EDWARD L. BERNAYS
First Printing, November,
Second Printing, December,
Third Printing, March, 1930
BOOKS BY THE SAME AUTHOR
CRYSTALLIZING PUBLIC OPINION
AN OUTLINE OF CAREERS
THE BROADWAY ANTHOLOGY (CO-AUTHOR.
To My Wife
Doris E. Fleischman
Some of the ideas of the material
in this book have been used in articles written for The Bookman, The
Delineator, Advertising and Selling, The Independent, The American Journal
of Sociology, and other journals, to whom the author makes grateful
1 - Organizing Chaos
2 - The New Propaganda
3 - The New Propagandists
4 - The Psychology of Public Relations
5 - Business and the Public
6 - Propaganda and Political Leadership
7 - Women's Activities and Propaganda
CHAPTER I -
THE conscious and intelligent
manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses 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.
We are governed, our minds are
molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have
never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our
democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must
cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly
Our invisible governors are, in
many cases, unaware of the identity of their fellow members in the inner
They govern us by their qualities
of natural leadership, their ability to supply needed ideas and by their
key position in the social structure. Whatever attitude one chooses to
take toward this condition, it remains a fact that 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 a trifling fraction of our hundred and twenty
million - who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the
masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind, who
harness old social forces and contrive new ways to
and guide the world.
It is not usually realized how
necessary these invisible governors are to the orderly functioning of our
group life. In theory, every citizen may vote for whom he pleases. Our
Constitution does not envisage political parties as part of the mechanism
of government, and its framers seem not to have pictured to themselves the
existence in our national politics of anything like the modern political
machine. But the American voters soon found that without organization and
direction their individual votes, cast, perhaps, for dozens or hundreds of
candidates, would produce nothing but confusion. Invisible government, in
the shape of rudimentary political parties, arose almost overnight. Ever
since then we have agreed, for the sake of simplicity and practicality,
that party machines should narrow down the field of choice to two
candidates, or at most three or four.
theory, every citizen makes up his mind on public questions and matters of
private conduct. In practice, if all men had to study for themselves the
abstruse economic, political, and ethical data
involved in every question, they would find it impossible to come to a
conclusion about anything. We have voluntarily agreed to let an invisible
government sift the data and high-spot the outstanding issues so that our
field of choice shall be narrowed to practical proportions. From our
leaders and the media they use to reach the public, we accept the evidence
and the demarcation of issues bearing upon public questions; from some
ethical teacher, be it a minister, a favorite essayist, or merely
prevailing opinion, we accept a standardized code of social conduct to
which we conform most of the time.
In theory, everybody buys the best
and cheapest commodities offered him on the market. In practice, if
everyone went around pricing, and chemically testing before purchasing,
the dozens of soaps or fabrics or brands of bread which are for sale,
economic life would become hopelessly jammed. To avoid such confusion,
society consents to have its choice narrowed to ideas and objects brought
to its attention through propaganda of all kinds. There is consequently a
vast and continuous effort going on to capture our minds in the interest
of some policy or commodity or idea.
It might be better to have, instead
of propaganda and special pleading, committees of wise men who would
choose our rulers, dictate our conduct, private and public, and decide
upon the best types of clothes for us to wear and the best kinds of food
for us to eat. But we have chosen the opposite method, that of open
competition. We must find a way to make free competition function with
reasonable smoothness. To achieve this society has consented to permit
free competition to be organized by leadership and propaganda.
Some of the phenomena of this
process are criticized - the manipulation of news, the inflation of
personality, and the general ballyhoo by which politicians and commercial
products and social ideas are brought to the consciousness of the masses.
The instruments by which public opinion is organized and focused may be
misused. But such organization and focusing are necessary to orderly life.
As civilization has become more
complex, and as the need for invisible government has been increasingly
demonstrated, the technical means have been invented and developed by
which opinion may be regimented.
With the printing
press and the newspaper, the railroad, the telephone, telegraph, radio and
airplanes, ideas can be spread rapidly and even instantaneously over the
whole of America.
H. G. Wells senses
the vast potentialities of these inventions when he writes in the New York
"Modern means of communication -
the power afforded by print, telephone, wireless and so forth, of rapidly
putting through directive strategic or technical conceptions to a great
number of cooperating centers, of getting quick replies and effective
discussion have opened up a new world of political processes. Ideas and
phrases can now be given an effectiveness greater than the effectiveness
of any personality and stronger than any sectional interest. The common
design can be documented and sustained against perversion and betrayal. It
can be elaborated and developed steadily and widely without personal,
local and sectional misunderstanding."
What Mr. Wells says of political
processes is equally true of commercial and social processes and all
manifestations of mass activity. The groupings and affiliations of society
to-day are no longer subject to "local and sectional" limitations. When
the Constitution was adopted, the unit of organization was the village
community, which produced the greater part of its own necessary
commodities and generated its group ideas and opinions by personal contact
and discussion directly among its citizens. But to-day, because ideas can
be instantaneously transmitted to any distance and to any number of
people, this geographical integration has been supplemented by many other
kinds of grouping, so that persons having the same ideas and interests may
be associated and regimented for common action even though they live
thousands of miles apart.
It is extremely difficult to realize how many and diverse
are these cleavages in our society. They may be social, political,
economic, racial, religious or ethical, with hundreds of subdivisions of
each. In the World Almanac, for example, the following groups are listed
under the A's :
The League to Abolish Capital Punishment; Association to
Abolish War; American Institute of Accountants; Actors' Equity
Association; Actuarial Association of America; International Advertising
Association; National Aeronautic Association; Albany Institute of History
and Art; Amen Corner; American Academy in Rome; American Antiquarian
Society; League for American Citizenship; American Federation of Labor;
Amorc (Rosicrucian Order); Andiron Club; American-Irish Historical
Association; Anti-Cigarette League; Anti-Profanity League; Archeological
Association of America; National Archery Association; Arion Singing
American Astronomical Association; Ayrshire Breeders' Association; Aztec
Club of 184 7. There are many more under the " A " section of this very
The American Newspaper Annual and
Directory for 1928 lists 22,128 periodical publications in America. I have
selected at random the N's published in Chicago. They are:
Narod (Bohemian daily newspaper) ;
Narod-Polski (Polish monthly) ; N.A.R.D. (pharmaceutical) ; National
Corporation Reporter; National Culinary Progress (for hotel chefs) ;
National Dog Journal; National Drug Clerk; National Engineer; National
Grocer; National Hotel Reporter; National Income Tax Magazine; National
Jeweler; National Journal of Chiropractic; National Live Stock Producer;
National Miller; National Nut News; National Poultry, Butter and Egg
Bulletin; National Provisioner (for meat packers) ; National Real Estate
Journal ; National Retail Clothier; National Retail Lumber Dealer;
National Safety News; National Spiritualist; National Underwriter; The
Nation's Health; Naujienos (Lithuanian daily newspaper) ; New Comer
(Republican weekly for Italians) ; Daily News; The New World (Catholic
weekly) ; North American Banker; North American Veterinarian.
The circulation of some of these
publications is astonishing. The National Live Stock Producer has a sworn
circulation of 155,978; The National Engineer, of 20,328; The New World,
an estimated circulation of 67,000. The greater number of the periodicals
listed-chosen at random from among 22,128-have a circulation in excess of
The diversity of these publications
is evident at a glance. Yet they can only faintly suggest the multitude of
cleavages which exist in our society, and along which flow information and
opinion carrying authority to the individual groups.
Here are the conventions scheduled for Cleveland, Ohio,
recorded in a single recent issue of "World Convention Dates"-a fraction
of the 5,500 conventions and rallies scheduled.
Photo-Engravers' Association of America; The Outdoor Writers' Association;
the Knights of St. John; the Walther League; The National Knitted
Outerwear Association; The Knights of St. Joseph; The Royal Order of
Sphinx; The Mortgage Bankers' Association; The International Association
of Public Employment Officials; The Kiwanis Clubs of Ohio; The American
Photo-Engravers' Association; The Cleveland Auto Manufacturers Show; The
of Heating and
Other conventions to
be held in 1928 were those of: The Association of Limb Manufacturers'
Associations; The National Circus Fans' Association of America; The
American Naturopathic Association; The American Trap Shooting Association
j The Texas Folklore Association; The Hotel Greeters; The Fox Breeders'
Association; The Insecticide and Disinfectant Association j The National
Association of Egg Case and Egg Case Filler Manufacturers; The American
Bottlers of Carbonated Beverages; and The National Pickle Packers'
Association, not to
the Terrapin Derby-most of them
with banquets and orations attached.
If all these thousands of formal
organizations and institutions could be listed (and no complete list has
ever been made) , they would still represent but a part of those existing
less formally but leading vigorous lives. Ideas are sifted and opinions
stereotyped in the neighborhood bridge club. Leaders assert their
authority through community drives and amateur theatricals. Thousands of
women may unconsciously belong to a sorority which follows the fashions
set by a single society leader.
"Life" satirically expresses this
idea in the reply which it represents an American as giving to the
Britisher who praises this country for having no upper and lower classes
"Yeah, all we have is the Four
Hundred, the White-Collar Men, Bootleggers, Wall Street Barons,
Criminals, the D.A.R., the K.K.K., the Colonial Dames, the Masons,
Kiwanis and Rotarians, the K. of C., the Elks, the Censors, the
Cognoscenti, the Morons, Heroes like Lindy, the W.C.T.U., Politicians,
Menckenites, the Booboisie, Immigrants, Broadcasters, and-the Rich and
Yet it must be remembered that
these thousands of groups interlace. John Jones, besides being a Rotarian,
is member of a church, of a fraternal order, of a political party, of a
charitable organization, of a professional association, of a local chamber
of commerce, of a league for or against prohibition or of a society for or
against lowering the tariff, and of a golf club. The opinions which he
receives as a Rotarian, he will tend to disseminate in the other groups in
which he may have influence.
This invisible, intertwining structure of groupings and
associations is the mechanism by which democracy has organized its group
mind and simplified its mass thinking. To deplore the existence of such a
mechanism is to ask for a society such as never was and never will be. To
admit that it exists, but expect that it shall not be used, is
represents Napoleon as "ever on the watch for indications of public
opinion; always listening to the voice of the people, a voice which defies
calculation. 'Do you know,' he said in those days, 'what amazes me more
than all else? The impotence of force to organize anything."
It is the purpose of this book to
explain the structure of the mechanism which controls the public mind, and
to tell how it is manipulated by the special pleader who seeks to create
public acceptance for a particular idea or commodity. It will attempt at
the same time to find the due place in the modern democratic scheme for
this new propaganda and to suggest its gradually evolving code of ethics
The Coming Battle
documents from Congressional records, newspaper reports and writings by
the founding fathers and others a chronology of events long forgotten that
shaped our fledgling nation from 1776 to 1899. Read about the manipulation
of our money and its supply, the intentional creation of recessions,
depressions and panics, manipulation of the stock markets, and the
demonetization of silver.
Eustace Mullins' carefully
researched and documented treatise picks up from Walbert's expose' of
control of the money supply and the economy and
brings it to the mid 1980's.
by Eustace Mullins
How control of the world's money has inexorably led to an ever tighter
grip on control of the world's people.
Brave New World
by Aldous Huxley
Huxley presents a dystopic view of a future
in which mind-control creates a harmonized society stratified into classes
suitably manipulated and deprived to carry out work tasks with a hive
mentality. A foreign element is inserted when a high ranking Alpha brings a
Native American from a Reservation and a new perspective on freedom gnaws at
the fabric of the propaganda matrix.
by Edward Bernays
Lippmann's book, Public Opinion, published in 1922, detailed the
study in which he and Edward Bernays were involved while in London during
the First World War. It had to do with painting pictures inside people's
heads, which were cunningly and deliberately designed by expert craftsmen to
mislead not only individuals but entire societies.
This is the classic expose' of the New World Order from a Commander in
the Canadian Navy through the first half of the 20th Century.
Commander Carr was introduced to the Hidden Hand early in his life and
pursuing its mysteries became a lifelong mission.
by CH Douglas
In every country of the world the global financial system has
repeatedly been brought to the Bar of
Public Opinion as the chief factor in world unrest, and there is little
doubt that the jury of We the People has confirmed the Verdict somewhat rhetorically
expressed by Mr. William Jennings Bryan in his famous election speech: "The
money power preys upon the nation in times of peace, and conspires against
it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than monarchy, more insolent
than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. It denounces, as public
enemies, all who question its methods, or throw light upon its crimes. It
can only be overthrown by the awakened conscience of the nation."
Social Credit by C.H. Douglas can clarify the issues from which we can
move forward to create a financial system that is fair and equitable.
Final Warning: A History of the New World Order
David Allen Rivera has assembled a very carefully written history that
can serve us well. To have been
ignored in the history books, by the colleges and
universities, the print and electronic media, and the entire
national and international discussion shows their power to control
the flow of information as much as they control the flow of money.
What they intend to do with this power and influence should be one
of the most vital topics of conversation.
by Dr. Albert Pastore
provides patterns that we can learn to recognize so that we can avoid
them. Properly presented, history provides any of us with
invaluable tools to help us see behind the illusions. No one who
is paying attention to the patterns and their application to today's
events would fail to miss the signals or the dog that fails to bark.
Uranium Wars by Leuren Moret
How control of the world's people has inexorably led to wider use of
depopulation methods which include spreading radioactivity in food,
water, air, and the human genome.
Taking Back Your Power
by Allen Aslan Heart
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© 2007, Allen Aslan Heart / White Eagle Soaring of the Little Shell Pembina Band, a
Tribe of the Ojibwe Nation