The Second Industrialization of the American South - Will Barnes

Hyundai auto plant grand opening 2005

"The Second Industrialization of the American South," written by the late Will Barnes in 2007, is excerpted from a longer essay entitled “The New Faces of Labor and Capital in the American South” (which will be posted on libcom when editing is completed). This essay details deindustrialization and relocation of global auto capital to the U.S. South.

California labor: Total engagement

1901 San Francisco Strike of Teamsters, longshore and maritime workers

This chapter from Carey McWilliams, California: The Great Exception (1949) tells the history of class war in San Francisco, when "all of labor [was] pitted against all of capital." The conditions were unique: "Nowhere in the world has there been a more favorable economic environment, nor more freedom for social and political experiments than in California." The result? Wobbly organizing and near-general strikes on the San Francisco waterfront in 1886, 1893, 1901, and 1916, setting the stage for the 1934 General Strike, followed by the Oakland General Strike in 1946.

The Working Class, World Capitalism and Crisis: A General Perspective

Republic Windows & Doors factory occupation

The following remarks by Will Barnes constitute a more or less coherent reflection the larger part of which has been developed by the author over three years [when written in 2009]. Some aspects of what follows are eminently warranted, and easily justified; others would be far more difficult to convincingly defend. None of it is unassailable.1

  • 1. I have drawn heavily on two discussion I have recently penned, “Imperialism, Recreation of the Conditions for and the Drift toward World War” as it appears in Nature, Capital, Communism and “Could Antarctica Melt? Revolution Imagined. Three Scenarios.” [at these texts available at:]

Oakland’s Third Attempt at a General Strike

Oakland General Strike kids part of the 99%

On November 2, 2011, Occupy Oakland — coming out of the international Occupy Movement — called for a General Strike. It was the third time a General Strike was attempted in Oakland. This first-hand account analyzes the event and situates it within the rich history of class struggle in California's Bay Area.