It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


A must see documentary: The Century of the Self

page: 1

log in


posted on Dec, 11 2011 @ 09:50 AM
I just finished a documentary by Adam Curtis called "The Century of the Self" (rated 8.9/10 on imdb). It explains a great deal about how society has functioned over the past several decades and today. In a conversation in ATS chat, TinkerHaus gave a really good description which I've reworded a little:

The film demonstrates how society was manipulated into changing from a "need" society to a "want" society. It shows how with the help of various PR men, corporations have been able to shift our focus away from pratical needs, and have gotten us to focus instead on our individual wants and desires, in order to get us to buy their products, which has created this paradigm where people will make decisions against the best interests of society as a whole if those decisions benefit them personally, or financially. Political parties have therefore taken the same path, they have changed their policies to suit the selfish desires of the individual, rather than offering an actual leadership platform. Political decisions are made by the public depend on whether they agree with on even more selfish grounds, like personal like or dislike, and these can be manipulated by PR men. Major decisions have become as meaningless to most people as deciding which football team to root for.

It focuses on how Sigmund Freud, Anna Freud, and Edward Bernays influenced the way corporations and governments have thought about,‭ dealt with, and controlled ‬people.[1]


To many in both politics and business, the triumph of the self is the ultimate expression of democracy, where power has finally moved to the people. Certainly the people may feel they are in charge, but are they really? The Century of the Self tells the untold and sometimes controversial story of the growth of the mass-consumer society in Britain and the United States. How was the all-consuming self created, by whom, and in whose interests?

In any case it's a fantastic documentary and it's available on youtube:

It starts off slow, but towards the end it gets fantastic.

It is a must watch.
edit on 11/12/11 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)

edit on 11/12/11 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)

edit on 11/12/11 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 11 2011 @ 10:09 AM
This is a fascinating documentary and a real eye-opener.

You are right to put out the word about this great documentary. It really shows certain contemporary 'philosophies' in a night light.

posted on Dec, 11 2011 @ 11:03 AM
wow ~300.000 views for a 4h documentary with such a topic....thats an argument to watch it =)

ty OP

posted on Dec, 11 2011 @ 11:24 AM
I would love to watch the documentary and will soon but cannot at the moment because of my painfully slow internet speed. Anyway from the premise of the film it sounds exactly like what I have been reading into these past several months, hence my absence from ATS compared to months earlier. Although we presumably take completely different paths in determining where society should be, ideally, we at least (myself and the creators of this film) agree that it was this reckless individualism that brought us to where we are today.

The culture of me, myself, and I, is completely destructive to the individual, the family, community, society at-large, and the entire world. Whether you are left-wing and view this as reckless individuals polluting the environment with blatant disregard for the consequences because of their endless consumerism or you are on the right-wing where you view it as a morally destructive force gnawing at the fabric of a once civilized society.

Multinational corporations, globalization, centralization, individualism, reckless pursuit of undefined ‘progress’, and a materialist obsession that erodes our sense of virtue and identity are all contributors to this destruction of our civilization. In major part it is the fault of corporations because they want us to ‘buy, buy, buy’ without any regard for the consequences, it is also the political parties because they want to offer you more for less and ‘to hell with the consequences’, it is the media, ngo’s, think tanks, and the other members of this cabal who want to use their influence for personal gain, and most of all it is our fault for falling for their lies and deceit after centuries of wise men warning us about the very thing we are engaged in today.

For me it is both sides of the political spectrum that screwed us over but it was the natural consequence, in my opinion. Our modern society is built around two ruling ideologies which are treated like religions of old, but both are materialist which reduce everything to the lowest common denominator and promise some utopia as a result of obedience. Communism/Capitalism it really does not matter, they are two heads of the same coin. The battle is between Communists/Socialists who promise a classless society after the proletariat revolution, Neoliberals/Neoconservatives promise a just society when the market mixed with democracy triumphs over the world, and Fascists/Nazis promised a utopia after their nations were ruled by the master race.

These insane dictatorial like ideologies which rule the world can have their undercurrents traced back to the religious idea of Gnosis, it was often held by those who felt alienated from society and developed an impulse to rule over others. They could not comprehend anything beyond themselves and their struggles because they were alienated, so the thread which held society together could not be comprehended by them and thus it was torn apart resulting in WWI and WWII. Do not let anyone fool you, these two wars were ideological battles for control over the world by impulsive men who finally triumphed over the old order and wanted to establish a new one. That is where the Neoliberal/Neoconservative mantra of ‘making the world safe for democracy’ came from, Woodrow Wilson who violently hated the Aristocracy and Monarchy of Europe (i.e. Habsburgs).

There was a truly subversive organization known as the Institute for Social Research, Frankfurt School, which did the horrible thing of mixing Sigmund Freud with Karl Marx. This created Freudian Marxism because they came to the conclusion that the only way to overthrow the bourgeois with a proletariat revolution was to abolish Western culture, George Lukacs was the founder of this idea. He was a Hungarian who took over the education system after the Soviets seized power in Hungary, he began teaching young children to become sexually active, about homosexuality, etc… and he was deeply despised. So when the Rumanian Army invaded to overthrow the Socialist regime the Hungarians never fought back. He fled Hungary to help found the ISR in Germany until they were kicked out by Adolf Hitler in the 1930s.

They first implemented their ideas under the Roosevelt and Truman administrations when they were allowed into allied occupied Germany to try their ideas, which along with the help of Tavistoc, became the foundation for sensitivity training and was used on Germans after the war described as possible Nazis, including Conservatives who were in fact part of the plot to kill Hitler which had an entire movie based on them (Valkyrie). Once the testing was completed they return to their writings which gained popularity in Western universities sociology classes in the 1950s. By the 1960s their work was so powerful that it became the basis for an entire movement in the ‘60s known as the counterculture movement that had its roots in the Frankfurt School, especially Marcuse’s book ‘Eros and Civilization’.

Their ideas were critical in developing sociology and psychology during that era into the present. It was not unintentional, they wanted to bring about the proletariat revolution and made it perfectly clear in their writings how they would do just that. It would happen by creating a new proletariat in the West of non-integrated minorities, immigrants, radical intelligentsia, and support for critical theory which formed the basis of all ethnic studies, which began in the 1960s. Most important though was the overthrow of the ‘authoritarian personality’ which they claimed was developed in the patriarchal nuclear family, they would do this by encouraging drug use, sexual promiscuity, irreligion, rebellion, and coined the term ‘make love – not war’.

What this led to was the creation of ‘political correctness’ and ‘social individualism’. When these two ideas blossomed it allowed for corporations to exploit the newly deconstructed social barriers of society by selling new products that would have been considered ‘taboo’ before and people would not feel the social restraint that would have compelled them not to indulge in consumer goods like before the counterculture revolution. This corporate exploitation was further encouraged by the rise of the economic individualism espoused by Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. So it become combined, the social individualism which sprung from the 1960s met the economic individualism which sprung from the 1980s.

What did this culminate in? Well it led to the rise of the ‘Third Way’ of Bill Clinton and Tony Blair where they could both outsource jobs, open up borders, expand globalization, support corporations, and at the same time be the most culturally left-wing leaders in history. Big business benefited from the right-wing demanding economic freedom and the left-wing demanding social freedom along with their bleeding heart mentality. Immigration is the perfect example, the left-wing say it is inhumane and even racist to oppose mass immigration (we are all children of the earth) and the right-wing will say that we need to let businesses decide their employees and the wages, two different sides espousing two different values which end at the same result (big business gets rich at our expense).

We cannot speak out against it because of the state and socially established speech known as ‘political correctness’, well you know every great totalitarian regime/ideology has to have its own speech codes. The corporations and media are the best places to view this, which is in part why the whole ‘conspiracy of multinational corporations and communism’ was not some paranoid nightmare it became reality. Where did many ex-communists go after Communism and even Socialism lost its place in the world during the 1970s? They joined corporations, media, etc… and through that they ‘moderated’ their positions creating/influencing the Environmentalist, Neoliberal, Globalization, and Neoconservative movement which can all be labeled ‘Third Way’.
edit on 12/11/2011 by Misoir because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 11 2011 @ 11:50 AM
Adam Curtis' Century of Self is a great and powerful film. Honest, revealing and educational, it is probably the greatest film about the woolen fabric that makes up the blindfolds we all wear.
Combined with my book, which is a direct response to these ideas, it is a major part of the 21st century enlightenment, namely: to discover how it is, exactly, that what we've come to believe has been instilled into us, generationally, as our own desire and is furthermore, actually counter-productive. My book happens to go into detail about how to "anti-social engineer the hyper-manipulated self."

It's great that so many have seen this film.
My book is available free, this link will open it:
click here
edit on 11-12-2011 by briantaylor because: Clarity

posted on Dec, 11 2011 @ 06:47 PM
Imma watch this, thanks for the link

ETA: I watched this a long time ago, I thought it was something new :
edit on 12/11/2011 by mnmcandiez because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 11 2011 @ 11:41 PM
reply to post by Misoir

Whoa! Probably the best post I've ever seen on ATS. Star for you & thanks for posting. What you said is almost extraordinarily similar to what is demonstrated in the documentary.

posted on Dec, 12 2011 @ 01:33 PM
Also see The Trap by Adam Curtis:

(ETA: the title of this episode has the F-word in it so be careful if you are at work or somewhere things like that are restricted)

it talks about what society has done to us, how we (well not me) ended up thinking its normal to eat so many pills we rattle when we walk, how Sigmund Freud's nephew created the concept of making us want things we don't need through advertising (including tricking women into smoking by making them think it was a symbol of independance), tells the story of the psychiatric experiments done during the 70s that showed how mental hospitals have no idea whether to admit/release people or not...

Lots of other stuff but I have all of Adam Curtis' programmes and have watched them all several times so I get confused as to what topics are covered in which series. But basically you can't go wrong with any of his documentaries.
edit on 12/12/11 by morkington because: ETA

posted on Dec, 13 2011 @ 10:30 AM
reply to post by Misoir


excellent post. You summed that up nicely..

if only more people could see that perspective...

posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 11:34 AM

This is a very enlightening and eye opening video. Truly amazing at how easily the minds of the masses have been molded. A lot of the people interviewed talk about it as if they are proud of it too!

Great post!

posted on Apr, 1 2012 @ 03:12 AM
reply to post by morkington

Shameless bump,
This doco (FFF You Buddy) is amazing just like the OP but had previously saw it.
Totaly mind blowed on how Adam Curtis is explaining the exact blueprint of the society I live in.

The Nash Equilibrium or The Dark Arena games we play in between couple or The Selfishness and Suspicions games.

Life is sucha Cold War.
Now I understand why Condoliar Rice was a Cold War specialist like many other neo con.

edit on 1-4-2012 by eagleeye2 because: (no reason given)

new topics

top topics


log in