By: Elizabeth Blackburn
With: Armen Sargsyan
Being a leader does not always mean one does what is best for his or her people. Sometimes a leader is one who is able to make decisions or exert the most power and control. In the case of Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin, these leaders demonstrate very different tactics and methods of persuasion in order to achieve their individual goals and missions.
A joke that the group shared in class today is about a conversation between Churchill and Stalin. A third party is listening and hears Stalin say, “No, No, No, No, Yes, No, No, No.” and the man asks what he said yes to and Stalin replies that Churchill asked if he could hear him. This joke exemplifies the relationship between Churchill and Stalin; they agreed on pretty much nothing!
Stalin ruled through violence and a position of total control. These two quotes illustrate these ideas.
“It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.”
“To choose one’s victims, to prepare one’s plans minutely, to slake an implacable vengeance, and then to go to bed – there is nothing sweeter in the world.”
(Lenin and Stalin)
There is no involvement or concern to the people of a country because only the thoughts and ideas of an authoritative power are considered valid and necessary.
On the other side of the spectrum, Churchill ruled in a more diplomatic and democratic manner. He opposed the leadership of dictators and wanted to encourage and support people. Below are some of the quotes that describe him.
“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”
“In the course of my life I have often had to eat my words, and I must confess that I have always found it a wholesome diet.”
“Dictators ride to and fro upon tigers which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry.”
I personally love quotes and think that they can be inspiring and telling about a person’s character. I have a Churchill bookmark quote that tells me to “Never, never, never, quit” and it is amazing how the words of leaders can move a people to do and have positive and negative actions and thoughts.
I would like to propose the question of how words can be utilized on opposite sides of an argument. Both of these men used their words in ways that were positive and negative. There are links below that show them in action.