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A 1946 classroom film with a message for the 21st Century...

Throughout the 30s through the 70s, educational films were a mainstay of the American classroom.
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?"


homepage: homepage: http://www.archive.org/movies/details-db.php?collection=prelinger&collectionid=00178

thanks 21.Feb.2004 14:50

elihu root

thanx for sharing this fascinating flick!

good insights 21.Feb.2004 17:51


Point of view on the respect scale is not historically clear if there was not some level of despotism.

More clear to quantify is the distribution of land, wage, information control, and tax distribution in society.

thanks for the info source

You're very welcome.. 21.Feb.2004 19:49

dailygrind dailygrind@emailaccount.com

And thanks to pdx indy for showcasing this! The facts are on our side and it's all going to come down to our ability to educate others.

Thank you 22.Feb.2004 10:45


An excellent resource and thanks to PDX indy media for the forum.

Superb 22.Feb.2004 12:19


This film needs to be updated and re issued into our schools.

Until then, let the sharing BEGIN.