In a labor meeting, Ellsworth Toohey said the following:

"... and so, my friends," the voice was saying, "the lesson to be learned from our tragic struggle is the lesson of unity. We shall unite or we shall be defeated. Our will - the will of the disinherited, the forgotten, the oppressed - shall weld us into a solid bulwork, with a common faith and a common goal. This is the time for every man to renounce the thoughts of his petty little problems, of gain, of comfort, of self-gratification. This is the time to merge his self in a great current, in the rising tide which is approaching to sweep us all, willing or unwilling, in to the future. History, my friends, does not ask questions or acquiescence. It is irrevokable, as the voice of the masses that determine it. Let us listen to the call. Let us organize, my brothers. Let us organize. let us organize. Let us organize.

Later, at the inaugural meeting of the "youth group" he organized for architects and allied professions, his speech included the following:

... You are crusaders in the cause of the underpriviledged and the unsheltered. Not by what we are shall we be judged, but by those we seve. Let us stand united in this spirit. Let us - in all matters - be faithful to this new, broader, higher perspective. Let us organize - well, my friends, shall I say - a nobler dream?

This actually sounds remarkably like the previous speech. Is he basically just giving variants of "let us organize" speeches over and over again to different audiences?

1 Answer 1


He later tells Peter Keating that his essential message has always been the same, for those that can hear it:

"What do you... want.. Ellsworth?"
"Power, Petey."...
"You... always said..." Keating began thickly, and stopped.
"I've always said just that. Clearly, precisely and openly. It's not my fault if you couldn't hear. you could, of course. You didn't want to. Which was safer than deafness - for me. I said I intended to rule... I shall rule."

You could extend the argument that, in one sense, he is.

Another explanation is that it was a different audience, and it's really not all that uncommon for speakers to re-use material from their other speeches (rather than writing a new, original speech for each audience).

So, at a minimum, he is giving the same (or at least similar speeches) at a lot of different places. It's not clear from the book whether every speech is like this, but it seems that a fair number of them are.

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