Review of “The Minority Rules” by Propagandist Edward Bernays

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“The common man is content to let his affairs be run for him; let the intelligent see to it that they do the running.” 

Edward Bernays, The Minority Rules

This is a short overview of a little-known article written by Edward Bernays, titled “The Minority Rules.” Published in The Bookman in 1927, it eventually became the basis for parts of his book, Propaganda. The linked video at the bottom is an audio reading of the whole article.

To better understand the realities of created news and false flag events, books and articles written by Edward Bernays are a great place to start.

Propagandist Edward Bernays has influenced the thoughts and actions of our nation for nearly 100 years. His influence over us remains powerful to this day. His system of propaganda has penetrated every aspect of modern life and is used by government and big business to shape our perceptions outside of our awareness.

The fact that the average individual would deny this influence means that his system of subtle, continuous, and enduring propaganda is as effective as ever.

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In “The Minority Rules”, using his trademark elitist tone, Bernays discusses how deeply propaganda has penetrated modern society, the importance of regimenting the public mind, and how the intelligent few must run the affairs of the common man.

Like in all his writings, Bernays gleefully details examples of his work with the same boastful arrogance that earned him a reputation as a shameless braggart.

For example, in discussing an old campaign where he helped make unpopular women’s hats popular, Bernays refers to his own work as enlightening. He then boasts about how much better his plan was than his predecessors, a clear shot at a rival whose name he left out.

And finally, super pleased with himself, he brags about how successful his manipulative tricks were on the women he used them on.

“It is certain that these thousands of women were unaware that they had literally been made to enlist in the large-hat regiment. They thought they were obeying the whims of an unintentional Dame Fashion, instead of an intentional one.”

I imagine that Bernays rarely told this story without excitedly leaping into the air and clicking his heels together. The satisfaction that Bernays gets from pulling the wool over the public’s eyes is evident in all his works.

Bernays also belittles the intelligence of the “common man” throughout “Minority Rules.” Less than one paragraph in, he not so subtly refers to himself as Caesar while showing how little he thinks of public when he proclaims,

“The contemporary common man, however, shows no sign of giving three whoops in East New York whether it (the world) was made for him or not. Caesar leads him along by the nose.”

And finally, in typical Bernays fashion, he balances his desire to be a despot with his need to rationalize that what he does is for the public good. As in his other writings, his attempts to do so are as disingenuous, as they are insulting. Bernays rationalizes like he’s a butcher explaining to a cow that its impending slaughter is for the good of all cows.

There’s no doubt that Bernays was good at his job, and there’s a lot to be learned from his writings. Be careful, however, not to let his rationalizations in “The Minority Rules” or any of his other works fool you. Throughout his career he consistently put the needs of big corporations, big government, and the “invisible government” ahead of the needs of the public.

As an early proponent of world government, Bernays believed the ends justified the means. He was often referred to by his peers as a modern Machiavelli. Bernays had no problem manipulating the masses to take action that was against their best interests.

When he speaks of the goodness and necessity of his propaganda, keep this in mind. The Minister of Propaganda for the Nazi’s, Joseph Goebbels, used Bernays book as a blueprint for the Nazi propaganda campaign during WWII. As someone who worked in international affairs and whose success depended largely on his exceptional foresight, it’s hard to imagine that he didn’t see that coming. It’s more likely that he did but just didn’t care.

“The Minority Rules” gives insights into his mindset, his views towards the public, and his strategies.

Here are a few select quotes.

“The extent to which it (propaganda) shapes the progress of affairs about us comes as a surprise even to well informed persons.”

“A single news story seems unimportant by itself. But the events those articles describe, bear the same relation to the science of propaganda that a single railroad tie bears to the entire stretch of track from New York to San Francisco.”

“Modern propaganda is a consistent, enduring policy of creating or shaping events to influence the relations of the public to a given entreprise.”

“It cannot be too sharply emphasized that this practice of creating circumstances and of stamping a desired picture into the minds of millions of persons is far more common than the stampees realize. Virtually no important undertaking is now being carried on without it, whether that enterprise be launching a book, building a cathedral, endowing a university, marketing a moving picture, or electing a president.”

“The important thing is that it is universal and continuous; it is regimenting the mind of the public every bit as much as the War Department regiments the bodies of its soldiers.”

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