Dear ‘Vedic Care’ volunteers, well-wishers and newcomers,
‘The Hidden Persuaders’ by Vance Packard (1957), is a book that exposes the insidious tactics of the advertising industry and how they’re used to influence political decisions and to get people to buy products in a consumer society; how advertisers use psychological methods to tap into our unconscious desires in order to “persuade” us to buy the products they’re selling.
“A brisk, authoritative and frightening report on how manufacturers, fundraisers and politicians are attempting to turn the American mind into a kind of catatonic dough that will buy, give or vote at their command” — The New Yorker.
The book reveals how “motivational research,” works, or the psychological technique that advertisers use to probe our minds in order to control our actions as consumers. Through analysis of products, political campaigns and television programs of the 1950s, Packard shows how these insidious manipulation practices, that have come to dominate today’s corporate driven world, began.
In another book, ‘The Waste Makers,’ Mr. Packard exposes planned obsolescence, which is the manufacturing of products to slowly break.
In other words, the products are designed to eventually malfunction, so the consumer has to buy more and more.
The changing of styles is also planned. Get the “latest” model of such and such. It may not be better, but people are induced to purchase the latest refrigerator, television or car.
This is an indication of what was predicted in the ‘Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam’ as one of the attributes of Kali Yuga. Misinformation and lying become rampant to fool people into doing what is against their nature.
Politicians and dictators have studied and implemented these tactics of “motivation research” and “planned obsolescence.”
In wars, radio and television stations were taken over and announced falsely that troops have retreated to undermine the enemy. It worked. Life, products and ideas become shoddy and watered down.
The difference between spiritual ideas and practices are that they are eternal in nature and made to last, whilst the temporary nature is “planned obsolescence,” designed to break, and not lasting.
Krishna has given us the positive alternative for counteracting material nescience, and the means to make our own life and practices sublime, and lasting. The ends and the means are the same in spiritual life.