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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Rape Of The Mind

 
The Century of the Self Episode One: 
Happiness Machines
The story of the relationship between Sigmund Freud and his American nephew, Edward Bernays. Bernays invented the public relations profession in the 1920s and was the first person to take Freud's ideas and use them to manipulate the masses. He showed American corporations how they could make people want things they didn't need by systematically linking mass-produced goods to their unconscious desires.

Bernays was one of the main architects of the modern techniques of mass-consumer persuasion, using every trick in the book, from celebrity endorsement and outrageous PR stunts, to eroticising the motorcar.

His most notorious coup was breaking the taboo on women smoking by persuading them that cigarettes were a symbol of independence and freedom. But Bernays was convinced that this was more than just a way of selling consumer goods. It was a new political idea of how to control the masses. By satisfying the inner irrational desires that his uncle had identified, people could be made happy and thus docile.

It was the start of the all-consuming self which has come to dominate today's world.

The Century of the Self Episode Two: 
The Engineering of Consent
The programme explores how those in power in post-war America used Freud's ideas about the unconscious mind to try and control the masses.

Politicians and planners came to believe Freud's underlying premise - that deep within all human beings were dangerous and irrational desires and fears. They were convinced that it was the unleashing of these instincts that had led to the barbarism of Nazi Germany. To stop it ever happening again they set out to find ways to control this hidden enemy within the human mind.

Sigmund Freud's daughter, Anna, and his nephew, Edward Bernays, provided the centrepiece philosophy. The US government, big business, and the CIA used their ideas to develop techniques to manage and control the minds of the American people. But this was not a cynical exercise in manipulation. Those in power believed that the only way to make democracy work and create a stable society was to repress the savage barbarism that lurked just under the surface of normal American life.

The Century of the Self Episode Three:  
There is a Policeman Inside All Our Heads: 
He Must Be Destroyed
In the 1960s, a radical group of psychotherapists challenged the influence of Freudian ideas in America. They were inspired by the ideas of Wilhelm Reich, a pupil of Freud's, who had turned against him and was hated by the Freud family. He believed that the inner self did not need to be repressed and controlled. It should be encouraged to express itself.

Out of this came a political movement that sought to create new beings free of the psychological conformity that had been implanted in people's minds by business and politics.

This programme shows how this rapidly developed in America through self-help movements like Werber Erhard's Erhard Seminar Training - into the irresistible rise of the expressive self: the Me Generation.

But the American corporations soon realised that this new self was not a threat but their greatest opportunity. It was in their interest to encourage people to feel they were unique individuals and then sell them ways to express that individuality. To do this they turned to techniques developed by Freudian psychoanalysts to read the inner desires of the new self.

The Century Of The Self Episode Four: 
Eight People Sipping Wine In Kettering
This episode explains how politicians on the left, in both Britain and America, turned to the techniques developed by business to read and fulfil the inner desires of the self.

Both New Labour, under Tony Blair, and the Democrats, led by Bill Clinton, used the focus group, which had been invented by psychoanalysts, in order to regain power. They set out to mould their policies to people's inner desires and feelings, just as capitalism had learnt to do with products.

Out of this grew a new culture of public relations and marketing in politics, business and journalism. One of its stars in Britain was Matthew Freud who followed in the footsteps of his relation, Edward Bernays, the inventor of public relations in the 1920s.

The politicians believed they were creating a new and better form of democracy, one that truly responded to the inner feelings of individual. But what they didn't realise was that the aim of those who had originally created these techniques had not been to liberate the people but to develop a new way of controlling them. 


PART TWO -- THE TECHNIQUES OF MASS SUBMISSION
   
   
 
 
The purpose of the second part of this book is to show various aspects of political and non-political strategy used to change the feelings and thoughts of the masses, starting with simple advertising and propaganda, then surveying psychological warfare and actual cold war, and going on to examine the means used for internal streamlining of man's thoughts and behavior. Part Two ends with an intricate exmination of how one of the tools of emotional fascination and attack -- the weapon of fear -- is used and what reactions it arouses in men.
The ordinary, law-abiding citizen of Totalitaria, far from being a hero, is potentially guilty of hundreds of crimes. He is a criminal if he is stubborn in defense of his own point of view. He is a criminal if he refuses to become confused. He is a criminal if he does not loudly and vigorously participate in all official acts; reserve, silence, and ideological withdrawal are treasonable. He is a criminal if he doesn't LOOK happy, for then he is guilty of what the Nazis called physiognomic insubordination. He can be a criminal by association or disassociation, by scapegoatism, or by projection, by intention or by anticipation. He is a criminal if he refuses to become an informer. He can be tried and found guilty by every conceivable "ism" -- cosmopolitanism, provincialism; deviationalism, mechanism; imperialism, nationalism; pacifism, militarism; objectivism, subjectivism; chavinism, equalitarianism; practicalism, idealism. He is guilty every time he IS something.

The only safe conduct pass for the citizen of Totalitaria lies in the complete abdication of his mental integrity.
 

Slaves rule over us, 
 and there is no one 
to free us from their hands...

1 comment:

  1. BabbaZee7:20 PM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cW_rIdd69W8&feature=youtu.be


    they keep taking it down

    ReplyDelete