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11 February 2007

Antagonista TV #311: Century of the Self, by Adam Curtis

Lazy sunday afternoon,
I got no mind to worry,
Close my eyes and drift away

The Century Of The Self - Part 1 of 4 - By Adam Curtis

The Century Of The Self - Part 2 of 4 - By Adam Curtis

The Century Of The Self - Part 3 of 4 - By Adam Curtis

The Century Of The Self - Part 4 of 4 - By Adam Curtis


Anonymous said...

Just started watching it. Looks excellent.

The Antagonist said...

Did you watch the whole series? Thoughts and comments?

There's yet more adventures in the land of myth and magic from Adam Curtis here.

Anonymous said...

Afraid a bit busy. Only fully watched part one last night, and a superb documentary. Essential viewing. With more time and having perused the later episodes I'll try and give a summation.

Anonymous said...

Just to add a quote from Bernays that I came across following on from viewing the documentary
Bernays wrote:
"If we understand the mechanisms and motives of the group mind, it is now possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing it ... The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country ... In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons ... who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind."

The Antagonist said...

Hi Andrew -- Nothing if not 'honest' about their methods and motives, these people, even if the end product is nothing more than hysterical self-serving propaganda.

Interesting also how Bernay's first major stunt -- to get women smoking "torches of freedom" -- relied on hiring actresses to light-up in public, unbeknownst to onlookers, to achieve the desired objective.

For the "invisible government" the end seems always to justify the means.

Anonymous said...

My huge admiration for Aldous Huxley just grows and grows the more I discover about all this stuff also. He seemed to have these people pinned very early on all fronts with Brave New World.

The Antagonist said...

If you like Huxley and haven't heard it yet, he gave a talk at Berkley on March 20, 1962, The Ultimate Revolution, which is well worth a listen and from which the following quote is taken:

"And it seems to me perfectly in the cards that there will be within the next generation or so a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing … a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda, brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods." -- Aldous Huxley

Phil Harrison said...

The affects of such thinking go further than most people imagine: these first forays into the psychology of groups were taught in the first American MBA classes in the social science modules and became the background for a number of management and economic gurus who, in turn and without checking their sources, went on to teach management, economics and politics on the basis of Skinner-esque response control. Their affects are still with us today.