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July 30, 2009

He who controls the present, controls the past

BBC News on Russia’s plans to criminalise ‘false’ histories: “The country sees its victory over Hitler's forces as the greatest moment of the 20th Century. The war is sometimes discussed in the news media as if it were a recent event, not increasingly distant history. Any attempt to tarnish the glory of that triumph is seen as a deliberate attempt to make Russia look bad. Russia’s past haunts its present.”

July 30, 2009 in Current Affairs | Permalink

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Comments

Apart from the word "Russia", that quotation would neatly describe the UK view too. Good old BBC!

Posted by: Mo at Jul 30, 2009 8:58:54 PM

Ah, dear old Airstrip One: the country that took "1984" not as a hideous warning but as an operating manual.

To be fair, and referring to the context of the full story, as far as I know the UK doesn't attempt to enforce interpretations of history by law. (That job, I believe, is reserved for the Daily Express.) There is a fair degree of popular nostalgia and self-mythologising, and certainly the UK doesn't like to acknowledge its faults, crimes and atrocities; but isn't that true of any nation? At least the UK hasn't tried to *criminalise* pointing out that Dresden was an atrocity. Debate is legally permitted even if there is social pressure against it.

But yeah, the quote as quoted... you're frighteningly right. And now you have me thinking about how New Zealand can't let go of World War I...

Posted by: Ivan at Jul 30, 2009 10:37:04 PM