"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the [public] 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.''
by:
Edward Bernays
(1891-1995) "Father" of modern public relations (PR) and director of the U.S. Committee on Public Information during World War I, on government propaganda
Source:
writing in "Propaganda" from "Food & Water Journal'' (1928)
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From the nephew of Freud and one of the founder of the principles of the CFR this quote speaks volumes
 -- Anonymous
 
ok
 -- Mike, Norwalk
 
 -- Logan, Memphis, TN 
Rope, Tree, CFR...Some assembly required.
 -- J Carlton, Calgary
 
Maybe I buy it a little if he were talking about the press. So many try to accomplish this but in the end fail. Even the press doesn't conspire. They just all think alike.
 -- warren, olathe
 
Follow the money. The ownership of the press has become more centralized every year -- there appear to be no more limits on media ownership. It has become monopolistic and propagandist. CFR members control the press in America as well as the political parties. That is a hell of a lot of power -- to control the consciousness of the People. Kill your television before it turns you into a brainwashed slave. Democracy my ass!
 -- E Archer, NYC
 
The manipulation or our society is not intelligent; it is rather malignant...and it works incredibly effectively. Look up brasscchecktv to see what Bernays was able to do in Guatemala.
 -- Dick, Fort Worth
 
Democracy at its best. Have patience. Republican southern strategy starting with Nixon, the Christian right, the gays, the right to lifers etcetera. The politicians have to appeal to all and in some extent manipulate the countervaling forces in order to lead. Some have said leadership is finding out which way the crowd is going (polls) and then get in front of them. Once you are in front you may also be able to turn the crowd this way or that way a little bit. This is all good, this is DEMOCRACY at its' best. When done right it is in effect public opinion running the country.
 -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas
 
Yikes, Waffler, your nationalist socialist self-righteousness is showing again... wow, the manipulation of public opinion is democracy at its best? So much for free thought -- the mistake is that such power is used for good, when in fact it is used to make people obedient subjects, hence the dumbing down of America -- the worst part is that the dumbed-down believe they are smart!
 -- E Archer, NYC
 
Well, the internet allows more competition in information than ever before. Now that freedom of information exists on the internet, people have no excuse not to find out the truth and work to preserve it. That is why the government wants control over the internet, because it wants to control how information is spread. I believe the internet will be the tool for spreading freedom once again and abolishing the idea that "democracy" is good, which idea the Establishment uses to lull us into security.
 -- Ben, Springfield, MO
 
II like that Waffler. Find a stampede and get in front of it. Sounds like allot of politicians we have. McCain will soon find out if he gets the nomination that he will be trampled by it. The press will be the one steering the cattle. Our country is in for a rough 4 years if we end up with nothing but poll watchers in charge. We need leaders that can articulate well and be convincing with fact and not propaganda. With out them the country will be nothing more than a flock of chickens with their heads chopped off. It seems that the trend is if you want to be elected say nothing but noncommittal platitudes and the ignorant will fill in the blanks with what they wanted to hear. I am the person for change! Change to what? I will change welfare as we know it! To what? We will get America back on track! To where? I have listened to an entire speech by a few of the present candidates and did not hear one idea or one solution articulated. Then the people interviewed after were inserting all kinds of things into the speech that they think they heard that in fact were not there.
 -- warren, olathe
 
Warren Lincoln said and I paraphrase, "Politics (getting elected) is the art of raising an issue and then defending it or attacking it, which ever the case may be, for the sake of getting elected". If one wants to be a policy maker he must first get into the establishment via politics. Politics and the establishment are always in flux in a democracy. If we are able to understand Adam Smith's invisible hand in the economic and capitalistic market place why cannot we begin to grasp the invisible hand that shapes thought, opinions and ultimately policy in our country. We are all part of it even on this site by the sharing of our view points. If sharing our viewpoints and having discussions with each other from all walks of life and coming to agreement or disagreement is called socialism by some that is sad and just unfortunate. Viva our republican democracy.
 -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas
 
Wow coming to agreement or disagreement is called socialism! That’s a first for me. I never heard that before. I missed it if it were on this site. If some one advocates socialism its socialism. It doesn't make it socialism because someone disagrees of agrees with it. What was your point any way? Lincoln is great. You should read up on him. He never jumped in front of a poll. He certainly knew when it was best to wait before making public an opinion but it was always his opinion. He often went way out of the mainstream with an opinion and it cost him his position in congress when he did so on the Mexican war. Perhaps that is why he was a bit more cautious as president. He backed his people in his cabinet to the point that he willingly took the blame for many of their screw ups. Not the antics of a poll watcher I assure you.
 -- warren, olathe
 
Waffler, I'm a little surprised you didn't attribute: "If sharing our viewpoints and having discussions with each other from all walks of life and coming to agreement or disagreement is called socialism" to me. I'm with Warren on this one, WHAT? "The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the [public]' is in full effect in the U.S. today. Today's presidential candidates (except 1) are arguing what is best for America, tyrannical fascism or socialism. Those who have manipulated the unseen mechanism of society have changed the language and the concepts of men so sufficiently that freedom and liberty are scoffed at as foolish gibberish.
 -- Mike, Norwalk
 
Policy wonks and power brokers (establishment) and big money have an ongoing communication with the public at large who vote on individuals for public office. It is a two way street. I thought Archer was calling this set up socialism above. If I misread him I apologize. Public financing of Presidential Elections would appear to remove the Establishment (at least the big money) from the process. The Supreme Court says that being able to throw around big money is "free speech". I will be the last to disagree that peope try to influence people all the time as in advertising etcetera. Some cultures have constanly found fault with our Madison Avenue mass consumer culture. Same mentality spills over to the Political Establishments of all persuasions. Can't stop it; not if you wish us to remain a free and democratic society.
 -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas
 
PS: Most of the other cultures referenced above are trying to follow in our foot steps as fast as they can. Their criticsims of our society is possibly just born of jealousy.
 -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas
 
Waffler, I absolutely agree with you here. Advertisers, evangelicals, politicians, atheists, pseudo-scientists, all have a right to try and influence us/me. We/I can turn off the tv, change the channel, choose not to read the bill board, or tell the individual in front of us/me we/I do not want to hear what they have to say. It is the Establishment that intentionally dumbs down the captive populous and only allows 2 or 3 philosophies, omitting the very essence of freedom and liberty that commences and aggrvates the problem. Democracies and secret governments of all types do this to help protect themselves.
 -- Mike, Norwalk
 
The right to free speech pertains to political speech more importantly that any other type of speech. It is an infringement on free speech to tell anyone when he can or can't run a political ad regardless of how much money he has. We may not like rich people having an advantage in this area but to get away with telling them they do not have a right to free speech just because they are wealthy is the first step towards loosing that right ourselves.
 -- warren, olathe
 
 -- Anonymous, 34668 
 
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