Labour History

Conscription for War and Profit: Classes, Nation-Market-States and Empires

Labour History (2018), 114, (1), 169–181.


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24.Labourers returning from the French Wars used their experiences to turn their militia units against the authorities,J. L. Hammond andBarbara Hammond, The Skilled Labourer 1760–1832(:Longmans, Green, 1919), 172, 175. Google Scholar

25.For one incident from the early1950s, seeRobert J. Alexander, The Bolivian National Revolution(:Rutgers University Press, 1958), ch. 8; the tin miners maintained militia detachments. Google Scholar

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27.Engels justified his fox-hunting on the grounds that, without a cavalry, the proletarian infantry would be at the mercy of the landed classes on horseback; seeTristan Hunt, The Frock-Coated Communist: The Revolutionary Life of Frederick Engels(:Allen Lane, 2009), 208–10;S. F. Kissin, War and the Marxists: Socialist Theory and Practice in Capitalist Wars, 1848–1918, vol.1(:Andre Deutsch, 1988). Google Scholar

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29.Adam Smith, Lectures on Jurisprudence(:Clarendon Press, 1978), 208. Google Scholar

30.Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, vol.1(:Clarendon Press, 1976):82–83. Google Scholar

31.Max Weber, Critique of Stammler(:Free Press, 1977), 102; compare Alf Ludtke, “The Role of State Violence in the Period of Transition Industrial Capitalism: The Example of Prussia from 1815 to 1848,”Social History 4, no.2(1979):175–221. Google Scholar

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35.Quoted byRaymond Turner, “The Excise Scheme of 1733,” English Historical Review 42, no.185(1927):44;J. H. Plumb, England in the Eighteenth Century(:Pelican, 1963), 65–67. Google Scholar

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39.Compare G. I. Neimanis, “Militia vs. the Standing Army in the History of Economic Thought from Adam Smith to Friedrich Engels,” Military Affairs 44, no.1, (1980):28–32; for Engels’s scorn of militia, seeMartin Kitchen, “Friedrich Engels’ Theory of War,” Military Affairs 41, no.3, (1977):121. Google Scholar

40.Liebknecht, “On Militarism.” Google Scholar

41.No one was then more alert to this barrier to socialist revolution thanKarl Liebknecht, Militarism and anti-Militarism, 2–5, 19–22, 87–88; compare Wilhelm Reich, “Ideology as a Material Force,”The Mass Psychology of Fascism(:Penguin, 1975), ch. 1. ANZAC-ery is a late echo. Google Scholar

42.Edwin Reischauer andAlbert M. Craig, Japan: Tradition and Transformation(:Tuttle Books, 1978), 139;Jon Livingston,Joe Moore andFelicia Oldfather, eds, The Japan Reader 1: Imperial Japan, 1800–1945(:Penguin, 1976), 105–106, 125, 171–75, 229. The life-long anti-militarist Saburo Ienaga noted: “The new military forces … were completely different from the popular conscript army formed in France at the time of the French Revolution … [T]he common soldiers [were] an exploited labour force from the most impoverished level of the farming population”;Saburo Ienaga, Japan’s Last War: World War II and the Japanese 1931–1945(:Australian National University Press, 1979), 47. During the1930s, some “economic conscripts” served as cannon fodder for coups against thezaibatsu. Google Scholar

43.Jonathan Richards, Secret War: A True History of Queensland’s Native Police(:University of Queensland Press, 2008). Google Scholar

44. Mt Alexander Mail, 7 August 1861, [3c]. The volunteers followed the British troops to the Otago goldfields to shoot“down the New Zealanders as savages because they won’t sell their land to the Government for a old song.” Herald(Melbourne), 7 August 1861, 4d;John Crawford, “The Volunteer Force and Its Place in Colonial Society,”inAfter the Treaty: The Settler State, Race Relations and the Exercise of Power in Colonial New Zealand, ed.Brad Patterson,Kathryn Patterson andRichard S. Hill(:Steele Roberts, 2016), 149–77. Google Scholar

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47.“The term ‘Field Artillery’ seems scarcely appropriate to apply to an aggregation of obsolete guns and cart-horses, even though the latter may be attached to the former by the usually recognised Field Artillery means. If force of circumstances compels Artillerymen to use such horses, they at least should feel that if, by dint of spur, and whip, and strong language, they have got a gun into a suitable position, the labour ought to be repaid by seeing effective fire opened. This is scarcely possible with the present old muzzle-loaders”;New South Wales Legislative Council Journal (NSWLCJ) 56, pt 1 (1897): 638. The annual Easter camps at Menangle featured “luxurious living” with batmen, non-military visitors entertained to dinners every evening, a piano, camp beds and floor boards, not straw:NSW LCJ 50, pt 1 (1892–93): 254, 819. Whether the percentage of drunks with venereal infections was higher than in the colony’s population cannot now be determined, NSW LCJ 43, pt 2 (1887–88): 644; andNSW LCJ 45, pt 2 (1889–90): 1009. Google Scholar

48.One exception was in 1879 when 471 Hobart volunteers put a stop to sectarian brawls by parading “their 32pdr guns and the two 12pdr howitzers, with three rounds of canister for each gun”;Bob Nicholls, The Colonial Volunteers: The Defence Forces of the Australian Colonies 1836–1901(:Allen &Unwin, 1988), 85. Google Scholar

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57.Fitzhardinge, The Little Digger, 166–70; seeHumphrey McQueen, A New Britannia(:University of Queensland Press, 2004), 66–69. IfThe Conscription Conflict and the Great Waris any guide, the wartime censorship of the pivotal place which the Japanese menace held throughout the conscription battles has hardly lifted;Robin Archer,Joy Damousi,Murray Goot andSean Scalmer, eds, The Conscription Conflict and the Great War(:Monash University Publishing, 2016), 86–87, 183. Google Scholar

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64.Exceptions are B. D. Graham, The Formation of the Australian Country Party(:Australian National University Press, 1966), 115, because he understands that the “National Party, as its name suggests, was meant to embody solidarity, patriotism and a desire to ‘Win-the-War’”; andDon Aitkin, The Country Party in New South Wales(Australian National University Press, Canberra, 1972); the index toKatherine West, Power in the Liberal Party(:Cheshire, 1965), gives “National(ist) Party.” Google Scholar

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Author details

McQueen, Humphrey