Idealism and Realism: The Normative and the Empirical

  • Frederick Betz
Part of the Innovation, Technology, and Knowledge Management book series (ITKM, volume 11)


In explaining leadership by authorities in a society, we have seen the importance of the perspectives of realism and idealism in the historical events. Realism is the description of the actual use of power, and idealism is the justification for the exercise of power. We continue examining the historical case of the Russian Revolution, particularly in comparing Lenin’s reasoning with Kerensky’s reasoning. We see that Lenin was more realistic about the Russian political situation than Kerensky. Kerensky was more idealistic about government and also too idealistic about the Russian Army. We see that these differences in reasoning were important to the historical explanation of why Kerensky failed to keep governmental power and Lenin succeeded. Then, the history of Russia was changed.


Perceptual Space Discourse Ethic Representative Government Societal Event Russian Revolution 
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  1. Abraham, R. 1987. First Love of the Revolution. Columbia University PressGoogle Scholar
  2. Kerensky, Alexander. 1927. The Catastrophe: Kerensky’s Own Story of the Russian Revolution. New York: D. Appleton and Company.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Engineering and Technology ManagementPortland State UniversityPortlandUSA

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