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Selling War - by Stephen Lendman
Throughout its history, America glorified wars in the name of peace. From inception, they're perpetuated against one or more domestic or foreign adversaries.
They include mass killing, assaults and abuse. Pacifism's called sissy or unpatriotic. Propaganda insists America's peace-loving. In fact, more than ever today, it's addicted to permanent war and violence.
Nonetheless, initiating them requires public support. Famed US journalist Walter Lippmann coined the phrase "manufacture of consent." It's a euphemism for mind control.
In 1917, George Creel first used it successfully to turn pacifist Americans into raging German-haters. It works the same way now. In 1916, Woodrow Wilson was reelected on a pledge of: "He Kept Us Out of War." Straightaway, he began planning US involvement.
In April 1917, he established the Committee on Public Information (CPI or Creel Committee). It operated through August 1919. Its mission was enlisting public support for war and undermining opposition sentiment.
Corporate America was so impressed, it recruited Edward Bernays, a nephew of Sigmund Freud. He became a PR/propaganda pioneer. His 1928 book titled "Propaganda" said it's possible to "regiment the public mind every bit as much as an army regiments their bodies."
"If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, is it not possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing about it?"
He called the technique the "engineering of consent." He invented the press release. One of his most successful campaigns involved convincing women to smoke in public when it was considered taboo. He pursuaded business that news, not advertising, best manipulates public opinion.
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