It's a question that's been asked by historians through the ages. How did Adolf Hitler, a tyrant who orchestrated one of the largest wars in history, rise to power in a democratic country?

It begins with what we all know. It all began after the end of the World War I, when the people of Germany bore a burden of humiliation. Compounded with a failing economy, this led to civil unrest throughout the country, a situation ripe for a conspiracy theory.

Exploiting the fear, anger and bigotry of people who blamed Jewish people for this failure, Hitler mass-engineered a following for himself and worked his way from a lowly position in with manipulative speeches and anti-semitism.

And he criticised the status quo everywhere, from the capitalism of the United States to the communism of the Soviet Union, persuading Germany that he was what the country needed. Remind you of anyone?

The truly worrisome insight in the video comes at the end:

Businessmen and intellectuals wanting to be on the right side of public opinion endorsed Hitler. They assured themselves and each other that his more extreme rhetoric was only for show.

Here's Canadian philosopher's Marshall McLuhan's interview on "violence as a quest for identity". Amongst other things, he talks about how Hitler would never have come to power in the age of television.

One of the major violence makers of our century has been radio. Hitler was entirely a radio man and a tribal man.

I don’t think Hitler would have lasted long on TV. Like Senator Joe McCarthy, he would have looked foolish. McCarthy was a very hot character and like Nixon, he made a very bad image on television. He was far too hot a character. He would have been much better on radio.


While it would be too much of a stretch to suggest that the world is in a similar state as it was in 1939, it is certainly in the midst of a great churn.

With communism and socialism in decline in economies around the world, most countries have settled into what Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek calls "liberal, democratic capitalism". In the talk below, the rock star communist talks about why democracy and capitalism are destined to split up. Zizek observes that while capitalism is free flowing, there is a restriction in the free moment of people, resulting in "instances of apartheid".


Here's psychologist and psychopath expert Kevin Dutton analysing a few popular moral conundrums and why, most often, it's the psychopaths that get things done and drive society forward.

Imagine that you were, hypothetically, left in a room with a newborn baby, okay.

And I told you – and you have to believe this is true – that that newborn baby will grow one day into Adolph Hitler, okay. Now, what would you do? Would you kill that baby and save millions of lives further on down the line in history? Or would you not be able to do it? These are moral conundrums, which are kind of played out in everyday life. I'm obviously reducing these to absurdities. But these are the kinds of decisions on a lesser level that you have to make if you're a politician or if you're a world leader.


If things are getting too dark with this talk about psychopaths taking over the world and Hitler, here's comedian Ricky Gervais to lend some hilarity to the situation.

"He was the ring leader, old Adolf. That names died out. He killed that dead. No little Adolfs going to school."