I really recommend watching the 1946 short film “Despotism”, and meditating on its prescience regarding our present political woes.
So I noticed that a video from 1946 is apparently doing the rounds online again. It seems that it was released as an educational video by Encyclopaedia Britannica, and is notable for how chillingly prescient it was when it comes to America’s transformation from a free society to an authoritarian nightmare. Given that the film was made shortly after the end of World War II, the death of Adolf Hitler, and the fall of Nazi Germany, it’s easy to surmise that the film was made to warn the next generation of the signs of despotism. Assuming that’s the case, I find it tragic that today’s children simply aren’t getting that lesson.
The central premise is that you can measure any community in the world on a sliding scale with democracy on one end, and despotism on another, and that two effective yardsticks for measuring the path to despotism are respect…
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