This book is a great starting point to understand the nature of the modern world. It is a short and easy read, written in common language, that anyone can easily understand. The only difficulty is in actually accepting and digesting what I can only inadequately describe as the sinister implication of the work.
It should also be noted that while this book is at the foundation of a much larger body of work that we will explore in the coming months, it is not the very beginning nor is it alone in prescribing the manipulation of the masses. Other authors and works, many even predating this one, include:
- "Poison" Ivy Lee
The principal competitor to Bernays and the originator of modern crisis communications.
- Covid, Ebola, Zikka
- Snowpocalypse, polar vortex
- Financials, crash/explosion
- Wildfires (that have been suppressed for years), fire tornados
Employed by the Rockerfellers to diffuse the public outrage after the Ludlow Massacre, a coal miner strike where 21 people were killed.
He paved the way to create a more humanized portrayal of Rockerfeller (John D. Jr).
This feels much like how Bill Gates rebranded himself from monopolist into philanthropist.
- George Creel
Head of the Committee on Public Information (CPI, a propaganda organization created by President Wilson during WW1.
Bernays served under Creel at the CPI in WW1, got his feet wet in the industry
Creel was ostensibly anti-censorship, but under his direction censored "dangerous" and "unfavorable" news about the war.
At the end of WW1, the CPI was regarded as the greatest public relations effort in history.
- Walter Lippmann
In one of his books, Public Opinion (1922), Lippmann called for a government propaganda machine to lead the bewildered masses.
He was a proponent of an elite ruling class that would guide the nation.
Later in life he changed his opinions and thought that the masses would be able to overcome the complexities of modern life. On this point he debated John Dewey (the father of modern education).
These men are all interesting in their own regard, but we must begin somewhere and the simplicity and directness of this book offers a respectable jumping off point.
I encourage everyone interested to read the work for yourself and use these lectures as a supplement to understanding, but I realize that most people simply do not have the time to dive into the works I'll be covering and I will do my best to present an adequate condensation of the material.
Further, I expect there can be classified two types of people that might be listening to/reading this now. First the so-called conspiracy theorists, who will likely find confirmation of what they have already suspected. Second would be those that are only starting to see some of the cracks in the Mainstream, of maybe more accurately called Legacy, Media. If you fall into the latter category, much of what will be cover might not be particularly easy to swallow. I assure you thought that the language in this and the forthcoming lectures will leave little to the imagination. People like Bernays and his followers (witting or otherwise) have written extensively about what they feel for the "masses" and, needless to say, the word disdain falls quite short.
I'd also like to take a moment to point out that the term conspiracy theory/theorist is generally used as a pejorative. When used this way it is often accompanied by some kind of outlandish claims: the belief that the earth is flat, belief in lizard people controlling Earth, or other such nonsense. This is general an ad hominem attack (attacking one's character, not their argument) and is slowly losing power as more and more corruption is seen among the ruling class.
I am a self proclaimed conspiracy theorist and I have one simple belief: There exists a class of people (so-called elite) that have wealth, power, and influence. These people work together in various degrees of separation to maintain and advance their wealth, power, and influence.
There doesn't need to be a global cabal, plotting in a smoke filled room
Banks all want profit, so all move in the same direction
Similar classes of people run in the same circle
Like Hollywood actors, not all friends, but they run in the same circle
Local business people
wealthy, powerful, influential people run in the same circles
WEF Davos, CFR, Committee of 300, Club of Rome, Bilderberg group, etc
They all want to "improve" the world
Nudge (A Cass Sunstein book), lots of little things all in the same direction
Two other quotes that might be useful to consider before we begin:
"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."
I think this, while not completely backwards, is used to dismiss malice as incompetence. Many times people will argue that a corporation or government is so stupid, but when we see such organization making the same "mistakes" over and over again, should we not at least consider that feigning ignorance would be a useful tactic to hide one's malicious intent?
An example of this might be the United States monetary policy. Many claim the idea of "printing" money and growing the national debt is stupid, but those that are doing (and influencing) just that are reaping tremendous rewards. The same "stupid" policies have failed over and over again, yet they are repeated. Don't think for one second the "banksters" don't know exactly what they are doing.
When they inflate the monetary supply, it hurts almost everyone. Your food prices, gas, and rent are all going up, but the people making millions care little if gas is 3.50 a gallon or 35 bucks a gallon.
At the same time there is a similar inflation in equities (stocks, owned by the top percent) but doesn't really help the little guy. Sure, home value is up, but how does that help the homeowner? Sell for a profit and do what? Buy another inflated house for no real gain? Further, who are you selling to when the younger generation is left behind financially? Not to mention that big house price tag leads to big taxes.
A silly example of this might be: let's say I want to build a water gun. I go out to my workshop for a few days and when I emerge and pull the trigger of my newly built water gun, it springs a leak. You could easily say my incompetence lead to this failure. But, if I came out and pulled the trigger and instead of a leak, it produced a fireball; when I pulled the trigger it was actually a flamethrower. No one would say that I'm so stupid because I tried to build a water gun but "accidentally" built a flamethrower. It's simply malice. I wanted to build a flamethrower and I lied when I said I was building a water gun.
One example of someone claiming to build a water gun and ending up with a flamethrower is the war on drugs. For decades we've been told the war on drugs is to get drugs off the streets, but we see the exact opposite. More drug use/addiction, more overdose deaths, more profit, etc. So we need to stop and ask: are these people (fighting the war on drugs) actually incompetent or are they malicious? Maybe they don't want drugs off the streets. Maybe drugs on the street leads to:
A drugged population is easy to manipulate
A drugged population won't protest/riot over food prices/inequity
China opium wars
Heroin in Harlem - Black Panthers
Another quote, from Ian Fleming (of James Bond fame) is: "Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, the third time it’s enemy action."
Again, if you see the same thing over and over, if someone claims something then fails, OK that's happenstance. If they claim it again and fail again, cut them another break. But if they make the claim a third time and it "fails", maybe there is enemy action there, maybe they are doing it is on purpose. Maybe it is malicious intent, not only ignorance.
So, with that out of the way, let's get started with Propaganda. Written by Edward Bernays. Initially published in 1928.