Uploaded by on Feb 2, 2007

Circa 1945, How does your country rate on a democrasy / despotism scale?

Also:
Uploaded by on Mar 28, 2009

[…]
Harold D. Laswell, Ph.D. begins with the statement, “Avoid the comfortable idea that the mere form of government can of itself safeguard a nation against despotism.” He then encourages a person to look beyond fine words and noble phrases and to use a couple of scales as yardsticks to measure the levels of democracy or despotism that may exist in a community.

Despotism

A production from back in 1945 by Encyclopedia Britannica Films, Inc. for the Erpi Classroom Film series with Harold D. Lasswell, Ph.D., a political scientist at Yale University.

I am pretty sure this educational film, produced for American classrooms, would never be shown to kids today.

That’s because the youngsters would then have the information they need to see exactly what is going on around them. And, gosh, think for themselves, maybe. And we certainly can’t allow that now, can we? Oh, Heavens, no!

Since it was made when it was, the reference despotic state is, as you’d expect, Germany. Don’t get your head all bottlenecked by concentrating on that, though. It’s irrelevant – and as well these days there’s a lot of it about…

The film starts by examining Respect and Power. Explaining that a growing lack of respect for the beliefs and orientations of various groups, “getting an even break,” as they put it, is a telling sign of decline from democracy to despotism. Up next as the second ‘biggie’ is Power; the spread of same within a community, or, how many people get to share in a community’s vital decisions is also put on a scale with a nice sliding pointer. I note sadly that this pointer never seems to go up in the film.

Then we get into Economic Distribution and Information, areas which do much to aid and abet the two scales discussed above. When land ownership is mostly in the hands of a few, when the availability of jobs and entrepreneurial opportunity is in the hands of a few, when the system of taxation is applied in oppressive ways to those not wealthy – these things combine, destructively, in rapid fashion; and the result is the destruction of the middle class and then – despotism.

The availability of Information when limited and manipulated via control of the media and the requirement for the people to accept these false reports without question is very bad according to this film. I am sure you will agree. I note that when I was a lad there were so many independent sources of information… hundreds. Now there are six. Including radio. Six. They don’t leave out education… the training of teachers to spew BS and denigrate students who dare question the ‘facts,’ forever stifling creativity and innovation, not to mention humanity is well covered.

That pointer’s peggin’ the bottom, man.

Scary how every single thing discussed is happening right now, right outside my window.

That’s so sad. A crying shame.

My community doesn’t do so well on the charts presented herein, but not too awful. Yet. That’s, I think, mainly because a heck of a lot of “them” live here. We have a Bugatti dealer, you know… Bet yours doesn’t get all that high up on the good side either. Am I right?

This sort of film, once common, should be revived as a genre and made required viewing in every school. And not just here in America, no, it should be the norm everywhere.

Hope you like.

Peace

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Comments
  1. gecooper says:

    Reblogged this on Drop by Drop We Fill the Pot and commented:
    Questions are NOT considered

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