"You see these dictators on their pedestals, surrounded by the bayonets of their soldiers and the truncheons of their police. Yet in their hearts there is unspoken – unspeakable! – fear. They are afraid of words and thoughts! Words spoken abroad, thoughts stirring at home, all the more powerful because they are forbidden. These terrify them. A little mouse – a little tiny mouse! – of thought appears in the room, and even the mightiest potentates are thrown into panic."
Sir Winston Churchill
(1874-1965) Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1940-1945, 1951-1955)
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Reader comments about this quote:
Dictators on pedestals rather remind me of the U.S. legislature on Capitol Hill. With the Patriot Act II, they are no longer afraid of a little tiny mouse (the people). They use the FBI and police as a tomcat to further enslave us. Every day the mouse grows weaker and the tomcat fatter.
 -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
  • 5
    This was a truly great man in my eyes.A great quote also.I get goose bumps when I hear his voice or think about hearing his voice saying "We shall Never surrender"!Then I get shivers along my spine when I think of his voice saying these words.Greatness demands respect and I greatly respect and admire this man.I recall seeing him in a photo of Heads of State at JFK's funeral on TV and later in Life magazine.His words are a great inspiration to me.
     -- KS     
  • 4
    "When you change the way you look at things,the things you look at change".Dr. Dwyer
     -- CAP     
  • 2
     -- Singer, Cairo      
    The more things change, the more they stay the same!
     -- Gabe, Hammond, La     
  • 5
    Apart from the potentates of his day (the speech was delivered in America in 1938), Churchill may also have had in mind the BBC's banning him for being a war monger. - However, I like this speech because - amazingly - it still applies in this year AD2017 - where we are blessed with a mainstream mass media that, with one voice, extols the virtues of economic austerity and blames all the world's ills on Putin - including the onset of the civil war in Ukraine in 2014. It's ironic that, these days we have to rely on Al Jazeera and Russia Today to fill in the picture of what is actually happening domestically and on the international scene. What would Churchill have said, I wonder?
     -- Gunnar Sivertsen, Folkestone, Kent, England     
  • 3
     -- Gunnar Sivertsen, Folkestone, Kent, England      
    The hilarious thing about being blessed with a mainstream mass media that act as their own echo chamber is that, when confronted with an informal, off the cuff and friendly summit meeting between Trump and Putin, the members and behind the scenes staff at the G20 meeting are obviously brainwashed by their own neoliberal inter-textuality. To quote from today's Guardian newspaper: "Trump has consistently and MYSTERIOUSLY [my emphasis] refused to criticise the Russian leader. [Ian] Bremmer [the president of the international consulting firm Eurasia Group] said: "I have never in my life seen a relationship between two major countries where the interests are so MISALIGNED [my emphasis again] while the leaders are so buddy-buddy. It doesn't add up" - [From: "President met Putin for second time at G20, White House confirms", by David Smith, The Guardian 19 July 2017, p. 15]. - The reason I am juxtaposing the Guardian quote with Churchill's quote, is to highlight the gap that can exist between prescient political leaders and the resistance of domestic media outlets. Churchill and Trump can be seen as the 'mouse of thought' appearing in the 'room' of a media scrum that feed off each other in promoting a uniform and fallacious 'take' on the relations between 'us' and 'them'. In 1938, the media were too lenient towards and too trusting of Hitler; in 2017 the media are too hostile towards and distrusting of Putin in the field of international relations. - We need to remember the 'mouse' and what it symbolises: a different mind-set and a different approach to the 'frozen' attitudes of the past. A certain open-mindedness.
     -- Gunnar Sivertsen, Folkestone, Kent, England     
  • 4
     -- Mary - MI      
    The forth branch of the occupying statist theocracy infesting this land (ecclesiastical propagators - MSM) proves the accuracy of the statement.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 1
    That which is most daunting to dictators are revelations and discussions of the actuality of the essential illegitimacy of their authority.
     -- Patrick Henry, Red Hill     
     -- jim k, Austin      
    Winston Churchill sounds like he's referring to the Libertytree editor, as well as projecting his own character

     -- Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown     
  • 1
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