[...] As digital monopolies steadily enclose whatever still remains of a public sphere, an impressive array of PR professionals have worked overtime to make it all sound liberating and democratic. Press releases gush out of all available servers, print articles and op-eds consistently reminding us not of the use value of their products (useful products, it should be noted, are not a Silicon Valley specialty) but, just as Bernays taught us, of the value of the corporations themselves: the great services they provide, the glorious number of jobs they create, their moral and ethical right-mindedness, and their proper place as the cultural and social pillars of all things American and exceptional—which is to say all things Hayekian and free. Far from simply building brand stories and shaping images, modern public relations is a perverse spin on what Bernays originally imagined the profession to be: it seeks to enshrine a privatized technocracy, swathed in the shallow veneer of a rhetorical, and endlessly fungible, commitment to social justice. And if present trends continue, our digitally administered information state may indeed be poised to finally extinguish the irksome throwback legacy that Bernays and his milieu found so threatening: democracy itself.
this is terrific