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The Propaganda Society

Promotional Culture and Politics in Global Context


Gerald Sussman

The Propaganda Society analyzes the rapid expansion of propaganda and promotional activities in the leading «post-industrial» states under the regime of neoliberalism. With the outsourcing of manufacturing, these states have converted to service, selling, and speculative economies, with a concurrent rapid growth of advertising, marketing, public relations, sales management, branding, and other promotional enterprises. Aided by digital technologies and the removal – «deregulation» – of political, legal, administrative, and moral barriers to state and corporate expansion on a global scale, a group of dominant political and commercial actors have brought about a common discourse and convergent set of practices rooted in sophisticated and unprecedented levels of propaganda and promotion. Written by leading scholars in the field, each of the eighteen chapters in this book discuss the ways in which elite uses of propaganda have radically transformed media and information systems, political and public culture, the conduct of war and foreign relations, and the overall behavior of the state.
Contents: Graham Murdock: Preface – Gerald Sussman: Introduction: The Propaganda Society – Robert W. McChesney/Inger L. Stole/John Bellamy Foster/Hannah Holleman: Advertising and the Genius of Commercial Propaganda – Doris Baltruschat: Branded Entertainment and the New Media Economy – Matthew P. McAllister: «Very High Art»: The Cultural Enhancement of Product Promotion in «Making-of» Videos about Advertising Campaigns – Tim Dwyer: Net Worth: Popular Social Networks as Colossal Marketing Machines – Massimo Ragnedda/Glenn W. Muschert: The Regime of Propaganda in a Neoliberal State: Berlusconi and the Italian Media – Sharon Beder: Corporate Discourse on Climate Change – Inger L. Stole: Cause Marketing as Commercial Propaganda: Neoliberal Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing? – Michael Barker: Celebrity Philanthropy: In the Service of Corporate Propaganda – Robert Jensen: Pornography as Propaganda – Douglas Kellner: War Correspondents, the Military, and Propaganda: Some Critical Reflections – Edward Herman/David Peterson: Legitimizing Versus Delegitimizing Elections: Honduras and Iran – Lee Artz: The New Rhetoric of the Global War on Terrorism – Sue Curry Jansen: International Public Relations: Neoliberal Fixer and Diplomat Without Portfolio – Aeron Davis: Promotion, Propaganda, and High Finance – James F. Tracy: Covering Workers: News Media, Labor, and the 2008 Economic Crisis – Dominic Wring: Telling It Like It Is: The Focus Group as an Ideological Weapon – Patricia Mazepa: Direct from the Source: Canada’s Integrated System of State Propaganda – Gerald Sussman: Epilogue.