Century of Self: Must See Documentary

“This series is about how those in power have used Freud’s theories to try and control the dangerous crowd in an age of mass democracy.” —Adam Curtis’ introduction to the first episode.

A little while ago, I happened to see a great documentary is called “Century of Self”, it is a great eye opener on how whole propaganda or little better sounding relationship managing works. One thing in life for me is that I am lifelong student, and here is something new to learn and be aware of it and how it effects on us even now.

Century of Self

You can see a Trailer of the documentary here.

So What is Century of Self?

The Century of the Self is an award winning British television documentary film. It focuses on how Sigmund Freud, Anna Freud, and Edward Bernays influenced the way corporations and governments have thought about,‭ dealt with, and controlled ‬people to buy things, or do behavior modification during election time.

I studied and knew about father of pychology Sigmund Freud,  but certainly was not aware of his daughter Anna Freud,and his nephew Edward Bernays, who was the first to use psychological techniques in public relations successfully even now.

Propaganda: How it has shaped America Today

One thing I like about the documentary is something close to my heart, as the documentary goes deep in to roots of today’s consumerism, elections, creating “me first” or “individuality” in a way you would never think of it.

One of the thing learned is how women in 30’s were not interested in smoking or using Betty C rocker’s Cake mixes. (Solution to Betty’s Cake Mix was simple enough when ad told women to add an egg to the cake mix, it worked then and it is working now too). To solve the first problem, attractive girls/women were paid to take a part in a parade, well let me not tell you, here is the part of the documentary that shows how that was achieved. Please note, it has some adult language words in there.

How long is the documentary Century of Self and where can I see it?

The whole documentary is about 4 hours long but it will change you will see advertisement, television and elections in new way. It is 100% worth it.

1. You can watch this documentary in parts or whole in you tube, you tube links to be not stable, as some disappearing with copyright issues. I am sure someone may post on you tube again.

2. You can borrow from your local library (if they have it) or borrow from friend. You can buy it here as well.

The one of the scariest thing said by Paul Mazer, a Wall Street banker working for Lehman Brothers in the 1930s, is cited as declaring “We must shift America from a needs- to a desires-culture. People must be trained to desire, to want new things, even before the old have been entirely consumed. […] Man’s desires must overshadow his needs.”

That is pretty profound and scary. Our desire are our wants and needs are basic needs. We (our generation and onwards) have somehow learned to mixed our desire as our needs. So, that is why we hear people or advertisement saying “need for speed” “need for retail therapy” or “I NEED this.. product”…

So, What do We Human “Need” :

An interpretation of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, represented as a pyramid with the more basic needs at the bottom.
Source: Wikipedia