Review of The Mayfair Set: Four Stories About the Rise of Business and the Decline of Political Power (1999)

Moving picture, 4.0 hours

Adam Curtis (director).

The robber barons of the 1970s and 1980s, including David Stirling, Jim Slater, James Goldsmith, and Tiny Rowland, who were all members of the exclusive Clermont club in Mayfair, central London, in the 1960s. Their methods—violence, buy-outs and stripping of publicly traded “family” businesses—were thought to be useful for making post-Imperial Britain great again, but after brief booms and hard crashes, the market had merely slipped out of political control and become recognized as a massive political force in itself, a dilemma even for the mighty buccaneer capitalists.

Comparatively colourless and narrow in focus, dealing mainly with the UK, less with the US and hardly at all with the rest of the world. An international ideological context would have helped.

References here: Pandora’s Box (1992), Master of the Universe (2013).

moving picture non-fiction series