The Century of the Self by Adam Curtis
Some years ago I posted videos of “The Century of the Self,” the great four-part documentary by Adam Curtis about “how those in power have used Freud’s theories to try and control the dangerous crowd in an age of mass democracy.”
The videos were taken down from the Internet, but Jason Kottke found new iterations and linked to them on kottke.org. Here they are. If you haven’t seen them before, I highly recommend watching them. Each one is a little less than an hour long.
Part One, Happiness Machines, is about how Sigmund Freud’s nephew, Edward Bernays, created the profession of public relations in the 1920s and taught American advertisers how to link products with consumers’ unconscious desires, and how these ideas influenced politics in the 1930s.
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