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Mark Stapleton
11-03-2008, 04:04 PM
I don't think the propaganda subforum would be complete without a brief mention of the man who literally wrote the book (Propaganda, 1929), and whom I discovered only recently while browsing the net.

Edward Louis Bernays (!892-1995) was the nephew of Freud and used Freudian psychoanalytic techniques to mould public opinion at the time of nascent mass communication in America. In fact, he stated that a necessary feature of any democracy was the manipulation of public opinion by a select few.

His campaigns were audacious and brilliant. The Youtube clip is part of the excellent 2002 BBC doco 'The Century of Self" by Adam Curtis, dealing with Bernays' life. Note the ingenious way he transformed a taboo on women smoking in the 1920's into a generation of newly "liberated" women smokers:


http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZYTrFokPHY&feature=related


The king of spin. It's a little scary seeing how we've been manipulated like sheep for so long.

David Guyatt
11-03-2008, 05:58 PM
Thanks for this Mark. I've never heard of him before today but am keenly interested in his adaptation of psychoanalytic techniques to achieve his ends. The manipulation of the Collective Unconscious for commercial profit. Wonderful!

Mark Stapleton
11-03-2008, 10:30 PM
Thanks for this Mark. I've never heard of him before today but am keenly interested in his adaptation of psychoanalytic techniques to achieve his ends. The manipulation of the Collective Unconscious for commercial profit. Wonderful!

Hi David,

Yes, Bernays seems to be a bit of a forgotten figure (by design, perhaps) but he definitely left his 'footprint' on all who lived in the 20th century consumer age, transforming American society from needs based to wants based without many of us realising we were all just lab rats.

The doco makes engrossing viewing and all six parts are there on Youtube (everything's on Youtube now of course). The interviews with Bernays are truly fascinating for their candour.

Interesting that Freud eventually became disillusioned with his nephew's exploits.

Jan Klimkowski
11-03-2008, 10:50 PM
His campaigns were audacious and brilliant. The Youtube clip is part of the excellent 2002 BBC doco 'The Century of Self" by Adam Curtis, dealing with Bernays' life. Note the ingenious way he transformed a taboo on women smoking in the 1920's into a generation of newly "liberated" women smokers:


http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZYTrFokPHY&feature=related



Yup. Adam Curtis on form.

Magda Hassan
11-04-2008, 07:36 AM
Thanks for this Mark. Fascinating history. Great find. I've downloaded all these clips and put them in our You Tube channel propaganda section. :)

Myra Bronstein
11-04-2008, 08:12 AM
I don't think the propaganda subforum would be complete without a brief mention of the man who literally wrote the book (Propaganda, 1929), and whom I discovered only recently while browsing the net.

Edward Louis Bernays (!892-1995) was the nephew of Freud and used Freudian psychoanalytic techniques to mould public opinion at the time of nascent mass communication in America. In fact, he stated that a necessary feature of any democracy was the manipulation of public opinion by a select few.

His campaigns were audacious and brilliant. The Youtube clip is part of the excellent 2002 BBC doco 'The Century of Self" by Adam Curtis, dealing with Bernays' life. Note the ingenious way he transformed a taboo on women smoking in the 1920's into a generation of newly "liberated" women smokers:


http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZYTrFokPHY&feature=related


The king of spin. It's a little scary seeing how we've been manipulated like sheep for so long.

Great find Mark; thank you.
I've been wanting to read Bernays' book ever since I got interested in the subject.

Very interesting about the women "liberated" to die from smoking.
I've long wondered how much of the woman's lib movement in the US, pertaining specifically to the workplace, was preparing Americans for the fact that within a couple of generations households would need two paychecks to (barely) scrape by.

Hey, I happened to stumble across this website yesterday on "propaganda and espionage philately" (I had to look it up so you have to look it up :p): http://www.psywar.org/stamps.php

Now there's a category of propaganda I hadn't paused to think about. Of course people like Karl Rove and Frank Luntz are probably familiar with every aspect.

Mark Stapleton
11-04-2008, 10:34 PM
Hi Myra,

Propaganda and espionage philately, eh? Who'da thunk it.

I guess telecommunications technology has put paid to it once and for all, but I did like the American Mussolini propaganda postcard with the Spock-like ears. Very nice.

Myra Bronstein
11-06-2008, 06:07 AM
... I did like the American Mussolini propaganda postcard with the Spock-like ears. Very nice.

I found that...
(wait for it)
...
fascinating.

:p

Mark Stapleton
11-07-2008, 01:19 AM
:D:D:D