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Taking the Risk Out of Democracy: Corporate Propaganda versus Freedom and Liberty (History of Communication) 1St Edition Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0252066160
ISBN-10: 0252066162
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Noam Chomsky is Institute Professor at the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Professor Chomsky has written and lectured extensively on a wide range of topics, including linguistics, philosophy, and intellectual history.
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Product Details

  • Series: History of Communication
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press; 1St Edition edition (December 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0252066162
  • ISBN-13: 978-0252066160
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #785,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Malvin VINE VOICE on October 6, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Carey points out that citizens living in totalitarian regimes have no choice but to toe the government line out of fear for their personal safeties. In free societies, Carey explains that more subtle means are used to keep populations under control. Specifically, propaganda is used to ensure that most people will think in a manner that is consistent with the corporate agenda (such as belief in the free market and business' right to unlimited profit). Carey documents how Americans and Australians have been subjected to corporate propaganda during most of the 20th Century, and explains how these efforts have perverted our democracy (for example, American's over willingness to fight communists, real or imagined, to protect capitalism). Indeed, while many Americans were conditioned during the Cold War to believe that propaganda existed only in the Soviet Union, China and other communist regimes, Carey persuasively argues that propaganda actually played (and continues to play) a more critical role in molding the attitudes of citizens in democracies.
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Format: Paperback
An excellent and scathing critique of modern information systems and how those symbols can channel thought to protect the powerful.
Alex Carey examines how Management, Gov't, and other powerful interests manipulate the symbols of our cultural life to destroy union solidarity, dillute political accountability, and distract attention away from issues (and solutions) that threaten those institutions.
Very well researched and cleverly developed, it is unfortunate that Carey's career was abruptly cut short. This book and those it has inspired stand strong, albeit quietly, in the face of the information control systems that they seek to expose.
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Format: Paperback
"Taking the Risk Out of Democracy : Corporate Propaganda Versus Freedom and Liberty" is a pioneering work in the field of corporate propaganda analysis which reveals just how much of a major force corporate propaganda is in contemporary society. Alex Carey quotes the business press as stating that the public mind is the greatest "hazard facing industrialists."
"Taking the Risk Out of Democracy : Corporate Propaganda Versus Freedom and Liberty" points out that there are two types of propaganda, each of which have specific societal functions. The first type is aimed at the educated, articulate sectors of the population that are involved in in decision making and setting the agenda for others to adhere to. The second type of propaganda is aimed at the unwashed masses, to keep them distracted so as they don't interfere in the public arena where they have no business in being. All in all, "Taking the Risk Out of Democracy : Corporate Propaganda Versus Freedom and Liberty remains a seminal analysis of corporate propaganda and its uses in creating an obedient elite and a subserviant citizenry. Very enjoyable.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mr. Andrew Lohrey informs us in his introduction, to this collection of essays by the late Australian psychologist Alex Carey, that Carey was prevented from going to college by his parents after he finished secondary school as they wanted him to manage their sheep farm which he did with such success that he could sell it about a decade later and enter a university.
Here and there this book is dreadfully dry, particularly towards the end. His ideas probably would have been made clearer and much better organized if he would have been able to put together a regular book instead of a book of essays put together by someone else but he died in 1988 before he could get it done. But the topics he discusses are very important especially now when business and government propaganda has never been more powerful.
The main title of this book describes what big business and their intellectual and political minions have tried to do particularly in the United States as rights to vote and to organize in this country were extended to large segments of the population of this country over the last hundred years. Carey's old friend Noam Chomsky quotes in his preface the numerous intellectual advocates (Walter Lipmann, Harold Laswell,etc.) of what Thomas Jefferson called late in his life "a single and splendid government of an aristocracy" made up of the "banking institutions and monyed incorporations" whom he feared would destroy the freedoms gained during the American revolution.
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Format: Paperback
Alex Carey's work is absolutely some of the best. My favorite quote of his is this: "The 20th century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: the growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy." This has become a touchstone for Sheldon Rampton and me in our books Toxic Sludge Is Good for You, Trust Us, We're Experts, and our writing for PR Watch. Carey is much missed.
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