In 1937, Time magazine put Harry Bridges on its cover and gave him several pages. The subtitle on the cover was, "A Trotsky to Lewis' Stalin?" In the accompanying article, that peculiar comment was repeated but not explained: "Both Harry Bridges and John Lewis are working for Labor, both believe in political action by Labor. But their thinking processes are as different as those of Trotsky and Stalin."
When John pulled the pin on the hand grenade, he concluded: It depends...
How true. Simply; it all depends on the degree of threat you perceive regarding your own existence.
Thanks Nick, there is always a choice---to be or not to be? That is the question?
As I understand, in “neorealistic” political theories, especially John Mearsheimer’s “aggressive realism”, the modern great powers never really choose a war at all, but the latter is always a response to a perceived threat. Of course, the perception of threat in each particular case might be wrong, but it’s never about a really free choice.
I wonder if the same can be said about the great conquerors of yore. Was Alexander’s push to the East or Genghis Khan’s to the West a matter of free choice, a was it also a response to a perceived danger?
Leon Shousterman, Israel.
Wasn’t Clausewitz’s point that even someone in receipt of violence had to make a choice as to whether to resist. In of itself, that implies there is choice on both sides. The Norwegian, Finns, Danes, etc., all chose to resist attack.
Of course, they might not have chosen to initiate the events that led to conflict, but their choice to resist guaranteed war. They could have chosen to allow a takeover without offering resistance.
US Naval War College
Hand Grenade of the Month – March 2018
Wars of Choice?
By John T. Kuehn
Recently someone tweeted: “saying some wars are wars of choice implies that some are not.” This person (a historian), contested that; implying that neither Clausewitz nor he believed choice played little role in the matter. Or put in a different way, all wars have some element of human choice in them.
Regarding Trotskii's HRR:
James D. White, “Early Soviet Historical Interpretations of the Russian Revolution 1918-24,” Soviet Studies 37:3 (1985): 330-352;
White, “Trotsky’s History of the Russian Revolution,” Journal of Trotsky Studies 1 (1993): 1-17.
Have you already tried Aleksandr Reznik's Trotskii i tovarishchi. Levaia oppozitsiia i politicheskaia kul’tura
RKP(b), 1923-1924 gody?
Can anyone here recommend, or even just identify, critical studies of Trotsky's HRR?
I have found few analyses or studies, critical or otherwise. In my experience it is usually either cited unproblematically or ignored.
Montclair State University