Today’s Quote-to-Quote-to-Quote: Corporate Propaganda

And the way it’s done

“Corporations want us to believe that they are concerned, moral ‘corporate citizens’ — whatever that means. So businesses pump millions of dollars into charities and nonprofit organizations to deceive us into thinking that they care and are making things better. On top of that, corporate charity can buy the tacit cooperation of organizations that might otherwise be expected to criticize corporate policies. Some PR firms specialize in helping corporations to defeat activists, and co-optation is one of their tools.
“Some years ago, in a speech to clients in the cattle industry, Ron Duchin, senior vice-president of the PR firm Mongoven, Biscoe, and Duchin (which represents probably a quarter of the largest corporations in the world), outlined his firm’s basic divide-and-conquer strategy for defeating any social-change movement. Activists, he explained, fall into three basic categories: radicals, idealists, and realists. The first step in his strategy is to isolate and marginalize the radicals. They’re the ones who see the inherent structural problems that need remedying if indeed a particular change is to occur. To isolate them, PR firms will try to create a perception in the public mind that people advocating fundamental solutions are terrorists, extremists, fearmongers, outsiders, communists, or whatever. After marginalizing the radicals, the PR firm then identifies and ‘educates’ the idealists — concerned and sympathetic members of the public — by convincing them that the changes advocated by the radicals would hurt people. The goal is to sour the idealists on the idea of working with the radicals, and instead get them working with the realists.
“Realists, according to Duchin, are people who want reform but don’t really want to upset the status quo; big public-interest organizations that rely on foundation grants and corporate contributions are a prime example. With the correct handling, Duchin says, realists can be counted on to cut a deal with industry that can be touted as a ‘win-win’ solution, but that is actually an industry victory.”
— John Stauber, Editor of PR Watch.
(Read “The War on Truth” here.)

“If we understand the mechanisms and motives of the group mind, it is now possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without them knowing it.” []
“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. 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 who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”
Edward Bernays, the father of modern public relations, from his book “Propaganda.”

[Note: Bernays’ PR techniques for influencing the public were assimilated and expanded by Hitler’s propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels to seize and hold power in Nazi Germany and are still in use today just turn on the news. (Read “BP: Mitigating Exposure, Controlling the Response and Making Edward Bernays Proud!” by Steve Horn, PRWatch.org, June, 2010.)]

“The twentieth century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: the growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.”
— Alex Carey