Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Depotism: maybe they were smarter in 1946

“You can roughly locate any community in the world somewhere along a scale running all the way from democracy to despotism,” says [this Encyclopedia Brittanica‘s] standard-issue mannered narrator before turning it over to a standard-issue sack-suited and Brylcreemed expert. And how can we know where our own society places on that scale? “Well, for one,” says the expert, “avoid the comfortable idea that the mere form of government can of itself safeguard a nation against despotism.”

This is a worthwhile 10 minutes of your life. Also worthwhile, Josh Marshall's reflection from last July on what men (yes, it was almost all men) of that time had learned about human societies.

H/t Slacktivist and Open Culture.

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