Thursday, March 06, 2008

Video: The Century of the Self

All four episodes of this excellent documentary series are available here. The film charts the history of Psychoanalytic theory in the 20th Century and describes how it has been used by governments and others to manipulate public opinion.


angryharry said...

A fabulous documentary.

The missus and I saw it twice.

Anonymous said...

I'm about 30 minutes in, and there seems to be a lot bearing on anti-consumerism, anti-psychology, anti-capitalism, anti-americanism, but not much concerning anti-feminism. Am i missing something?

Heretic said...

Have patience, sayeth the Lord.
Education is never wasted, sayeth Heretic.

angryharry said...

To anonymous - keep your mind on the the huge amount of well-funded orchestrated psychological manipulation by those with much power that is being revealed by the programme.

To Heretical - as per many earlier discussions - the programme reveals what I mean when I talk about well-orchestred 'conspiracies'.

Heretic said...

To Anonymous,
I don't think the video is at all anti-American. See the section on Roosevelt vs Hitler's ideas about government. Roosevelt looks a lot rosier.

As far as feminism is concerned, early on in the film is the campaign in the 1920s to get women to start smoking, by convincing them that they are victims of male oppression. This idea has been used for a long time by various people to gain power for themselves.

To AH,
There are many conspiracies in the world, there is no question about it, and the film mentions events which are undeniably conspiracies. My intention in my earlier article On Conspiracy Theories was to make conspiracy theories respectable by showing the common mistakes and insisting on evidence-based discourse. If the evidence shows that there is a conspiracy, then there probably is one. The French actress Marion Cotillard last week was quoted as saying that 9/11 was an inside job - which to a greater or lesser extent, it obviously was - but she spoiled it by saying that the Apollo moon-landings were faked, which is nonsense, and discredits her original claim. I was not denying that there are conspiracies, I wanted to set the boundaries of what can usefully be said about them.



angryharry said...

To Heretical - Yes I agree with your last post.

And, most certainly, the idea that the moon landings were faked is ridiculous.


1. **Many** of those conspiracies which most people would regard as ridiculous (e.g. the assassination of JFK by the CIA - or whoever) I would suggest have much merit - if not in the detail, then in the fact that, at the very least, we have been hugely misled about what really happened.

2. **Many** 'conspiracies' are undertaken all the time by various groups - some of them very large - in order to benefit themselves in some way; e.g teachers denying that standards are falling - so as not to undermine their pupils or, indeed, their profession. Another example would be the lies by the Home office concerning sex-assaults etc

3. Organisms!

**Many** further 'conspiracies' are 'unconscious' ones - in the sense that they are not consciously undertaken by groups or individuals but arise as a result of the organisms that, together, they create.

The BBC is a good example.

Over the years the BBC has chosen to employ mostly only those people who are left-wing and politically-corrected.

The result is that the BBC now pushes out biased reporting and biased programmes.

None of the people (lower down the food chain) at the BBC need to be corrupt or dishonest in any way - but, collectively, they have become part of a powerful organism that biases the nation's programmes, and, hence, the nation's thinking.

And this would occur even if there was no conscious desire on the part of the individuals at the BBC to 'conspire' to do such things.

One might not want to call such a thing a 'conspiracy' because most of the individuals concerned are not conscious of it, but - at the organism level - and, in practice - this is exactly what it is!

It is a collection of individuals who are beavering away to portray a particular view of the world.

And if this organism was ever to develop an **intelligent** central consciousness concerning its own activities - it would certainly know what it was doing!


And, most certainly, those at the top of the BBC know damn well what they are doing.

Heretic said...

Neil Lyndon and Erin Pizzey have both reported that feminists in the early 1970s made it their mission to penetrate the BBC. As such, this was a deliberate conspiracy! Liberal institutions in democratic countries are depressingly easy to penetrate in this way, and they certainly succeeded. Subsequently, they set the internal agenda and culture, and were in charge of recruitment. Forty years later, there is no conscious conspiracy, as the people who work there just don't know any different. The universities, and domestic violence charities are other good examples of that process.