Monday, January 09, 2012

Edward Bernays and the devolution of public relations

Currently I'm reading Edward Bernays "Propaganda" via my iPad. I came across a paragraph I found interesting. Bernays wrote in 1928: "...many large corporations were employing public relations counsel under one title or another, for they had come to recognize that they depended upon public good will for their continued prosperity."

When did this go away? I mean when did corporations become so confident in their abuses that they no longer need to care about their public images? Something happened to one or many major corporations that had so little effect on their prosperity that they arrived at the decision that they could act with impunity. They stagnated employee wages, busted unions, produced dangerous products, lied and stole from customers, abandoned whole communities that developed their economic systems in dependence of the industry, polluted, and who knows what else. What gave these corporations so much self-confidence and protection from self-destruction that they could do all of these things?

The very thing which nearly all of the spokes persons from these industries claim they hate: "Big government."

It's not about the government as a whole entity, however. When business people want to shrink government, they don't want to shrink the whole government, they want to shrink only the parts that don't help businesses in particular. They don't have a problem with government contracts. They gladly eat at the trough of government bailouts.

The corporate lobbyist is no longer a necessity as the Citizens United Supreme Court decision has eliminated the need for persuading politicians in exchange for out-right purchase of the congressional offices by the corporations. So, what's the point of paying attention to the Republican Primaries anymore, all of the choices were bought by corporations. You won't have a choice in the end because all the eggs in the carton came from the same farm.

The new rule we live under is called a Plutocracy: A government by the rich, for the rich. However, I continue to receive letters and emails from allegedly progressive groups that want my support so they can send members to Capitol Hill to lobby members of congress. Sorry, that doesn't affect the corporate boardroom holding the puppet strings. All the long-existing charities and not-for-profits have been redefined by the government to give them a better taste of the "good life." Really, how effective are the long-standing charitable and non-profit organizations you know?

What if we didn't vote? Would it matter? It would drive us further and faster into slavery than we would go if we did vote. Why prolong the inevitable? What else can we do? What ELSE can we do? #OCCUPYWALLSTREET #MOVEBEYONDSPEECH