Edward BernaysEdward Bernays, (1891-1995) "Father" of modern public relations (PR) and director of the U.S. Committee on Public Information during World War I, on government propaganda

Edward Bernays Quote

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society.”

Edward BernaysEdward Bernays
~ Edward Bernays

Bernays, Propaganda (1928), chapter 1.

Ratings and Comments

Mike, Norwalk

Said very well; that very principle is one of the required elements in replacing a Constitutional Republic with the slavery that is democracy.

Joe, Rochester, MI

Very true. Though I hate that our government does it. Let's get back to the Constitutionally Limited Federal Republic we are supposed to be.

Anonymous, Reston, VA US

Sadly, this is the case and neither the quote nor reality limit this to "the government"... just as guilty are the Radical Religious Right and Big Business and The Media (just one faction of Big Business) as is the Liberal Left. This gets a low score as I'm not sure that it is an "important" element in the sense of "desirable" or just "one with important effects".

E Archer, NYC

Reston is right about not limiting the quote to 'government' -- tryig to control other people is a human trait that can only be checked by each of us by knowing and frequently defending our natural rights -- and curbing our desires!

Jack, Green, OH

Almost the only element. The only one that counts. The art of leadership is the power of persuasion.

Ken, Allyn, WA

All I can say is, "Globull Warming!"

  • Reply
    Anonymous    3/27/09

    I like Reston's response; I appreciate the fact that he didn't just go on a rant about how liberals are ruining our nation, bla bla bla... very complete comment. Also, a republic is a KIND of democracy.

    Mike, Norwalk

    Anonymous, a "republic" differs greatly from a "republican form of government." A "democracy" differs greatly from a "democratic process." A republic can be a KIND of democracy or antithetical thereto in the extreme.

    E Archer, NYC

    Not sure why I gave this a thumbs up -- perhaps for the accuracy of the comment. But thumbs down for Bernays' comment and the obvious standard that propaganda has become in the media. They know they are doing it, they are OK with it, and they even start to believe that it is their purpose in life to organize the opinions and habits of all those they can reach. The worst part is that so many people don't know it!! They don't call it television programming for nothing...

    Patrick Henry, Red Hill

    There exist principled means of suasion other than the cunning manipulation of human being's emotions, by necessary extension, their perception of Reality, signal among which are appeals to reason.

    Unfailingly, it is the will to possess power that animates and underlies the exploitation, by power mongers, of devices of the warping of human perception of Reality.

    All such devices are inherently malign, contrivances as they are of the archetype of all unholy power seekers, Beelzebub himself.

    As it is written:

    "Come no, let us reason together, saith the Lord..."

    Robert, Somewhere in the USA

    Though the quote is accurate, thumbs down because he destroyed the American Middle class. He also had Goebbels as a student.... And of course Madison Avenue.... his uncle knew well the mind of fools.....


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