The greatest speech ever made

You must speak… it’s our only 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 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’s room for everyone;
and the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone.

The way of life can be free and beautiful.

But we have lost the way.
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, liberty will never perish.

Don’t give yourselves to brutes,
men who despise you, 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 like cattle,
use you 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; the unloved and the unnatural.
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:
You, the people have the power,
the power to create machines,
the power to create happiness.
You the people have the power
to make this life free and beautiful,
to make this life a wonderful adventure.

Then in the name of democracy let us 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 youth a future, and old age a 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,
to 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.

in the name of democracy, let us all unite!

The Great Dictator. 1940.

Yep, that’s right. 1940. And it’s supposed to be… a satire.

You must speak… it’s our only hope.


Not human
No freedom
No change

No employment
No choice
No memory


No sex
No future

No no computer
No no no sex
No no no memory

No choice
No no freedom
No no no TV
No no change

You must speak… it’s our only hope.

About peNdantry

Phlyarologist (part-time) and pendant. Campaigner for action against anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and injustice in all its forms. Humanist, atheist, notoftenpist. Wannabe poet, writer and astronaut.
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7 Responses to The greatest speech ever made

  1. Martin_Lack says:

    Charlie Chaplin was a genius.


  2. Martin_Lack says:

    As a piece of political satire, The Great Dictator was possibly only surpassed by Dr Strangelove.


    • Martin_Lack says:

      I haven’t tried it on my blog yet, but when I post links to You Tube like this on Environmint’s blog they clearly do not embed like they do here? If this works again, it must be a feature you brought with you. Here goes…


      • pendantry says:

        If you’re referring to your ‘Dream Team’ link on enviromint, then you proceed from a false assumption. I think you’ll find only ‘bare’ YouTube links will embed the video.

        Compare this link to another copy of the ‘greatest speech ever made‘ (this one, incidentally, with 3 million hits in 5½ years) with the following (which is just the bare address):


  3. It is time to fight for a new world. Great speech! Thank you for sharing. :)


    • pendantry says:

      It is great, isn’t it? It’s not just us that think so, too – this one* has had over 4 million hits in six months, which I find encouraging.

      *There are several other copies of this speech on YouTube (it took me a while to decide which to use).


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