[Marxism] What if...?

Paul Flewers rfls12802 at blueyonder.co.uk
Thu Nov 1 18:30:14 MDT 2007


Re Matthieu Gues' 'what if?' query. I actually like discussing
counter-factual history, as there are cases where a perfectly possible event
could have changed the course of history, and the history of Nazi Germany is
one of them. It is possible that had Hitler been challenged over the
Rhineland, his bluff would have been called. The same can be said about
Munich, as had a French-British-Soviet threat been made, it is almost
certain that the German military leadership would have staged a coup to
remove Hitler, on the grounds that Germany could not have successfully face
such a challenge. Another example is had one of the prewar assassination
attempts on Hitler actually worked.

Whilst these challenges were unlikely (I can't go into the reasons here),
they were not impossible. Of course, had Hitler been deposed by a military
coup, some sort of confrontation between Germany and the Soviet Union and
the other European powers could have occurred, and probably would have, but
it would have taken a different form to the war that actually happened.

Counter-factual history is an interesting diversion, although I readily
admit that there are more pressing things to discuss. But for it to be more
than just idle rambling, the criteria of the counter-factual must be
realistic. A problem with some of the counter-factuals I have read is that
they often start from an unrealistic criterion. I wrote a short piece on
this a couple of years back in respect of an alternative to what happened in
Russia in 1917, anyone wanting a copy can contact me off-line, and I'll send
a Word/RTF file by attachment.

Paul F









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