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Defeatism is the acceptance of defeat without struggle, often with negative connotations. It can be linked to pessimism in psychology.
The term defeatism commonly is used in politics as a descriptor for an ideological stance that considers co-operation with the opposition party. In the military context, in wartime, and especially at the front, defeatism is synonymous with treason.
Under military law, a soldier can be accused of being defeatist if he refuses to fight by voicing doubt of the ideological validity of national policy; thus, existential questions such as “Is the war already lost?” and “Is the fight worth the effort?” are defeatism that connote advocacy of an alternative end-to-the war other than military victory.
During World War II, Adolf Hitler unexpectedly dismissed many generals for defeatism. During the last year of war, the German people's court executed many people accused of defeatist talks or acts and their names were announced weekly in a pink colored poster pasted on billboards around the country.
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