Information. We all want information … to be “informed”. How can we make good decisions if we don’t know what’s going on?
I just finished reading “Propaganda” a book written in 1928 by Edward Bernays – the nephew of Sigmund Freud. Bernays praises propaganda … in fact, he uses propaganda to defend propaganda!
Here’s what he says about the use of propaganda “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in a democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.”
Sounds pretty sinister to me – but not to Bernays … he thinks it’s great! His theories and ideas have been used by business, government, and education ever since. He was known as the “father of public relations”.
Isn’t there a big difference between education and propaganda?
Isn’t that why our First Amendment includes freedom of speech and freedom of the press?
As Lincoln said “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time. But, you can’t fool all of the people all of the time”.
Why am I so ramped up about all of this? Well, I’m on some golf sites that argue about golf instruction. Some guys believe that there should be only one method of golf instruction. Wow. I believe in certain golf swing fundamentals – but there are many ways to get there … and many ways to teach.
Same with running a golf course. Was at a meeting yesterday with some smart people about helping golf owners to survive and thrive. Hospitality emerged as the biggest need … and probably most abused. The corporate operators who own many courses emphasized training. I – representing single courses – emphasized hiring. That makes sense … the big guys want a blank slate … little operations like Deer Run don’t want robots – we want natural “people persons”.
But, no matter how it’s spun, golfers need to learn certain swing fundamentals … and golf operations need to make sure that they have great hospitality. Propaganda can’t change either one of those.
GM and Head Golf Professional