Footnotes: Research from TV 1/13/2011

Edward L. Bernays “The Father of Spin”
How Bacon and Eggs became the All American Breakfast.

“The Engineering of consent”
by stimulating peoples inner desires, then relieving them with consumer products was the way to control the irrational force of the masses.

Who was Bernays?

Edward Louis Bernays (November 22, 1891 – March 9, 1995)
is considered one of the fathers of the field of public relations along with Ivy Lee.
As a member of the Creel Committee, he helped U.S. President Woodrow Wilson propagandize in support of allied war aims during World War I. (“Make the World safe for Democracy”)
He went on to design PR campaigns for politicians and companies such as General Motors, Procter & Gamble and American Tobacco.
Combining the ideas of Gustave Le Bon and Wilfred Trotter on crowd psychology with the psychoanalytical ideas of his uncle, Sigmund Freud, Bernays was one of the first to attempt to manipulate public opinion using the subconscious.
He felt this manipulation was necessary in society, which he regarded as irrational and dangerous as a result of the ‘herd instinct’ that Trotter had described. Adam Curtis’s award-winning 2002 documentary for the BBC, The Century of the Self, pinpoints Bernays as the originator of modern public relations, and Bernays was named one of the 100 most influential Americans of the 20th century by Life magazine.[1]

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Gustave Le Bon
(born May 7, 1841, Nogent-le-Rotrou, France – died Dec. 13, 1931, Marnes-la-Coquette) French social psychologist. After receiving a doctorate in medicine, he traveled and wrote books on anthropology, but his interests later shifted to social psychology. In The Crowd (1895) he argued that the personality of the individual in a crowd becomes submerged and that the collective crowd mind comes to dominate.
http://www.answers.com/topic/gustave-le-bon

Wilfred Trotter, (b. November 3, 1872, Coleford, Gloucestershire, England-d. November 25, 1939, Blackmoor, Hampshire), surgeon and sociologist whose writings on the behaviour of man in the mass popularized the phrase herd instinct . A surgeon at University College Hospital, London, from 1906, and professor of surgery there from 1935, Trotter held the office of honorary surgeon to King George V from 1928 to 1932. In the history of surgery he is especially noted for his work on the regeneration of sensory nerves in the skin.
As early as 1908 Trotter began to publish articles on herd behaviour and its predictability in gregarious animals, including man. His Instincts of the Herd in Peace and War (1916; 2nd ed., 1919, reissued 1953) was written during World War I and revised in the light of wartime socio-psychological developments.
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/606751/Wilfred-Trotter

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Rise of the image men
PR Man has conquered the world. He still isn’t satisfied
(The Economist)

The rise of radicalism in the years preceding the Russian revolution worried elites everywhere. And there was growing interest in what the emerging field of psychology had to say about the irrationality of the human mind, and in particular that of the masses. Among the curious was Edward Bernays, a nephew of Sigmund Freud and the other main contender for the title of PR’s founding father. He turned others’ theoretical musings on ordinary people’s openness to images and emotional appeals into a series of handbooks explaining how to manipulate the public mind in pursuit of corporate or political goals.

Like Lee, Bernays had started out as a journalist, editing medical magazines. But he discovered the power of persuasion when, in 1913, he promoted a play about the spread of syphilis in a family, breaking a taboo against mentioning sexual diseases. The success of his efforts persuaded him to become a publicist, representing some of the great performers of the day, from Vaslav Nijinsky to Enrico Caruso.
Bernays’s greatest opportunity came with the outbreak of the first world war. President Woodrow Wilson realised the government needed to bring on board the many doubters who saw it as a capitalists’ war that their country should shun. Bernays and other leading PR men were recruited to a new Committee on Public Information (CPI), a vast propaganda operation. They were to put into practice one of Bernays’s main findings from the studies of mass psychology by Uncle Sigmund and others: that the public’s first impulse is usually to follow a trusted leader rather than consider the facts for itself.

In small towns across the country the CPI recruited bank managers and other local authority-figures as “four-minute men”. They gave brief, supposedly impromptu, speeches in cinemas and other public places. Many made the bogus claims that antiwar sentiment was being fomented by German agents, and that America risked being overrun by Prussians.

So successful was the CPI in shaping public opinion that it encouraged the early PR men, Bernays especially, to puff themselves up to new heights of grandeur. No longer would they be mere lackeys of the robber barons; they were now the Great Manipulators, shapers of public opinion for the public’s own good. Bernays went so far as to proclaim that, since the public was so irrational, “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organised habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society.” The alternative to manipulation, he argued, was chaos. Illustrating the extent of his, and the PR business’s, exuberance at this time, one of Bernays’s manuals boasted: “When Napoleon said, ‘Circumstance? I make circumstance,’ he expressed very nearly the spirit of the public relations counsel’s work.”

http://www.economist.com/node/17722733?story_id=17722733

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Who was his uncle Sigmund Freud?
Freud basic tenet: hidden deep within all human beings were dangerous and irrational desires and fears.
People are not rational  - we have inside of us powerful sexual and aggressive forces that were remnants of our animal past.
Feelings we repressed because they were too dangerous.

**Note
Do Freud’s theories challenge the Declaration of Independence?
Freud’s theories challenged one of the fundamental bases of Western Civilization…

“Up until the early 1900′s one fundamental assumption was people were rational beings and if you present a well orchestrated case you could persueade people. taht is the basic logic of the doi.
out a rational argument you could persuade them. That is really basis was that people were rational – the entire basis of the Decalaration of Independence.
(Professor Stuart Ewen, Hunter College)

But Freud said, no – people aren’t rational… underneath it was an internal turmoil of insticts and unconscious desires
repressed, but they had a lot of power over people’s decisions.

-Sex
-aggresion
-security
-self preservation
all these things affected people’s every day decisions.

How did Bernays use it? (BBC)
Ann Bernays (his daughter):
“ingested it early and just used it that is if you want someone to do something you want them to… don’t hook into what they say they want
try to find out what they really want.”

For the first time he used Freuds theories to manipulate the masses.
For American corporations, Bernays showed them how they could make people want things they didn’t need by linking them to their inner unconscious desires.
Out of this came a new political idea of how to control the masses.
By satisfying people’s inner most desires, you made the masses happy and therefore docile.

“Not that the people are in charge… their desire is in charge.
Democracy was reduced from sometihng that assumes an active citizenry to passive consumers driven by instintual or unconscious desires.”
Professor Stuart Ewen, Hunter College

Ann Bernays (32:30)
“Anyone who disagreed with him, used the word dope and stupid over and over
Interviewer: “and the masses” “they were stupid”

****
The business and, increasingly, the political world uses psychological techniques to read and fulfill our desires, to make their products or speeches as pleasing as possible to us. Curtis raises the question of the intentions and roots of this fact. Where once the political process was about engaging people’s rational, conscious minds, as well as facilitating their needs as a society, the documentary shows how by employing the tactics of psychoanalysis, politicians appeal to irrational, primitive impulses that have little apparent bearing on issues outside of the narrow self-interest of a consumer population. He cites Paul Mazur, a Wall Street banker working for Lehman Brothers in the 1930s: “We must shift America 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. [...] Man’s desires must overshadow his needs.”

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What did he influence and how?

-Your Breakfast:
Prior to the 1920s Americans saw bacon as a staple of lunch or dinner. Back then, a typical breakfast consisted of toast and a cup of coffee. Working as a publicist for the Beech-Nut Packing company to boost sales of their bacon Bernays took on the monumental task of creating an entirely new market for his client.
Instead of putting out ads or telling them to cut the price… He started by commissioning a research study of the eating habits of Americans, and then found a doctor who concluded that, since the body loses energy during the night, a robust breakfast was preferable to a light breakfast. Bernays then sent the survey and the doctor’s recommendations to 5,000 physicians, along with a publicity packet touting Beech-Nut bacon and eggs as a hearty breakfast. Soon physicians were recommending bacon and eggs to their patients and word of mouth – the most coveted form of advertising in the world – spread throughout the United States. And just like that, Beech-Nut’s profits soared and the all-American breakfast of bacon and eggs was born.

-Smoking
In the 1920s, there was a taboo against women smoking in public. Working for the American Tobacco Company, Bernays commissioned a study by psychologist on what cigarettes meant to women. He concluded they were a phallic symbol and represented power for women and a challenge to men.
Bernays sent a group of young models to march in the New York City parade. He then told the press that a group of women’s rights marchers would light “Torches of Freedom.” On his signal, the models lit Lucky Strike cigarettes in front of the eager photographers (he had tipped off). The New York Times (1 April 1929) printed a story headlined, “Group of Girls Puff at Cigarettes as a Gesture of ‘Freedom.’” This helped break the taboo against women smoking in public.
(He later regretted this and worked for anti smoking initiatives)

Race relations
(He’s not all bad)
- Bernays handled publicity for the 1920 regional convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Atlanta.
The first time in a Southern City.
“For the first time in the history of the country,” Bernays said, “under the dateline of the South’s industrial metropolis, news was published throughout the country alerting the people of the United States that whites and negroes alike were seeking new status for the Negro.”
(In 1945: The Edward L. Bernays Award for leadership in promoting Negro-White relations was established by The Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America Relations Department)

Politics
- Bernays once engineered a “pancake breakfast” with vaudevillians for U.S. President Calvin Coolidge in what is widely considered one of the first overt media acts for a president.

- In the 1930s, his Dixie Cup campaign was designed to convince consumers that only disposable cups were sanitary.

War:
-1950s – working for United Fruit, helped popularize the overthrow of leftist Guatemalan government
The term “banana republic” actually originated in reference to United Fruit’s domination of corrupt governments in Guatemala and other Central American countries. The company brutally exploited virtual slave labor in order to produce cheap bananas for the lucrative U.S. market. When a mildly reformist Guatemala government attempted to reign in the company’s power, Bernays whipped up media and political sentiment against it in the commie-crazed 1950s.
“Articles began appearing in the New York Times, the New York Herald Tribune, the Atlantic Monthly, Time, Newsweek, the New Leader, and other publications all discussing the growing influence of Guatemala’s Communists,” Tye writes. “The fact that liberal journals like the Nation were also coming around was especially satisfying to Bernays, who believed that winning the liberals over was essential. . . . At the same time, plans were under way to mail to American Legion posts and auxiliaries 300,000 copies of a brochure entitled ‘Communism in Guatemala–22 Facts.’”
His efforts led directly to a brutal military coup. Tye writes that Bernays “remained a key source of information for the press, especially the liberal press, right through the takeover. In fact, as the invasion was commencing on June 18, his personal papers indicate he was giving the ‘first news anyone received on the situation’ to the Associate Press, United Press, the International News Service, and the New York Times, with contacts intensifying over the next several days.”

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Nazis Bernays and Freud

In his autobiography, titled Biography of an Idea, Bernays recalls a dinner at his home in 1933 where “Karl von Weigand, foreign correspondent of the Hearst newspapers, an old hand at interpreting Europe and just returned from Germany, was telling us about Goebbels and his propaganda plans to consolidate Nazi power. Goebbels had shown Weigand his propaganda library, the best Weigand had ever seen. Goebbels, said Weigand, was using my book Crystallizing Public Opinion as a basis for his destructive campaign against the Jews of Germany. This shocked me. … Obviously the attack on the Jews of Germany was no emotional outburst of the Nazis, but a deliberate, planned campaign.”

Freud had warned that groups the irrationality of crowds could emerge in groups “libidinal forces of desire” (forces of love) would give power up to the leader and the aggressive forces would go against who ever was outside the group (ie Jews).
… the Nazis encouraged these forces

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Propaganda = Public Relations
7:52
SOT Bernays:  ”Propaganda worked so good at war, it would work in peace, Propaganda was a bad word b/c of Germans. So I came up w/ different word: Public Relations

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On Democracy

“Bernays and Walter Lippmann saw “democracy as a paliative”
It responds to yearning or pain but doesn’t change anything

-Walter Lippman and the “bewildered herd

Bernays version of democracy about keeping the same, and stimulating the psychological lives of the public
that was necessary to keep stimulating the irrational self, and leadership can do what it wants to do

**
26:36
on Walter Lippmann
crowds:
if people are not able to control themselves then guiding principle of democracy was wrong: that people could be trusted to make rational decisions
if so, then we had to rethink the whole thing
and manage the “bewildered herd”
ordinary people, the mob in the street (how he sees people) people not rational – influenced by spinal chords not brains
looked towards psychological science to understand how the popular mind works to figure out how to influence the mob/ strategies for Social control
(BBC)

Bernays
“the engineering of consent”

Ann Bernays (daughter) 28:30
“Democracy to my father was a wonderful concept, but I don’t think he felt that all those publics out there had reliable judgment.. that they very easily might vote for the wrong man, or want the wrong thing. So that they had to be guided from above. It’s enlightened despotism in a sense. You appeal to their desires and their unrecognized longings that sort of thing. That you can tap into their deepest desires or deepest fears and use that toyour own purposes.

Hoover: taken over the job of creating desire and turned people into “happiness machines” – the key of economic progress
the consuming self – contributed to a stable society (BBC)

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***
Note: he was not all bad
He helped Coolidge win reelection
He helped the NAACP, recognized as a leader in African American Rights/ African American and White relations
He was Capitalist: was pro NAM, anti-Roosevelt
The student left in the 60s, specifically the Weatherman, were against him (and the Freud family)

In his autobiography, titled Biography of an Idea, Bernays recalls a dinner at his home in 1933 where “Karl von Weigand, foreign correspondent of the Hearst newspapers, an old hand at interpreting Europe and just returned from Germany, was telling us about Goebbels and his propaganda plans to consolidate Nazi power. Goebbels had shown Weigand his propaganda library, the best Weigand had ever seen. Goebbels, said Weigand, was using my book Crystallizing Public Opinion as a basis for his destructive campaign against the Jews of Germany. This shocked me. … Obviously the attack on the Jews of Germany was no emotional outburst of the Nazis, but a deliberate, planned campaign.”

On The Blaze
Ed Rendell in “60 Minutes”
leslie: you brought these casinos to the state do you ever just say to yourself ‘oh my god, there are a lot of people who are suffering and they are taking whatever money they have
rendell: you don’t listen
leslie: and they are throwing it away in these casinos and do you ever just say what have i done.
redendell: you don’t listen
and they are throwing it away on these casinos
rendell: anyone who is that bent would be doing it in other places had PA not legalized gambling.
leslie: the counter argument is that you are creating new gamblers. and lots of them
rendell: you are not creating new gamblers.
leslie: because it is just down the street
redell: people play the lottery, they bet on football how much money how much money is bet on football
leslie: people are losing money for the state to get its revenue
rendell: leslie, let me ask you this, i have known you for 2 decades you are a very smart person
leslie: but not now, i’m dumb now
rendell: you are not getting it
those people will lose that money anyway. don’t you understand.
((Pressing him on this point lead to this))
rendell: you guys don’t get that! You’re simpletons. you’re idiots if you don’t get that.

CLYBURN
“You know, Sarah Palin just can’t seem to get it, on any front. I think she’s an attractive person, she is articulate. But I think intellectually, she seems not to be able to understand what’s going on here.”
BILL PRESS RADIO SHOW JAN 12

ANN BERNAYS in the Documentary “CENTURY OF THE SELF”
“he knows everybody he knows the mayor, and he knows the senator, and he calls politicians on the telephone as if he did get litterally a high or a bang out of doing what he did and that’s fine but it can be a little hard on the people who are around you. especially when you make other people feel stupid. the people who worked for him were stupid, his children were stupid and if people did things in a way they he didn’t that he wouldn’t have done them they were stupid. it was a word that he used over and over and over again. dope and stupid
interviewer: and the masses?
they were stupid.”

The Weather Underground’s strategy on international revolutionary movement
“THE STRATEGY WHICH FLOWS FROM THIS IS WHAT CHE CALLED ‘CREATING TWO, THREE, MANY VIETNAMS’-TO MOBILIZE THE STRUGGLE SO SHARPLY IN SO MANY PLACES THAT THE IMPERIALISTS CANNOT POSSIBLY DEAL WITH IT ALL. SINCE IT IS ESSENTIAL TO THEIR INTERESTS, THEY WILL TRY TO DEAL WITH IT ALL, AND WILL BE DEFEATED AND DESTROYED IN THE PROCESS.”
source: you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows
new left notes
June 18, 1969

The Nation

Mobilizing the Jobless
by Frances Fox Piven
22 Dec 2010

As 2011 begins, nearly 15 million people are officially unemployed in the United States and another 11.5 million have either settled for part-time work or simply given up the search for a job. To regain the 5 percent unemployment level of December 2007, about 300,000 jobs would have to be created each month for several years. There are no signs that this is likely to happen soon. And joblessness now hits people harder because it follows in the wake of decades of stagnating worker earnings, high consumer indebtedness, eviscerated retirement funds and rollbacks of the social safety net.

So where are the angry crowds, the demonstrations, sit-ins and unruly mobs? After all, the injustice is apparent. Working people are losing their homes and their pensions while robber-baron CEOs report renewed profits and windfall bonuses. Shouldn’t the unemployed be on the march? Why aren’t they demanding enhanced safety net protections and big initiatives to generate jobs?

It is not that there are no policy solutions. Left academics may be pondering the end of the American empire and even the end of neoliberal capitalism, and — who knows — in the long run they may be right. But surely there is time before the darkness settles to try to relieve the misery created by the Great Recession with massive investments in public-service programs, and also to use the authority and resources of government to spur big new initiatives in infrastructure and green energy that might, in fact, ward off the darkness.

Nothing like this seems to be on the agenda. Instead the next Congress is going to be fixated on an Alice in Wonderland policy of deficit reduction by means of tax and spending cuts. As for the jobless, right-wing commentators and Congressional Republicans are reviving the old shibboleth that unemployment is caused by generous unemployment benefits that indulge poor work habits and irresponsibility. Meanwhile, in a gesture eerily reminiscent of the blatherings of a panicked Herbert Hoover, President Obama invites corporate executives to a meeting at Blair House to urge them to invest some of their growing cash reserves in economic growth and job creation, in the United States, one hopes, instead of China.

Mass protests might change the president’s posture if they succeeded in pressing him hard from his base, something that hasn’t happened so far in this administration. But there are obstructions to mobilizing the unemployed that would have to be overcome.

First, when people lose their jobs they are dispersed, no longer much connected to their fellow workers or their unions and not easily connected to the unemployed from other workplaces and occupations. By contrast workers and students have the advantage of a common institutional setting, shared grievances and a boss or administrator who personifies those grievances. In fact, despite some modest initiatives — the AFL-CIO’s Working America, which includes the unemployed among their ranks, or the International Association of Machinists’ Ur Union of Unemployed, known as Ucubed — most unions do little for their unemployed, who after all no longer pay dues and are likely to be malcontents.

Because layoffs are occurring in all sectors and job grades, the unemployed are also very diverse. This problem of bringing people of different ethnicities or educational levels or races together is the classic organizing problem, and it can sometimes be solved by good organizers and smart tactics, as it repeatedly was in efforts to unionize the mass production industries. Note also that only recently the prisoners in at least seven different facilities in the Georgia state penitentiary system managed to stage coordinated protests using only the cellphones they’d bought from guards. So it remains to be seen whether websites such as 99ers.net or layofflist.org that have recently been initiated among the unemployed can also become the basis for collective action, as the Internet has in the global justice movement.

The problem of how to bring people together is sometimes made easier by government service centers, as when in the 1960s poor mothers gathered in crowded welfare centers or when the jobless congregated in unemployment centers. But administrators also understand that services create sites for collective action; if they sense trouble brewing, they exert themselves to avoid the long lines and crowded waiting areas that can facilitate organizing, or they simply shift the service nexus to the Internet. Organizers can try to compensate by offering help and advocacy off-site, and at least some small groups of the unemployed have been formed on this basis.

Second, before people can mobilize for collective action, they have to develop a proud and angry identity and a set of claims that go with that identity. They have to go from being hurt and ashamed to being angry and indignant. (Welfare moms in the 1960s did this by naming themselves “mothers” instead of “recipients,” although they were unlucky in doing so at a time when motherhood was losing prestige.) Losing a job is bruising; even when many other people are out of work, most people are still working. So, a kind of psychological transformation has to take place; the out-of-work have to stop blaming themselves for their hard times and turn their anger on the bosses, the bureaucrats or the politicians who are in fact responsible.

Third, protesters need targets, preferably local and accessible ones capable of making some kind of response to angry demands. This is, I think, the most difficult of the strategy problems that have to be resolved if a movement of the unemployed is to arise. Protests among the unemployed will inevitably be local, just because that’s where people are and where they construct solidarities. But local and state governments are strapped for funds and are laying off workers. The initiatives that would be responsive to the needs of the unemployed will require federal action. Local protests have to accumulate and spread — and become more disruptive — to create serious pressures on national politicians. An effective movement of the unemployed will have to look something like the strikes and riots that have spread across Greece in response to the austerity measures forced on the Greek government by the European Union, or like the student protests that recently spread with lightning speed across England in response to the prospect of greatly increased school fees.

A loose and spontaneous movement of this sort could emerge. It is made more likely because unemployment rates are especially high among younger workers. Protests by the unemployed led by young workers and by students, who face a future of joblessness, just might become large enough and disruptive enough to have an impact in Washington. There is no science that predicts eruption of protest movements. Who expected the angry street mobs in Athens or the protests by British students? Who indeed predicted the strike movement that began in the United States in 1934, or the civil rights demonstrations that spread across the South in the early 1960s? We should hope for another American social movement from the bottom — and then join it.

Frances Fox Piven is on the faculty of the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is the author, most recently, of Challenging Authority: How Ordinary People Change America.

“THE FATHER OF SPIN”
BY LARRY TYE

“PROPAGANDA”
BY EDWARD BERNAYS

THE CENTURY OF THE SELF
DOCUMENTARY, BY ADAM CURTIS

NPR:
Freud’s Nephew and the Origins of Public Relations
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4612464

http://www.prmuseum.com/bernays/bernays_1928.html

Rise of the image men
PR Man has conquered the world. He still isn’t satisfied

http://www.economist.com/node/17722733?story_id=17722733

  • Anonymous

    Just like its marxist, socialist, and communist ancestors, today’s liberalism is a death cult.