My new favorite google video is Despotism - An Erpi Classroom Film by Encyclopaedia Britannica Films Inc. MCMXLV (It's only about 10 minutes.)
The bushistas must have used this as a training film. You wonder what was on the mind of the creators back in 1955. Maybe they could see the future.
If you can't watch video, here's a summary:
How near is a community is to despotism?
Signs of despotism in a community:
Respect scale. Equal opportunity to develop useful skills and that the people can put them to use is a sign of respect. Most citizens get an even break. If people are disrespected because of political views, race, religion, lack of wealth and respect is limited to fewer people, then the community is moving close to despotism.
Power scale. Citizens should share in making decisions for theircommunities. If only a few hands share in decision making, then the community is moving towards despotism. If a government disregards the will of the people, opposition is considered dangerous and the legalities of elections are in question and legislatures have no control over real lawmaking.
How will Despotism gain a foothold?
What Are the Conditions/variables
Economic distribution. If economic distribution is slanted and the middle class grows small, then despotism can gain a foothold. Land ownership in the hands of a small number of people will give despotism a chance to take hold. Communities that depend on a particular industry, have a challenging problem. If the control of jobs and opportunities remain in the hands of a few, then despotism can become a reality. In areas of national revenue, sales taxes hit the small income much harder.
Information- Press, radio and media controlled by only a few interests where citizens are expected to believe what they are told is a community on the brink of despotism. Teachers may inhibit critical thought. Questions are not encouraged. People are taught to believe everything they read. Beware of censorship.
Rate your community on the respect and power scales.
Regarding economic distribution and information- the lower you rate, the lower it will rate on respect and power- and you approach despotism.
In a single community where despotism is taking foothold, is not just a local problem, because as communities go, so goes the nation.
Doom and gloom.