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Crystallizing Public Opinion by Edward L. Bernays

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CHAPTER II

IS PUBLIC OPINION STUBBORN OR MALLEABLE?

There is a divergence of opinion as to whether the public mind is malleable or stubborn—whether it is a passive or an active element. On the one hand is the profound belief that “you can’t change human nature.” On the other hand is the equally firm assurance that certain well-defined institutions modify and alter public opinion.

There is a uniformity of opinion in this country upon many issues. When this uniformity accords with our own beliefs we call it an expression of the public conscience. When, however, it runs contrary to our beliefs we call it regimentation of the public mind and are inclined to ascribe it to insidious propaganda.

Uniformity is, in fact, largely natural and only partly ...

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