Century of the Self Documentary

Here is a link to the full BBC documentary by Adam Curtis The Century of the Self. It is a kind of historical, factual, British version of Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle. It details how Sigmund Freud’s idea of the unconscious drives was promoted in America and into advertising which was then used to control entire populations of people. The central idea of the doc is that these unconscious drives that Freud “discovered” became so popular and a part of mainstream culture in large part thanks to two figures: Anna Freud and his nephew Edward Bernais. Anna Freud practically sold her father’s ideas to the mass market, and Edward Bernais used them in principle for mass marketing schemes, pacifying the “dangerous” crowd.

It is extremely matter of fact and traces these developments all the way up into the Clinton administration’s use of them for his presidential election campaign. The entire century is taken into account, with the political implications for manipulating mass desire showing throughout the twentieth century. This is a Must Watch.

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