Tag Archives: Adam Curtis

Humanitarian interventionism? Geniune or sham?

Another timely blog from Adam Curtis. Like Iraq, the military intervention in and over Libya is portrayed as a “good conflict” that is taking place under the aegis of “humanitarian intervention”. The truth is much more nuanced. I understand Curtis’s latest series is due to go on air either later this month or sometime next month.

GOODIES AND BADDIES

The idea of “humanitarian intervention” which is behind the decision to attack in Libya is one of the central beliefs of our age.

It divides people. Some see it as a noble, disinterested use of Western power. Others see it as a smokescreen for a latter-day liberal imperialism.

I want to tell the story of how this idea originated and how it has grown up to possess the minds of a generation of liberal men and women in Europe and America.

It is the story of a generation who became disenchanted with traditional power politics. They thought they could leap over the old corrupt structures of power and connect directly with the innocent victims of war around the world.

It was a grand utopian project that began in the mid-60s in Africa and flourished and spread across the world. But in the 1990s it became corrupted by the very thing it was supposed to have transcended – western power politics.

And the idea seemed to have died in horror in a bombing of a hotel in Baghdad in 2003.

What we now see is the return of that dream in a ghostly, half-hearted form – where the confidence and hopes have been replaced by a nervous anxiety.

Read on

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Filed under Africa, Libya, Media, Nigeria, propaganda, World

Adam Curtis’s “The Century of the Self” (Part 4)

This is the final part of Adam Curtis’s award-winning documentary The Century of the Self. This episode is titled “Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering”.  This part focusses on PR ‘guru’ Matthew Freud, the great-grandson of Sigmund and Philip Gould, who was an advisor to Tony Blair. Curtis examines the role PR played before and during Blair’s time in office. At Nowhere Towers we wonder when Curtis is going to make another documentary series. We look forward to it!

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Filed under Government & politics, Mental health, social engineering

Adam Curtis’s “The Century of the Self” (Part 3)

Here is Part 3 of Adam Curtis’s award-winning documentary The Century of the Self. This part is called “There’s a Policeman In My Head”.

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Filed under Modernity, social engineering, Society & culture

Adam Curtis’s The Century of the Self (Part 2)

Here is Part 2 of Adam Curtis’s award-winning documentary The Century of the Self. This part is called “The Engineering of Consent”. It’s in bits. Sorry.

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Filed under Ideologies, Modernity, social engineering, Society & culture

Adam Curtis’s The Living Dead (Part 3)

Here is the final part of The Living Dead. This episode tells how Thatcher used public relations  to exploit a particular memory of  Winston Churchill for political ends. This episode is called “The Attic”.

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Filed under History & Memory, Ideologies, Society & culture

Adam Curtis’s The Living Dead (Part 2)

Here is Part 2 of Adam Curtis’s documentary The Living Dead. This episode is called “You Have Used Me as a Fish Long Enough”. This episode is about brainwashing and mind control. The US and USSR both believed they could use a combination of mind manipulation and hallucinogenic drugs to program assassins. The program was a failure and was abandoned. This didn’t stop the wunderkinds of psychiatry from using these techniques in an attempt to obliterate bad memories from the minds of their patients.

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Filed under History & Memory, Mental health, Modernity, social engineering, Society & culture

Adam Curtis’s The Living Dead

Adam Curtis’s documentary series examines how history and memory have been used by politicians and others. The first part is about the ‘good’ war: WWII.  The Living Dead was first shown on BBC2 in Spring 1995.

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Filed under History & Memory, Society & culture

Big Society or social engineering Tory style?

Interesting blog from Adam Curtis (admittedly published in November of last year). Here’s an excerpt.

I am fascinated by the group David Cameron has set up in No.10, called The Behavioural Insights Unit. I think it is evidence of a massive shift that is just beginning in British politics which will change the way politicians govern and manage the rest of us.

Tony Blair believed in a consumerist idea of democracy. He used focus groups to try and find out what people wanted as a way of shaping policy (except, of course, over Iraq). Like Mrs Thatcher, he believed that the people knew best. They expressed their desires and wants clearly through the market. And politics, he believed, should imitate this.

The Behavioural Insights Team believe the opposite. That in many cases you can’t trust the people. That if you let them just follow their desires they will often do things that are bad both for themselves and for society.

You can read the rest here. Thatcher’s idea that the people “know best” comes from Hayek.  But it is a flawed notion since it expects people to have an intimate knowledge with how markets operate. Most people have no idea nor are they particularly interested.

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Filed under social engineering

Adam Curtis’s The Mayfair Set (Part 4)

Here is the final part of The Mayfair Set. I will be posting Curtis’s The Living Dead sometime in the near future.  This episode is appropriately titled “The Twilight of the Dogs”.

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Filed under Economics, Growth, Late capitalism, Spiv capitalism

Adam Curtis’s The Mayfair Set (Part 3)

Here is Part 3 of Adam Curtis’s great documentary, The Mayfair Set. This episode is called “Destroy the Technostructure”. Remember ‘junk bonds’?

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Filed under Economics, junk bonds, Spiv capitalism