27 November 2011

Google News: Blast from the past

On October 2, 1941, the Montreal Gazette ran a story with the headline, "Religion Guarantees Worthless in Soviet Constitution, Foes Say."

Hitler had only recently attacked his erstwhile eastern allies, and now the western powers, including the whole of the British Commonwealth, and thus of course including Canada, were trying to make the mental adjustment required to think of Soviet Russia as an ally.  That headline, I submit, reflects the struggles of that moment.

Here's the lead: "WASHINGTON, October 1. -- President Roosevelt's action in calling attention to the Russian Constitution's guarantee of freedom of religion brought replies today that the guarantee meant nothing."

That's why old newspapers are cool.  They strip away our own hindsight, and help put us into the world of, say, October 1941.

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Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.