Friday, April 20, 2007

That Militarist, Baden-Powell

In going through 1934's Rudé právo, my eye fastened upon the intriguing headline "Militarista Baden-Powell umírá."
The only Baden-Powell I had ever heard of was the founder of the Boy Scouts; obviously this required further investigation.
Why yes! The dead militarist Baden-Powell was indeed (in the body of the obituary) identified as the scouting Baden-Powell.
Without looking into the matter more fully, I couldn't really say whether Baden-Powell was in fact a militarist (a quick look online indicates that historians seem to disagree about this). On the other hand, surely his historical importance lies more in having founded the Boy Scouts, so one would think that Rudé právo could have at least added the scouting connection to the headline. The obit itself focused on the purpose of scouting being to prepare youth for imperialist war in the interests of capitalism. Never mind that the Communists adopted quite a bit from scouting for their own youth organizations...
While most of the Rudé právo headlines of this period seem no more peculiar than those of any other politically oriented newspaper, this really foreshadows the later idiocies of Czechoslovak Communist journalism. (Or am I just naive about Boy Scouts and their founder?)



Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

Of course the Boy Scouts are a militarist organization. The little outfits, the merit badges, the semi-automatic weapons they have hidden in their rucksacks. Yipes!

Still, I think the scary ones are the Girls Scouts. They force me to buy cookies! And of course I have to eat them. It's frightening.

April 21, 2007 1:21 AM  

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