Home > Advertising & Marketing > Birth of Modern Propaganda – Edward Bernays and The Century of Self

Birth of Modern Propaganda – Edward Bernays and The Century of Self


A fascinating series of video clips on the birth of the modern propaganda industry (rebranded as Public Relations) in the early 1920s – beginning with Sigmund Freud’s nephew Edward Bernays and the use of PR in America. Below is Part 1 of 4.

How’s this for an amazing quote from the above clip:

What the corporations realized they had to do was transform the way the majority of Americans thought about products. One leading banker, Paul Mazer of Lehman Brothers, was clear about what was necessary. “We must shift America,” he wrote, “from a needs to a desires culture. People must be trained to desire, to want new things even before the old have been entirely consumed. We must shape a new mentality in America. Man’s desires must overshadow his needs.”

Wow. Holy shit! So that’s where the whole fucked-up consumption mentality comes from in American society. For more on Bernays and the use of propaganda in media and society, please see:

Propaganda – Edward Bernays, 1928 (reprint 2004)

Manufacturing Consent – Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky, 2002

Captains Of Consciousness: Advertising And The Social Roots Of The Consumer Culture – Stuart Ewen, 2001

Taking the Risk Out of Democracy – Alex Carey, 1996

GNN Profile: John Stauber – John Stauber GNN, 2002

And for a truly scary video in the topic of propaganda as mind control, please see:

The Most Dangerous Game – GNN, 2003

glenn

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