How Propaganda Became Public Relations: Foucault and the Corporate Government of the Public

New York, NY, USA: Routledge (2020)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
How Propaganda Became Public Relations pulls back the curtain on propaganda: how it was born, how it works, and how it has masked the bulk of its operations by rebranding itself as public relations. Cory Wimberly uses archival materials and wide variety of sources — Foucault’s work on governmentality, political economy, liberalism, mass psychology, and history — to mount a genealogical challenge to two commonplaces about propaganda. First, modern propaganda did not originate in the state and was never primarily located in the state; instead, it began and flourished as a for-profit service for businesses. Further, propaganda is not focused on public beliefs and does not operate mainly through lies and deceit; propaganda is an apparatus of government that aims to create the publics that will freely undertake the conduct its clients’ desire. Businesses have used propaganda since the early twentieth century to construct the laboring, consuming, and voting publics that they needed to secure and grow their operations. Over that time, corporations have become the most numerous and well-funded apparatuses of government in the West, operating privately and without democratic accountability. Wimberly explains why liberal strategies of resistance have failed and a new focus on creating mass subjectivity through democratic means is essential to countering propaganda. This book offers a sophisticated analysis that will be of interest to scholars and advanced students working in social and political philosophy, Continental philosophy, political communication, the history of capitalism, and the history of public relations.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
WIMHPB
Upload history
Archival date: 2020-04-13
View other versions
Added to PP index
2019-11-26

Total views
100 ( #36,706 of 54,388 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
49 ( #13,996 of 54,388 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.