Fuck you, Edward Bernays.
- Hugh Mungus
Bet you've no idea why you eat bacon and eggs for breakfast. Believe it or not, he's the same reason you bought that $2,000 handbag. Yeah, the one that cost 43¢ to make. His name was Edward Bernays, and you can thank him not solely for influencing your first meal of the day, but also intimidating you into making such a ridiculous purchase.
Who was this manipulative asshole? Sigmund Freud's nephew, Edward Bernays, is typically termed the Father of Public Relations. In the early 1900s, Bernays was so adept at being devious, he sold an entire war - World War I - to a nation. The U.S. populace believed the erroneous claims - originating from Bernays, and those of his ilk - this conflict would "Make the World Safe for Democracy." We now realize such was a lie, and approximately 120,000 Americans - suckered by Edward's scheme - died as a result.
In 1928, Bernays published Propaganda - a book outlining his method for swindling anyone into buying anything, whether it be war or used toilet paper. According to Eduardo, the population was too stupid to know what was best for them, and couldn't make prudent decisions. Akin to an ignorant child, it was imperative the public allow the powerful "elite" - people who controlled with cash - to decide what was best for all.
From the pages of Propaganda:
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.
We are governed, our minds molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. [...]
It might be better to have, instead of propaganda and special pleading, committees of wise men who would choose our rulers, dictate our conduct, private and public, and decide upon the best types of clothes for us to wear and the best kinds of food for us to eat. [...]
As civilization has become more complex, and as the need for invisible government has been increasingly demonstrated, the technical means have been invented and developed by which opinion may be regimented.
Since we're told the United States is a democracy - and such denotes government by the people - Edward is full of shit.
Unlike prior coercive efforts, Bernays didn't believe in bludgeoning consumers with hard-nosed tactics - "You must buy this product, or else-!" Rather, Edward used the more wily method of making folks feel inadequate if they didn't have what he was selling. Thus, manipulating people into thinking their lives were incomplete, unless they spent rent money on a down payment for a $50,000 watch. A watch, no less, thieves in a number of Third World nations, would amputate one's hand in order to obtain.
Using Bernays' tactics, marketing and public relations companies have persuaded the population into financial slavery, and governments have sold us all on wars that murder our species in droves. Thanks to Eddie, countless men and women have been slaughtered, duped into believing they're donning fatigues and killing innocent civilians for a moral cause.
See that genetically modified meal in front of you? Of course you do, as a majority of food sold in United States grocery stores contain GMOs - thought to cause life-threatening afflictions. You can thank Edward for that, as well, since marketing methods employed by corporations like Monsanto - which produce genetically-modified organisms - are inspired by the work of Mr. Bernays.
You can also express gratitude to Edward for the fluoride in toothpaste, since he organized an advertising campaign to sell the U.S. public on this substance.
It's a matter of record fluoride - a derivative of the poisonous gas fluorine - is dangerous to humans in anything but trace amounts. Why, then, are we ingesting copious quantities of it through our daily dental routines, as well as the water we drink? That's correct. America is one of the few remaining countries still fluoridating its public drinking water - a procedure many believe was undertaken by Nazi Germany, in order to pacify its populace to make them more docile and pliable.
Hence, I say, "Fuck you, Edward Bernays."
Oh, yeah. The bacon and eggs thing? During the 1950s, Bernays was hired by the Beech-Nut Packing Company to increase bacon sales. Ed created a campaign, informing the public, doctors overwhelmingly agreed a substantial breakfast of bacon and eggs was beneficial.
And all this time you believed you were thinking for yourself.