Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
“The commanding staff of the army and fleet soon divided into two groups. One group tried to stay in their places, tuning in on the revolution, registering as Social Revolutionaries. Later a part of them even tried to crawl into the Bolshevik camp. The other group strutted a while and tried to oppose the new order, but soon broke out in some sharp conflict and were swept away by the soldier flood. Such groupings are so natural that they have been repeated in all revolutions. … In the long run the majority of the old command were pushed out or suppressed, and only a small part reeducated and assimilated. In a more dramatic form the officers shared the fate of those classes from which they were recruited.
“An army is always a copy of the society it serves—with this difference, that it gives social relations a concentrated character, carrying both their positive and negative features to an extreme.”
—Leon Trotsky, History of the Russian Revolution
Recent examples of inappropriate behavior, from retired generals and admirals speaking out publicly against President Trump, to active-duty service members reacting publicly to criticism of the continuing feminization of the military (i.e., new uniforms for pregnant war fighters) by a prominent member of the media, prompted insightful comments from Victor Davis Hanson. He reminded me of Trotsky’s descriptions of how the Russian military transitioned from defenders of the regime to revolutionaries, so I thought I’d share one here.