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Games Workshop notes that space fascism would be bad

Blue Orange

Adventurer
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.

Sounds more feudal than fascist (also very undesirable, of course...)
 

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MGibster

Legend
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.
And this is a criticism I never quite understood.

Necron Overlord_Front.JPG

This little guy is a Necron Overlord complete with a warscyth and a resurrection orb. The Necrons were first introduced around 1997 towards the end of 2nd edition. (Aside: The models were actually introduced years earlier as Chaos Androids around 1990.) Many people seem to be under the impression that these models were heavily based on 1984's The Terminator which featured skeleton-like robots trying to wipe out humanity.

Orktober_2.JPG


This big guy is an Imperial Knight armed with an Avenger Gatling Cannon, a Reaper chainsword, and the optional Ironstorm missile pod on its carapace. This is a mech that wouldn't be at all out of place in a BattleTech game. A game which itself was influenced by media from Japan including Macross, Gundam, Transformers (probably), and whatever other show featured giant robots fighting one another.

One of the greatest strengths of Warhammer 40k is that each faction is fairly unique. You like big mechs and you cannot lie? Well we have the Imperial/Chaos Knights that you'll love. You live anime inspired power armor, vehicles, and lasers? Well come on down and give the Tau a shot! Do you like 1980s and early 1990s American action movies like Predator, Alien, and Rambo? Well give our Catachan Imperial Guard models a look. 40k has always gotten inspiration from various works and put them into the blender. To complain specifically about the Tau is just odd to me.
 

MGibster

Legend
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.
In many ways the effectiveness of the German war machine during WWII has been overblown and fetishized over the years even among people who don't approve of the Nazis. On one hand I don't mean to imply that that German war machine was ineffective. But part of the reason for their early success was because they were the only ones prepared for war. They caught most of Europe and the Soviet Union with their pants down. I don't mind playing the Germans, the Confederates, or any other evil empire in whatever wargame I'm playing. But I sure as hell would never cosplay as a member of that group nor would I tout their superiority. They lost after all.

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.
He's one of those guys I hold up as an example of something from real life that sound completely implausible. If I was running a game in the 1960s and someone came to me with that backstory I'd think, "This is unrealistic and stupid. Change his backstory." But, no, real life is once again stranger than fiction.
 

Sounds more feudal than fascist (also very undesirable, of course...)
It would be an exhausting, virtually impossible job, but I wonder what the results would be if a group of people took the time and effort to collate and classify EVERY system of government/economic setting in EVERY single fantasy/sci-fi platform ever created, be it a novel, board game, video game, whatever. I bet that the democratic/ capitalist combination is a tiny minority. Hell, even in Star Trek, at least on Earth, it is a democratic/communist scenario.
 

Blue Orange

Adventurer
It would be an exhausting, virtually impossible job, but I wonder what the results would be if a group of people took the time and effort to collate and classify EVERY system of government/economic setting in EVERY single fantasy/sci-fi platform ever created, be it a novel, board game, video game, whatever. I bet that the democratic/ capitalist combination is a tiny minority. Hell, even in Star Trek, at least on Earth, it is a democratic/communist scenario.

Someone's already done it, I'm sure, but you get into all kinds of classificatory issues--historians disagree over whether Franquist Spain, Portugal's Estado Novo under Salazar, and Juan Peron's Argentina, for instance, genuinely count as fascist. On the other end you get into whether democracies with unequal rights for all citizens (and this goes back as far as Athens) count as democratic.
 

dragoner

Dying in Chargen
In many ways the effectiveness of the German war machine during WWII has been overblown and fetishized over the years even among people who don't approve of the Nazis. On one hand I don't mean to imply that that German war machine was ineffective. But part of the reason for their early success was because they were the only ones prepared for war. They caught most of Europe and the Soviet Union with their pants down. I don't mind playing the Germans, the Confederates, or any other evil empire in whatever wargame I'm playing. But I sure as hell would never cosplay as a member of that group nor would I tout their superiority. They lost after all.


He's one of those guys I hold up as an example of something from real life that sound completely implausible. If I was running a game in the 1960s and someone came to me with that backstory I'd think, "This is unrealistic and stupid. Change his backstory." But, no, real life is once again stranger than fiction.
Of course I am from the other side, my Mother's family were practically wiped out by the Germans, not only Czechs and Jews, my sister doing research on our village, has found some of our name were Sinti, Gypsies as westerners call them. The Germans didn't even consider what they did to them a genocide, murdering them at Auschwitz, until the 1980's.

Soviets were properly terrified, outnumbered 2 to 1, vs an enemy that they had lost WW1 to, and the "Workers' and Peasants' Red Army" little better than a poorly equipped revolutionary militia. The Germans were in their time the most powerful army; it was their racism of the Nazis that killed them. We would not had the breathing room to reorganize, move our industry, had they not had the weird duplicity of what they were doing. Still I see people back at home sometimes lionize them, and its like, uh, they murdered 27 million of us?

Playing war games, the Germans are the most gameable side, I don't necessarily look down on people for playing that side. Sometimes I question game designers concepts, such as Red Army troops in Squad Leader having a range of 4 and Germans a range of 6, when the average Soviet was far more likely to have used or own a rifle.

Nevertheless, having neo-nazis hanging around your business is very bad for business, beyond just their vile beliefs. They will drive off any normal customers.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
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.

Ugh, especially since I assume House Musk will be led by Baron X Æ A-Xii.

For those who don't know, I assume Musk and Grimes want their son to be bullied.
 
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gorice

Explorer
That they have to remind people of this is beyond me.
On the one hand, yes. On the other hand, GW really want to have their cake and eat it. At a superficial level, the Imperium of Man is and long has been marketed as the cool 'protagonist' faction, with the true depths of its evil mostly buried among various books, and the other factions sometimes worse by comparison.

You can't very well spend years and enormous sums of money marketing cool space fascist fetish objects to children and then complain when actual fascists also start fetishising them.
 

Ugh, especially since I assume House Dune will be led by Baron X Æ A-Xii.

For those who don't know, I assume Musk and Grimes want their son to be bullied.
When you are going to who knows many billions when your parents die, I would not worry so much about that name. Musk is only 50, and apparently in great shape. But one slip up on some space jaunt, and then there are 6 kids, two wives, and a bazillion lawyers squabbling over 300 billion dollars.
 

W40K is Grimmdark, all could be a product for +13y. (And as sci-fi setting gets old very badly when real high-technology advances)

The Imperium of the Man is not only a dystopian, but most of human characters are Caucasians. Are they evil? Oh, they only defend everything by controlled by the state, because this is like the fairy oddmather who fixes all your troubles with her power. What is the difference compared with Russia or China?

The Taus were created for otakus(fandom who love manga+anime, now the term isn't so pejorative) as potential market.

To report the hate and the intolerance is not enough. We have to promote ethical values as the respect for the human dignity, but most of fiction doesn't this. Without this, we will only replace a monster with other, like Magneto (X-Men's archienemy and temporal ally) trying to terminate the "flatscans" because mutants suffer intolerance.

It is very risky to talk about Franco with a Spanish. You may find (totally) different versions of the History. And let's remember Franco didn't agree the invasion and sharing-out of Poland. He was a dictator, but the others didn't fight for the freedom but to try the worst anti-Catholic genocide from the XX century. The red terror killed more people in a month, only a month, that the Inquisition in all the History. Do you know anything about the tortures in the chekas?

I read about that controversy in a Spanish-languange blog. Wearning nazi icons may be illegal as exaltation of hatred. Of course it is a shame, and after this the rules of the events and conventions should change.

* Could you imagine GW being acquired by Disney (or other company) and becoming inclusive/woke/politically correct?
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
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.
No one is saying that it's unreasonable to assume that something like Dune or WH40K's fascist governments could exist in the future if/when we get access to more common space travel for humans from planet to planet, they're more saying that idolizing that idea and striving for that kind of future is wrong.

(And, yes, you are correct that the world's current class of billionaires and millionaires are have a ton of wealth. The wealth disparity between the working class and the billionaires is greater than it was in France before its Revolution.)
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
When you are going to who knows many billions when your parents die, I would not worry so much about that name. Musk is only 50, and apparently in great shape. But one slip up on some space jaunt, and then there are 6 kids, two wives, and a bazillion lawyers squabbling over 300 billion dollars.

Kids don't know (or care) how much $ your parents have. Guaranteed this X kid is going to be made fun of in his early years in kindergarten.
 

MGibster

Legend
No one is saying that it's unreasonable to assume that something like Dune or WH40K's fascist governments could exist in the future if/when we get access to more common space travel for humans from planet to planet, they're more saying that idolizing that idea and striving for that kind of future is wrong.
I never really thought of the governments of Dune as being fascist. Unless we're just saying authoritarian is fascist.
 

Blue Orange

Adventurer
I never really thought of the governments of Dune as being fascist. Unless we're just saying authoritarian is fascist.

With their noble houses fighting with the king and outside institutions like the Bene Gesserit and Spacing Guild, I get much more of a neofeudal feel to Dune. They even had that whole thing with shields that stop (only) bullets so they can have swordfights.
 

Ixal

Adventurer
Hm, I don't really see the WH40k Imperium specifically as Nazi. Rather they are a collection of all dictatorships in history.

Their leadership is fanatically theocratic with huge cult of personality around the empire. And I don't think that the Nazis had that much of a cult of personality around Hitler, at least when you compare them to Stalin or Mao.
The entire Machine Cult and the repression of knowledge is a exaggerated version of the trope that the catholic church repressed knowledge.
And their army tactics of poorly equipped human waves and commissars who shoot anyone who retreats is borrowed from the Soviets who did exactly that.
From the Nazis the Imperium gets its hate for mutants and everything different and their drive to exterminate them.
 

dragoner

Dying in Chargen
And their army tactics of poorly equipped human waves and commissars who shoot anyone who retreats is borrowed from the Soviets who did exactly that.
They were German POW's that the Red Army forced strip the uniforms of their dead, and charge the other line. The Germans killed Red Army POW's at Auschwitz, so the Victory Generation did not feel so bad doing it. A Polish friend, that was his Grandfather's first duty at Kolberg, to make the Germans go over in the first wave, he said he was surprised when they had him do it, though he really didn't have any objections.

Germans did have roving death squads for their own troops after 1943.
 

MGibster

Legend
Their leadership is fanatically theocratic with huge cult of personality around the empire. And I don't think that the Nazis had that much of a cult of personality around Hitler, at least when you compare them to Stalin or Mao.
The standard salute for civilians was the classic "Heil Hitler" which I think is pretty good evidence that there was a cult of personality built up around the guy.
 

Blue Orange

Adventurer
The standard salute for civilians was the classic "Heil Hitler" which I think is pretty good evidence that there was a cult of personality built up around the guy.

I was gonna say, for all the pictures of Stalin and copies of the Little Red Book of Mao's sayings, the Communists didn't make their leader's name into a greeting...

Yep, I've heard 'Catholic Space Nazis' for the Imperium, though the commissars are more Communist. I'd say, as Ixal said, you have a medieval-Catholic inquisition, Nazi racism, and Communist ideological control. Basically everyone the Brits fought against in the past 500 years (quite a few of their Early Modern period conflicts had an anti-Catholic dimension). The only longtime enemy of England I don't see is the French (the Eldar are kind of fancy, but that's a stretch).
 

One of the reasons I don't like the lore of W40K is the anticlerical tropes about the church as enemy of the science and the reason. It is not only annoying and offensive, but as dangerous as messages promoting homophobia or racism. Haven't you thought anytime maybe any horrible things said about the Spanish empire were only lies by enemy propaganda? The pirates movies tell English corsairs were brave to attack Spanish ships, but in the real world the Spanish ships went together in convoys to avoid those pirates. The most of attacks by pirates were against coast villages to catch slavers. Spain built universities in the new world for the naives, Spain published books about naive American languanges when any European countries hadn't yet done with theirs. We may need humildity and self-criticism to not become monsters, but don't allow be emotinally manipulated apealling the shame and the guilty shame, and less when others should

Let's imagine for a second all that look of neogothic art by the space marines was replaced by Russian and Chinese esthetic.
Can you notice now the potential menace of the speculative fiction being used as a propagandistic weapon?

If some day GW is acquired by a bigger fish, you could bet a restart of the IP to be more.... open-mind and flexible.
 


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