So many times, I have listened to this speech by Charlie Chaplin at the end of The Great Dictator, the parody of Hitler he made in 1940. For the first time, in the light of what I wrote yesterday, the same theme comes in as it has since the days of William Blake. We are humans and technology is meant to work for our higher happiness and not to enslave us. There is so much in common between the 1780’s, 1933 to 1945 in Germany, indeed the one “great” war from 1914 to 1989, and our own times which may even be but a continuation of the same permanent war.
The “romantic” and “rationalist” themes shine through, and this new hearing of the speech will reveal another dimension of Chaplin.