To be more precise, the question starting that earlier thread was:
"Under what hypothetical situation would the Central Powers have won the war?"
So we might match that question with one with a similar structure
"Under what hypothetical situation would World War 1 have NOT happened after all?"
Phrasing it this way also raises the question (from an alternative history kind of abstract perspective) of "what was WWI." If you started 'taking pieces of WWI out of history, meaning if certain events had not happened the way they actually did (e.g., lets say hypothetically that a separate piece was achieved with France and Britain very early on, would that still be "WWI" or would it more accurately be called something else "The Great Eastern War" or something?).
So in effect, asking if WWI was inevitable is a way of asking "What defines WWI as it is, and what would define it as being categorically different than it was?"
Just in case this is not enough to get the juices flowing, I'll throw in some additional info that is kinda related, and might spark some thinking and posting by you buffs and experts!
I quote myself from the other thread
Was World War One invevitable?
My wife bought me a couple-years-old VHS set (Time Life published it I think) on WWII (one tape on Land, one on Sea, one on Air, etc. . . . not exactly high-brow history, but interesting to watch . . .). Anyway, they had some interview footage of this one famous WWII historian in there, and I recall him saying something along the lines of:
"World War II is really 'World War One Act II'" meaning that, viewed from farther in the future where the broad social-structural patterns may become more evident, future historians may well redefine WWI and WWII as being part of one big war, broken momentarily by peace, much the way the Hundred Years War was seen as a string of smaller and separate wars at the time.
Whether or not that supposition is true is in and of itself an interesting one on which I bet a lot of guys on here might offer some interesting commentary. But to link this tangent more directly to the topic of this thread, what this model of thinking makes me wonder is: if we entertain the hypothesis that WWII was a more-or-less inevitable continuation of events that started in WWI, then it definitely raises the question of whether WWI was inevitable.
I myself am certainly not well-read enough to have a reasonable opinion on big questions like this, but I'd love to hear any of you guys who are better versed in it.
Well whattaya think guys?