Meditations and Molotovs - 05.08.17

May 8, 2017

On today's program, Vince plays Part 4 of Adam Curtis' documentary, "Century of the Self." In this episode, "Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering," Curtis explains how politicians on the left, in both Britain and America, turned to the techniques developed by business to read and fulfill 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.

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Meditations and Molotovs - 05.01.17

May 1, 2017

Monday, May 1st - On today's program Vince plays Part 3 of Adam Curtis' documentary, "Century of the Self." 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 program 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 realized 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.

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Meditations and Molotovs - 04.24.17

May 1, 2017
On today's program, Vince plays Part 2 of Adam Curtis' documentary "Century of Self" - "Engineering Consent."

This episode explores how those in power in post-war America used Freud's ideas about the unconscious mind to try and control the masses.

The US government, the CIA and corporations 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.

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