This interesting film investigates the spectrum of power and political structures from democracy to despotism. Instead of defining democracy as good and communism as bad, as many other films of this time did, Despotism takes a very different tact. Using a scale devised by an advisory board of educators who debated for months over the subject, this film looks at how different countries and governments score on the “respect scale” and the “power scale.” Looking at how much freedom of communication, to whom the heaviest taxes are levied, and where the concentration of power lies, different countries from Germany to the United States are evaluated. Not surprisingly, the U.S. does not fare well when measured by these standards, and the narration is careful to point out that despotism can occur in democratic countries. Thanks to the relatively honest appraisal of governmental types offered in this film, Despotism is a superb historical educational video.