TL;DR of HyperNormalization by Adam Curtis

This movie is about post-politics, or a new way of ruling where politics just simply means how do you most efficiently run the economic and political system, and less about debating ideas and having real citizen involvement. This new method of governing has many “wings” associated with it.

  1. One wing of this has existed since the 1980’s when US politicians have used theatricality over facts in getting themselves elected and when they would describe complicated problems to the American people in misrepresentations and downright lies. Curtis uses the US’ relation to Syria and Libya as a case study.
  2. Another wing of this has to do with financialization, when city governments just surrendered their power to bankers as bankers just straight up fund the cities now.
  3. Another wing is the development of computers and big data to try to predict the future, and astonishingly there’s a computer called Aladdin that tries to safeguard investments from bad trends in the world and it manages 15 trillion dollars, 7% of the world’s economic output.
  4. Also there’s a new method of public relations pioneered in Russia under Vladimir Putin where the story the media tells is always one step behind the actors, and the ones in power guide the story along by feeding this group here some money, and then a group there some money, and then declaring that they were the ones who were behind the trend, which just confuses the hell out of everybody and makes the scenario very hard to grasp.

All of this deception creates working class anger at home and Muslim anger abroad, and makes people so confused that they don’t know what’s real any more and this stumps people from acting politically. To use more metaphorical language, the deceptions of the past 40 years stack on top of each other, congealing together like slime, making it very hard for anyone to trust any information really. And because the past 40 years have been just a stack of lies, it makes room for people like Trump who know that the people’s anger is certainly real but know that they don’t know where to direct that anger.