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How to Brainwash a Nation

Edward Bernays and
the Assassination of Democracy

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An excerpt from "The Century of the Self"

In 2002, Adam Curtis and the BBC released a four-part series called "The Century of the Self."

The series tracks how American elites have aggressively used the modern behavioral sciences to persuade, coerce and manipulate the American public into accepting the corporate-government world's version of events as their own.

This seven-minute video which I call "The Assassin of Democracy" focuses on one of the most skillful and amoral expert of all the experts in mass manipulation, Edward Bernays. Bernays got his first taste of the power of propaganda during World War I. He advised US presidents from Woodrow Wilson to Einsehower and served numerous corporations and business associations. One of his biggest fans was Hitler's propaganda chief, Joseph Goebbels, a fact about which Bernays bragged proudly.

In this clip, we see a pattern that Bernays used over and over again: turn a harmless entity into a fearsome enemy through lies and manufactured news items. Then use the "threat" to justify attack. The subject of this video is Bernays campaign against the democratically elected government of Guatemala in 1953, but you'll have no trouble seeing that this very same method is being used today.

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