Alex Carey

Alexander Edward Carey (1 December 1922 – 30 November 1987) was an Australian writer and social psychologist who pioneered the study of corporate propaganda. Much of Carey's work in this area remained unpublished and was cut short by his death. In 1995, a collection of his essays (several of them previously unpublished) were published under the title, Taking the Risk Out of Democracy: Propaganda in the U.S. and Australia (University of New South Wales Press; reissued in 1997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 it was Carey who had inspired their work, Chomsky has said, "The real importance of Carey's work is that it's the first effort, and until now the major effort, to bring some of [the history of corporate propaganda] to public attention. It's had a tremendous influence on the work I've done." Journalist John Pilger has called Carey "a second Orwell in his prophesies". Before enrolling at London University, Carey had been a sheep farmer for ten years on his family's property near Geraldton in Western Australia. From 1958 until his death, he 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. In the 1970s, Carey was prominent in the protest movement against Australian participation in the Vietnam War. He was the father of the noted Australian writer, Gabrielle Carey. Carey committed suicide in 1987. Members of his family speculated that his reasons included substantial financial losses in the stock market crash of that year and a battle with depression in his final years. Continue Reading »

Taking the Risk Out of Democracy: Corporate Propaganda versus Freedom and Liberty

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