Oratory is pretty much a dead art. The idea that great speeches could somehow change the world seems laughably quaint now, something adult-cartoons like South Park use as an absurd 4th Wall Break/Dues Ex Machina to wrap up a 20 minute episode.
You’ll read historical accounts of some great speech defining an era, or being recorded by eager hands that it might be printed, purchased, and read across a country or oceans, or actively moving a crowd or parliament such that history is changed by the speech… And it’s almost completely incomprehensible to anyone today.
Sure we’ll read or watch Shakespeare and experience Marc Antony launch a coup by moving the crowds, or we’ll watch a Hollywood movie and see Aragorn, or some lesser character rally an army…
But these are fantastical stories for children. This isn’t Hollywood. Speeches don’t move history. It’s not some impassioned words by whatever State Department asset before congress that determines whether the American military will start a “police action” or whether we’ll have “Diplomacy”… its whether Raytheon and Lockheed Martin donated enough to right politicians last cycle.
And, in the back of our mind, we pretty much believe this is how its always been.
Sure historians might say Marc Antony actually did rally a crowd that was against him, or a a king rally a failing army; But we find it far more plausible to imagine they placed their chosen men and thugs to enforce their will, or that they bribed the right people at the right time.
This is the best thing I’ve read since I don’t know when. Grab a coffee and settle in for some fun.