The first time I watched The Century of the Self, I had to stop and think many times. I had a hard time understanding some shocking points made in this film. Even after I finished watching it once, I still felt like I couldn’t quite digest what it all meant. But I was certain that something was severely amiss.
The influence of advertising/public relations and their tactics on our world is not surprising. Most of us must be aware that they have been psychologically manipulating us to sell shit we don’t need. There are many good books and documentaries that discuss how they shape our world. But none of them articulate it as deep and broad as The Century of the Self does. The massive influence of advertising/public relations corrupted journalism, polluted politics, stupefied people, shaped the ideology like individualism and overthrew the democratic government of Guatemala.
People in power have been making coordinated efforts to control the mass. Kings discouraged the public to be against them by telling people that they were working under the command of God. The military force used violence to suppress and control the mass in a dictatorship. The Century of the Self convinced me that propaganda to democracy is what violence is to a dictatorship.
If you want to understand how the ruling elite of our society uses their power, this documentary is a must-watch.