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"I have never once used any such "the ends justifies the means" position, yet it seems that you cannot avoid dancing with it."

It is the whole basis of your argument, as best I can understand it. The way I interpret what you said below is essentially that the general public isn't rational enough to make the right decision on their own, so it's in everyone's best interest if you manipulate them into doing so:

"The general public makes their buying decisions emotionally, NOT logically. Emotionally, the consuming public is short-sighted and will also tend to avoid change. Merely "presenting the facts" is ineffective by itself in creating the social and emotional momentum of change. High powered persuasive strategies CAN be very much to the public good!"

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