Is the Army Fascist?

Is the Army Fascist?

This week we saw pictures emerge
of EDL founder Tommy Robinson with a group of British soldiers Does this mean the British Army
is just the BNP with berets? No – but it does mean that in
some important ways the British Army is a far right organisation. During my time in the military
I often saw people who were interested in or engaged in
far right activism. Whether that was through groups
like the EDL, Loyalist activism or even neo-nazi groups. On the one hand we have to
understand that the British Army is very attached to it’s own violent
colonial past. On the other we have to look at
it’s internal culture and understand that a lot of the ideas and values
on which the army operates are about submission, power, obedience
racialised violence and things like that. You might be surprised to see a group of
young soldiers excited to see Tommy Robinson but I can tell you if you look at
their regimental headgear those are young men from regiments which recruit in Northern towns. Towns that have been laid waste to by 30 years
of neoliberalism. It might then not be that surprising to find
out that they have some sympathy for far right ideas.
If you spent any time in the kind of towns where these boys are from, you will know that
they are communities which have been laid waste jobs lost, high streets gutted. It’s from these towns that the very poorest
boys with the lowest educational achievments
are aggressively recruited by the military. As per MOD policy. So only recently Jeremy Corbyn spoke publically
about how education needs to be changed to reflect Britain’s colonial past.
Exactly the same is true of the British Army, how we think about it and how it thinks
about itself as an institution. A good example of this is that every regiment
has it’s own ‘Colours’. A huge flag embroidered with the names
of towns which have been pillaged by British soldiers in India, Africa and other places
around the world. These are looked upon with enormous pride
the British military prides itself on traditions that in 2018 serve neither the
military nor the country. Why else would the far right find such a cosy
home in the British Army? It’s time that we updated our Armed Forces
for the 21st Century. What the left needs to understand is that
should a socialist government win power in this country – it will inherit an Imperial
army. And it needs to give serious thought to what
that army will look like and what it will do.

47 thoughts on “Is the Army Fascist?

  1. Yes and no. They follow orders, so if they're ordered to they will be. They serve private bankers, not their country .

  2. Full of false information. A regiment's colours denotes the battles that have been fought, NOT "villages that have been pillaged around the world". The Army isn't full of far-right sympathisers, which he would know if he hadn't gone AWOL after three years.

  3. yeah, every time I used to visit the job centre in Newcastle, the army had a spot set up where they speak to lads coming in.

  4. Well there's the Think Tank regiment, the big guns. They do battle with the media and win more often than not. Then there's the The Gammon regiment, they are the ground snipers. Not sure about right or left but they are nearly always corporate sponsored.

  5. No Joe, the army is not a far-right organisation, but it will be if we in the left continue to alienate the troops from our movement rather than winning them over to our side.

  6. The army ought to have a recruitment drive amongst Sikhs and try to appeal to their traditional side as a warrior people. They served this country with distinction during it's imperial days and earned their place in Britain. Those that have made it their home deserve a central place in our armed forces, which will also have the knock on effect of challenging all the white soldiers to think twice about these fascists that are pitting them against different demographics.

  7. Most of the Army trainees photographed with the heroic TOMMY ROBINSON probably have come from deprived parts of the UK, 'twas always thus. Most will have had a poor education at some abysmal state school. They have chosen the military above life on the dole or a dead-end job in their dead-end home. They will generally be politically ignorant and only be aware of TR from social media. Some will have direct awareness of creeping Islamisation.
    These green squaddies have zero influence on the political nature of the Army. The politics of service personnel is as varied as in the general population.
    British Armed Forces obey the orders of their political masters [Left, Right or Centre].

  8. So you'd prefer them to be far left?..or maybe Communist?Have you seen North Koreas Army..or the annual may day parade in moscow?.A typical bullshit NM bulletin..Why is it ok to be far left and not ok to be far right?Your views are always unbalanced and hysterical.The British Army is Nationalistic.It defends and fights for The Queen and the country.It is not and never will be 'facist'.

  9. These poor bastards are more likely to end up dead, fighting for corrupt governments and their bullshit wars. If Tommy 'zionist' Robinson, thinks these bunch of little pussyies are going to help his zionist agenda, then he's more ignorant then he looks.

  10. It's easy for an ex squaddie to find a home with the far left and denounce the institution that one served. Obviously the far Left will lap a turn coat up as much as the far right. Speaking about the colours that a regiment has, is a twisted view of tradition, they are commemorating the battles fought not the policies that brought them to the battle.

  11. Jesus.An embarrassing video. One photo and now the Army is racist. To use Corbyn as an example when he was not long ago patting the IRA on the back. Tired of everyone who is white being labelled something. I hate no one, not built that way. Yet, if we do not listen to peoples concerns, that is the real worry.

  12. The targeting of poor and disadvantaged young people. Brainwashing, and exploitation.
    The British army and the grooming gangs that Tommy Robinson pretends to fight against, have a lot in common.

  13. Whilst Tommy Robinson is a nob head I'm pretty sure he's not fascist. Far right does not automatically mean fascist.

  14. The short answer is no, the Army has actually changed for the better in many ways in the last 20 years, in Equal Opportunities, humanism, BAME, & LGBT issues. Most of the online gammon vets have left during this period and the Values and Standards (which anyone can look up) speak for themselves. The Argument made about Colours and Guidons is misleading, you will mostly find places like Arnheim, The Somme, etc which were hardly being pillaged.
    However, there are a lot of people with right wing views, although, as the army is made up of mostly millennials, you'll find they aren't the mainstream, on social issues at least (There is a dislike of Jeremy Corbyn due to media propaganda about his meetings with Sinn Fein, again mostly from the older members, this is in no way universal, and there is also a huge mistrust of the Tories due to years of devastating cuts).
    It's not perfect, but definitely heading in the right direction and within a generation, I think will lose the stereotype. I see a very different picture than what is presented in this video, and the Tommy Robinson video was just a bunch of recruits who would have had their pic taken with anyone famous in a service station, any large organisation will always have bellends letting the side down

  15. If you want to know what fascism is, read “what is fascism” by Benito Mussolini, or the 25-point manifesto of the National Socislist German Workers Party. It is not just a matter of racism. Racism is not a necessary component. It is not about crony capitalism or corporate or special interest influence in politics. Fascists were against that too. They wanted the exact opposite relationship between government and business, with government ultimately calling the shots where it mattered.

  16. The bigger problem is more with ex-Army members who have not adjusted to life outside the Army, they often get pulled into far-right politics there are so many ex-army in EDL and far-right groups.

  17. Wonder what role 'the Brass' may have played in TR's appearance?
    They themselves still largely from private education, with all its particular
    sustained disfunction – entitlement, bullying, nationalism, social ineptitude…

    This aspect of the State, its functionaries, presents a 'spider diagram' of issues – state
    education vs Private, military industrial complex profiteering – aided and abetted by
    political agents, links to the Fossil Fuel Sector..

    As per 'Islamophobia', racism marks a cynical utility for Establishment, and Corporate,
    as it draws down concern for what is done to others, overseas.

    In an historical context, Far Right politics has been encouraged every time Capitalism
    (more accurately, 'Reverse Socialism') has dipped. It presents a buffer, a mechanism to
    misdirect anger away from those who benefit most from sustaining the status quo.
    {Michael Parenti's commentary on this very insightful – vids on here, search 'Michael Parenti, The Functions of Fascism}

    The notion that the Services present a defence of the nation is weak at best.
    There has not been any viable threat to 'the West' since WW2*, and that itselfwas internal
    (*and in terms of motivations, not necessarily as per the prescribed narrative).
    (Russian Cold War sources suggest remarkably little interest in Westward expansion)
    And, as for 'terrorism', that itself has been encouraged and sustained by Western
    political agents/agencies (See Mark Curtis work, 'Secret Affairs').
    In short, today's Services are serving interests other than 'defence', and are
    been misdirected towards imperialist interests. Change is long overdue, but as
    many things, overcoming entrenched power will not be easy.

    If we want to see how much the Brass, Westminster, and Whitehall value
    the Armed Forces, we do not have to look far for a measure. The events at
    Deepcut, and subsequent cover up. The number of homeless ex-service,
    the number of times we have seen 'active service' marred by poor equipment,
    or under-equipped personnel……. All worth remembering, when we see
    the 'great and the good' lined up at the Cenotaph (JC and Co. aside, obvo!)

  18. I am astounded that a veteran is so misinformed being an ex-serviceman himself.
    Firstly yes some soldiers do dress as German soldiers for renactment or hobby or film sets and its because we are interested in military history and some believe the German army like German engineering today was far more superior they are fascinated by the tactics, weapons but that does not make them right-wing.
    Secondly i spent many years in recruitment and we do not target low unemployment areas we cover towns within our catchment areas i have visited colleges in upmarket rural areas too and also you will find most Soldiers mistrust politicians and like honest and open speech from the heart and will embrace any member of public who has the courage to speak out about issues relevant to those with concerns again that does not make you extreme or right-wing it means you are exercising your entitlement to oppose without prejudice but unfortunately there are those like yourselves who demand to be heard just not talked back to as we are greeted with uneducated one-word put-downs
    Regimental colours do not show 'Towns' we have pillaged as you so ignorantly put it our colours bear battle honours where that particular regiment has fought with the worthiness to be recognised as such.
    Im sure if you jumped on your little left-wing soapbox at any veterans gathering and made such a bold statement that men who fought in the trenches of northern France or stormed the beaches at Normandy did so for the prospect of raping a few women or stealing stuff locally you would be met with the type of abuse you richly deserve for posting such utter rubbish.
    Post your opinions by all means but get your facts straight and don't dishonour those who gave you the freedom to air this garbage.
    Allow individuals to be photographed with or greet who they wish without fear of persecution
    Finally trying to demonise those with opposing opinions is in fact a form of fascism but being ex-military you should already know this!!

  19. It's quintessentially built-based-and-bound to a top-down authoritarian/totalitarian and bottom-up militant/militarist organisational intwined relation's condition's and standard's/expectation's or system's structures and schedules intricate-and-complicate by in-of-by-for-on itself

  20. Just been reading a bit about Rene Girard and the "stain" with regards to how people can get infected with violence – leading to symptoms of social withdrawl, aggressiveness, fatigue, anxiety, anger and depression. Also how rituals can layed upon those who have experienced combat/trauma to try and cleanse them of this stain they carry. Also read a bit about Jean Baudrillard's "hyper reality" and "simulation" – a bit like the invasion of the body snatchers whereby narratives about opponents just get plucked from the air rather than any basis in reality, or, whole demographics can basically just be 'replaced' by artificial ones (like a twitter bot learning from you through gorilla tactics to basically end up replacing you as an evil twin version of yourself so as to sabotage your activities in the realm of public opinion).

    This is not really related. But a genuine question I think I'll be thinking about: "Leaving" – why people leave, and why they should and shouldn't leave? There's the Frodo character in Lord of the Rings who leaves. The Harmonica man from Once Upon a Time in the West who "may come back some day…" at the end. (Bizarrely to bring up perhaps) the 'good' terminator in Terminator 2: Judgement Day who not only leaves but self destructs in molten metal (although Ripley in Alien 3 did that at the end and that did not seem as final as you would expect xP). I mean – just to be ridiculous I guess – say for example we traded some characters in Terminator 2 for some people on social media: Contrapoints' Tabby Cat could be the T-800, The Statue of Liberty could be could be Sarah Connor (starting off as a waitress in the liberal economy in the first film – basically a romcom destroyed by a frankenstein cyborg from the future), Jordan Peterson could be the psyche ward doctor Dr Silberman, and Ben Shapiro our liquid metal hypocritical National Rifle association supporting troll. Maybe the evil A.I. Skynet represents "radical militant queer politics"? T-800 Tabby Cat – unable to use the vocabulary of everyday civilians (either through the context of being a trans person and being excluded from the meaning of words as 'normal' people use them, or, being barred from taking 'exaggerated' 'ironic' meaning of words from the lexicon of edge lords to instead having a sincere meaning – i.e. just being excluded from the lexicon entirely as a way of self-expression) and so only left with 'objective' uses of language – as though just a machine (all subjectivity being denied). The T-800 can represent anyone who has PTSD (like a war veteran). T-800 Tabby Cat is armed to the teeth (like Paris Lees) with a knowledge of history, biology, sociology, philosophy and so on (she has "detailed files")…

    Importantly though – our T-800 Tabby Cat cannot cry… It is not uncommon for anyone struggling through an ordeal to bury their emotions: a release of emotions can leave them vulnerable and unable to keep themselves going and keep safe…. the "finish line" is just too far off to relax and too much is at stake. They are effectively on 'autopilot' – like a machine.

    "I understand now why you cry, but it is something I can never do" the T-800 says to the tearful young John Connor before self-terminating.  

    I guess my question is: Is there a way out? – do people have to leave?

    Just to add this as a more positive spin – like, the T1000 in the frozen liquid nitrogen can represent the 'order' and conservatism of someone like Jordan Peterson, whereas the molten metal (that the T-800 lowers itself into [the future?] and the T1000 is destroyed in) can represent the increased entropy and 'disorder/chaos' of progressive politics of the future.

  21. Tommy Robinson isn't a fascist. He's a hero. The fascists are those in our country who have cheered the gradual elimination of free speech, equality before the law and uncensored media, parading their virtue at every step, and by so doing have enabled the mass gang rape and torture of thousands of British children to go on with impunity for decades.

  22. The sheer never-ending ability of the Left to misdiagnose symptoms never ceases to amaze me. Where's your "tackling the root cause" approach when it comes to the causes of Fascism?

  23. Brilliant video that really made me think. Serving in the armed forces or the police takes guts and those of us on the left need to do better in showing our support for those who do such a difficult and dangerous job. The right should not have a monopoly on this. But we also have to engage and educate and reform. I didn't know that regiments displayed battle names from our colonial past. This is as dangerous and as problematic as the confederate flag in the US and must stop. But we will only ever have the influence to turn this around if we support and engage. Thanks Joe, for an excellent summary of the problem.

  24. hmmm…. is the army that beat and tortured my family for being irish a fascist one…..I DONT KNOW I'LL HAVE TO THINK ABOUT IT

  25. The British Army, who along with the RAF, played such a huge role in defeating Nazism and fascism.
    We should be proud.

  26. Well the army is dictatorial and authoritarian in nature and forcibly suppresses any opposition within itself and working as the hand of the state, also opposition to the state and its obviously extremely militaristic. Its members have no power to change it, and in my country it is also mandatory to join it under penalty of usually half a year in prison. The army has alot of the same characteristics as fascism at least.

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