Sep 13, 2010

Marketing, Psychology, Politics, Manipulation and Consumerism. Enlighten Your Unconsciousness To the New Trends

Quite an insightful documentary on how theory of psychoanalysis was adopted by corporations to create the modern consumer society. The shift from products that you need, to products that you simply desire. Creating the need for products, rather than responding to a need with a product. The workings of the unconsciousness brilliantly utilized in mass marketing. Group behavior, psychology of the crowd, social engineering and commercial manipulation. It's like McDonald's former "Super size", they observed that people felt guilty buying twice the same portion, but this guilt was bypassed if the portion was enlarged. Managing the irrational judgement of the masses and guiding it to consume.
Channeling and shaping people's opinion, views and even the way they think. The birth of PR and lobbyism in modern society. Wow, stunning.

Can the individual ever be truly free? It seems that true freedom is found only outside the crowd.
And what about Equality? Are individuals truly equal or is it just a democratic bullshit? To start with, individuals can have very different starts in life. Your parents may be rich and I may be born an orphant. But, what if two individuals have the same start in life? Say two persons from two average middle-class families. The one is keen to learn, goes in university and graduates, then works and begins to make good money. And the other is lazy, not interested in studying, but just trashes around and does nothing meaningful. Can these two individuals truly be thought of as equal? Well, no, they cannot be equal. People are not equal, because they have different levels of motivation. Thus, social equality is just as an empty concept as freedom of the masses is. 
Life circumstances and family environment can make a great difference between individuals and the opportunities they may have in life, but in the end it is about motivation. About how far you want to go, in your life, in your character, in your knowledge.

However, still every individual has a right of dignity, of pursuing his or her ideals, freedom of speach and so on. And, of course, an individual can always consciously choose a lifestyle of seclusion and self-sufficiency like a hippie, not aspiring to career or making money or whatever, just enjoying the beauty of nature without bothering about nothing much and without complaining either.

However that, the biggest question of all is, can society function in any other way after all or is this the only way for things to be? (See documentaries below). Or may be the last question is born out of a lack of imagination?! Can human civilization follow any other path of development than the one it currently is on? Is there any other way and most importantly, even if there is, how can it be achieved? Is it possible? A world without military technology, without different Gods, without exploitation, a world of higher intelligence and clearer reason

Documentary title: Century of the Self.
(I cannot agree with the title though, by "Self" they mean "Ego-self").
The documentary follows and analyzes business, social and political developments in the 20th Century and the intimate entanglement of those three.

Episode 1 - Happiness Machines 1 of 6

YOU are part of "the masses", lol. Seriously.

"Understand, Neo, that most of these people are not ready to be unplugged, and many of them are so inert, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it."

Episode 2 - The Engineering of Consent 1 of 6

Although I do agree with the psychoanalytic notion that you can change people (to the better) by expanding their understanding. However, something went very wrong down the line with this enlightened ideal. And that was its use for social engineering and consumerism. Psychoanalysis should be practiced the Jungian way and exclude psychiatry from its methods. I think the methodology is wrong, very. But hey, how do you establish the right way to do it without going through the wrong ones first?! Lol. 
First it was "Repress the primal emotions", then it was "Free the primal emotions", now it is Be freely repressed or repressedly free or something in between with or without emotions, aah, forget it, just go to a pharmacy near you and by yourself a pack of Prozac - it's good for you and it's good for the business, thus everyone is happy and feeling good.

Now I finally understand why Freud gained more popularity than Jung, when the ideas of the latter were far more profound and potentially life-altering on the self-realization level. Because Freud's ideas were commercially applicable for manipulation of the masses, while Jung's were meant to truly bring deeper understanding and psychological clarity to the individual. And if I create a, say, popular entertainment blog, it will have far more hits than this one.

Oh well, people just don't like to think, left aside they are being taught not to. Lol. Everything in this world is about making money and nothing more, nothing less. Making money at any cost

Episode 3 - There is a Policeman Inside All Our Heads: He Must Be Destroyed

Ah, experimental psychology. Experimenting with people and society. Now isn't that cool.
- Hey, what's your job?
- Oh, I'm a radical psychologist.

Speaking of creating trends and commercial persuasion, do you remember this Purple initiative of Yahoo!, I'm not sure when it was, two ot three years ago, when they promoted on their website that that year was "Purple year" or something like this and that everyone should have something purple, whether your sweater, or dress, socks or bike or etc. Yeah.

I just didn't understood why they encouraged people to express their ugliest emotions like aggression and hate? I mean, where is the liberation in this, without reaching to the source of these emotions, there is no realization, but only primal release of pressure?!
I guess people were pondering their new-found freedoms of public expression of their true opinion and discontents. See, one of the many negative effects of the opression of the Church, it makes people pervert and totally lacking of self-control when confronted with freedom.

And I thought the methodology of the Freudians was wrong, lol, just see all those people packed in a room screaming and cursing like crazy, so brutal. By the way, these therapeutic methods weren't invented by those radical psychologists. For instance, Aleister Crowley is known to have practiced similar with his disciples.

Anyway, I thought that the hippie movement was a natural development of sub-culture societies in USA and, this documentary suggests that it was actually driven by psychological circles?! And I also thought that the hippie movement changed the conventions of fashion, and it turns out that they didn't, Marketing did! Ah, the ignorance.

The business was thinking hard "How to appeal to this new breed of *individuals*, how to tap them in. Of course, this is it - offer them product variety!" Ingenious. A.k.a 1960s 
- Hey, you are so individualistic with this pink ipod of yours.

So, marketing is strongly connected with social research and statistics (Duh) exploring the different lifestyles of people and stereotypes that assemble in groups. "Yo, let's target that *group* with our new product line".
I long suspected there is no true individualism, lol, it's because human psyche doesn't has infinite combinations, just like our DNA. It turns out that, the concept that "Everyone is a unique person" is again a marketing concept and is by no means true. Noone is unique, everyone falls into types, lifestyles and groups. What a bleep.

Episode 4 - Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering

So, is the business flexibly adapting to new trends in society or is it creating them? Remains unclear. It is both ways around, I guess.

You can also find the documentary series here and watch it via Google video.

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P.S. Dear Reader, if you happen to find yourself overwhelmed by too much heavy to digest information, please, get a grip on yourself. You have the tools to build yourself consciously and stir your life into whatever desired direction, just take it easy, be focused, perseverant and think. And remember:

"There is no realization without pain"