Thursday, October 05, 2006


Sixty-six years ago this month, on October 15, 1940, Charlie Chaplin released what is, undoubtedly, his most controversial film. "The Great Dictator" depicted the story of two very different people (both played by Chaplin) who could be (but are not) identical twins: A timid little Jewish barber and Adenoid Hinkle, the dictator of a fictional country called Ptomainia. The film was a satirical attack on Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime. Toward the movie's end, the two men are mistaken for one another and the little barber is taken to speak at a massive rally that the dictator had called for on the eve of the invasion of an entire continent. The speech he gives, which is really Chaplin's plea to the world for peace and understanding, still resonates all these decades later:


I'm sorry, but I don't want to be a 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 men - 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 is 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. Greed has poisoned men's souls - has barricaded the world with hate - has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. Machinery that gives us 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 airplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in man - 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 has come 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.

Soldiers!!! Don't give yourselves to these 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 and 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! With the love of humanity in your hearts! Don't hate! Only the unloved hate - the unloved and the unnatural!

Soldiers!!! Don't fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke it is written that the kingdom of God is within man - not in 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 fulfill that promise. They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfill 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 the happiness of us all. Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us unite!!!
Hannah, can you hear me? Wherever you are, look up, Hannah! The clouds are lifting! The sun is breaking through! We are coming out of the darkness and into the light! We are coming into a new world - a kindlier world, where men will rise above their hate, their greed and their brutality. Look up, Hannah! The soul of man has been given wings and at last he is beginning to fly. He is flying into the rainbow - into the light of hope; Into the future, the glorious future, that belongs to you, to me - and to all of us. Look up, Hannah! Look up!

Charles Spencer Chaplin


He spoke to us then. He speaks to us still.

Pray for peace.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

To watch this incredible oration - the best of the twentieth century - please go to the following YouTube link:
AFTERTHOUGHT, September 3, 2012:

The greatest speech in all recorded human history was not made by a politician. It was not made by a king. It was not made by a queen. It was not made by a prince or a princess. It was not made by a preacher. It was not made by a businessman or woman. It was not made by an old soldier or a young one. It was not made by a billionaire. It was not made by a potentate. It was not made by a senator or a congressman. It was not made by a president....

The greatest speech in all recorded human history was made by a little tramp
Go figure.
For more recent postings on this site, please go to the link below:

"The Rant" by Tom Degan

Charlie would approve. I just know he would.


At 9:30 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

By the way, The Great Dictator is available on DVD. It has been restored from the carefully preserved negative lovingly stored the Chaplin vaults. Rent it or buy it. You'll never regret it....


Tom Degan

At 1:00 PM, Anonymous johnmccarthy said...

Greetings, Tom. Thanks for Chaplin Speaks. We needed that, big time!

My Nickels worth....

In the United States, conspiracy is a crime. Conspiracy is two or more people
(hey Oswald, where are you?)
who plan to commit a crime, WHETHER OR NOT the damn crime is committed!

A Conspiracy is the EASIEST crime for the DOJ/FBI to prove, in a court of law.
They rely on 'reasonable men and women' who can view the evidence presented and
reach a conclusion for a verdict of guilt.

A Theory, as in mathematics, is a given, without proof, but something we rely on
for calculations unless and until we find conclusive evidence that the theory is
wrong, and we change it accordingly.

A Theory is not a crime. And will never be prosecuted.

A Conspiracy Theorist, CT, is a tag, a moniker and or a label provided by the
media post JFK assassination when strange things began to come to light.
"Strange Things", indeed. I almost hear music from the Twilight Zone.....

CT is NOT a crime. But, those who dare to ASK ANY QUESTION which challenges the
status quo of what the government says, and the media prints and broadcasts,
thereby mutually providing each other with another Great American Hand Job, is
soon to be villified as a CONSPIRACY THEORIST whose motivation for daring to
question the set in concrete rendition of the stated position of the government,
is immediately cast as a communist, leftwing wing cult fanatic son of a bitch.
And all that for just asking a question such as; "who shot all those bullets in
Dealey Plaza?"

Fast forward to today's free speech First Amendment advocates who dare to ask,
not conspire, mind you, a simple question such as; "did you hear the explosions
coming from the basement area of the WTC and see the explosions preceding the
cascading upper floors during the collapse?"

Fast forward to presidential, vice presidential, and all those who serve at the
pleasure of the president "THEORIZING" that Weapons of Mass Destruction will
soon be appearing in the form of "mushroom clouds"
unless we preemptively attack Iraq and remove Saddam Hussein before his WMD come
down upon our heads. Additionally, 'we gotta fight them over there rather than
fight them over here". Now, that is a CONSPIRACY THEORY!

When does the 'theory' fall apart? Just as soon as we find, in spite of UN
already determining, that no WMD exist. But we have already preemptively invaded
a sovereign nation in spite of UN vehemently condemning such action in violation
of the Nuremberg findings which resulted in hanging those defendants who
committed crimes against peace and humanity during WWII.

President Truman appointed Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson as the US
representative prosecuting those Nazi's charged with War Crimes. In his opening
remarks to the Jury, Justice Jackson said, "The standards by which we judge
these defendant's today are the standards by which we shall be judged tomorrow."

Then the "Blame Game" starts. Must be the CIA. No, the State Department. OOPs,
wait a minute, now we know of the Office of Special Plans run by dual passport
carrying Pentagon Neocon's who have 're-engineered' the CIA's findings that the
source for the WMD 'intelligence' is a hoaxster who would benefit by a regime
change for his own purposes, and funneled this information in the form of
'intelligence' to the vice president, outside existing channels for such
information to be transmitted and reviewed along the way. More music, please!

Dare we ask questions about such revelations without being labelled as a
'CONSPIRACY THEORIST'? Isn't it amazing that someone with a concience provided
this information to a courageous media type?

With all this information floating around the world, is there any chance that
'reasonable men and women' would not question the veracity of any statement from
the United States that Iran has a nuclear weapons program?

The burning question of "how could this happen in this day and age the way the
government says it happened?", providing the person who dare ask such an inquiry
with a shove into the cellar of "conspiracy theorist's", just for ASKING the
damn question!

A homicide investigator never carries the results of one investigation into the
next. Those sort of theories don't work although there are certain guide lines
which are used. WHO has the motivation, opportunity and means to commit the

If we apply such a standard to asking the same QUESTION about all of the
incidents of 911, would that be a 'CONSPIRACY THEORY"? Stop the Presses! Arrest
All Homicide Detectives In Amerika!

Let's stop this nonsense and have the moral courage to ask the questions that
are being deflected by this absurd CT catch-all excuse to shelter the crimes of
the century.

And for those who don't yet know it, there is no requirement for enriched
uranium (plutonium) to construct a nuclear weapon. Material located in any
peaceful nuclear power plant will do just fine, thank you. The end result will
be a fission bomb. And could be a whopper! But the actual yield is yet another
'theory'. Determination can only be made upon detonation.

Which means, all this 'consiracy theory' posturing for the necessity for
attacking Iran, with or without bunker busting nukes, is irrelevant, outmoded
and must be addressed before someone becomes a nuclear wartime president.

That's my nickel, and I don't need any change, thanks.

John McCarthy

I think we should run a campaign for you to be President. Thank you for that. Inspiring. Murphy

No thanks, Murphy, I find it repulsive to be in the company of liars, lawyers, cheats, child molesters, war mongering, war profiteering, oath defying hypocrites who scratch out bullshit memo's and hide behind the 'national security' clauses of answering the vital questions of constituents all the while sucking up to the Criminally Insane Anonymous, the Neocon Zionist Agenda that is attempting to drag us all into the death of this planet.

I'd rather take my chances with the human race.


Okay, it was just a thought. Murphy

backing up a bit..

murph said


Okay, it was just a thought.

And a pleasant one at that If i could vote for you I may.... but instead I'll open my ears and listen to what you have to say.

Besides with Diebold on the block... My vote would be worthless anyway. VK

At 4:46 PM, Anonymous fearless flower said...

Thank you for this beautiful message. What a contrast it is to the one being promoted by this administration now! I once said I would never feel bad about being an American, but I have to say I feel pretty sad about the way this president has treated certain nations of the Islamic world. He's left them no alternative, like a cornered animal, except to fight for their very existence with whatever means they can come up with. Unfortunately, that may turn out to be nuclear means. It's more about about greed and arrogance by this administration than it ever was about real danger from the nations in question.

At 12:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's really nice in that Chaplin conveyed the message that what we should do without bashing any particular person.

At 2:01 PM, Blogger stoney13 said...


That speach should be in every courthouse, and church santuary in this nation!

Oh yea!! "Watched Weapons of Mass Deception" last night! Incredible! Thanks a lot! I'm going to watch the rest of them this week, some time, if I get the chance.

I'm getting ready for winter, so I'm pretty busy!

At 4:57 PM, Anonymous creina said...

Thanks, Tom. Another reminder that great truth lies in great fiction.

At 4:02 PM, Blogger Orion Darkwood said...

Preach it brother, my blog can only aspire to be as good as yours


At 12:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I fear you are right on the money...and I say fear because this is the way of the world today; greed and materialism. I pray that your words and thoughts (and Chaplin's) be spread to the hearts and minds of the meantime, I'm just praying a day at a time...

At 5:06 PM, Blogger Kathleen Meredith Cole said...

How powerful and timely this speech is. Yet he found himself the subject of spurious lies and persecution. It was an era, and Hoover was an example, of extreme paranoia.

Nobody can forget Charlie Chaplin's genius ... nobody.


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