I just came across an item while researching my book. An author says the word “defeatism” was first coined by the Russian revolutionaries during WWI as an explicit policy for the defeat of ones own country. Through quick googling and such I’ve been able to find all sorts of references to Lenin’s doctrine of “revolutionary defeatism” but that would suggest that the word “defeatism” already existed. Anybody have a definitive answer on this? Derb? Readers?
I’m not looking, by the way, for all sorts of stuff about Lenin at Finland Station. I’m looking for the etymological skinny.