Conscious and Intelligent Manipulation

Edward Bernays

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. 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 are molded, 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 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 . . . If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, it is now possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without them knowing it.”

– Edward Bernays, ‘The Father of Public Relations,’ in his influential book Propaganda (1928), explaining that the ability of democratic societies to control minds and regiment masses is what gives Islamic terrorists such a terminal case of the old green eyed monster.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Bernays
http://www.prwatch.org/prwissues/1999Q2/bernays.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcYBSXgtmKQ

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