Category Archives: Quotes

Cultural rim

“Culture includes the social-historical context. We have depicted culture within the social-historical context only for purposes of clarifying the concepts presented here. In the model, the elements of culture are depicted as a rim surrounding the flow of propaganda, with canals leading to and from the process and the cultural rim. The cultural rim is the infrastructure
that provides the material context in which messages are sent and received. How propaganda is developed, used, and received is culture-specific. The elements of a culture—its ideologies, societal myths, government, economy, social practices, and specific events that take place—influence propaganda.”
― Garth S. Jowett, Propaganda and Persuasion

Timid hardworking animals with government as its shepherd

“I am trying to imagine under what novel features despotism may appear in the world. In the first place, I see an innumerable multitude of men, alike and equal, constantly circling around in pursuit of the petty and banal pleasures with which they glut their souls. Each one of them, withdrawn into himself, is almost unaware of the fate of the rest….

Over this kind of men stands an immense, protective power which is alone responsible for securing their enjoyment and watching over their fate. That power is absolute, thoughtful of detail, orderly, provident, and gentle. It would resemble parental authority if, fatherlike, it tried to prepare charges for a man’s life, but on the contrary, it only tries to keep them in perpetual childhood. It likes to see the citizens enjoy themselves, provided that they think of nothing but enjoyment. It gladly works for their happiness but wants to be sole agent and judge of it. It provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasure, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, makes rules for their testaments, and divides their inheritances. Why should it not entirely relieve them from the trouble of thinking and all the cares of living?

Thus it daily makes the exercise of free choice less useful and rarer, restricts the activity of free will within a narrower compass, and little by little robs each citizen of the proper use of his own faculties. Equality has prepared men for all this, predisposing them to endure it and often even regard it as beneficial.

Having thus taken each citizen in turn in its powerful grasp and shaped him to its will, government then extends its embrace to include the whole of society. It covers the whole of social life with a network of petty complicated rules that are both minute and uniform, through which even men of the greatest originality and the most vigorous temperament cannot force their heads above the crowd. It does not break men’s will, but softens, bends, and guides it; it seldom enjoins, but often inhibits, action; it does not destroy anything, but prevents much being born; it is not at all tyrannical, but it hinders, restrains, enervates, stifles, and stultifies so much that in the end each nation is no more than a flock of timid and hardworking animals with the government as its shepherd.”
― Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Creator of news

“The qualifications of a good reporter applies very largely to the qualifications of a good public relations counsel. “There is undoubtedly a good deal of truth,” says Mr. Given, “in the saying that good reporters are born and not made. A man may learn how to gather some kinds of news, and he may learn how to write it correctly, but if he cannot see the picturesque or vital point of an incident and express what he sees so that others will see as through his eyes, his productions, even if no particular fault can be found with them, will not bear the mark of true excellence; and there is, if one stops to think, a great difference between something that is devoid of faults and something that is full of good Thc quality which makes a good newspaper
man must, in the opinion of many editors, exist in the beginning. But when it does exist, it can usually be developed, no matter how many obstacles are in the way.”

The public relations counsel can try to bring about this identification by utilizing the appeals to and instincts discussed in the preceding chapter, and by making use of the characteristics of the group formation of society. His utilization of these basic principles will be a continual and efficient aid to him. He must make it easy for the public to pick his issue out of the great mass of material. He must be able to overcome what has been called “the tendency on the part of public attention to ‘flicker’ and ‘relax.'” He must do for the public mind what the newspaper, with its headlines, accomplishes for its readers. Abstract discussions and heavy fact are the groundwork of his involved theory, or analysis, but they cannot be given to the public until they are simplified and dramatized. The refinements of reason and the shadings of emotion cannot
reach a considerable public.

When an appeal to the instincts can be made so powerful as to secure acceptance in the medium of dissemination in spite of competitive interests, it can be aptly termed news.

The public relations counsel, therefore, is a creator of news for whatever medium he chooses to transmit his ideas. It is his duty to create news no matter what the medium which broadcasts this news. It is news interest which gives him an opportunity to make his idea travel and get the favorable reaction from the instincts to which he happens to appeal. News in itself we shall define later on when we discuss “relations with the press.” But the word news is sufficiently understood for me to talk of it here.

In order to appeal to the instincts and fundamental emotions of the public, discussed in previous chapters, the public relations counsel must create news around his ideas. News will, by its superior inherent interest, receive attention in the competitive markets for news, which are themselves continually trying to claim the public attention. The pubic relations counsel must lift startling facts from his whole subject and present them as news. He must isolate ideas and develop them into events so that they can be more readily understood and so that they may claim attention as news.”
― Edward Bernays, Crystallizing Public Opinion

The party caprice of the moment

“The leaders in the cities, each provided with the fairest professions, on the one side with the cry of political equality of the people, on the other of a moderate aristocracy, sought prizes for themselves in those public interests which they pretended to cherish, and, recoiling from no means in their struggles for ascendancy engaged in the direst excesses; in their acts of vengeance they went to even greater lengths, not stopping at what justice or the good of the state demanded, but making the party caprice of the moment their only standard, and invoking with equal readiness the condemnation of an unjust verdict or the authority of the strong arm to glut the animosities of the hour. Thus religion was in honour with neither party; but the use of fair phrases to arrive at guilty ends was in high reputation. Meanwhile the moderate part of the citizens perished between the two, either for not joining in the quarrel, or because envy would not suffer them to escape.”


Creating consent among the governed

“Now sensitiveness to the state of mind of the public is a difficult thing to achieve or maintain. Any man can tell you with more or less accuracy and clearness his own reactions on any particular issue. But few men have the time or the interest or the training to develop a sense of what other persons think or feel about the same issue. In his own profession the skilled practitioner is sensitive and understanding. lhe lawyer can tell what argument will appeal to court or jury. “The salesman can tell what points to stress to his prospective buyers. The politician can tell what to emphasize to his audience, but the ability to estimate group reactions on a large scale over a wide geographic and psychological area is a specialized ability which must be developed with the same painstaking self-criticism and with the same dependence on experience that are required for the development of the clinical sense in the doctor or the surgeon. The significant revolution of modern times is not industrial or economic or political, but the revolution which is taking place in the art of creating consent among the governed.

Within the life of the new generation now in control of affairs, persuasion has become a self-conscious art and a regular organ of popular government. None of us begins to understand the consequences, but it is no daring prophecy to say that the knowledge of how to create consent will alter every political premise. Under the impact of propaganda, not necessarily in the sinister meaning of the world alone, the only constants of our thinking have become variables. It is no longer possible, for example, to believe in the cardinal dogma of democracy that the knowledge needed for the management of human affairs comes up spontaneously from the human heart.

Where we act on that theory we expose ourselves to self-deception and to farms of persuasion that we cannot verify. It has been demonstrated that we cannot rely upon intuition, conscience or the accidents of casual opinion if we are to deal with the world beyond our reach.”

― Walter Lippmann

What we wanted we did not know, but what we knew we did not want.

“Among those troops that I had joined were plenty of regular units with reliable officers, crowds of restless adventurers on the lookout for a fight and with it the chances of loot and relaxation of ordinary rules of conduct. Patriots could not bear the idea of break down of law and order at home and wish to guard the frontiers from the incursion of the Red Flood. There was the Baltic Landswehr, recruited from the local gentry who were determined at all cost to save their 700 year old traditions, their noble and vigorous yet fastidious culture, the Eastern bulwark of German civilization. And there were German battalions consisting of men who wanted to settle in the country who were hungering for land. Of troops desiring to fight for the existing government there were none. The like-minded ones were soon dissociated from general mass which was swept eastwards by crash of Western front. We seemed suddenly to have collected as if a secret signal. We found ourselves apart from the crowd. Knowing neither what we are we sought not gold. The blood suddenly ran hotly through our veins and called us to adventure and hazard. Drove us to wandering and danger. And herded together those of us who realized our profound kinship with one another. We were a band of warriors, extravagant in our demands, triumphantly definite in our decisions. What we wanted we did not know, but what we knew we did not want. To force our way through the prisoning walls of the world. To march over burning field, to stamp over ruins and scattered ashes, to dash recklessly through wild forests, over blasted heaps to push, conquer, eat our way towards the East, to the white hot dark cold land that stretched between ourselves and Asia. Was that what we wanted? I do not know if that was our desire and they was what we did. And the search for reasons why was lost in the tumult of the continuous fighting.”
― Ernst von Salomon, The Outlaws

New authorities

“Thus the public relations counsel has to consider the a prori judgment of any public he deals with before counseling any step that would modify those things in which the public has established belief. It is seldom effective to call names or to attempt to discredit the beliefs themselves. The counsel on public relations, after examination of the sources of established beliefs, must either discredit the old authorities or create new authorities by making articulate a mass opinion against the old belief or in favor of the new.”
― Edward Bernays, Crystallizing Public Opinion

Herd suggestions

“It is clear at the outset that these beliefs are invariably regarded as rational and defend as such, while the position of one who hold contrary views is held to be obviously unreasonable.

The religious man accuses the atheist of being shallow and irrational, and is met by a similar reply. To the Conservative the amazing thing about the Liberal is his incapacity to see reason and accept the only possible solution of public problems. Examination reveals the fact that the differences are not due to the commission of the mere mechanical fallacies of logic, since these are easily avoided, even by the politician, and since there is no reason to believe that one party in such controversies is less logical than the other. The difference is due rather to the fundamental assumptions of the antagonists being hostile, and these assumptions are derived from herd-suggestions; to the Liberal certain basal conceptions have acquired the quality of instinctive truth, have become a priori syntheses, because of the accumulated suggestions to which he has been exposed; and a similar explanation applies the atheist, the Christian, and the Conservative. Each, it is important to remember, finds in consequence the rationality of his position flawless and is quite incapable of detecting in it the fallacies which are obvious to his opponent, to whom that particular series of assumptions has not been rendered acceptable by herd suggestion.”

― WIlliam Trotter, Instincts Of The Herd In Peace And War

Militant crusading newspapers

“One of the principal marks of an educated man is the fact that he does not take his opinions from newspapers — not, at any rate, from the militant, crusading newspapers. On the contrary, his attitude toward them is almost always one of frank cynicism, with indifference as its mildest form and contempt as its commonest. He knows that they are constantly falling into false reasoning about the things within his personal knowledge, within the narrow circle of his special education, and so he assumes that they make the same, or even worse, errors about other things,whether intellectual or moral. This assumption, it may be said, is quite justified by the facts.”
― H.L. Mencken