Sunday, May 16, 2010
In the U.S., there was a counterpart. Woodrow Wilson was elected in 1916 on an anti-war platform. The U.S. was a very pacifist country. It has always been. People don’t want to go fight foreign wars. The country was very much opposed to the first World War and Wilson was, in fact, elected on an anti-war position. "Peace without victory" was the slogan. But he was intending to go to war. So the question was, how do you get the pacifist population to become raving anti-German lunatics so they want to go kill all the Germans? That requires propaganda. So they set up the first and really only major state propaganda agency in U.S. history. The Committee on Public Information it was called (nice Orwellian title), called also the Creel Commission. The guy who ran it was named Creel. The task of this commission was to propagandize the population into a jingoist hysteria. It worked incredibly well. Within a few months there was a raving war hysteria and the U.S. was able to go to war.
Hitler was impressed. He says in Mein Kampf, Germany lost the first World War because it lost the propaganda battle. American business community was also very impressed with the propaganda effort. They had a problem at that time. The country was becoming formally more democratic. A lot more people were able to vote and that sort of thing. The country was becoming wealthier and more people could participate and a lot of new immigrants were coming in, and so on.
They learned to control what people think. This huge public relations industry, which is a U.S. invention and a monstrous industry, came out of the first World War
Edward Bernays, out of the Creel Commission. He wrote a book, Propaganda, applying the lessons of the first World War. it is possible to "regiment the public mind every bit as much as an army regiments their bodies.
new techniques were developed used by the intelligent minorities. Bernays was an authentic Roosevelt/Kennedy liberal.
Another member of the Creel Commission was Walter Lippmann. The most respected figure in Us journalism.
He says there is a new art in democracy called manufacture of consent. That is his phrase. By manufacturing consent, you can overcome the fact that formally a lot of people have the right to vote. The founder of what’s called communications and academic political science is Harold Glasswell. His main achievement was a book, a study of propaganda.