What makes an entire country take self destructive decisions of eating unhealthy, smoking cigarettes & going to war? In 1916, Woodrow Wilson ran on a platform strongly opposing US entry into WWI. But just a few months after taking office, the United States declared war on Germany. Soon after, the American people, so firmly opposed to the war just a year earlier, were enthusiastic supporters. What happened? The short answer: Sustained consumption of propaganda! PROPAGANDA: THE MANUFACTURE OF CONSENT is a revealing documentary about how public relations grew out of wartime propaganda-and a portrait of one of the key architects of the field, Edward Bernays. The nephew of Sigmund Freud, Bernays refined the techniques used so successfully during the war to sell products to consumers, and ultimately to sell capitalism itself to workers. Public relations was also critical in building support for the New Deal, and in the pushback against it from the National Association of Manufacturers, which created materials including films aimed at children on the glories of manufacturing. Bacon and eggs as part of a hearty breakfast? The work of Bernays on behalf of a bacon company. Cigarettes as a sign of women's liberation? Bernays, again. Casting the democratically elected government of Guatemala as a Communist threat to justify US invasion on behalf of the United Fruit Company? Once more, Bernays. There was nothing shadowy about Bernays. He wrote a book detailing his techniques and discusses them in an archival interview with Bill Moyers from 1983, where we see his pride in hijacking the women's suffrage movement in order to sell more cigarettes—one of many illuminating moments in this film. Featuring Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges, Public Relations Museum co-founder Shelley Spector, historian Stuart Ewen, sociologist David Miller, and Bernays' daughter Anne, PROPAGANDA offers an insightful look into the development of public relations techniques, and how they continue to affect us today.
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Paul Saffo looks at the development of the US economy through the 20th and into the 21st century. What are the trends that have shaped the economy? How are innovations in technology and communications making the 21st century an entirely different landscape for producers and consumers?
In the autumn of 2007, Matthew Lee, a worried accounting executive at Lehman Brothers, began to notice serious financial irregularities in the company's practices. When he refused to approve tens of billions of dollars' worth of suspicious transactions, he was fired. Six months later, Lehman Brothers sank with 631 billion dollars of debt. Lee, who has since emerged as a crucial figure in Lehman's downfall, and other whistleblowers recount their personal stories of fraud and deception that went right to the top of the bank. Ultimately, they paid the price for trying to expose the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis.
The global economy is in crisis. The exponential exhaustion of natural resources, declining productivity, slow growth, rising unemployment, and steep inequality, forces us to rethink our economic models. Where do we go from here? In this feature-length documentary, social and economic theorist Jeremy Rifkin lays out a road map to usher in a new economic system. A Third Industrial Revolution is unfolding with the convergence of three pivotal technologies: an ultra-fast 5G communication internet, a renewable energy internet, and a driverless mobility internet, all connected to the Internet of Things embedded across society and the environment. This 21st century smart digital infrastructure is giving rise to a radical new sharing economy that is transforming the way we manage, power and move economic life.
2017 • Economics
Behind the scenes with the team who look after all 843 acres of Central Park, revealing the hidden systems and organisational miracles that keep the world's busiest urban park clean and green. Plus, Ant Anstead sees how an entirely new district is being built on top of a functioning rail depot in Manhattan and Dan Snow is in Coney Island, where he discovers that television, air conditioning and extreme weather almost killed off this historic amusement zone.