The Century of Self

Instead of watching The Oscars last night, I watched a documentary about the father of the American propaganda machine and applied to some international reporting jobs. My friend Molly informed me there were a lot of guys resembling Thor who won awards, so I almost regretted this decision, but the documentary alone was worth it. It explains how Sigmund Freud’s nephew, Edward Bernays, invented most of the advertising tactics that penetrate our poor helpless craniums via the media today: product placement, associating products with feelings, even the acceptance of Freudian theory itself. I always thought Freud’s theories seemed too stupid and self-involved to have been accepted by academics, and it turns out I wasn’t wrong. But I guess it at least got people thinking about psychology. The fact that they made it to the beginning of our Psych 101 texts though is indicative of the kind of leverage Bernays had in the world.

Enjoy.

H/t Sheida Jafari for recommending this!

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