Defeatist

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Defeatist'

Defeatist Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    defeatist n : someone who is resigned to defeat [syn: negativist]
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Defeatist'


Defeatism is acceptance of defeat without struggle. In everyday use, defeatism has negative connotation and is often linked to treason and pessimism, or even a hopeless situation such as a Catch-22. The term is commonly used in the context of war: a soldier can be a defeatist if he or she refuses to fight because he or she thinks that the fight will be lost for sure or that it is not worth fighting for some other reason. Again in connection with war, the term is used to refer to the view that defeat would be better than victory. The term can also be used in other fields, like politics, sport, psychology and philosophy.

Revolutionary Defeatism is a concept made most prominent by Vladimir Lenin in World War I. It is based on the Marxist idea of class struggle. Arguing that the proletariat could not win or gain in a capitalist war, Lenin declared its true enemy is the imperialist leaders who sent their lower classes into battle. Workers would gain more from their own nations’ defeats, he argued, if the war could be turned into civil war and then international revolution.

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