Edward Luis Bernays is one of the founding fathers in public relations. He played a role in helping the United States president Woodrow Wilson to propagandize in backing the linked war aims during the First World War. The renowned propagandist designed a public relations campaign for companies and politicians with the support of others – Wilfred Trotter and Gustave – on mob psychology, which is a branch of psychology, Edward became the first person in history to carry out an attempt in the manipulation of public opinion through unintentional agenda (Bernays, 532). The drive for the action was the necessity of manipulation in the society that was considered as an irrational and risky activity due to the complex instinct people had in the society.
The kind of public relations that Bernay had with the society where he belonged made him popular with his theories, in relation to those of Freud in the United States. Bernay began clarifying his ideas concerning the role of propaganda in manipulating people’s opinions through the theory of Freud on psychoanalysis. The slogan of democracy has swayed the public and Bernay was challenged on how the propaganda model would be received in the society (Bernays 534). This gave him the thought of deploying the model during peace time, since there had been undesirable implications thatwere surrounding the term propaganda, due to the way it was used during the First World War.
Instead of using the word propaganda, Edward Bernay considered the word public relations to reach the society to enlighten the despotism philosophies. The idea was drawn from a French writer called Gustave, who was the co-founder of crowd psychology and the promoter of the same idea in the Anglophone world Wilfred Trotter,. The effort of the application of public relations by Bernay propagated the theory of Freud in the United States society. Bernay also contributed to the adoption of public relations and the use of social sciences and psychology in designing a campaign for public persuasion.
Propaganda was widely used in the United States as a political tool to influence the society of making the citizens join and support the war and also as a stamp to help the government in stimulating the economy (TyeLarry 348). Throughout the First World War, the United State government comes with a strategy of cutting cost of war supplies by encouraging the public to reduce wastage on food and to start cultivating their own vegetables in the so-called Victory gardens. During cold war, the Unites States government applied the use of propaganda to fight a war against the soviet and communism by producing misleading news that discredited communists. Propaganda has widely been used in fighting drug wars. The national drug control policy working under the drug-free media campaigns has made the use of internal propaganda drive that has been purposely designed to influence the public. The campaign is meant to influence public attitude, through the media on drug abuse and ways of preventing drug abuse by younger generation living in Unites States of America(Bernays 264).
The level of intelligence and conscious influence of an organization’s behavior is very critical in a democratic society. The uses of propaganda or public relations in the society consisting of invisible government depict how the public can get their minds manipulated without knowing. There is much a concrete relationship between propaganda and political leadership that is evidential in the political challenges being faced in the current society. A major challenge in the modern democracy is the identification of the way of inducing the political leaders to lead the subjects without applying propaganda. Propaganda in leadership is the main source of complaints that arise in from leadership critics. The socialist believe that people’s voice can express a wise idea. The opinion of the people is considered to be expressing what is on people’s mind hence should be considered as propaganda since it is made up by the influence of the leaders.
Propaganda was widely used in American political department, and the government has slow in making changes to the application of propaganda in meeting public influence and demands. In the world of American politics, it is obvious that the leaders cannot meet the demand of the people in the society. It is, therefore,important for a politician to act fallaciously in a way that the society will follow through portraying dramatic interest during campaigns. Through these actions, born leaders can lead by skillfully applying the use of propaganda to influence public interest (Bernays 349). An argument arises in the application propaganda in manufacturing the leader’s political personalities. The query is trying to bargain whether propaganda can be used to define a leader or is the leader responsible for making propaganda need to be considered. There is a necessity for a stable base that the political leaders canstand on when such questions arise when evaluating their leadership abilities.
In real sense, propaganda is meaningless to politicians but it become useful in influencing the conscience of the society by telling them what they want to hear. Propaganda is a pure dishonesty that can mislead the public, but it is one form of leadership that will always be used by the political leaders while appealing to their various constituents for votes (TyeLarry 168). Critics have been made concerning the leadership of America that propaganda define the president of United States such that he has become a person of heroic worship that leading as a president. The criticism cannot be stopped because that is the way the American society has accepted to portray the president as a hero and a symbol of power. In conclusion, Bernay states that propaganda will never end because the leaders have discovered that propaganda is the solitary way in which they can bring order in the society (Bernays 795).
Tye, Larry. “The Father of Spin: Edward L. Bernays & the Birth of Public Relations.” New York: Henry Holt, 2002. 248 – 783 Print.
Bernays, Edward L. “The Engineering of Consent: [a Scientific Approach to Public Relations].” Norman, Okla, 1969. 163 – 850 Print.