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FRED
08-28-06, 09:18 AM
Four part documentary by the BBC on the evolution of methods of influence of public behavior by governments and corporations since the 1920s.

The Century of the Self - Part I (1 hr)


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The Century of the Self - Part II (1 hr)


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The Century of the Self - Part III


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The Century of the Self - Part IV (1 hr)


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The Century of the Self - Part V (1 hr)


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The Century of the Self - Part VI (1 hr)


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bart
08-29-06, 07:23 PM
Four part documentary by the BBC on the evolution of methods of influence of public behavior by governments and corporations since the 1920s.

The Century of the Self - Part I (1 hr) (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2637635365191428174&q=century+of+the+self&hl=en)

The Century of the Self - Part II (1 hr) (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-678466363224520614&q=century+of+the+self&hl=en)

The Century of the Self - Part III (1 hr) (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7009899812873111112&q=century+of+the+self&hl=en)

The Century of the Self - Part IV (1 hr) (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6884155963216756796&q=century+of+the+self&hl=en)



Excellent and thanks!

I'd heard about these some time ago but never located them. I've just added the links to my false data page.

quigleydoor
06-02-07, 04:24 PM
Four part documentary by the BBC on the evolution of methods of influence of public behavior by governments and corporations since the 1920s.

The Century of the Self - Part I (1 hr) (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2637635365191428174&q=century+of+the+self&hl=en)

The Century of the Self - Part II (1 hr) (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-678466363224520614&q=century+of+the+self&hl=en)

The Century of the Self - Part III (1 hr) (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7009899812873111112&q=century+of+the+self&hl=en)

The Century of the Self - Part IV (1 hr) (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6884155963216756796&q=century+of+the+self&hl=en)

The birth of consumerism is a fascinating story. This is the first thing I've seen that made me really thankful for internet video. Great archival footage here.

When considering the course of our economy since the float of the dollar, the most relevant material in the series is in Part III. This provides an explanation for the consumer boom and economic recovery of 1982. Understanding the psychology of the time is at least as important as Reagan's supply-side economics.

Starting at about minute 36:00, here is where the narrator (Adam Curtis) discusses the transformation of the young leftists after 1968. Many individuals who led the marches in Chicago, soon became less interested in changing the system, and began to focus on their own happiness and self-realization in the mid 1970s. People embraced the project of developing themselves more fully. ("Socialism in one person . . . although that of course is capitalism.")

More broadly, the idea of "be yourself" was born, and spread rapidly through the middle class, young adult baby boomers. The question each person began to ask was, how can I express myself?

Consumer goods manufacturers needed to tap into this mentality, because their old methods weren't working on this generation. They strove to provide the answers to that now fundamental question, how can I express myself? The question opened up the relationship between consumer and corporation, as new wants and needs were defined, measured, and satisfied by a vast array of new, improved, and customized products. This was the solution to the stagflation of the 1970s.

Later, in Part IV, Adam Curtis focuses on the use of these ideas by Ronald Reagan to appeal to many Democrats.

I'd like to digress for a moment and relate this 1980 psychological transformation to something I remember from Kevin Phillips' <i>Wealth and Democracy</i>. Phillips quotes Kindleberger, on how this transformation changed our economy:

<blockquote>Much of the money individuals received from the 1981&ndash;86 reductions of the top income tax bracket from 70 percent to 28 percent, said Kindleberger, "seems to have been spent on consumption: second and third houses, travel, luxury apparel, cars, jewelry, yachts and the like, rather than being saved and invested. Some savings were held in liquid form to take advantage of 'investment' opportunities in funds for mergers and acquisitions, takeovers, or arbitrage in the securities of companies possibly subject to takeovers; in other words, held liquid for trading in assets rather than being invested in capital equipment for production." [1]</blockquote>
It appears to me that this was the beginning of a new period of self-indulgence for all, while investors abandoned domestic heavy industries. Reagan was not the root cause of this change, but was the politician with the acumen to catalyze it.

[1] Charles Kindleberger, <i>World Economic Primacy</i> (1996), p. 179, quoted by Kevin Phillips, <i>Wealth and Democracy</i> (2002), p. 92.

itulipfan
06-02-07, 04:54 PM
The birth of consumerism is a fascinating story. This is the first thing I've seen that made me really thankful for internet video. Great archival footage here.

When considering the course of our economy since the float of the dollar, the most relevant material in the series is in Part III. This provides an explanation for the consumer boom and economic recovery of 1982. Understanding the psychology of the time is at least as important as Reagan's supply-side economics.

Starting at about minute 36:00, here is where the narrator (Adam Curtis) discusses the transformation of the young leftists after 1968. Many individuals who led the marches in Chicago, soon became less interested in changing the system, and began to focus on their own happiness and self-realization in the mid 1970s. People embraced the project of developing themselves more fully. ("Socialism in one person . . . although that of course is capitalism.")

More broadly, the idea of "be yourself" was born, and spread rapidly through the middle class, young adult baby boomers. The question each person began to ask was, how can I express myself?

Consumer goods manufacturers needed to tap into this mentality, because their old methods weren't working on this generation. They strove to provide the answers to that now fundamental question, how can I express myself? The question opened up the relationship between consumer and corporation, as new wants and needs were defined, measured, and satisfied by a vast array of new, improved, and customized products. This was the solution to the stagflation of the 1970s.

Later, in Part IV, Adam Curtis focuses on the use of these ideas by Ronald Reagan to appeal to many Democrats.

I'd like to digress for a moment and relate this 1980 psychological transformation to something I remember from Kevin Phillips' Wealth and Democracy. Phillips quotes Kindleberger, on how this transformation changed our economy:


Much of the money individuals received from the 198186 reductions of the top income tax bracket from 70 percent to 28 percent, said Kindleberger, "seems to have been spent on consumption: second and third houses, travel, luxury apparel, cars, jewelry, yachts and the like, rather than being saved and invested. Some savings were held in liquid form to take advantage of 'investment' opportunities in funds for mergers and acquisitions, takeovers, or arbitrage in the securities of companies possibly subject to takeovers; in other words, held liquid for trading in assets rather than being invested in capital equipment for production." [1]
It appears to me that this was the beginning of a new period of self-indulgence for all, while investors abandoned domestic heavy industries. Reagan was not the root cause of this change, but was the politician with the acumen to catalyze it.

[1] Charles Kindleberger, World Economic Primacy (1996), p. 179, quoted by Kevin Phillips, Wealth and Democracy (2002), p. 92.

That is a brilliant insight! OK, so what now? Several here think this is leading to a kind of exhaustion, with 2 breadwinners per family needed to keep up with the Jones, to make enough to get the kids into Harvard so they can keep up with the Jones, to pay for the over-priced McMansion, etc. Trend I see are the frogs jumping out of the frying pan. It's ok to not be the richest as long as "quality of life" is good, as defined as health, physical and mental and... this is key... not a debt slave.

DemonD
06-02-07, 07:35 PM
I'm not entirely convinced that you can link Freud to consumerism. Surely, you can link some of his ideas to marketing and psychology. However, the American consumer was around and in effect long long before Freud. The ideas of appealing to sexuality, to people's "happiness" is something that has been around for millenia.

My argument can be summed up in one sentence:

" ... Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man,
the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time
handed out military command, high civil office, legions - everything, now
restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things:
bread and circuses

"

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bread_and_circuses

I can argue ad nauseum that the idea of adverstising, mass control, mass "seduction" even have been around for so long they probably pre-date written word. Old newspapers have ads, Roman and Greek society was built on trade and markets.

The video even says, it's the innovations of mass production that allowed more stuff to be sold. Finding a way to sell it? Someone would figure out how to seduce people into buying stuff.

This documentary is spraying so much so far afield there really is nothing useful in there. Conspiracy this, link back to psychoanalysis that... I'm sure that Freud and his followers definitely contributed to marketing and psychology of masses. But to keep that narrow of a focus on such wide ranging issues as women's empowerment, shell-shock (PTSD), WWI and WWII... maybe it's because I'm educated in a lot of marketing, psychology, and seduction, but that documentary just doesn't really do anything for me.

Incidentally the 3rd and 4th links don't work.

Uncle Jack
06-02-07, 07:41 PM
What does this say about us humans?

Part 1 - 108,000 views
Part 2 - 65,000 views
Part 3 - 33,000 views
Part 4 - 12,000 views

DemonD
06-02-07, 08:27 PM
What does this say about us humans?

Part 1 - 108,000 views
Part 2 - 65,000 views
Part 3 - 33,000 views
Part 4 - 12,000 views

It shows that people on the internet are discriminating viewers and choose not to spend their time on something that doesn't have much value to them.

More harshly, it shows that people have really high BS meters and just don't feel like watching a documentary that based on an idea that is at best a stretch, and at worst just the imagination of the documentary producer.

Uncle Jack
06-03-07, 10:09 AM
It shows that people on the internet are discriminating viewers and choose not to spend their time on something that doesn't have much value to them.

More harshly, it shows that people have really high BS meters and just don't feel like watching a documentary that based on an idea that is at best a stretch, and at worst just the imagination of the documentary producer.

Right, discriminating viewers, except for you and I who watched the whole thing. :)

DemonD
06-05-07, 03:44 AM
I watched most of the first one, until I realized that what they were saying was the same thing over and over. "Corporations use sexuality, power, and seduction to have people buy their crap."

I watched about 5 minutes of samples of the other 3 videos, and it was the same exact thing.

You would be better served reading "The 48 Laws of Power," "The Art of Seduction" (both by Greene), "The Prince" (Machiavelli), or pretty much any website that teaches seduction and The Game (which is also a book, but one I cannot recommend).

For example:

I find it almost insulting nowadays when I'm listening to the radio, and I hear a politician bang the table with his fist. Table-banging is a non-verbal form of communication that shows power and force. However, if you understand this, you know what it is, and you understand the table banger is basically just doing that in all likelyhood because he needs to distract you from the content of what he is saying, and have you tune into the take home message: "I am a leader, the alpha dog." And I sit there and laugh and think, man, this guy knows how to play the game, even if he is a complete retard.

Anyway there are quite literally hundreds, or even thousands of techniques you can use to influence people. I ain't going to waste my time on some faux-neo-freudian love affair of a documentary. Freud wasn't the only psychologist, he just happens to be the most popular and name-recognizable. B.F. Skinner probably is the psychologist that created the largest amount of day-to-day applicability of psychology to every day life. I doubt almost anyone who wasn't a psychology major or isn't a researcher even knows the name BF Skinner.