Propaganda: Take a Proper gander..
Propaganda: Propaganda modern Latin word, propagare, meaning to spread or to propagate. Derived from a new ‘admin’ of the Catholic Church circa 1622: ‘propagating’ Catholic faith in non-Catholic countries.
The term began taking a negative connotation in mid-19th century, when it was used in the political sphere.
‘The manipulation of the American mind:
Edward Bernays and the birth of ‘public relations‘
‘Edward Bernays pioneered public relations’
‘Often referred to as “the father of public relations,” Edward Bernays in 1928 published his seminal work, ‘Propaganda‘, in which he argued that public relations is not a gimmick but a necessity:‘
‘The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organised 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, and our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of…. It is they who pull the wires that control the public mind.‘— Edward Bernays
‘Bernays came by his beliefs honestly. Born in Austria in 1891, the year Sigmund Freud published one of his earliest papers, Bernays was also Freud’s nephew twice over. His mother was Freud’s sister Anna, and his father, Ely Bernays, was the brother of Freud’s wife Martha.
‘Bernays ..eventually helping the Woodrow Wilson Administration promote the idea that US efforts in World War I were intended to bring democracy to Europe…’
Bernays rebrands ‘propaganda’
”Having seen how effective propaganda could be during war, Bernays wondered whether it might prove equally useful during peacetime.
Yet propaganda had acquired a somewhat pejorative connotation (which would be further magnified during World War II), so Bernays promoted the term “public relations.”
Drawing on the insights of his Uncle Sigmund – a relationship Bernays was always quick to mention – he developed an approach he dubbed “the engineering of consent.” He provided leaders the means to “control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing about it.” To do so, it was necessary to appeal not to the rational part of the mind, but the unconscious.
Bernays’ ideas sold more than cigarettes and cups: Bernays also used fear to sell products. For Dixie cups, Bernays launched a campaign to scare people into thinking that only disposable cups were sanitary. As part of this campaign, he founded the Committee for the Study and Promotion of the Sanitary Dispensing of Food and Drink.
Even though Bernays saw the power of propaganda during war and used it to sell products during peacetime, he couldn’t have imagined that his writings on public relations would become a tool of the Third Reich.
In the 1920s, Joseph Goebbels became an avid admirer of Bernays and his writings – despite the fact that Bernays was a Jew. When Goebbels became the minister of propaganda for the Third Reich, he sought to exploit Bernays’ ideas to the fullest extent possible. For example, he created a “Fuhrer cult” around Adolph Hitler.
Bernays learned that the Nazis were using his work in 1933, from a foreign correspondent for Hearst newspapers. He later recounted in his 1965 autobiography:
They were using my books as the basis for a destructive campaign against the Jews of Germany. This shocked me, but I knew any human activity can be used for social purposes or misused for antisocial ones.— Edward Bernays
What Bernays’ writings furnish is not a principle or tradition by which to evaluate the appropriateness of propaganda, but simply a means for shaping public opinion for any purpose whatsoever, whether beneficial to human beings or not. From https://en.wikipedia.org:
(see also: https://swprs.org/wikipedia
‘ Göring: “Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament.”
Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars. (hmm..)
Göring: “Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.“
Hermann Wilhelm Göring, also rendered as Goering (12 January 1893 – 15 October 1946), was a German politician, military leader and leading member of the Nazi Party. Founder of the Gestapo and the head of the Luftwaffe. From https://en.wikiquote.org/
From: https://en.wikipedia.org/: Demonising the enemy, Demonisation of the enemy or Dehumanisation of the enemy is a propaganda technique which promotes an idea about the enemy being a threatening, evil aggressor with only destructive objectives. Demonisation is the oldest propaganda technique aimed to inspire hatred toward the enemy necessary to hurt them more easily, to preserve and mobilise allies and demoralise the enemy.
The demonisation of the enemy has been routinely conducted throughout the history. ‘Demonisation of the enemy (first enemy leaders and later enemy individuals) became a predictable pattern followed by Western media, the final stage being atrocities.’
I hold it to a sign of great prudence in men to refrain alike from threats and from the use of insulting language, for neither of these things deprives the enemy of his power, but the first puts him more on his guard, while the other intensifies his hatred of you and makes him more industrious in devising means to harm you.— Niccolò Machiavelli
The portrayal of one’s enemy as demonic has often led to the treatment of the whole population or political apparatus associated with the enemy group or leader as equally demonic. This also often results in a tendency to reduce an enemy’s more complex motives to simple promotion of pure evil.
The Chinese revolutionary theorist Mao Ze Dong held that the demonisation of oneself by the enemy was a good thing. He said, “It is still better if the enemy attacks us wildly and paints us as utterly black and without a single virtue; it demonstrates that we have not only drawn a clear line of demarcation between the enemy and ourselves but achieved a great deal in our work.” (To Be Attacked by the Enemy Is Not a Bad Thing but a Good Thing (May 26, 1939)) https://www.marxists.org/
Recommended Viewing: https://www.youtube
Sigmund Freud: ‘Civilisation and it’s Discontents:
Implicit in Freud’s central argument was the theory that individual freedom, which is ‘the heart of democracy’, is impossible.
The story of the relationship between Sigmund Freud and his American nephew, Edward Bernays. Bernays invented the public relations profession in the 1920s and was the first person to take Freud’s ideas to manipulate the masses.
He showed American corporations how they could make people want things they didn’t need by systematically linking mass-produced goods to their unconscious desires. Bernays was one of the main architects of the modern techniques of mass-consumer persuasion, using every trick in the book, from celebrity endorsement and outrageous PR stunts, to eroticising the motorcar.
His most notorious coup was breaking the taboo on women smoking by persuading them that cigarettes were a symbol of independence and freedom. But Bernays was convinced that this was more than just a way of selling consumer goods. It was a new political idea of how to control the masses.
By satisfying the inner irrational desires that his uncle had identified, people could be made happy and thus docile. It was the start of the all-consuming self which has come to dominate today’s world. Originally broadcast on 29th April 2002.— AdamCurtis