Edward Bernays

Die bewusste und intelligente Manipulation der Gewohnheiten und Meinungen der Masse ist ein wichtiger Bestandteil der demokratischen Gesellschaft. Die, die diesen nicht sichtbaren Mechanismus der Gesellschaft manipulieren, bilden eine unsichtbare Regierung, die die tatsächliche Macht im Land hält. Eine kleine Gruppe von Menschen, von denen wir noch nie gehört haben, regiert uns, bildet unsere Meinung, formt unseren Geschmack und suggeriert uns unsere Ideen. Diese kleine Gruppe zieht die Fäden der öffentlichen Meinung, kontrolliert so die offizielle Regierung und plant die Zukunft….“ 
(Aus seinem Buch “Propaganda”)

… „Die bewusste und zielgerichtete Manipulation der Verhaltensweisen und Einstellungen der Massen ist ein wesentlicher Bestandteil demokratischer Gesellschaften. Organisationen, die im Verborgenen arbeiten, lenken die gesellschaftlichen Abläufe. Sie sind die eigentlichen Regierungen in unserem Land.
Wir werden von Personen regiert, deren Namen wir noch nie gehört haben. Sie beeinflussen unsere Meinungen, unseren Geschmack, unsere Gedanken. Doch das ist nicht überraschend, dieser Zustand ist nur eine logische Folge der Struktur unserer Demokratie: Wenn viele Menschen möglichst reibungslos in einer Gesellschaft zusammenleben sollen, sind Steuerungsprozesse dieser Art unumgänglich.
Die unsichtbaren Herrscher kennen sich auch untereinander meist nicht mit Namen. Die Mitglieder des Schattenkabinetts regieren uns wegen ihrer angeborenen Führungsqualitäten, ihrer Fähigkeit, der Gesellschaft dringend benötigte Impulse zu geben, und aufgrund der Schlüsselpositionen, die sie in der Gesellschaft einnehmen. Ob es uns gefällt oder nicht, Tatsache ist, dass wir in fast allen Aspekten des täglichen Lebens, ob in Wirtschaft oder Politik, unserem Sozialverhalten oder unseren ethischen Einstellungen, von einer (angesichts von 120 Millionen US-Bürgern) relativ kleinen Gruppe Menschen abhängig sind, die die meisten Abläufe und gesellschaftlichen Dynamiken von Massen verstehen. Sie steuern die öffentliche Meinung, stärken alte gesellschaftliche Kräfte und bedenken neue Wege, um die Welt zusammenzuhalten und zu führen.“ 
Propaganda – 1. Kapitels „Organizing Chaos“ (dt. Das Chaos organisieren): (auf S. 19 der ersten ins Deutsche übersetzten Fassung, orange press 2007)

… „Sie [die neuen Propagandatechniken] befassen sich nicht mehr nur mit dem Individuum oder der Gesellschaft als Ganzes. Sie widmen sich vielmehr auch und vor allem der Anatomie der Gesellschaft mit ihren zahllosen, verästelten und miteinander verwobenen Gruppierungen. Sie sehen den Einzelnen nicht nur als Zelle innerhalb der Gesellschaft, sondern als Zelle, die in gesellschaftlichen Einheiten organisiert ist. Wird der Nerv des Organismus ‘Gesellschaft’ an einem sensiblen Punkt gereitzt, wird automatisch eine Reaktion bei bestimmten anderen Elementen dieses Organismus hervorgerufen.“ 
Propaganda – (S. 34)

…  “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. …In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.” 
Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

… “Men (people) are rarely aware of the real reasons which motivate their actions.” 
Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

… “Modern business must have its finger continuously on the public pulse. It must understand the changes in the public mind and be prepared to interpret itself fairly and eloquently to changing opinion.”
Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

… “The public is not cognizant of the real value of education, and does not realize that education as a social force is not receiving the kind of attention it has the right to expect in a democracy.”
Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

… “Universal literacy was supposed to educate the common man to control his environment. Once he could read and write he would have a mind fit to rule. So ran the democratic doctrine. But instead of a mind, universal literacy has given him rubber stamps, rubber stamps inked with advertising slogans, with editorials, with published scientific data, with the trivialities of the tabloids and the platitudes of history, but quite innocent of original thought. Each man’s rubber stamps are the duplicates of millions of others, so that when those millions are exposed to the same stimuli, all receive identical imprints. It may seem an exaggeration to say that the American public gets most of its ideas in this wholesale fashion. The mechanism by which ideas are disseminated on a large scale is propaganda, in the broad sense of an organized effort to spread a particular belief or doctrine.”
Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

… “It is asked whether, in fact, the leader makes propaganda, or whether propaganda makes the leader. There is a widespread impression that a good press agent can puff up a nobody into a great man.
The answer is the same as that made to the old query as to whether the newspaper makes public opinion or whether public opinion makes the newspaper. There has to be fertile ground for the leader and the idea to fall on. But the leader also has to have some vital seed to sow. To use another figure, a mutual need has to exist before either can become positively effective. Propaganda is of no use to the politician unless he has something to say which the public, consciously or unconsciously, wants to hear.”
Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

… “But being dependent, every day of the year and for year after year, upon certain politicians for news, the newspaper reporters are obliged to work in harmony with their news sources.”
Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

… “In place of thoughts it has impulses, habits, and emotions.”
Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

… “There are invisible rulers who control the destinies of millions. It is not generally realized to what extent the words and actions of our most influential public men are dictated by shrewd persons operating behind the scenes.”
Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

… “Whatever of social importance is done today, whether in politics, finance, manufacture, agriculture, charity, education, or other fields, must be done with the help of propaganda.”
Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

… “The great enemy of any attempt to change men’s habits is inertia. Civilization is limited by inertia.”
Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

… “The great Allied campaign to celebrate (or sell) Democracy, etc., was a venture so successful, and, it seemed, so noble, that it suddenly legitimized such propagandists, who, once the war had ended, went right to work massaging or exciting various publics on behalf of entities like General Motors, Procter & Gamble, John D. Rockefeller, General Electric.”
Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

… “Like its wartime prototype, the post-war propaganda drive was an immense success, as it persuaded not just businessmen but journalists and politicians that “the manufacture of consent,” in Walter Lippmann’s famous phrase, was a necessity throughout the public sphere.”
Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

… “Propaganda mainly tells us that Bernays’s true métier was to help giant players with their various sales and image problems.”
Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

… “The only propaganda which will ever tend to weaken itself as the world becomes more sophisticated and intelligent, is propaganda that is untrue or unsocial.”
Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

… “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.”
Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

… “Big business will still leave room for small business.”
Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

… “Now “public opinion” stood out as a force that must be managed, and not through clever guesswork but by experts trained to do that all-important job.”
Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

… “Bernays’s tone is managerial, not millenarian, nor does he promise that his methodology will turn this world into a modern paradise. His vision seems quite modest. The world informed by “public relations” will be but “a smoothly functioning society,” where all of us are guided imperceptibly throughout our lives by a benign elite of rational manipulators.”
Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

… “It is a sort of managerial aristocracy that quietly determines what we buy and how we vote and what we deem as good or bad. “They govern us,” the author writes, “by their qualities of natural leadership, their ability to supply needed ideas and by their key position in the social structure.”
Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

… “Propaganda is aimed mainly at Bernays’s potential corporate clientele. And yet the author variously masks that plutocratic bias.”
Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

… “Bernays sold the myth of propaganda as a wholly rational endeavor, carried out methodically by careful experts skilled enough to lead “public opinion.” Consistently he casts himself as a supreme manipulator, mastering the responses of a pliable, receptive population. “Conscious and intelligent manipulation,” “invisible governors,” “they who pull the wires which control the public mind,” “shrewd persons operating behind the scenes,” “dictators exercising great power,” and, below them, people working “as if actuated by the touch of a button”—these are but a few expressions of the icy scientistic paradigm that evidently drove his propaganda practice, and that colored all his thinking on the subject. The propagandist rules. The propagandized do whatever he would have them do, exactly as he tells them to, and without knowing it.”
Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

… “The myth of the detached manipulator and compliant crowd has, since the Twenties, also been abundantly re-echoed by academic students of mass suasion.”
Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

… “propaganda tended not to be the damning term we throw around today. The word had been coined in 1622, when Pope Gregory XV, frightened by the global spread of Protestantism, urgently proposed an addition to the Roman curia. The Office for the Propagation of the Faith (Congregatio de propaganda fide) would supervise the Church’s missionary efforts in the New World and elsewhere: “They are to take account of and to deal with each and every concern for the spread of the faith throughout the world.”
Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

… “That propaganda easily seduces even those whom it most horrifies is a paradox that Bernays grasped completely; and it is one that we must try at last to understand, if we want to change the world that Edward Bernays, among others, made for us.”
Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

… “Continuous interpretation is achieved by trying to control every approach to the public mind in such a manner that the public receives the desired impression, often without being conscious of it. High-spotting, on the other hand, vividly seizes the attention of the public and fixes it upon some detail or aspect which is typical of the entire enterprise.”
Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

… “Here was an extraordinary state accomplishment: mass enthusiasm at the prospect of a global brawl that otherwise would mystify those very masses, and that shattered most of those who actually took part in it. The Anglo-American drive to demonize “the Hun,” and to cast the war as a transcendent clash between Atlantic “civilization” and Prussian “barbarism,” made so powerful an impression on so many that the worlds of government and business were forever changed.”
Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

… “In World War One it was the propaganda of our side that first made “propaganda” so opprobrious a term. Fouled by close association with “the Hun,” the word did not regain its innocence—not even when the Allied propaganda used to tar “the Hun” had been belatedly exposed to the American and British people. Indeed, as they learned more and more about the outright lies, exaggerations and half-truths used on them by their own governments, both populations came, understandably, to see “propaganda” as a weapon even more perfidious than they had thought when they had not perceived themselves as its real target. Thus did the word’s demonic implications only harden through the Twenties, in spite of certain random efforts to redeem it.”
Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

… “Instead of assaulting sales resistance by direct attack, he is interested in removing sales resistance.”
Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

… “Truth is mighty and must prevail, and if any body of men believe that they have discovered a valuable truth, it is not merely their privilege but their duty to disseminate that truth. If they realize, as they quickly must, that this spreading of truth can be done upon a large scale and effectively only by organized effort, they will make use of the press and the platform as the best means to give it wide circulation. Propaganda becomes vicious and reprehensive only when its authors consciously and deliberately disseminate what they know to be lies, or when they aim at effects which they know to be prejudicial to the common good.”
Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

… “It is the purpose of this book to explain the structure of the mechanism which controls the public mind, and to tell how it is manipulated by the special pleader who seeks to create public acceptance for a particular idea or commodity. It will attempt at the same time to find the due place in the modern democratic scheme for this new propaganda and to suggest its gradually evolving code of ethics and practice.”
Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

… “A man sits in an office deciding what stocks to buy. He imagines, no doubt, that he is planning his purchases according to his own judgment. In actual fact his judgment is a melange of impressions stamped on his mind by outside influences which unconsciously control his thought. He buys a certain railroad stock because it was in the headlines yesterday and hence is the one which comes most prominently to his mind; because he has a pleasant recollection of a good dinner on one of its fast trains; because it has a liberal labor policy, a reputation for honesty; because he has been told that J. P. Morgan owns some of its shares.”
Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

… “Universal literacy was supposed to educate the common man to control his environment. Once he could read and write he would have a mind fit to rule. So ran the democratic doctrine. But instead of a mind, universal literacy has given him rubber stamps, rubber stamps inked with advertising slogans, with editorials, with published scientific data, with the trivialities of the tabloids and the platitudes of history, but quite innocent of original thought.”
Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

… “What are the true reasons why the purchaser is planning to spend his money on a new car instead of a piano? Because he has decided that he wants the commodity called locomotion more than he wants the commodity called music? Not altogether. He buys a car, because it is at the moment the group custom to buy cars.

The modern propagandist therefore sets to work to create circumstances which will modify that custom. He appeals perhaps to the home instinct which is fundamental. He will endeavor to develop public acceptance of the idea of a music room in the home. This he may do, for example, by organizing an exhibition . . . key people, persons known to influence the buying habits of the public, such as a famous violinist, a popular artist, and a society leader, are invited. These key persons affect other groups, lifting the idea of the music room to a place in the public consciousness which it did not have before. The juxtaposition of these leaders, and the idea which they are dramatizing, are then projected to the wider public through various publicity channels . . .
The music room will be accepted because it has been made the thing. And the man or woman who has a music room, or has arranged a corner of the parlor as a musical corner, will naturally think of buying a piano. It will come to him as his own idea.”
Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

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