If only I were in the UK, I wouldn’t miss documentaries like Adam Curtis’The Trap: what happened to our dreams of freedom?:
The central argument in The Trap is that modern society is based on a bleak view of humankind hatched during the Cold war, when US military tacticians studied game theory in an attempt to predict what the Russians would do.
The result was years of terrifying détente. But this beat a nuclear holocaust, so game theory seemed to work. It brought stability. And it was then applied to mankind as a whole: the belief grew that we’re fundamentally selfish creatures concerned only with our own interests – and that, paradoxically, this very selfishness should be encouraged, since the end result is widespread economic stability.
More academic treatment of the same idea is in Philip Mirowski’s book [Machine dreams: economics becomes a cyborg science](http://www.librarything.com/work/143008) (on the great pile of worthy tomes I may read one day). Also perhaps some of [Deirdre McCloskey’s writing](http://www.deirdremccloskey.com/books/virtue.php) covers similar topics.