“Every solitary one of these aristocratic conspirators and would-be murderers claims to be an arch-patriot; every one of them insists that the war is being waged to make the world safe for democracy. What humbug! What rot! What false pretense! These autocrats, these tyrants, these red-handed robbers and murderers, the “patriots,” while the men who have the courage to stand face to face with them, speak the truth, and fight for their exploited victims—they are the disloyalists and traitors. If this be true, I want to take my place side by side with the traitors in this fight.”
“And now for all of us to do our duty! The clarion call is ringing in our ears and we cannot falter without being convicted of treason to ourselves and to our great cause.
Do not worry over the charge of treason to your masters, but be concerned about the treason that involves yourselves. Be true to yourself and you cannot be a traitor to any good cause on earth.
Yes, in good time we are going to sweep into power in this nation and throughout the world. We are going to destroy all enslaving and degrading capitalist institutions and re-create them as free and humanizing institutions. The world is daily changing before our eyes. The sun of capitalism is setting; the sun of socialism is rising. It is our duty to build the new nation and the free republic. We need industrial and social builders. We Socialists are the builders of the beautiful world that is to be. We are all pledged to do our part. We are inviting—aye challenging you this afternoon in the name of your own manhood and womanhood to join us and do your part.
In due time the hour will strike and this great cause triumphant—the greatest in history—will proclaim the emancipation of the working class and the brotherhood of all mankind.”
Leopold1904 19 November 2013 4:40pmThis comment has been chosen by Guardian staff because it contributes to the debateSurely Neil Kinnock’s ‘We’re all right’ speech which had me in tears.
Also inspiring is this advice on political speeches from George Plunkitt
Now, nobody ever saw me puttin’ on any style. I’m the same Plunkitt I was when I entered politics forty years ago. That is why the people of the district have confidence in me. If I went into the stylish business, even I, Plunkitt, might be thrown down in the district. That was shown pretty clearly in the senatorial fight last year. A day before the election, my enemies circulated a report that I had ordered a $10,000 automobile and a $l25 dress suit. I sent Out contradictions as fast as I could, but I wasn’t able to stamp out the infamous slander before the votin’ was over, and I suffered some at the polls. The people wouldn’t have minded much if I had been accused of robbin’ the city treasury, for they’re used to slanders of that kind in campaigns, but the automobile and the dress suit were too much for them.
Another thing that people won’t stand for descargar loba negra is showin’ off your learnin’. That’s just puttin’ on style in another way. If you’re makin’ speeches in a campaign, talk the language the people talk. Don’t try to show how the situation is by quotin’ Shakespeare. Shakespeare was all right in his way, but he didn’t know anything about Fifteenth District politics. If you know Latin and Greek and have a hankerin’ to work them off on somebody, hire a stranger to come to your house and listen to you for a couple of hours; then go out and talk the language of the Fifteenth to the people. I know it’s an awful temptation, the hankerin’ to show off your learnin’. I’ve felt it myself, but I always resist it. I know the awful consequences.
Sidfishes 19 November 2013 5:20pmThis comment has been chosen by Guardian staff because it contributes to the debateI’m as lefty as the come – but this speech by Churchill never fails to make the hairs on the back of neck stand up…
Shoutfromthebows 19 November 2013 7:24pmThis comment has been chosen by Guardian staff because it contributes to the debateOne of the speeches Martin Luther King made (but not the acceptance speech) when he went to Oslo to accept the Nobel Prize in 1964 : (can’t find a Youtube link – would love it if someone has one)
In particular when he talks about meeting the great people of the world. He says it is like being on a mountain top :
“This is a marvellous mountain top. I would love to stay here … but the valley calls me.”
“As I go back to the valley I go back with a faith … it isn’t a weak faith. It is the faith that evil triumphant is somehow weaker than right defeated … It is the faith that Mississippi the closed society can become Mississippi an open society … I go back with a faith that the mills of the Gods grind slowly but exceedingly fine … I go back with a faith that you shall reap what you sow.”
And on the recording I’ve heard someone close to the mike – no doubt looking out at the ranks of diplomats and dignitaries – say : “You tell ’em Mr King”.
kktheboy 19 November 2013 7:27pmThis comment has been chosen by Guardian staff because it contributes to the debateMandela’s “An Ideal for which I am prepared to Die” stands tall as one of the greatest speeches during Apartheid. Poignantly, the speech was delivered at the beginning of his trial in 1964. He opened thus:
I am the first accused. I hold a bachelor’s degree in arts and practised as an attorney in Johannesburg for a number of years in partnership with Oliver Tambo. I am a convicted prisoner serving five years for leaving the country without a permit and for inciting people to go on strike at the end of May 1961.
At the outset, I want to say that the suggestion made by the state in its opening that the struggle in South Africa is under the influence of foreigners or communists is wholly incorrect. I have done whatever I did, both as an individual and as a leader of my people, because of my experience in South Africa and my own proudly felt African background, and not because of what any outsider might have said.
What political speeches inspire you?Tell us in the comments and be sure to include a link to the text or YouTube clip if available. We’ll update this post with your contributions throughout the day.