In time, what began as a sincere attempt to "bring the world to the classroom" became a means of mass indoctrination into mindless conformity. But before 50s assembly-line conformity turned classroom films into campy jokes, production companies like Encyclopedia Britannica Films were capable of making pictures that even today remain high water marks of progressive education.
"Despotism", made in 1946 by EBF largely in response to the atrocities of European facism, is a prime example of a 1940s educational film that still has a valid message, especially in Bush's America. This picture clearly and dispassionately explores the social factors that lead to despotism, including rigged voting procedures, corporate consolidation, a lack of political debate, unbalanced taxation, media manipulation by private interests, and meaningless jingoism.
Archive.org has "Despotism" available for download (in a variety of formats) and distribution for free as it's in the public domain. I highly suggest using this film as a conversation starter with friends and family. The age of the film and its impartiality may help to prevent knee-jerk responses to its vital message.
"What sort of community do you live in? Where would you place it on a democracy/despotism scale?"