I don't despise that speech but i think is one of the worst thing he has done. Probably is a beautiful thing sayin that in other context but in the movie is a easy solution for a complex topic.
Yes you can go to "the humans are good" route and say that your vision of society is more democractic based on the previous argument, but is a topical and a no-risky solution for a so complex matter like this, yes humans can be good and societies can be better, but the reality is that not all humans functs in that premises even if is our natural condition to be good (wich sound good but can't be proved), and all the previous events of the movie are an example of this.
The resolution of movies like Modern Times, Monsieur Verdoux and specially City Lights are so much better beacuse they talk to you but didn't need to focus on a topical and specifical moral lesson.
Even then outside the movie, i don't have a problem with the speech.
Very good analysis, and I do agree with you to an extent.
I don't think that the Chaplin's character in the Great Dictator expected that speech to change anything, it came across as a sudden outburst toward the corrupted moral values he was witnessing around him. If it was presented as a solution then i'd thoroughly agree, but that was a genuine display of human emotions, Chaplin was pure, and you can't possibly fault him for that.
I agree that the intricacies of War can't be dealt with on a whim. to me the challenge lies in our collective values, our dependence to conventional dogma and our reluctance to put ego aside and work toward the betterment of an ideal world for our children to live in. Until there's a drastic paradigm shift in the way we view the structure of society, we will always look to the external (government, religion, ect..) for a sense of security, control and truths at face value because we fear social ostracization, and we underestimate the power of autonomous and rational thinking after being lied to and conditioned for years. Those types of changes don't come overnight, and they certainly don't come in handy when were dealing with Political conflicts, but then again, Political conflicts can be barberic at their core, the result of War can have devastating implications that are in most cases necessary, but it doesn't make the nature of this structure morally right. We are an evolved species in the sense that we cultivated language to communicate with each other, but were still the only Animal that kills for other reasons than survival. I think there should be a harmonious balance between what is necessary for survival, and morally sound convictions.
Chaplin wasn't offering a solution, he was reacting to the madness in the most human way possible. That's what makes it so poignant.