May 1, 2014
“We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. 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
When I was in college I used to volunteer for psychology experiments to earn extra credits for my classes. Each time, I would try to figure out what the researcher was doing to modify my behavior. But even though I knew I was being manipulated, I rarely guessed the true nature of these exercises.
Our society is like a psychology experiment and we don’t realize how much we’re being controlled to think and act in a way that benefits corporations. We feel that we’re just living our lives and exercising our free will. But we buy things not just based on our needs, but on wants and desires created by big business—transforming us from citizens into consumers.
The Century of the Self is a fascinating documentary about crowd psychology and manipulation. It talks about how modern public relations/propaganda started with Edward Bernays (the nephew of Sigmund Freud) and how it has been used by governments and business to control the masses.
Please take some time to watch the video. It helps you understand the rules of the game we’re in and how to become a more enlightened player.
Governments The big, wealthy business interests don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. That is against their interests.” – George Carlin