The Century of the Self is a four-part video series from BBC-2 about propaganda, public relations, and their effects on society.
"A new theory of human nature was put forward by Sigmund Freud. He had discovered, he said, primitive sexual and aggressive forces hidden deep inside the minds of all human beings -- forces which, if not controlled, led individuals and societies to chaos and destruction. This series is about how those in power have used Freud's theories to try and control the dangerous crowd in an age of mass democracy.
"At the heart of the story is not just Sigmund Freud, but other members of the Freud family...Freud's American nephew, Edward Bernays,...was the first person to take Freud's ideas about human beings and use them to manipulate the masses...He showed American corporations...how to make people want things they didn't need by linking mass-produced goods to their unconscious desires.
Few Americans know about the historic event that happened on January 6, 2005, the official date for counting electoral votes. For the first time since 1877, congressmembers challenged the electoral count. Representative Stephanie Tubbs-Jones of Ohio, accompanied by the lone senator, Barbara Boxer of California, led the challenge to the Ohio vote count. Although massive fraud was reported around the country, only Ohio was officially cited.
The public has gotten used to seeing advertisers ape news show formats in TV infomercials. So the Department of Health and Human Services must have been surprised when the General Accounting Office announced recently that they'd be investigating the department's use of the same techniques to promote the Administration's prescription-drug bill. The department sent out a video news release to extol the virtues of the bill, complete with fake reporters and a shot of President Bush receiving a standing ovation as he signed the bill.
This article, written by the Communications Director of the Wisconsin Academy of Trial Lawyers and published in the Winter 2004 issue of The Verdict (v.27:1), draws upon the work of Commonweal Institute Fellow Dave Johnson in describing how the "civil justice system has come under a systematic, multi-dimensional assault spearheaded by right-wing foundations such as the Wisconsin-based Bradley Foundation."