iraq and other foreign policies as abject failures or reckless adventures.

So, by attacking these remaining pockets of analytical resistance, Bush is moving to ensure that his administration can keep much of the U.S. population seeing a near-empty cup as almost entirely full, a concept known in the intelligence world as perception management.

On a personal level, Bush appears to have found in his electoral victory a validation of his public-relations strategy of casting his foreign policy as a black-and-white war between good and evil. In this tough-talking approach, Bush has been helped immeasurably by the powerful conservative news media, ranging from AM talk radio to Fox News, from right-wing newspaper columnists to Internet bloggers.

Indeed, it is impossible to understand why Americans have grown so detached from reality without appreciating the combined impact of this conservative media built over the past quarter century and Bushs personal insistence on loyalty over almost all other values. These two factors have made the United States a kind of ultimate test for the Orwellian intelligence theories of perception management.

Controlling Opinions

Perception management also known as public diplomacy is a propaganda strategy for controlling how a target population views political events. Refined by intelligence services as they tried to manipulate foreign populations, the practice eventually seeped into domestic U.S. politics as a way to manipulate post-Vietnam-War-era public opinion.

CONTINUED...

http://www.consortiumnews.com/Print/2004/111804.html



So. Why were all those US Army "interns" at work at CNN?



NPR news chiefs deny they knew of Army interns

By Mike Janssen
Originally published in Current, April 17, 2000

Sergeants from a specialized propaganda unit of the U.S. Army interned on NPR news shows over a nine-month period, according to a statement by network President Kevin Klose released last week. The April 10 announcement coincided with the publication of an article in TV Guide that revealed the surprising news.

Similar reports about officers from the 4th Psychological Operations Group (PSYOP) interning at CNN surfaced weeks before the TV Guide article, first in a Dutch newspaper and later in stateside media. Media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting and Nation columnist Alexander Cockburn suggested that the military was spying on CNN and highlighted the rich potential for conflicts of interest. However, CNN and NPR officials agree with a PSYOP spokesman: the interns did not influence the networks' journalism.

"No journalism was committed" by the interns, says NPR Ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin, who was v.p. of news when the interns were employed. Dvorkin says the interns answered phones, filed away scripts, and prepared program lists and schedules. Maj. Jonathan Withington, a public affairs officer with the U.S. Army Special Operations Command which includes PSYOP, adds that the interns carried equipment and did "background research," and stresses that they did not influence reporting. Regardless, Dvorkin calls the internships "a real goof."

The first intern at NPR rotated among newsmagazines from September to November 1998. The other two worked for Talk of the Nation, one from January to February 1999, the other from March to May 1999. NPR and Withington would not identify the interns or allow them to be interviewed for this article.

All of the interns were non-commissioned U.S. Army officers from the 4th Psychological Operations Group based at Ft. Bragg, N.C. PSYOP overtly disseminates information supporting U.S. goals and policy to other countries. For example, the unit has placed signs in Colombian airports discouraging drug smuggling. "In civilian terms, it's like working in an ad agency or a public relations firm," Withington says.

The Army began to arrange the internships through NPR's human resources office in February 1998, according to Withington.

NPR spokeswoman Jess Sarmiento says the human resources department, including Vice President for Human Resources Kathleen Jackson, knew the interns worked for PSYOP when it hired them, but thought news staffers had okayed the plan. Dvorkin says he wasn't aware the interns were from PSYOP until a few weeks ago. It's possible that the interns' immediate supervisors knew, but Sarmiento says the PSYOP tie was news to a higher-up, whom she would not name, who learned of it only near the end of the third intern's stint. And Dvorkin says he wasn't aware the interns were from PSYOP until a few weeks ago.

Upon discovering the connection, Sarmiento says, NPR's news department ordered Human Resources to stop hiring PSYOP officers. "Once we discovered it, we said, 'This is not for us,' and so we severed the relationship," Dvorkin says. He adds that the network needs to be more vigilant about hiring news interns in the future. Withington says the interns worked at CNN and NPR to get hands-on experience with technical aspects of news production. After their internships, they reported back to colleagues and shared their experiences. For instance, their feedback helped Ft. Bragg design a new center for media production that will reduce the number of PSYOP officers the Army deploys abroad.

CONTINUED...

http://www.current.org/rad/rad007psyop.html



Plus, it's easy work, coming up with lies to fool most of the people some of the time.
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 06:55 PM
Response to Original message
10. The term Public Relations
was invented as a palatable tonic to replace the term Propaganda. It sounds so much nicer, but it is exactly the same animal.

Propaganda, spun into Public Relations. Read the Book of Lies.
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calzone Donating Member (242 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 07:06 PM
Response to Original message
11. Bacon????
"Still another campaign involving doctors gets all of America eating bacon for breakfast. Edward Bernays was literally responsible for the deaths of tens of millions over the many years."

What's wrong with eating Bacon?
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 07:09 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. A little is OK but too much clogs up the old tubes you know
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calzone Donating Member (242 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. I know, but ....
Edited on Mon Jan-01-07 08:15 PM by calzone
...saying millions have died from eating Bacon....that taints the whole article for me.
I've got a chest full of stents, but I'm sure it isn't because of the 6 or seven paper-thin strips of Bacon I eat per week. Heart disease is the nation's number 1 killer, but I don't believe it's all from eating pork. Humans have been eating pork for a long, long time.
That said, I'm still going to do some research on Mr. Bernays.
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 08:29 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. The AMA was bought, and covered up evidence of bacon fat and heart disease
DO get the book Toxic Sludge is good for you, the research is all there.
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calzone Donating Member (242 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 11:19 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. I'll look for it. n/t
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Ian_rd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-02-07 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #20
22. "More doctors smoke camels" Check this out. Same kind of deal.
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calzone Donating Member (242 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-02-07 01:29 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. Thanks, and that republican dictionary....
....is a terrific site.
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bonito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 09:25 PM
Response to Original message
18. Excellent post and replies as well, thank you
Bookmarked
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Ian_rd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-02-07 11:22 AM
Response to Original message
21. Thank you for posting this. K&R. I humbly submit my own short piece on this subject.
Elites, Thought Providers, and Rabble Irregulars - The One-sided Class War in Modern America

To me, this is one of the most important issues of our time, and it fascinates me to no end. This issue deals with the phenomenon of how a tiny elite control the vast majority not through tyranny, but by convincing vast numbers of people to act against their own interest. As their wages fall, their freedoms erode, and their health suffers, millions of working class people in a free society are still somehow convinced to take to the streets and raise hell in order to further the policies and people responsible.
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-02-07 11:40 AM
Response to Reply #21
23. They DID outlaw Subliminal Advertising
But all the rest of this hidden propaganda should be banned as well.
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Ian_rd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-02-07 01:15 PM
Response to Original message
24. The Persuaders: A documentary of the PR industry by PBS - you can watch it online
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-02-07 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. This turned into one great thread!
Thanks
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nicknameless Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-03-07 02:22 AM
Response to Original message
27. Little known fact: The original spelling of his name was "Bearnaise"
... Okay, it wasn't. Just seemed like an obvious joke.

:)
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Mr Rabble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-03-07 12:13 PM
Response to Original message
28. Bump for today.
Important stuff here.
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