Talk:Free World

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Untitled[edit]

The capital letters in (F)ree (W)orld are there intentionally to avoid confusion of this special term with what an average man would think of when hearing the words ``free world.


This page is politically loaded, not NPOV. There are plenty of people who do not accept the term "Free World", except as part of American political and journalistic rhetoric. Hotlorp 11:50 Apr 15, 2003 (UTC)



This is in contrast with so-called Iron Curtain countries and other dictatorships which impose internal travel restrictions or restrict overseas and emigration.

This description is highly inaccurate. In most European communist countries (I'm speaking mostly about Poland except during martial state, but many others were similar) there weren't any significant internal travel restrictions. There were some restrictions on international travel - it was more difficult to get a passport than it is today - but it wasn't like someone who wanted to emigrate couldn't do that. Taw 20:30, 2 Sep 2003 (UTC)


I've made a little change to make the article more NPOV. Leminh91 (talk) 09:35, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

Merge request[edit]

I think the article Free World (World War II) is totally redundant and doesn't deserve its own article. It should simply be merged into this article, with all its contents transferred here.--Hibernian (talk) 17:47, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

  • Support. I see no reason to maintain that small page of closely related content separately. Cnilep (talk) 07:41, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
    •  Done. --Stfg (talk) 15:11, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

Leader of the Free World[edit]

The page Leader of the Free World was nominated for deletion on 20 October 2011 (UTC). The result of the discussion was to redirect the page to Free World.

During deletion discussion, several editors suggested merging content from that page to this one, though some other editors objected. Content from Leader of the Free World may be accessed from its page history and added to Free World as appropriate. Cnilep (talk) 07:40, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

Hearing no objections, I merged much of the content to this page. Cnilep (talk) 10:39, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

Merge proposal[edit]

The article Free country (politics) seems to be yet another mostly redundant page whose non-redundant bits can easily be fit inside here. Choor monster (talk) 18:16, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

  • Consider this a weak objection: Free World is, to a great extent, a case of WP:WORDISSUBJECT. In other words, the topic of the article is the rhetoric, particularly during the Cold War, of Western liberal countries that labeled themselves "The Free World". Free country (politics) seems to be about the political position ("a political and ideological concept", as the lead puts it) rather than the rhetoric surrounding that political position. Of course, as a political position there is a very real risk that the article will be either POV or insufficiently worldwide. In that case, it might be best to merge just the non-offending bits of Free country (politics) into Free World. Cnilep (talk) 03:37, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Personally, I understand "Free country" and "Free World" to be two ways of saying the same thing, and both are from US Cold War propaganda. Is there really this objectively used term out there, "free country", that has morphed into "Free World" propaganda? Meanwhile, there certainly were tremendous differences between us and them, and I'm personally thankful my ancestors got out from under the tsar, but the part of the "us vs them" story told in a jingoistic way deserves just one article. I don't see Free country (politics) as being part of the non-jingoistic story.
I write this knowing I could be wrong, but I would want to see evidence. Choor monster (talk) 20:48, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Since no one other than User:Choor monster and me seem to have an opinion on this issue, I would suggest going ahead with a merger of "the non-offending bits" – that is, any parts of Free country (politics) that satisfy WP:NPOV and other Wikipedia policies. Cnilep (talk) 03:50, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
    • I have a hard time seeing what qualifies as non-offending. Everything is supposed to satisfy WP:NPOV, here and in the other article. That does not mean we do not have articles on propaganda. We simply do not take sides, and we report on what all the sources say.
I repeat my question. Is there really this objectively used term out there, "free country", that has morphed into "Free World" propaganda? If so, then the division you suggest is a good one. If not, it makes no sense. When our major reference is an organization, and not political science journals, I suspect it's the latter. Choor monster (talk) 16:34, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure how specific you want the answer to that question to be. Since the article is only three paragraphs long, I'll give my personal opinion on each one (which is tantamount to doing the merge myself, but never mind). First, since none of the paragraphs cite any sources, that might disqualify all of them per WP:V. On the assumption that the material should be kept and tagged as needing citation, what is neutral and what is biased? (1) The first paragraph defines "free" as featuring democracy, trade unions, and independent press. Since some countries that lack one or more of these features object to that definition, I would say that without a specific attribution, that definition is biased. (2) The second paragraph specifically describes the position of the Allies during World War II. That needs a source (I think there are already some relevant ones cited on Free World), but as it is specific and doesn't make claims to universality, I would call it acceptably neutral. (3) The third paragraph is attributed to Freedom House. A more specific attribution – a specific publication, say – should be added, but since it is a description of Freedom House's conclusion, rather than the conclusion of some Wikipedian, again I would say that it is acceptably neutral. Since the truth value of "Person says, 'FOO'" is independent of the truth value of "FOO", I think that claims properly attributed to third-party sources face a lower bar for acceptability. Opinions may vary, but that is my position. Cnilep (talk) 00:24, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
Regarding the three paragraphs:
  1. It isn't a question of whether the definition is biased or badly sourced, it's a question of whether this deserves a separate article.
  2. It is neutral, but I didn't see why it needs a separate article. You helped merge this here before, right?
  3. I'm happy with Freedom House being overtly quoted.
My question boils down to why can't all this be in with the other article? An article can mix the neutral story with the biased takes, and I simply don't see what the gain is if the itty bitty neutral part is kept in one article while the POV-pushers are sourced and quoted in a different article. Choor monster (talk) 13:27, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
The point is not which article should get the biased content. Non-neutral or non-verifiable content doesn't belong in any Wikipedia article. Besides, the usual upshot of a merge is that only one article remains; the other title becomes a redirect. I have merged from 'Free country (politics)' to 'Free World' those portions that (1) are not overly biased, (2) are potentially verifiable (though none cite sources at this time), and (3) are not already described in the article. It amounts to four sentences plus two external links. The rest is article history. Cnilep (talk) 23:22, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
Biased content is allowed, so long as it is relevant and clearly sourced. We quote Adolph Hitler and Saddam Hussein when informative to do so, not because they said something neutral. Same with Cold War jingoism. Anyway, thanks! Choor monster (talk) 13:46, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

Irrelevant map?[edit]

I'm just wondering whether the current map used on the page (Freedom House's Freedom Index) should be replaced by one that is more relevant. The page (with the exception of one small paragraph) refers to the "Free World" as the Western/NATO Bloc, so the map is essentially irrelevant. I think it should be replaced by something more relevant, perhaps with a map of the NATO and Warsaw Pact Blocs Jacob Cutts (talk) 05:10, 14 November 2014 (UTC)

Recent additions and reverts[edit]

This article treats political propaganda and so is particularly prone to problems with neutral point of view. I would therefore appreciate opinions regarding these recent changes.

  • In January 2016 User:Fireflyfanboy added reference to Time magazine calling Angela Merkel "Chancellor of the Free World" (diff).
  • In November 2016 User:Tataral added two news op-ed pieces comparing Merkel and Donald Trump as "leader of the free world" (diff).
  • In January 2017 User:Denarivs removed that paragraph noting, "undo weight for a fringe POV" (diff).
  • I (Cnilep) undid that edit noting, "Might be pov, but that of the cited sources, not the WP editor" (diff). Denarvis and I then both edited the article, keeping the sources.
  • A few days later User:Tataral edited the article, making it more similar to the November 2016 version (diff).
  • In February an anonymous user at 81.235.9.200 (talk · contribs · WHOIS) removed the entire paragraph (diff). I reverted those edits noting, "Removed cited content; possible pov", and the anonymous user undid the revert noting, "removed opinion pieces" (diff).

I hope other editors as well as those mentioned above will comment so we can try to reach the most appropriate content. Cnilep (talk) 02:13, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

I would support a sentence along the lines of "The term is not exclusive to American leaders, with Angela Merkel also listed as a contender for the title." But it's clear to me that the vast majority of the usage of the term over decades is with respect to the President of the United States, so anything other than a passing mention to other world leaders would be undue weight. Denarivs (talk) 02:25, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
I've restored the quote specifically about Merkel, and deleted any reference to Trump. I think that's a very easy compromise, and 81.235.9.200 (talk · contribs · WHOIS)'s edits should not be taken seriously as they are an unregistered editor/only made 4 previous edits to Wikipedia.Fireflyfanboy (talk) 05:00, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
I think that works well. Denarivs (talk) 01:10, 16 February 2017 (UTC)

I thought this was more or less settled, but perhaps I was overly optimistic. I have asked for assistance at Wikipedia:Dispute resolution noticeboard#Talk:Free World# Recent additions and reverts. Cnilep (talk) 05:24, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

The attempt to simply remove the fact that the term is widely used with reference to Merkel by reliable sources is a clear case of WP:IDONTLIKEIT (perhaps combined with US centrism which refuses to acknowledge that the term is used for any other people than the US president). It it without doubt reliably sourced (and vast amounts of additional sources could be added) and there is no question of its relevance in this article. In fact, since this was first discussed, the term has become even more prevalent in reliable sources than before - Merkel is the person most commonly described as the "leader of the free world" by reliable sources now (as James Rubin, former US Assistant Secretary of State, recently wrote: The Leader of the Free World Meets Donald Trump). And many of the sources ascribing Merkel this title are in fact American. --Tataral (talk) 00:29, 23 March 2017 (UTC)