Anarchism and the British warfare state : The prosecution of the War Commentary Anarchists, 1945

HONEYWELL, Carissa (2015). Anarchism and the British warfare state : The prosecution of the War Commentary Anarchists, 1945. International Review of Social History, 60 (02), 257-284.

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The arrest and prosecution in 1945 of a small group of London anarchists associated with the radical anti-militarist and anti-war publicationWar Commentary at first appears to be a surprising and anomalous set of events, given that this group was hitherto considered to be too marginal and lacking in influence to raise official concern. This article argues that in the closing months of World War II the British government decided to suppress War Commentary because officials feared that its polemic might foment political turmoil and thwart postwar policy agendas as military personnel began to demobilize and reassert their civilian identities. For a short period of time, in an international context of “demobilization crisis”, anarchist anti-militarist polemic became a focus of both state fears of unrest and a public sphere fearing ongoing military regulation of public affairs. Analysing the positions taken by the anarchists and government in the course of the events leading to the prosecution of the editors of War Commentary, the article will draw on “warfarestate” revisions to the traditional “welfare-state” historiography of the period for a more comprehensive view of the context of these events.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Humanities Research Centre
Identification Number:
Page Range: 257-284
Depositing User: Margaret Boot
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2016 14:57
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 05:08

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