Worldwide conflict from 1939 to 1945


A Tribute to John T. Flynn, by Adam Young, 31 Jan 2003
Biographical overview followed by quotes from Flynn's writings on FDR, Roosevelt's monument, the New Deal and the Roosevelt myth
"In January, 1938, I talked with one of the President's most intimate advisers. I asked him if the President knew we were in a depression. He said that of course he did. I asked what the President proposed to do. He answered: 'Resume spending.' I then suggested he would find difficulty in getting objects on which the federal government could spend. He said he knew that. What, then, I asked, will the President spend on? He laughed and replied in a single word: 'Battleships.' I asked why. He said: 'You know we are going to have a war.' And when I asked whom we were going to fight he said 'Japan' ..."
Atrocities in the 'Good War': A Tract for Today, by Robert Higgs, 19 Jun 2006
With excerpt of "One War is Enough", Feb 1946 Atlantic Monthly article by Edgar L. Jones
"It is not my intention either to excuse our late opponents or to discredit our own fighting men. I do, however, believe that all of us ... should fully understand the horror and degradation of war before talking so casually of another one. War does horrible things to men, our own sons included. It demands the worst of a person and pays off in brutality and maladjustment."
Conscience on the Battlefield, by Leonard Read, 1981
Pamphlet written in 1951, during the Korean War, updated with prologue in 1981; Read recalls the 1918 incident when the troopship he was on was sunk by a German submarine and wonders about his thoughts if he were dying (in 1951) on a Korean battlefield
"In one of the little-publicized chapters of World War II, for example, one million Russian officers and men voluntarily joined the invading Germans, considering them as their liberators. The German dictator, hearing of this, ordered that these officers and men be imprisoned or killed. This action, dictated by Hitler, caused a like-mindedness among the Russian people. Their subsequent action at Stalingrad against the Germans became very much of a voluntary action."
How to Become a Teacher [PDF], by Robert LeFevre, The Voluntaryist, Feb 1983
Autobiographical summary of the events in LeFevre's life that led to the founding of the Freedom School, including LeFevre's relationship with Baldy Harper and the offer for him to lead the School
"I had enlisted in the Army in 1942 filled with noble thoughts of helping to free the world from totalitarianism. ... I had learned, bitterly and reluctantly, that the Army was filled with officers, many of whom hoped and even labored for a continuation of the war. They had never experienced such pay, power and prestige and dreaded the war's termination. ... an astonishingly large percentage were in this category. I had also found that the government of the nation was abundantly supplied with opportunists ... who feared that peace might shrink the power base from which they flaunted their petty authority."
Machiavelli and U.S. Politics, Part 5: War Crimes and Atrocities, by Lawrence M. Ludlow, 24 Aug 2005
"President Truman's bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is a prime example. Those nuclear explosions yielded approximately 200,000 innocent civilian victims. Their real purpose was to 'send a message' to America's World War II ally, the Soviet Union, informing its leaders that the United States indeed possessed a formidable weapon."
Related Topics: Politics, Vietnam
Not Just Japanese Americans: The Untold Story of U.S. Repression During 'The Good War', by Jeffrey Rogers Hummel, The Journal of Historical Review, 1986
"All the aforementioned events, entailing enormous gains for State power, occurred ... at a time when the United States was technically at peace. The Japanese attack ... merely accelerated the civil liberties trends already in motion. ... The internment of Japanese-Americans was ... representative of a wartime administration that respected civil liberties only so far as political expediency required."
Orwell, George (1903-1950), by David Ramsay Steele, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
Biographical essay
"Despite his military service in the doomed Spanish republic, Orwell, like many on the Left, saw the coming world war as a Tweedledum–Tweedledee struggle between rival imperialisms. ... For the first few years of the war, he attributed Germany's military successes to its socialist economy ... He came to see that this idea was mistaken, and he acknowledged his error. During the war, he worked for a time as an organizer of broadcasts to India for the British Broadcasting Corporation, which later provided some of the material he was to use in describing Winston Smith's job at the Ministry of Truth in 1984."
Related Topics: George Orwell, Myanmar, Spain
Peace and Pacifism, by Robert Higgs, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
Reviews what prominent classical liberals and libertarians had to say on the subject of peace and war, as well as the history of United States wars from the War of 1812 to the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the efforts of those who opposed them
"After war broke out in Europe in September 1939, a fierce debate ensued between those who supported and those who opposed U.S. involvement in the war. According to public opinion surveys and other evidence, the great majority of Americans favored well-armed neutrality. The Roosevelt administration, however, ... ardently desired U.S. entry to aid Great Britain, and the president worked relentlessly, if often deviously, to bring about conditions that would justify entry—for example, by carrying out a series of increasingly stringent economic warfare measures against Japan ..."
The 100th Anniversary of the Great State Crime, by Sheldon Richman, 8 Aug 2014
Reflections on the start of the Great War, 100 years ago, the second act (World War II) and wars in general
"The so-called Second World War, which began after the 21-year intermission from 1918 to 1939, claimed at least 60 million lives, at least 19 million of which were noncombatants. Act Two culminated in President Harry Truman’s two gratuitous atomic bombings of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the 69th anniversaries of which are also observed this week. "
Related Topics: War, World War I
The Colonial Venture of Ireland, Part 4, by Wendy McElroy, Future of Freedom, Aug 2004
Historical account of the partitioned Ireland from 1922 to the 1970's, including Éamon de Valera, the creation of the Republic of Ireland, the conflicts with and eventual split up of the IRA, and civil rights marches and riots in the North
"In September 1939, Britain declared war on Germany, thus entering World War II. The South was generally sympathetic to the Allied cause but de Valera maintained official neutrality. (The more radical IRA, however, worked rather ineffectively to sabotage the British war effort.) ... World War II further defined the separate identities of the North and South and cemented Ulster's ties to Britain."
The Economic Costs of Going to War: Transcript: Bill Moyers Talks with Lew Rockwell, by Lew Rockwell, NOW with Bill Moyers, 7 Mar 2003
Topics discussed include: the economy, the federal budget deficit, the national debt, inflation, Republican vs. Democrat presidents, tax cuts, war spending, World War II and the depression, Sadam Hussein and unemployment
"What the war did do was help the unemployment statistics by killing a lot of the unemployed. I mean, it did do that. In fact he, you know, he drafted 20 percent of the workforce at one point or another into the military. So when you had — when you started out with a 12 percent unemployment rate, yes, I mean there was much less unemployment. But the vast expenditures on non-productive goods, the erection of a command to control economy, not that dissimilar from the Soviet economy."
The Final Secret of Pearl Harbor, by John T. Flynn, Oct 1945
Written shortly after the release of the U.S. Army and Navy reports on the Pearl Harbor attack, Flynn claims it was the result of "three incredible blunders" and that President Roosevelt "personally managed the whole crisis"
"By January 1, 1941, Roosevelt had decided to go to war with Japan ... He felt the moment to provoke the attack had come by November ... He was certain the attack would be against British territory, at Singapore perhaps, and perhaps on the Philippines or Guam ... He did not order Short to change his alert and he did not order Kimmel to take his fleet out of Pearl Harbor, out where it could defend itself, because he wanted to create the appearance of being completely at peace and surprised when the Japs started shooting. Hence he ordered Kimmel and Short not to do anything to cause alarm or suspicion. He was completely sure the Japanese would not strike at Pearl Harbor."
Related Topics: Japan, Franklin D. Roosevelt
The Humanitarian with the Guillotine, by Isabel Paterson, The Freeman, Sep 1955
Reprinted from The God of the Machine, 1943; analyses the negative consequences of "humanitarians" (or professional philanthropists) and politicians act to provide relief to the needy
"The present war, begun with a perjured treaty made by two powerful nations (Russia and Germany), that they might crush their smaller neighbors with impunity, the treaty being broken by a surprise attack on the fellow conspirator, would have been impossible without the internal political power which in both cases was seized on the excuse of doing good to the nation."
The Myth of War Prosperity, Part 1, by Anthony Gregory, Future of Freedom, Dec 2006
Review of Depression, War, and Cold War: Studies in Political Economy by Robert Higgs
"Certainly, the mainstream conservative dedication to free enterprise, if it exists at all, is not so robust as to challenge the economic fallacies underlying World War II. On the Left, Right, and Center, the idea that Franklin Roosevelt dragged America out of its economic rut is by now as American as apple pie. But World War II, whatever else can be said of it, was probably the largest government program in American history ..."
Related Topics: Broken Window Fallacy, War
The Secret of Pearl Harbor: FDR's Role Exposed – in 1944, by Justin Raimondo, 25 May 2001
Introduction to a republishing of Flynn's 1945 pamphlet "The Final Secret of Pearl Harbor", coincident with the release of the film Pearl Harbor
"Flynn makes the case that FDR had every reason to expect the Japanese to attack Pearl Harbor, that he ignored the advice of his generals, and that he deliberately bottled up the fleet there. He reveals that the Japanese code had been cracked ... But what he didn't know – couldn't know – was that much more than that had been intercepted. As revealed in Robert Stinnett's book, Day of Deceit, a whole series of military messages sent by Japanese commanders betrayed the day and the hour of the attack – and Stinnett shows that FDR had to have known this."
The War System and Its Intellectual Myths, by Murray Rothbard, Harry Elmer Barnes: Learned Crusader, 1968
Originally titled "Harry Elmer Barnes as Revisionist of the Cold War"
"Two ... examples are the policy of Finland toward Russia in 1940, and of Poland toward Germany and Russia in 1939. The Finns (Poles) insisted up to the moment of outbreak ... that the Russians (Germans) were only 'bluffing,' and that a rigid, inflexible, hard-line, no-negotiation policy would force Russia (Germany) to back down and cease their demands."
The Way of All Cash, Part I, by Bill Bonner, The Daily Reckoning, 26 May 2006
Continuing from "Don't Cry for Evita", begins to relate the story of Argentine President Juan Perón and the Peronist movement
"Argentina stayed out of Word War II and even looked the other way when German submarines occasionally holed up in remote harbors in Patagonia. 'They have chosen to dally with evil,' declared Churchill of the Argentinians, 'but not only with evil but with the losing side.' Two months before the action was over, the Argentines corrected their mistake, declaring war on the nearly defeated Axis powers."
Related Topic: Argentina
Truman, A-Bombs, and the Killing of Innocents, by Sheldon Richman, 9 Aug 2013
Discusses the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 were unnecessary and can be considered war crimes
"According to Robert McNamara, ... Major Gen. Curtis LeMay acknowledged that if America had lost the war, he and his colleagues would have been 'prosecuted as war criminals.' ... The Truman administration revealed that it knew the atomic bombing was immoral by attempting to keep the full truth from the American people."
Warring as Lying Throughout American History, by James Bovard, Future of Freedom, Feb 2008
Recounts how U.S. Presidents and their administrations since James Polk have lied about wars, from start to finish
"In August 1945, Harry Truman announced to the world that 'the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, in so far as possible, the killing of civilians.' Hiroshima was actually a major city with more than a third of a million people prior to its incineration. But Truman's lie helped soften the initial impact on the American public of the first use of the atomic bomb."
Why Are We Afraid To Be Free?, by Butler Shaffer, 27 Nov 2001
Examines the question of how to bring about freedom in individuals' lives, discussing how government influences people to be in conflicted states and how one must look within oneself and act accordingly to begin to be "free"
"After World War II was over, the allied forces endeavored to synchronize such contrarieties through the 'Nuremberg trials.' In punishing German government officials for their atrocities – while carefully insulating American and British officials for their wrongs to humanity – the state employed psychological 'projection,' a device by which some condemn others for their own felt sense of moral or ethical shortcoming."
Why Intellectuals Still Support Socialism, by Peter G. Klein, Mises Daily, 15 Nov 2006
"World War II ... was a watershed event for the profession. For the first time, professional economists joined the ranks of government planning bureaus en masse ... it is likely the taste of central planning that economists — even nominally free-market economists — got during World War II that forever changed the direction of the discipline."
Related Topic: Economists


HOWARD ZINN: "Holy Wars", by Howard Zinn, Democracy Now!, 11 Nov 2009
Talk given at Boston University, discussing the American "Holy Wars": the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and World War II