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An interesting window on the past - Synchronicity swirls and other foolishness

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October 14th, 2007

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10:55 pm - An interesting window on the past
peaseblossom linked to a US-made 1946 Encyclopedia Brittanica short educational film (clearly meant for classroom use) on despotism. What is truly shocking is how liberal it is for the era. I'm guessing that it was likely considered excessively liberal within 5 years, but for a short time after WWII, the horrors of what had happened briefly overwhelmed the extreme nationalism and xenophobia that followed. In addition to being a fascinating glimpse of what was likely a fairly short, but also very hopeful period of time, it also made me speculate about what percentage of parents in the US would object to this being shown to their children today, in the more conservative areas, I fear the numbers might be frighteningly high.

As a side note, I look at this piece, and I think of the immediately post-Vietnam, post-Watergate era that I was a young teen in, and in both I see glimpses of the ideas that I fervently support, hope, optimism, freedom, a real desire for equality of opportunity, a concern for the welfare of others that is greater than any pervasive greed, combined with a distrust of nationalism and jingoism. I sadly also seen (in the US at least) how fleeting these moments of hope seem to be. These ideals have been replaced time and again with corrupt or foolish concerns like religious zealotry, the will to power, fear, paranoia, xenophobia, individual and corporate greed (both monetary greed, and the desire for utter control that is another name for greed, found (among other things) in all manner of radical property rights measures and those who support them), and most of all, a complete dismissal and distrust of the idea of any sort of common good.

I do not know why Western Europe, and to a slightly lesser extent Canada and New Zealand have all done so much better than the US. I miss what the US has briefly been and even more what it might have been.
Current Mood: sadsad

(16 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:October 15th, 2007 07:58 am (UTC)
Watching this video just now, I remembered seeing it on TV back in the 1950s, during the McCarthy era. The TV station must have been very brave to air this movie back then.

My strong guess is that the nation was more liberal right before the McCarthy era, simply because the lesson of the Nazis (and how they were popularly elected) clearly showed what Despotism really meant. Sadly, people forgot far too rapidly and Nazism just became another foreign evil and not a warning for the US that things like it could also happen here.

Looking at New Orleans, this place is fucking despotic on every scale mentioned in the video.

So I've heard :(
[User Picture]
Date:October 15th, 2007 08:05 am (UTC)
I watched the movie during, not before the McCarthy era. Probably somewhere between 1955 and 57.
[User Picture]
Date:October 15th, 2007 08:23 am (UTC)
Very daring indeed. Then again, this was before mass media was nearly as centralized as it is now and so they could be somewhat more daring.

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