Part Two charts the history of PR and marketing. In particular, it analyses the influential role of Edward Bernays in creating PR in the early 20th Century and forcing a transformation of the Citizen into the Consumer by appealing to society’s selfish side, setting a trend of convincing people of their need for unnecessary possessions. Bernays’ plan succeeded to an unprecedented degree, leaving us with the consequences of a disillusioned populace forever striving for more goods that does not seem to fill the empty vacuum.
Where has the “cultivation of discontent” come from? It is not our intention to lay the blame for the ills of Consumer society firmly at the door of the whole marketing and Communications industry. After all, our long journey to answer the question of “what is a good life” has lasted for many eras of human philosophy and has for some time, certainly since the Enlightenment, tended towards a more individualist way of life, which now threatens not only our Wellbeing but that of our planet.