Modern servitude is voluntary, consented to by the mass of slaves who trudge along the face of the Earth. They themselves buy the commodities that enslave them every day more. Slaves procure alienating jobs that are bestowed upon the tamed. They, themselves, choose the masters whom they will obey. For this absurd tragedy to play-out, it has been necessary to breed in them the ignorance of their own exploitation and alienation. Behold the bizarre modernity of our time. As with the slaves of antiquity, serfs of the Middle Ages or the working-class of the first industrial revolutions, today we bear witness to an emerging class of the totally enslaved. The difference being that they don’t know it or better yet choose to ignore it. They fail to recognize the one weapon available to the enslaved: rebellion. Slaves accept without question the pitiful life that was manufactured on their behalf. Apathy and resignation are the sources of their misfortune. (Source)
THE CENTURY OF THE SELF, 2002.
Directed by Adam Curtis
240 Minutes, BBC Four
The Century of the Self, is a documentary series written, directed and co-produced by Adam Curtis. Released in 2002 and distributed by BBC Four. It’s divided in four episodes of aprox. 60 mins.
It explores how the theories developed by Sigmund Freud were used by his nephew, Edward Bernays, to manipulate the masses. By linking mass produced goods to the unconscious desires of the public, he discovered people could be made to want things they didn’t need. Bernays investigated and applied techniques of mass-consumer persuasion, using any means to achive his goals. He was the first one to associate a product to an ideal, by associating cigarettes to the idea of freedom and independence, the taboo of female smoking in public was brought down. He was also convinced that the theory would prove useful if applied to politics for control of the masses. By satisfying their irrational inner desires people could be made happy and docile.
Episode One: Happiness Machines
Episode Two: The Engineering of Consent
Episode Three: There is a Policeman Inside All Our Heads: He Must Be Destroyed
Episode Four: Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering