Wednesday, 14 November 2012

"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society."

Yesterday we had a talk about "Propaganda", and learnt about Edward Bernays (mnemonic: Béarnaise), who basically invented PR (his bio is here).
He was Freud's nephew, and thought a lot about how to rule the people by fulfilling their unconscious desires.

And contrarily to what they want to make you believe in Mad Men's first season, publicity for cigarettes didn't start in the 60's but in 1929, when Eddie paid a few models to light up “Torches of freedom during the Easter Sunday Parade, in front of photographs. At a time when it was considered very rude for a woman to smoke in public.

I don’t know if I should like him for advancing women’s cause, or not like him for manipulating women into buying a health hazard.

I guess women’s cause would have advanced without him anyway.

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