Needs vs. Desires

Edward Louis Bernays (November 22, 1891 – March 9, 1995) is considered one of the fathers of the field of public relations along with Ivy Lee. Combining the ideas of Gustave Le Bon and Wilfred Trotter on crowd psychology with the psychoanalytical ideas of his uncle, Sigmund Freud, Bernays was one of the first to attempt to manipulate public opinion using the psychology of the subconscious.

He felt this manipulation was necessary in society, which he regarded as irrational and dangerous as a result of the ‘herd instinct’ that Trotter had described. Adam Curtis‘s award-winning 2002 documentary for the BBC, The Century of the Self, pinpoints Bernays as the originator of modern public relations.

He was named one of the 100 most influential Americans of the 20th century by Life magazine.

Uh…ok…so this guy is saluted for creating consumerism as we know it today?

When you have some time and interest, watch this [part 1 of 4] and decide how you feel about this for yourself :


2 Comments Add yours

  1. ryan says:

    After WWII the solution to a strong economy was to buy things. Buy, buy, buy. The economists did the math and realized that if only they could get people to buy tons of stuff, constantly, that the economy would be strong. They succeeded and this turned into the 50s where everything was cheap and necessary. Which has now turned into a global mess where things are ridiculously cheap, the earth is being raped, and factory workers are being exploited.

  2. chad says:

    yeeeup! all consistently making choices for the short term while putting the future off, putting it at risk. it’s a kind of procrastination for the entire race.

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