I had planned on writing a post today, but my time has been taken up by watching a 2006 program from the BBC called The Century of the Self (h/t to Mike’s Blog Round Up over at C&L). I literally have not been able to stop watching, and am now only pausing between episodes to post this.
Regular readers of this blog know that I often focus on the intersection between psychology and politics. I have written at length (probably way too much) about how I believe terror management theory is being used by certain politicians and others with an interest in maintaining the status quo in order to manipulate the American public, particularly at election time, but also on an ongoing basis to distract the public from the extremely long list of scandals flowing from the alleged president’s office. I have also written on the nexus between politics and psychology in other contexts.
What a lot of it comes down to is how the people in power (in government and the corporate world) use psychological research as a means of, if not precisely controlling, at least manipulating or occasionally anesthetizing the masses.
The BBC program focuses on similar themes, but starts at an earlier point in time. It begins with the early works of Freud and how those works were used to manipulate people in the early part of the twentieth century, in the then-developing field of public relations. It is both fascinating and disturbing, and I strongly encourage you, my dear non-existent readers, to take the time to watch it.
I’ll even make it easy for you by embedding the first episode (there are apparently four) below.