Fuhreresque oration

I have this sudden interest in looking up great speeches by brilliant orators of history; what with so many allegations of Obama sounding a lot like Hitler? The gift of the gab is already impressive on an individual basis, but if you’re able to use that to move a nation, removed from a ethical point of view, I worship such people. They come THIS close to resembling the archetype of the Prime Movers and benvolent dictators.

And one of these people, unfortunately, was Hitler. He rallied the German masses, from the ruins of WWI to the ultramodern WWII era. Arguably the technology Germany came to use under him, both in war and civilian life was of much higher standard than the world has seen thus far.

among many others.
And I notice the common theme in all these speeches. There is firstly visual impact. There IS a speech cue card [he can catch him stealing glances in one of those videos] but standing away from any kind of podium and orating mostly from memory/heart with only basic points written down on pad, is pure gold. the audience laps up the genuine-seeming aura. It also helps that he gets so flustered and emotional that he starts raining spittle on the first row. Projects the image of a deeply convinced man. And when you see a deeply convinced man, you’re tempted not to ignore him. You may not agree with what he has to say, but you can’t ignore him. You at least want to hear him out. He might be holding on to the oh-so-elusive truth.

Secondly, there is a tone of authority. Too many other speeches by common men [as opposed to the greats] appeal to self-pity, to the fact that they are just like you and therefore they know how you feel and while this can pull at some cordinae tendinae, I don’t really feel like getting up and doing something about the issues rather than just agreeing and moping some more. That’s the problem; empathy identifies the issues no doubt, but it also gives them credit for being valid, and gives them permission to stay, if only to elicit more empathy. It’s pathetic.
If most humans are flock animals, and you wanna give a truly effective speech, you must be firm and hard. You must use words like “can” and “will” and “must” and “expect”. You must subtly imply an order. People, the truly lost and wandering, dig it when someone tells them what to do, but not very obviously. It’s like a suggestion, only more forceful. It’s like the senex iratus in all of us sudenly amalgamates and is given form and he sees problems for what they are, and in sharp, intolerant YET it’s-not-too-late-let’s-do-something-about-this kinda determined critique, tells us what to do. It’s very hard to resist.
The word “can” then, is disguised. It’s part-encouragement: “you CAN do this. You have the ability to do it. I know it. I feel it.”
It’s also part-suggestion, a venture into the possibilities avaliable to you: “you CAN do this, [or that].” But notice they never mention the alternatives? Sneaky huh?

Thirdly cheesy lines plus atmosphere = dynamite. It’s all too often obvious that most of us, regardless of small-time ambitions, feel generally aimless. Where are we [as a species] headed? Will my actions [in this generation] affect the course of human history? For the better? In the absence of proof of purpose, when someone appeals to a cause greater than a miserable self-serving existence [admit it: we feel guilty, subconsciously at least, that we’re alive but not achieving anything.], people WILL lap it up like thirsty animals. It’s a cause worth fighting for, and the element of human effort and nothing else causing this change is an indirect challenge that we have no need to wait for invisible gods in this endeavour and so we shouldn’t.

I’m taking notes y’all, and I’ll use it for my biz presentation when it comes.


About this entry