11.29.2010

The Century of the Self - Happiness Machines

| |

I featured an excellent three part documentary series by Adam Curtis this past summer called The Power of Nightmares (part 1, part 2 and part 3).  The film is subtitled, The Rise of the Politics of Fear, and it shows the parallels between the rise of the Neo-Conservative movement in the United States and the rise of radical Islam using the major "thinkers" from both camps.  Mr. Curtis has a very unique documentary style that relies almost entirely on archive footage mixed in with the usual talking head type interviews (although some of these are archive footage as well). 
Adam mentioned the book Propaganda (free PDF link) by Edward Bernays on the No Agenda show from 11.21.10 and I have been racking my brain to remember the name of the documentary I watched a few years back that was all about Mr. Bernays and the birth of the Public Relations profession.  Well, it turns out it was another Adam Curtis documentary from 2002 called The Century of the Self.  This four part documentary is jaw dropping.  Part 1, Happiness Machines, is more or less a professional biography of Edward Bernays and how he used his uncle's ideas of the subconscious mind to better market consumer goods to all of us "slaves".  His uncle's name...Sigmund Freud.
Shameless Plug: The World of Cinema Podcast: Everything is Propaganda! (contains a look at Edward Bernays towards the beginning of the episode)
Here is part 1:



Here is a downloadable version from Archive.org
Brought to you by The World of Cinema