Reaction Paper

1090 Words Sep 8th, 2015 5 Pages
The Century of Self” is a very controversial documentary, made in 2002 by Adam Curtis, one of the best British cinematographer and producer that ever existed! The maine idea of the documentary is based on the work of Sigmund Freud, Anna Freud and Edward Bernays and how it was used by the government and big companies to manipulate the population.
The film is segmented in four main episodes that were not released at the same time, but at interspaces of 7 days sharp. Each of the chapters has its own point explaining how mass manipulation was used and how it negatively encouraged consumerism.
1st Episode: “Happiness Machines”

The first episode was released in March 17, 2012 and it talks about crowd behaviour and how easy
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2nd Episode: “The Engineering of Consent”

The second episode was released seven days after the first one, on March 24, 2002 and it talks about the theories that Anna, Freud’s daughter, and Bernays developed and how they were used to manipulate the American society.
After the atrocities that have happened during the past decades, Freud’s ideas about the unconscious mind started to be taken more seriously and to be used as a way of manipulating the masses by those who were in power. The main purpose of these actions was to control the “hidden enemy” within the human mind.
Those in power were absolutely sure that “the only way of making democracy work and create a stable society, was to repress the savage barbarism that lurked just under the surface of normal American life”. That is why the US Government, the corporations and the CIA have worked hard on developing manipulation techniques based on Anna Freud’s and Edward Bernays’theories.
And this is how, step by step, people have become, as Vance Packard mentioned in his book called “The hidden Persuaders“, American people were reduced to “puppets who’s only function was to keep the mass production alliance running”. So, the power of psychoanalisys was starting to be used by corporations too; they started taking advantage of people’s unconscious desires and used them to create brand preferences regarding the same product and encourage consumerism.

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