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The Rational Consumer: Bad for Business and Politics

Democracy at the Crossroads of Nature and Culture

by Francis B. Nyamnjoh

This book discusses the seminal role played by Edward Bernays, a nephew of Sigmund Freud, in the founding of American-style public relations – persuasive communication through manipulation of symbols – and his huge (and cynical) impact on the American economic and political scene. It provides a substantiated and convincing explanation for what is happening today in Donald Trump’s America. In the form of a history of ideas, the book makes clear that the present Trumpian manipulation of democracy and what it means to be American has a long pre-history and continues to go through different phases, involving the cultivation and institutionalisation of strong bonds between business and politics.

The book shows how this is intimately linked with a science, intellectualism and practice informed by a series of binary oppositions in human action and interaction (e.g. rationality and irrationality, reason and emotion, mind and body, brain and heart, insider and outsider, us and them) and how unpredictable human nature really is. It makes a convincing argument that being human depends on how successfully we are able to negotiate such apparently contradictory binaries with the intricacies and dynamism of human agency. It is rich and thought provoking and very timely, given the exclusionary politics of fear, anger, hate and nativism we see unfolding not only in the USA but all over the world.

ISBN 9789956550142 | 160 pages | 216 x 140mm | 2018 | Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon | Paperback


eBook ISBN: 9789956550746



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