The Greatest Speech Ever Made

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Sat, 10 Sep 2011 01:04:17 GMT  <== Politics ==> 

Charlie Chaplin at YouTube - the final speech in The Great Dictator.

Hope... I’m sorry but I don’t want to be an Emperor – that's not my business – I don't want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible, Jew, gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that.

We all want to live by each other's happiness, not by each other's misery. We don't want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone and the earth is rich and can provide for everyone.

The way of life can be free and beautiful.

But we have lost the way.

Greed has poisoned men's souls -- has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed.

We have developed speed but we have shut ourselves in: machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical, our cleverness hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little: More than machinery we need humanity; More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.

The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men, cries out for universal brotherhood for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me I say "Do not despair".

The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress: the hate of men will pass and dictators die and the power they took from the people, will return to the people and so long as men die [now] liberty will never perish…

Soldiers -- don't give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you and enslave you -- who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel, who drill you, diet you, treat you as cattle, as cannon fodder.

Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men, machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts. You are not machines. You are not cattle. You are men. You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don't hate -- only the unloved hate. Only the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers -- don't fight for slavery, fight for liberty.

In the seventeenth chapter of Saint Luke it is written, "the kingdom of God is within man" -- not one man, nor a group of men -- but in all men -- in you, the people.

You the people have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness. You the people have the power to make life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy let's use that power -- let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give you the future and old age and security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power, but they lie. They do not fulfil their promise, they never will. Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfil that promise. Let us fight to free the world, to do away with national barriers, do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men's happiness.

Soldiers -- in the name of democracy, let us all unite!

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Comments (3):

"In the name of democracy",

Submitted by Faré on Sat, 10 Sep 2011 02:37:29 GMT

"In the name of democracy", bad start.

"Unite" - or else?

Yeah, if you refuse to unite, we'll make you join by force, because we're the majority. And if we boss you around, we'll do it out of love.

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Hi Bill, I'm with

Submitted by Underground Carpenter on Sat, 10 Sep 2011 10:25:02 GMT

Hi Bill,

I'm with Faré. Freedom can't be organized or united. "Fighting for Freedom" is a contradiction. Freedom doesn't, and won't ever, come from a battlefield.

Greed for the unearned=bad. Greed for the earned=good. Blanket criticism of greed is an attempt to squelch a desperately needed clarification of concepts.


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Submitted by Jim on Sat, 22 Oct 2011 18:30:03 GMT

I think this speech can be "read" in many ways. The U.S. government apparently didn't think much of it. Charlie Chaplin went out of the country and found himself not allowed back in. They thought he was a Communist and tried to black-list him. His later movies wasn't shown until the 1970s.

He made a film critical of the U.S. call "A King of New York".

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