"The resistance of the individual is fragmentary and sporadic when compared to the continuous assault of modern propaganda." - Randall Bytwerk
Today I want to talk about Escapism.
Because America is living under a growing threat of authoritarianism.
One of the first pillars of society authoritarians seize control of is the media. Historical examples include Hitler, Stalin, Castro, Putin. But there are many others as well - Saddam Hussein, Chavez Venezuela, Turkmenistan, etc.
The reason is simple, and it's always the same:
The human spirit does not want to be oppressed. It won't stand for it.
So in order for the authoritarian to maintain their oppressive control, they must immediately begin a propaganda campaign to numb the masses into accepting the current condition.
Just to note it very quickly, this is done through several methods: By dehumanizing any opposition, by mythologizing the current leader, by spotlighting the victories of the regime, by rewriting history, by not covering particular subjects, or by distracting the masses with frivolous or paradoxical stories.
This is what's known as "winning the hearts and minds" of the people.
This brings us to our subject: Art Under Dictatorships.
Movies have a special relationship with dictators. In many ways, they seem responsible for the worst dictatorships of the 20th Century. Kim Jung-Il, for example, was a film fanatic. Goebbels was obsessed with Hollywood. Even Donald Trump started his life wanting to be a filmmaker.
In the last 100 years, the movie industry splits in two directions under dictatorships: