Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: THE SAME STORY IS REPEATING ITSELF!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


The “Greater Good” was an interesting document to read for a number of reasons. Chapter 12 is almost a parallel of the current economic disaster that the United States is facing. Now as back then financial leaders are taking an arrogant attitude toward the public. For instance I read in Chapter 12:

“…Edgerton confided to the National Association Of Manufacturers (NAM) member that homeless and jobless Americans had only themselves to blame for their predicament. Their cruel conditions he instructed, were simply the result of their not having dutifully practiced ‘habits of thrift and conservation.’ “

This is exactly the current problem of the United States when big banks began to sell houses to the people that could not afford to buy one. Most of these companies wanted to make more money and so they were willing to sell as many houses as possible to anybody who wanted one. For that reason a lot of people are having problems making the payments for their house. In most cases the majority of the people are loosing their houses and there is nothing the government can do about it. The banks are saying the borrowers are to blame but no matter how unrealistic the borrowers were in what they thought they could afford, it was the banks that gave them the money even though the banks had the possibility to find out if a borrower could afford to pay. The banks could have stopped this from happening but were more interested in making money than in the “ public good “.

Then Stuart Ewen added:

“Amid widespread economic distress, pronouncements such as this only quickened the spread of anti-business feeling…”

This is a case where the public turned against big business because of its arrogance. We see the same things happening today not because of what business is saying but because of what it is doing. The current uproar over the AIG bonuses is only one part of the reaction against the crazy amount of money financial executives are trying to take for themselves even when they are ruining their companies. The public is very angry!

Once again the public is so untrusting of business that the public does not want to be involved in business. People were hurt in 1929 and they are being hurt again today. The author said:

“ Beneath the surface of these statistical catastrophes, the human toll is enormous. “

This quote has a very contemporary sound in a year when people are loosing their homes, retirement and life savings because of greedy businessmen, horribly incompetent CEOs and the government, which was not paying attention.


Blogger A. Mattson said...

A good discussion, you have noted some interesting parallels.

Whose fault is the crise? The individual? Big Business? The system? Assigning blame is an important part of any economic crisis? Who will play the villain this time? The banker? The government? People who took out mortgages they couldn't afford?

We are witnessing a pitched battle to control these explanations of the crisis. Who will determine the "truth" of the situation? The Obama administration? The Republicans? Corporate PR? A populist backlash?

3/18/2009 2:33 PM  

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