Charlie Chaplin's speech in The Great Dictator.
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Charlie Chaplin's speech in The Great Dictator.
Posted by Patrick O Rly on 2/5 at 2:56 pm
LINK

What I find interesting about this video is he states that he has no desire to be a dictator, yet wants to unite under democracy. What the difference really? What does it matter if your life is dictated by the decisions of one man or millions? If millions decide to deny me my rights, refuse to let me live in peace, is it somehow more equitable? Democracy is only as good as the leash it's own, and they eventually get loose.

I've heard a lot of people express that this speech brings a tear to their eyes. To me it's just a wolf in sheep's clothing.



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Posted by junkfunky on 2/5 at 3:00 pm to Patrick O Rly
quote:

To me it's just a wolf in sheep's clothing.


I thought that was the intent.



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Posted by CarrolltonTiger on 2/5 at 3:02 pm to Patrick O Rly
quote:

I've heard a lot of people express that this speech brings a tear to their eyes.


Who do you hang out with? I'm more than twice as as old as you and I have never heard anyone even comment on the speech.



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Posted by Patrick O Rly on 2/5 at 3:02 pm to junkfunky
If that's the case, a lot of people haven't gotten the memo. People fawn over this speech.


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Posted by junkfunky on 2/5 at 3:05 pm to Patrick O Rly
quote:

If that's the case, a lot of people haven't gotten the memo. People fawn over this speech.


They sound...uh...special.



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Posted by Patrick O Rly on 2/5 at 3:06 pm to CarrolltonTiger
quote:

Who do you hang out with? I'm more than twice as as old as you and I have never heard anyone even comment on the speech.



I've never spoke with someone about it in person. I've just seen it referenced and linked in political forums. I usually don't discuss politics in person.



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Posted by Jimbeaux on 2/5 at 3:24 pm to CarrolltonTiger
Part of the speech is supposed to attract you and inspire you. The method suggested is supposed to make you say, "Wait a second, what did he just say". In the final analysis, you are supposed to recognize that tyranny comes in all shapes and sizes. A "wolf in sheep's clothing" is very apropos


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Posted by Zach on 2/5 at 3:41 pm to Patrick O Rly
"We think too much and feel too little."

The appeal of liberalism.



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Posted by Patrick O Rly on 2/5 at 3:48 pm to Zach
Pretty much.


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Posted by Patrick O Rly on 2/5 at 3:52 pm to Jimbeaux
quote:

Part of the speech is supposed to attract you and inspire you. The method suggested is supposed to make you say, "Wait a second, what did he just say". In the final analysis, you are supposed to recognize that tyranny comes in all shapes and sizes. A "wolf in sheep's clothing" is very apropos



That may very well be the case. I've never seen the movie, but he seems to be breaking character from his lampooning of Hilter/Mussolini. There's several copies of this speech on youtube, and most of them are labelled "the greatest speech ever." It may be a troll job by Chaplin.



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Posted by genro on 2/5 at 3:54 pm to Patrick O Rly
quote:

There's several copies of this speech on youtube, and most of them are labelled "the greatest speech ever."
Wow. Those people are morons who probably haven't seen the movie, or even understand its basic premise.



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Posted by JawjaTigah on 2/5 at 4:27 pm to Patrick O Rly
quote:

I've heard a lot of people express that this speech brings a tear to their eyes. To me it's just a wolf in sheep's clothing.
Totally agree. Forgotten in all the glittering generalities of the general "power to the people" schtick we've been fed since time immemorial is the reign of terror that was the French Revolution, when the mob (i.e. - the people) led the way to le Guillotine and heads rolled and blood flowed in the streets. We should be careful about any such notion that a pure democracy is the best form of government. What it most truly does is unleash the mob and mob rule, and selfishness and mean-spiritedness rule the day. We are a representative democracy, and should be thankful to God that we are. Not to say there is no room for improvement in the elected "representatives..." Out of the French Revolution rose Napoleon and the ruination of France. Out of the Russian Revolution arose Stalin and decades of terror and oppression. Out of the German "revolution" arose Hitler and the rest is history. Do we in America really need to ignore the lessons of history? It could happen here, too. It maybe has started already. Ask your friendly neighborhood drone, next time it flies by your house.



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Posted by TrueTiger on 2/5 at 5:59 pm to Patrick O Rly
quote:

“Real liberty is not found in the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments. If we incline too much to democracy, we shall soon shoot into a monarchy, or some other form of dictatorship.”


----Alexander Hamilton



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Posted by nvasil1 on 2/5 at 6:41 pm to Jimbeaux
quote:

Part of the speech is supposed to attract you and inspire you.

Bingo.

By lampooning Hitler and Mussolini, those characters are just crazy, absurd and are impossible to take seriously. But during the speech, Chaplin breaks the 4th wall and is speaking directly to us. Suddenly he's not clowning around anymore and he seems to be "making sense".

In a way, it is a great speech because it demonstrates the danger of "the wolf in sheep's clothing". However, those who take the speech at face value as some wonderful statement about democracy are no different than the people who were inspired to rally behind Hitler and Mussolini in the beginning.



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Posted by Champagne on 2/5 at 11:23 pm to nvasil1
I agree that it seems most likely that Chaplin here is breaking the 4th wall and speaking directly to the audience.

I also agree with those who opine that Chaplin is speaking sincerely of his true thoughts, hopes and opinions. Charles Chaplin was a complete idealist, and, he was somewhat naive in the ways of RealPolitik.

Chaplin was not a political or policy wonk. As such, his political hopes and opinions had an idealistic and simplistic tone. Many accused him of being a communist or socialist. IMHO, he was neither. It would be most accurate to call him an Idealistic Dreamer.

He was way too busy making movies and banging chicks to spend the time necessary to become some kind of policy wonk.



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Posted by ShortyRob on 2/6 at 12:08 am to Patrick O Rly
quote:

If millions decide to deny me my rights, refuse to let me live in peace, is it somehow more equitable


Nope. Many dictators have been immensely popular with the majority of their people. Functionally speaking, there is little different between a popular totalitarian and a democratically elected leader.

In fact, many totalitarians remain in power primarily by appealing to the masses by fricking smaller groups.

Most people seem to think totalitarians fall out of the sky and into power. Alas, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot. All of these people rode the backs of POPULAR revolutions.



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Posted by Patrick O Rly on 2/6 at 6:36 am to ShortyRob
quote:

Most people seem to think totalitarians fall out of the sky and into power. Alas, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot.


Or that capitalism made everyone crazy.



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Posted by CITWTT on 2/6 at 7:02 am to Patrick O Rly
The backlash from that movie made CC move to Switzerland for the rest of his life.


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Posted by JawjaTigah on 2/6 at 7:18 am to ShortyRob
quote:

Most people seem to think totalitarians fall out of the sky and into power. Alas, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot. All of these people rode the backs of POPULAR revolutions.

Exactly. Oh and add Napoleon to the list. But a lot of people have no ability to read the tides of history or understand mob mentailty at its worst. America, for instance, is flirting with this kind of thing right now. The flames are being fanned by the economy, and by both parties, the major 24/7 news organs, the mainstream media, and assorted elements of the blogosphere. The question is will the outcome be to the Left or to the Right of center? Right now a definite split. While that is maddening, maybe this is the only thing preventing a total dictatorship from cementing.


This post was edited on 2/6 at 7:20 am

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