INSPIRATIONS: Leo Strauss, known as Sage of Princeton, a silent political philosopher who could turn even Hitler into a logical fallacy. Aristotle and Isocrates, two philosophers who first saw rhetoric as the art that shapes societies and individuals for the better. Edward Bernays, the father of modern propaganda and the crazy idea that you can sell cancer if you sprinkle it with happy emotions. Solomon E. Asch, a psychologist whose experiments showed how we can unconsciously break under the pressure of majority. Episode EF7 was further inspired by Warren G. Harding, Madsen Pirie, Stephen Toulmin, Richard Vatz, Gertrude Buck, Lemmings, Carrots, Pythia. For a full list of data and references please see Episode EF7 Show Notes.
Edward, a marketing master and spokesperson for the dark arts of rhetoric and propaganda, is hired to educate a controversial businessman running for an important public office. It’s Edward’s job to bestow the black magic of verbal and written manipulation on the businessman to win the election. Where the tongue is quicker than the mind—and the pen sharp enough to cut—are these skills a well-respected art? Or are they just cheap mental tricks wielded by insincere charlatans? Since perfected by the ancient Greeks, rhetoric has slowly devolved from a respected art into a manipulative tool used in marketing, politics and any other walk of life where mental and verbal coercion pays. Rhetoric, propaganda and the strategic use of logical fallacies are mental and verbal manipulations similar to the dark arts of black magic, in that they create smoke and mirrors to change minds to believe mistruths. And unlike a magician who deceives to entertain, these dark wizards act maliciously in pursuit of profit and power over others.
DEDICATION: Episode EF6 is dedicated to Bill Gates, a man known worldwide and someone who just might have achieved wisdom. Because it takes a huge appetite for knowledge to realize how little we need. Gates who started by programming a simple tic-tac-toe game to creating an operating system used worldwide – talk about taking a leap in your career.