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Games Workshop notes that space fascism would be bad

MGibster

Legend
the look of the commisars in 40K is essentially a riff off the 3rd Reich SS, at least in older material. It's not at all surprising that some clueless fanboys would turn to using replica SS uniforms for cosplay. (Similar can be said of Star Wars Imperial Army uniforms.)
One of these dudes used the name Austrian Painter (in Spanish) as his name. These weren't cosplayers and their Nazi affiliation was deliberate.
 

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MGibster

Legend
I'm not going to post links to it, but you can find photos of what the "Austrian Painter" at the Warhammer tournament in Spain was wearing. I'm not really up on my fascist semiotics, but one of the symbols was a circle with a cross in it and some arrows/spears behind the symbol and I didn't recognize it. The other was a fanciful design that incorporated a pattern reminiscent of Swastikas but just this side of plausible deniability. I admit that I might have missed it if I had been at the tournament. I will also admit, with no pride, that it took me a few minutes longer to catch on to the name Austrian Painter than it should have. In my defense I think of him as genocidal douche canoe before I think of him as a painter though.
 

dragoner

Dying in Chargen
They have been around a while, istr Marc Miller of GDW/Tarveller fame in an interview talked about people who love the Germans too much. In war game circles now, they are called Wehraboos, same with video games I think.
 


John R Davis

Adventurer
Let's hope the action of the few doesn't tarnish the fun of the many.

Its not that longer Spain was a fascist state, so maybe it's not surprising attitudes may vary there on such matters
 
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Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
I'm not going to post links to it, but you can find photos of what the "Austrian Painter" at the Warhammer tournament in Spain was wearing. I'm not really up on my fascist semiotics, but one of the symbols was a circle with a cross in it and some arrows/spears behind the symbol and I didn't recognize it. The other was a fanciful design that incorporated a pattern reminiscent of Swastikas but just this side of plausible deniability. I admit that I might have missed it if I had been at the tournament. I will also admit, with no pride, that it took me a few minutes longer to catch on to the name Austrian Painter than it should have. In my defense I think of him as genocidal douche canoe before I think of him as a painter though.

The other wild twist in the story is that people just refused to play against them due to the costumes... so the tournament automatically awarded them the win. Just completely inept organizing here.

Let's hope the action of the few doesn't tarnish the fun of the many.

Its not that longer Spain was a fascist state, so maybe it's not surprising attitudes may vary there on such matters

Yeah, people forget that Spain only transitioned to a democracy in 1982. Still, even the Spanish at least try to make a distinction between Spanish Fascism (still very very bad) and Nazism. Even Franco wasn't insane enough to ally with Nazi Germany in WW2.
 

AtomicPope

Adventurer
People find inspiration in anything when they can see themselves as the heroes leading the charge. In 40k, they fantasize themselves as the Space Marine or an elite Iron Legion tanker and not the lowly factory worker consuming nutrislurry in a hive spire.
 

BrokenTwin

Adventurer
In regards to the "there is no good guy faction in 40K", I remmeber reading about people being upset about the introduction of the Tau specifically because Games Workshop seemed to have introduced an objectively morally superior faction to the game. And even with the mind control, that still remains fairly true. Especially when you look at it with the view that most references to the "mind control pheremones" comes from books written from the Imperium's perspective, which is functionally in-setting propaganda.

I also remember them complaining about the Tau being the "anime weeaboo faction", back when liking Japanese cartoons was somehow more socially shameful than playing with little metal and pewter figurines. Which always baffled me, because the Eldar's mechs look a lot more eastern inspired than the Tau's BattleTech mechs.

But yeah, everybody who has interacted with the 40K fandom has met at least a one player who either REALLY missed the point of the Imperium or was wholeheartedly for it.
 


Yora

Legend
It's always strange to me that so many people view dystopian fiction as aspirational.
Post-apocalyptic wastelands are a libertarian paradise.

You can do what you want, take what you want, become king of your private kingdom, and shot everyone who gets in your way without consequences.
Because you are an awesome badass, and not one of the millions of plebs who die from radiation, bombing, or starvation, or become serfs to some wannabe tyrant.
It's a dream come true.
 

TheSword

Legend
To be fair to them. The warp, witches, daemons and everything scary you ever thought was under your bed as a child IS real and IS coming to get you. It’s an extreme threat that has generated an equally extreme reaction. Hence the distopia being plausible.

What is really clever is that you can see where the good intentions got twisted by mankind’s sins and the sheer logistical nightmare of ruling a galaxy. It’s a setting where Mankind’s grasp definitely has exceeded its reach.

I really like when books like Dan Abnetts show good folks in this setting, doing their best in bad circumstances. They show how things could have been different.
 
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Blue Orange

Adventurer
Yeah, people forget that Spain only transitioned to a democracy in 1982. Still, even the Spanish at least try to make a distinction between Spanish Fascism (still very very bad) and Nazism. Even Franco wasn't insane enough to ally with Nazi Germany in WW2.

Minor point, but the Finns allied (ah, excuse me, were 'co-belligerents') with the Nazis in WW2 to keep out the Russians. They remained democratic, didn't persecute their (small, native) Jewish minority, and a few Jewish Finnish soldiers were actually awarded German medals (which they declined). Alliances in a big war can have less to do with ideology than national interest.

Going just off Wikipedia, Franco killed something like 15K-50K political opponents after winning; executions carried out by the nationalists (White Terror) were about 50K-200K whereas those by the republicans (Red Terror) were about 38K-72K. (Nasty business, civil war...)

Most likely he figured Germany, Italy, and Japan weren't going to beat the USSR, USA, and UK, and chose accordingly.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
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On the one hand, this shouldn't be necessary.

On the other hand, there are still people who don't understand that the movie Starship Troopers is mocking fascism.

So ... there's that.
 

Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
On the other hand, there are still people who don't understand that the movie Starship Troopers is mocking fascism.

My first reflex was to say "Really?!?" because it's an obvious mockery of fascism and imperialism. But I guess it can be lost to some... However I don't think it's the exact same thing. I mean, the Starship Trooper world government could be replaced by another form of government and still function. It's totally possible that it would even help the situation with the Arachnid. On the other hand, the IoM is bad, but there is little alternative possible given the context and basically, if you're a "good guy", you'll do your best to lessen the problem of the IoM but not actively oppose it.
 


Alzrius

The EN World kitten
Minor point, but the Finns allied (ah, excuse me, were 'co-belligerents') with the Nazis in WW2 to keep out the Russians. They remained democratic, didn't persecute their (small, native) Jewish minority, and a few Jewish Finnish soldiers were actually awarded German medals (which they declined). Alliances in a big war can have less to do with ideology than national interest.
For those wondering, this was the Continuation War, named as such because it took place only fifteen months after the end of the Winter War.

On a related trivia point: Lauri Törni was a Finnish officer in both wars and who later fought with the Nazis against the Soviets. He subsequently emigrated to the United States and joined the U.S. Army Special Forces, being subsequently killed in action in Vietnam; today, he remains the only person buried in Arlington National Cemetery who also held a rank in the Third Reich.
 


GMMichael

Guide of Modos
Still, let's be honest. There's a certain part of a lot of us that wants to be evil and militaristic and destroy the enemy. It's the reason we have sports leagues (though I'm told those get violent sometimes in some countries...) and shooter video games. Better we do it with Warhammer minis than in reality, and there are no real Eldar, Orks, or Daemons who might get targeted.
I hear that some Orks are demanding proper representation in RPGs. And yes, there is that certain part...

This move from Games Workshop appears to be taking cues from people already within the community who don’t want to play games with fascists.
I wonder how strict GW (letters which already hint at fascism) will be about their policy, given how many "fascists" seem to be out there these days. Somehow, I doubt many of them are gamers.
 

Blue Orange

Adventurer
I hear that some Orks are demanding proper representation in RPGs. And yes, there is that certain part...

I wonder how strict GW (letters which already hint at fascism) will be about their policy, given how many "fascists" seem to be out there these days. Somehow, I doubt many of them are gamers.
Yes. Now I'd never call a real person an 'Ork' (kinda validates the stereotypes you're alluding to) but there were enough people who felt orcs hewed close enough to stereotypes that Wizards and others started changing the depiction of orcs. (Tolkien himself seemed to have realized the implications halfway through and started to back away from them.)

But I don't think human tribalism is going to go away. If orcs don't work, make it bugs or lizards or something recognizably nonhuman, or humanize both sides so you're making a more tragic war story. I'm hardly the expert here though.

GW hints at fascism? Well, there seem to be actual fascists on video game boards (source: I have been to RPG Codex), but most of the tabletop gaming crowd seems to lean left. (Even the RPG Pundit boots actual Nazis from his forum from what I can tell.) Not sure why this is.
 

This is as far into RL politics I will go, but even though WH and just about any dystopian world setting (the word dystopian might be a clue) are meant to be purely fantasy, perhaps cautionary tales (if the writer is really clever), RL is indeed heading down that path. I was reading an article (think it was Bloomberg) where the point was made that Musk now has more relative wealth that Carnegie did, before Standard Oil was broken up, and Carnegie started giving it all away. One only has to pick up a newspaper and read about the rise of authoritarianism across the planet.

It is not at all unreasonable to suggest that something along the lines of the Dune political system with House Musk, House Apple, House Bezos, et al will run humanity in the future. That is certainly a fascism-adjacent reality.
 

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