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The century of the self

This is a 4-part documentary by the BBC. I embedded the last one as it has most conclusion, although the whole history of the ideas being discussed is very interesting.

It suggests that the consumer society was designed. Initially to control irrational behaviour of the masses that could lead to bad events by appealing to the subconscious needs of people. Then it was seen as a way to allow people to express themselves and become individuals.

More recently it was seen as a way to give people power, a way to have democracy in modern society.

The conclusion is quite open. An obvious one is that the attention of people has been taken away from important or long-term decisions to insignificant ones, because those help win political campaigns.

I wonder how other societies were built around the same time. I also wonder how more modern events and trends fit into the particular view of the documentary.

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