Revisionism for Our Time,
It is for this reason that A.J.P. Taylor's magnificent Origins of the Second World War received probably its most distorted and frenetic review in the pages of National Review.
It is about time that Americans learn: that Bad Guys (Nazis or Communists) may not necessarily want or desire war, or be out to "conquer" the world (their hope for "conquest" may be strictly ideological and not military at all); that Bad Guys may also fear the possibility of our use of our enormous military might and aggressive posture to attack them; that both the Bad Guys and Good Guys may have common interests which make negotiation possible (e.g., that neither wants to be annihilated by nuclear weapons); that no organization is a "monolith," and that "agents" are often simply ideological allies who can and do split with their supposed "masters"; and that, finally, we may learn the most profound lesson of all: that the domestic policy of a government is often no index whatever to its foreign policy.
We are still, in the last analysis, suffering from the delusion of Woodrow Wilson: that "democracies" ipso facto will never embark on war, and that "dictatorships" are always prone to engage in war. Much as we may and do abhor the domestic programs of most dictators (and certainly of the Nazis and Communists), this has no necessary relation to their foreign policies: indeed, many dictatorships have been passive and static in history, and, contrariwise, many democracies have led in promoting and waging war. Revisionism may, once and for all, be able to destroy this Wilsonian myth.
There is only one real difference between the capacity of a democracy and a dictatorship to wage war: democracies invariably engage much more widely in deceptive war propaganda, to whip up and persuade the public. Democracies that wage war need to produce much more propaganda to whip up their citizens, and at the same time to camouflage their policies much more intensely in hypocritical moral cant to fool the voters. The lack of need for this on the part of dictatorships often makes their policies seem superficially to be more warlike, and this is one of the reasons why they have had a "bad press" in this century."