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Alex Carey (1922-1988) was an Australian writer and social psychologist who pioneered the study of corporate propaganda.[1] Much of Carey's work in this area remained unpublished and was cut short by his death. In 1995, a collection of his essays (several of them previously unpublished) was published under the title Taking the Risk Out of Democracy: Propaganda in the US and Australia (University of New South Wales Press; reissued in 1997 by University of Illinois Press under the title Taking the Risk Out of Democracy: Corporate Propaganda versus Freedom and Liberty). In 1988, Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman published their Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media in dedication to the memory of Carey, claiming that Carey would have written the definitive history of propaganda in the United States had he lived to complete his work.

From 1958 until his death, Carey was a lecturer in psychology at the University of New South Wales. The main subjects of his lectures and research were industrial psychology, industrial relations, and the psychology of nationalism and propaganda. He was one of the founding members of the Australian Humanist Society in 1960.

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Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Alex Carey (1922 – 1988) was an Australian author and psychologist.

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  • The 20th century has been characterised by three developments of great political importance. The growth of democracy; the growth of corporate power; and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.
    • Taking the Risk out of Democracy (1997) ch. 2 p. 18 University of Illinois Press
    • Also quoted by Noam Chomsky in World Orders Old and New
  • ...It remains, as ever, an axiom of conventional wisdom that the use of propaganda as a means of social and ideological control is distinctive of totalitarian regimes. Yet the most minimal exercise of common sense would suggest a different view: that propaganda is likely to play at least as important a part in democratic societies (where the existing distribution of power and privilege is vulnerable to quite limited changes in popular opinion) as in authoritarian societies (where it is not). It is arguable that the success of business propaganda in persuading us, for so long, that we are free from propaganda is one of the most significant propaganda achievements of the twentieth century.
    • Taking the Risk out of Democracy (1997) ch. 2 p. 21 University of Illinois Press

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