Charlie Chaplin and the Dictator

When I see what is happening in Ukraine, Putin who mocks the West, who does not care about the most basic human rights and who makes the whole world dance to the fatal melody that plays on repeat in his sick brain, I always have the same images in mind.

Charlie Chaplin in The Dictator.

Playing with a ball representing the terrestrial globe.


Do you remember this scene, one of the most beautiful in the history of cinema?

Chaplin plays a bloodthirsty dictator who dreams of dominating the world.

“The world is decadent, exhausted,” one of his generals told him. No nation will resist you. After the Osterlich invasion, we won’t even have to fight anymore. The nations will capitulate! In two years, the universe will obey you! You will be dictator of the whole world! »

Moved by this vision, the tyrant approaches a large globe lying in a corner of his office, tears it from its base and throws it into the air.

Inflated with helium (like the ego of the dictator), the globe floats slowly in the air.

The dictator dances with it, plays with it, bouncing it gracefully on its head, on its feet, even on its buttocks.

Until the globe explodes in his face.

In Modern Times (1936), Chaplin criticized the rampant capitalism that turns men into machines.

Four years later, when many in the West still believed that Hitler could be appeased, the same director warned the world against “absolute power that corrupts absolutely”.

Want to know what a genius is? Watch these two movies.

Looks like they were made yesterday.

And they talk about Amazon and Putin.


At the end of the film, Charlie Chaplin (who plays a Jewish barber pretending to be the dictator) looks the viewers in the eye and launches into a long humanist speech.

“Soldiers, do not give yourselves up to these bullies, those who despise you and enslave you, regiment your life and tell you what to do, think and feel, who direct you, manipulate you, use you like cannon fodder and treat you like cattle.

“Do not give your life to these inhuman beings, these machine-men with machine-brains and machine-hearts. You are not machines ! Soldiers! do not fight for slavery, but for freedom! »

We dream of showing this extract to the Russian soldiers.


Unfortunately, the Ukrainian people do not seem to be at the end of their suffering.

Because Putin has an ace in his pocket: the nuclear threat. Which he brandishes as soon as the Western “warmongers” raise their voices a little too much.

It’s a vicious circle.

The more violent Putin is, the more we are convinced that he is mad and the more we fear to intervene, for fear of pushing him to commit the irreparable.

But the more we refrain from intervening, the more Putin believes himself to be allowed everything and the more he shows himself to be intractable, inhuman and violent.

How will this all end?

And how will Ukraine judge us in the aftermath of this horrible war that is being played out live on TV?