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2 weeks ago
Edward Bernays is a propagandist so pivotal to the History of propaganda that he even popularized the modern euphemism: public relations. He is known for lovely projects such as getting women to smoke cigarettes, and working with the United Fruit Company to ultimately help the CIA orchestrate a coup to overthrow the democratically elected government of Guatemala for business interests in 1956.
Presented in this post is his book "Propaganda (1928)". Citing works of writers such as Gustave Le Bon, Wilfred Trotter, Walter Lippmann, and his own uncle Sigmund Freud, he describes the masses as irrational and subject to herd instinct—and outlined how skilled practitioners could use crowd psychology and psychoanalysis to control them in "desirable ways". One of the more popular and clearly written of his works was simply called "Propaganda", published in 1928. That was before World War 2 when "propaganda" gained such a negative connotation in conjunction with it's use by Hitler and his regime to brainwash the population of Germany.
Here is apparently the full text of "Propaganda" by Edward Bernays:
Here is another online copy, to cross-examine that they are indeed the full text:
Although it may be controversial, that full text is presented here with the intention of helping well-intentioned people bend the popular mind to create a better world. A more equal, more hospitable world for everyone. As opposed to bending the popular mind to allow a small financial elite to get what they want. This information has been used both ways, and will continue to be used both ways. Hopefully you find it in yourself to do the right thing with this information. As mentioned in the end of the documentary "Rule from the shadows", this information can be used for good or for bad. As a counterpoint to the likes of Hitler, there are people such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi who used these techniques for good, whether or not they were trained in this understanding or simply stumbled upon the same techniques intuitively.
What can be hard for kind-hearted people is to consciously realize how the group mind functions, because this can lead to the dissolution of the social illusions upon which a kind-hearted person may rely, and leads to the depressing realization that shrewd manipulation may be required to bring about the more educated, progressive, hospitable, and equal world our hearts tell us is possible. This leads to the question of how "real" such a world is, or if it can ever be achieved "in earnest", if manipulation is required to bring it about. How do you ethically manipulate people to become more ethical? How do we "manipulate" people to make good choices? Because, then, are those even their own choices? Yet, the answer to these questions lies in how you choose to utilize this information. You prove to yourself that the information can be used for good, and how that is done, by doing it. If you feel encouraged to take part in this mass manipulation, for the good of mankind, and you are influenced to do so by media such as this post, this book, or by the documentary "Rule from the shadows", then you are indeed as much manipulated as you are doing the manipulating. So where do we draw the line between manipulating and being manipulated? It is as if something gives birth to itself, through us, and we are just a tool for It as much as we are the blacksmith of It. Contradictions abound, yet we must do what we must do for the good of mankind.
Perhaps the real solution is the dissolution of separation, the realization that dichotomy is almost always false, and that self-interest and altruism may be quite intertwined, after all. Because what is good for others is also good for oneself, if you go about it just right. After all, there is only One of Us here. Just as there is only One user on Openbook, and that user is All of Us. ;) The Single User: Anonymous. LOL!
a #book💬 on #propaganda💬
2 weeks ago
"A slave is not he who works without wages, it is he who tries to stop working and discovers he is not allowed." — Anonymous
3 weeks ago
“We’re riddled with pointless talk, insane quantities of words and images. Stupidity’s never blind or mute. So it’s not a problem of getting people to express themselves but of providing little gaps of solitude and silence in which they might eventually find something to say...what a relief to have nothing to say, the right to say nothing, because only then is there a chance of framing the rare, and ever rarer, thing that might be worth saying.”
3 weeks ago
“The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.”
4 weeks ago
"Maybe raising children really is a thankless task. Maybe there’s no reason to thank someone for putting their energies into a human who did not need to born. Then should we be trying to work against this impulse—as Miles said—pass through our childbearing years without bearing a child, no matter how much we might desire it; but to selflessly and with all our might do whatever we can to avoid it? To find our value and greatness in some place apart from mothering, as a man must find his worth and greatness in some place apart from domination and violence, and the more men and women who do this, the better off the world will be? Miles said we value warring and dominating men, the same way we revere the mother. The egoism of childbearing is like the egoism of colonizing a country—both carry the wish of imprinting yourself on the world, and making it over with your values, and in your image."
tagged: #quote💬 #foodforthought💬
4 weeks ago
This is the entire plot to the short story "Nine Billion Names of God".
Written by Arthur C. Clarke
Taken from the Plot Summary on Wikipedia:
In a Tibetan lamasery, the monks seek to list all of the names of God. They believe the Universe was created for this purpose, and that once this naming is completed, God will bring the Universe to an end. Three centuries ago, the monks created an alphabet in which they calculated they could encode all the possible names of God, numbering about 9,000,000,000 ("nine billion") and each having no more than nine characters. Writing the names out by hand, as they had been doing, even after eliminating various nonsense combinations, would take another 15,000 years; the monks wish to use modern technology to finish this task more quickly.
They rent a computer capable of printing all the possible permutations, and they hire two Westerners to install and program the machine. The computer operators are skeptical but play along. After three months, as the job nears completion, they fear that the monks will blame the computer, and by extension its operators, when nothing happens. The Westerners delay the operation of the computer so that it will complete its final print run just after their scheduled departure. After their successful departure on ponies, they pause on the mountain path on their way back to the airfield, where a plane is waiting to take them back to civilization. Under a clear night sky they estimate that it must be just about the time that the monks are pasting the final printed names into their holy books. Then they notice that "overhead, without any fuss, the stars were going out."