libcom.org's reading guide about the Second World War, Nazism, resistance movements and class struggle during the war.
- World War II: a people's war? - Howard Zinn - Critical analysis of the idea that World War II was really a "people's war" against fascism, as opposed to just another inter-imperialist conflict with nothing to offer working people.
Philip Sansom — one of the editors of War Commentary / Freedom found guilty of incitement to disaffection — describes the background to the trial and two other offences, for which he was jailed three times in 1945.
Soldiers are not supposed to think and it is a criminal offence to encourage them to do so. The laws on disaffection of the forces prescribe heavy penalties against civilians approaching soldiers and asking them to question their blind obedience to authority.
Marie Louise Berneri's article on Stakhanovism and other methods imposed on workers in order to squeeze more productivity and profit out of them for the Soviet and British war economies. Written in 1942 and reprinted in The Left and World War 2: Selections from the Anarchist Journal 'War Commentary' 1939-1943.
War brings the need for increased production and maximum effort on the part of the workers. This is what all the propaganda nowadays tries to impress on the workers. Since Russia has come into the war it is not surprising therefore that the Russian worker should be given as an example to the British workers in order to induce them to produce more.
A Freedom article dated December, 1945 denouncing British intervention in Indonesia and Indo-China on behalf of Dutch and French colonialism and calling for solidarity and internationalism among workers. Reprinted in Neither East nor West: Selected Writings 1939-1948.
Our War Minister, Mr. J. J. Lawson, chose the moment British marines, soldiers and airmen were shooting down the people of Southern Asia to pay respect to the British soldier:
A short history of The Hajduks of Cotovschi, an anarchist communist partisan organization from Romania, that pursued its activity in Bucharest, between 1939 to 1941.
The name of the organization was chosen to honor the name of Grigory Cotovschi (alternate spelling: Kotovski) and was created by Ion Vetrila in 1939, being active in the period when the legionaries from the "Legion of Archangel Michael" were collaborating with Antonescu government. The Hajduks of Cotovschi were organized according to a classical scheme: basically 5 people in a group.
Sister machinist unions, San Francisco's Lodge 68 of the International Association of Machinists and Oakland's Local 1304 of the CIO's Steel Workers Organizing Committee (which left the IAM over a wildcat strike in 1936), had a national reputation for militancy; Lodge 68 had more strikes during World War II than all other Bay Area unions combined. Along with Local 1304, they accrued this strike record in open defiance of the National War Labor Board, who were backed by the FBI, the Office of Economic Stabilization in the White House, a Navy Vice-Admiral, the War Manpower Commission, the collective bosses, who in turn were supported by the CIO, ILWU, and Communist Party.
Richard P. Boyden
An article by Stan Weir surveying the effects World War II and the post-war years had on CIO unions and the American working class.
American Labor on the Defensive: A 1940’s Odyssey 3 Stem Weir
It is impossible to discuss the condition of American labor in the 40's without brief mention of international working-class developments during the quarter century prior to the World War II decade and without some examination of the formative period of the CIO in the 30's.
Chapter 4 of "Wobblies on the waterfront-interracial unionism in progressive-era Philadelphia" by Peter Cole, an excellent text about the American IWW in the early 20th century, and interestingly about some Wobblies' support of World War I.
This text is being put online for two reasons. Firstly, it's to draw attention to Peter Cole's splendid book about the IWW on the Philadelphia docks in the 1910s and 1920s.
Wartime strikes: The struggle against the no-strike pledge in the UAW during World War II - Martin Glaberman
Martin Glaberman's examination of American car industry workers wildcat strike wave, despite their own union's no strike pledge, during World War 2.
Taken from http://www.kommunismus.narod.ru
The History of Dalmuir R.O.F. is the history of any other war-time factory, it is the story of the workers' struggle against the forces of capitalism aided an abetted by the fakirs of the trade unions and the Communist Party. Faced with these odds it is creditable that the workers did not succumb entirely, and that a band of them continued in opposition and endeavoured to preserve some degree of sanity throughout the welter of lies, distortions and intrigue that surrounded the worker.