[Ads-l] Antedating of "Free World" (Non-Communist World)

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Mon Nov 18 01:19:23 UTC 2019

Fred Shapiro wrote:
> Free World (OED 1947)
> 1946 _Berkshire Eagle_ (Pittsfield, Mass.) 9 Sept. 10/5 (Newspapers.com)
> We can reasonably look forward to a time when Germans will nakedly
> present, for the whole world to see, the clearest contrast between the fruits
> of the free world of the West and the slave world of the East.
> NOTE:  I have previously pointed out that there was an earlier sense of
> "free world" meaning "the world not dominated by the Axis in World War II."
> This appeared as early as Time Magazine, Mar. 10, 1941.

In December 1942 "free world" was used by a newspaper columnist in an
interesting way that differed from the two senses listed by Fred.

"Free world" meant democratic, non-Fascist, and non-Communist
according to the columnist. Specifically, Spain, Germany, Italy, and
Russia were not part of the "free world" in 1942.

Date: December 24, 1942
Newspaper: Pawnee County Journal
Newspaper Location: Pawnee, Oklahoma
Article: Above the Hullabaloo: No Room for Democracy!
Author: Lytle Hull
Quote Page 2, Column 1 and 2
Database: Newspapers.com

[Begin excerpt]
In his speech of December 8 Generalissimo Franco stated that the
post-war world must be either a Communist world or a Fascist world.
The Liberal theory— and by Liberal he meant democratic, not
socialistic—has dry rotted and is now making its last stand, according
to the Spanish dictator.

The principal weakness of Senor Franco's argument lies in the fact
that, having never lived in what we call a "free world" he has no
knowledge of what real freedom means.
[End excerpt]

The columnist described the regions that were not part of the "free world".

[Begin another excerpt]
Their politicians grab control and keep it; and if members of their
majorities dare to object publicly, they are "put away" Their recourse
is not the ballot box—it is only bloody revolution.

It is these "wonderful" systems which now maintain in Spain, Germany,
Italy, and Russia, and the only reason on earth why anyone who has
lived in our usually happy country advocates Socialism (Fascism) or
Communism is because he expects to be "on top" if and when his party
should get control of our government.
[End another excerpt]

The word sense illustrated above differs a bit from the OED sense of
"free world" which is centered on non-communist:

[Begin excerpt]
free 2 (b)
Applied to non-communist countries and regions. Esp. in free world,
free Europe. Now chiefly historical.
[End excerpt]

It also differs a bit from the sense mentioned by Fred: "the world not
dominated by the Axis in World War II."

In 1942 Russia was split into a communist-dominated region and an
Axis-dominated region. I think that the columnist believed that
neither region was part of the "free world".


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