The Century of the Self
This four-part BBC (British Broadcasting Company) documentary describes in chilling detail the brilliant mechanisms by which marketers have successfully turned us stupid while making us happy to be that way. This documentary shows precisely how the Hijacking of Happiness, Health, Prosperity, Patriotism, & Problem-Solving occurred. (For more about the manufacturing of consent, go to www.TheNewIQ.com/ManufacturedConsent)
- If you want to truly understand how you have been manipulated into giving up your free will for the pretense of pursuing happiness, watch this series!
- If you want a clear picture of how those businesses that are socially irresponsible manipulate you into gladly sacrificing your financial wellbeing for them, watch this series!
- If you want a non-partisan grasp of how government has been manipulated into pandering to special interests at the expense of your personal freedom and our common good, watch this series!
Each of the four episodes in The Century of the Self BBC series is 60 minutes long. I have provided a synopsis of each episode before each video below (Flash Player required — or download the files to your computer at www.archive.org/details/AdamCurtis_TheCenturyOfTheSelf). If you prefer to purchase a two-DVD set to view on your television, you can do that through the Amazon.com link below:
Episode 1: Happiness Machine
This segment does a great job of exposing the two social engineering assumptions that have increasingly dominated business and politics over the last 100 years:
- We are dominated by primitive irrational forces that need to either be controlled by government or that government needs to pander to in order to get votes
- Our primitive irrational animalistic drives can be harnessed by business in order to redefine citizenship as consumerism
These mechanisms have been used to manipulate the masses into sacrificing their three deepest desires that detail in depth in my SIX-award-winning book, The New IQ: How Integrity Intelligence Serves You, Your Relationships and Our World (to be our authentic self, to experience love, and to have a positive influence on the world around us), while pretending we are free to engage in the pursuit of happiness. (There’s a tracking problem for the first few seconds of this recording but it resolves very quickly so don’t give up watching.)
Episode 2: The Engineering of Consent
This segment documents the devastating damage that was brought about by the delusion that people’s deepest impulses needed to be controlled and manipulated. It shows how leaders in government and business tried to use the psychoanalytic theory that people’s core drives are so animalistic that they need to be controlled for the sake of capitalism, democracy, society, and ‘for their own good.’
This extremely important history lesson must be fully understood in order to truly appreciate what spawned the narcissistic ‘me generation,’ and what Herbert Marcuse called “empty prosperity,” both of which we continue to suffer from the effects to this day. Marcuse understood what Sigmund Freud’s daughter Anna Freud and his cousin Edward Bernays didn’t or wouldn’t see: that the notion of needing to repress or manipulate people’s deepest impulses was creating evil, not the drives themselves. (Bernays was the father of public relations and marketing and Anna Freud was an accomplice.) Their blindness turned them into purveyors of the dark side of the psychological version of ‘The Force:’ the first Darth Vaders of psychology.
Episode 3: There is a Policeman Inside All Our Heads – He Must Be Destroyed
This segment is about the humanistic/personal growth movement and how it too was hijacked by business to serve its own goals at the expense of consumers. It explores society’s transition from being susceptible to social conformity-oriented marketing to being susceptible to individual lifestyle-oriented marketing, and how corporations ushered in a new age of consumerism through harnessing manipulation strategies based on post-psychoanalytic psychology.
It illuminates how the field of marketing fueled the over-focusing on individualism and lifestyle that kept profits in charge of culture beginning in the 1980s and continuing all the way to our current economic meltdown (I remain convinced that this actually caused our economic meltdown). This episode beautifully depicts origins of the faulty life fulfillment formula I discuss in The New IQ: How Integrity Intelligence Serves You, Your Relationships and Our World and in my Integrity Stimulus Plan, and how that faulty formula had become “Lie #1” in our society by the dawn of the 21st century.
Episode 4: Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering
This segment provides a truly chilling portrait of the mechanism through which politics has become hyper-reactive, symptom-driven and special interest dominated while pretending to be more responsive to the will of the people.
It illuminates how the governing process deteriorated starting in the 1990s, when politicians started to vigorously use the same kinds of marketing strategies that businesses had been using to turn self-responsible and socially responsible citizens into a culture of entitled short-sighted narcissists who had been seduced falsely believing they could finally make the government beholden to the people.
Keep one thing in mind as you watch this episode: had this series not been completed in the early 2000s it would have also featured the increasingly sinister escalation of these political propaganda strategies throughout the entire first decade of the 21st century, by both Democrats and Republicans.
Watch this episode all the way to the end because the final sets of comments are particularly revealing.
Want to learn more about Edward Bernays and the Manufacturing of Consent? Check out this link and read the book below the link: