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General Elections: Manufacturing Consent in a Democratic Society?

5th July 2015 · 11:00am - 1:00pm

In person | Virtual event

 General Elections: Manufacturing Consent in a Democratic Society?

Graham Bell

Walter Lippmann was one of the most influential US public intellectuals in the twentieth century. His image was celebrated on a 6 cent postage stamp, probably more for his contributions to journalism than for his development, along with others, of a systematised propaganda system. The US overtly counters the existence of such a home-grown system with mantras such as “their propaganda, our public information”.

In this talk, Graham Bell will look at the schema that Lippmann developed in the 1920s for conducting national elections and his justification of it. To what extent do his prescriptions reflect current General Elections in the UK? Must ‘we’ manufacture consent in order to maintain a stable society? Lippmann maintains that propaganda is the essence of democracy and that the creation of necessary illusions is imperative – but in doing so, has he not redefined the concept of democracy?

Graham Bell is a retired secondary school teacher and a long-standing member of Conway Hall Ethical Society. He has wide-ranging interests, backed up by in-depth studies and has spoken several times at the Ethical Society.

Doors 10.30. Entry £3, £2 concs./free to Conway Hall Ethical Society members. Entry only available on the door.

Tea, coffee & biscuits will be available.

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