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? Among the main characters are Freud himself and his nephew Edward Bernays, who was the first to use psychological techniques in advertising.
Curtis quotes a Wall Street banker saying "We must shift America from a needs- to a desires-culture. People must be trained to desire, to want new things, even before the old have been entirely consumed. Man's desires must overshadow his needs."
Four one-hour segments:
Part 1: Happiness Machines.
Part 2: The Engineering of Consent.
Part 3: There is a Policeman Inside All Our Heads. He Must be Destroyed.
Part 4: Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering....