Edward Bernays - Noam Chomsky - Peace Propaganda & the Promised Land TV - Jeremy Paxman - Brian Eno - Richard P Feynman - Stuart Ewen - Salman Rushdie – Harry S Truman - Adam Curtis TV - Psywar 2010 - Reinventing the Royals TV -
When I came back to the United States, I decided that if you could use propaganda for war, you could certainly use it for peace. And propaganda got to be a bad word because of the Germans using it, so what I did was to try and find some other words so we found the words public relations. Edward Bernays, cited Adam Curtis ‘The Century of the Self’, 2002
You have taken over the job of taking over creating desire. And have transformed people into constantly moving happiness machines. Machines which have become the key to economic progress. Herbert Hoover, address to advertisers & public relations men
Thus began the longest and most expensive public relations campaign in history. The Tobacco Conspiracy: The Backroom Deals of a Deadly Industry, 2016
You can and ought to control the public, and if we can’t do it by force, we’ll do it by manufacturing consent, by engineering consent. Out of that comes the huge public relations industry – massive industry dedicated to this; incidentally, it’s also dedicated to undermining markets. Noam Chomsky, interview Chris Hedges June 2014, Youtube 55.08
The propaganda machine is even more effective than it is in Israel. American news coverage is influenced by a complex set of institutional relationships. These influences can be thought of as a series of filters through which the news must travel before it emerges in the voices of news anchors. To understand how American news media report on the Middle East conflict we need to understand how these institutional filters operate. Among the most important of these filters are the business interests of the corporations that own the mass media ... The government of Israel employs some of the largest American public relations firms as image consultants to coordinate its media and political campaigns. Nine Israeli consulates help implement these PR campaigns by developing relationships with journalists and monitoring media outlets. Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land, 2004
No government in history has been as obsessed with public relations as this one ... If there is a message I want to be off it. Jeremy Paxman
When governments rely increasingly on sophisticated public relations agencies, public debate disappears and is replaced by competing propaganda campaigns, with all the accompanying deceits. Advertising isn’t about truth or fairness or rationality, but about mobilising deeper and more primitive layers of the human mind. Brian Eno
Reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled. Richard P Feynman
The history of Public Relations is ... a history of a battle for what is reality and how people will see and understand reality. Stuart Ewen
Bernays really is the guy within the United States more than anybody else who brings to the table psychological theory as something that is an essential part of how from the corporate side we are going to appeal to the masses effectively. Stuart Ewen, Public Relations historian
Tyranny does not like publicity. It is one of the curious weaknesses of tyrants that they want to be liked. Salman Rushdie, PEN World Voice Festival, conversation with Christopher Hitchens
All the President is is a glorified public relations man who spends his time flattering, kissing and kicking people to get them to do what they are supposed to do anyway. Harry S Truman, letter to sister 14th November 1947
A hundred years ago a new theory of human nature was put forward by Sigmund Freud. He had discovered he said primitive sexual and aggressive forces hidden deep inside the minds of all human beings. Forces which if not controlled, led individuals and societies to chaos and destruction. Adam Curtis, The Century of the Self I: Happiness Machines, BBC 2002
Bernays was the first person to take Freud’s ideas about human beings and use them to manipulate the masses. He showed American corporations for the first time how they could make people want things they didn’t need by linking mass-produced goods to their unconscious desires. Out of this would come a new political idea of how to control the masses. By satisfying people’s inner selfish desires, one made them happy and thus docile. It was the start of the all-consuming self which has come to dominate our world today. ibid.
Freud’s idea that hidden inside all humans were dangerous instinctual drives. ibid.
‘If you could use propaganda for war, you could certainly use it for peace.’ ibid. Bernays, interview 1991
Bernays returned to New York and set up as a public relations counsel in a small office off Broadway. It was the first time the term had been used. ibid.
He wondered if he could make money by manipulating the unconscious. ibid.
Bernays set out to experiment with the minds of the popular classes. His most dramatic experiment was to persuade women to smoke. At that time there was a taboo against women smoking. And one of his early clients, George Hill, the president of the American tobacco corporation, asked Bernays to find a way of breaking it. ibid.
What Bernays had created was the idea that if a woman smoked, it made her more powerful and independent. An idea that still persists today. It made him [Bernays] realise that it was possible to persuade people to behave irrationally if you linked products to their emotional desires and feelings. The idea that smoking actually made women freer was completely irrational but it made them feel more independent. ibid.
For the first time politics became involved in public relations. ibid.
What was beginning to emerge in the 1920s was a new idea of how to run mass democracy. At its heart was the consuming self which not only made the economy work but was happy and docile, so created a stable society. ibid.
He [Bernays] was about to help create a vision of the Utopia that free market capitalism would build in America if it was unleashed. ibid.
It’s actually in Western democracies and open societies where you need the most sophisticated sorts of propaganda. Psywar, 2010
Propaganda’s become a business – the business of public relations. ibid.
The toppling of the Saddam statue had been engineered by a psychological operations group. ibid.
Under the Clinton administration … the presence of psywar operators at CNN … They helped in the production of news. ibid.
Iraq: the high-tech synergy that was almost impossible to tell where the state ended and the fourth estate began. ibid.
Iraq: a pinnacle of domestic psywar in the United States. ibid.
The [Rockefeller] Ludlow Massacre … A PR nightmare … ibid.
The massacre of [Kuwaiti] babes never occurred. ibid.
Lippmann called it the Manufacturing of Consent. ibid.
Bernays suggested a strategy where the products became linked with the unconscious desires of the public. ibid.
Charles ... hired a spin doctor ... Charles’s reputation was in tatters. Reinventing the Royals I, BBC 2015