A post on a far-right gaming subreddit, of a video from Arch Warhammer on why The Imperium isn't fascist and why the story isn't satire, from a person claiming that 40k isn't political and that SJW's are ruining tabletop gaming? Surely, an unbiased, educated source.

Cool, later on when I want to smack my head off the table I'll watch it.
The imperium of man is a melange of all fo the worst ways of organising human society, from theocracy to feudalism, and yes, fascism.
Seriously, part of t he opening passage of literally every 40k book is "To be a man in such times is to live in the cruellest and most bloody regime imaginable", how is the Imperium "not fascist"?
The Imperium surviving through political concessions and system diversity is not somehow an endorsement of it either, because every single system they endorse and allow to exist is unified and maintained through violence.
All of it exists to simply funnel power, blood and wealth into maintaining a racial supremacist nightmare.
About the only one it doesn't have is a corporate state!
Yup and the entire satirical aspect comes from the universe itself being so horrid and hopeless that the Imperium's insane fascism is the only way to somehow survive without being eaten by bugs, murdered by green boys, torn to shreds by demons or enslaved by evil pirates.
if they were a mixture of the worst humanity had to offer they would be communist though
It's convenient, innit?
Isn't the whole idea of the IoM that it's a brutal fascist empire? Like didn't even the writers say that?
It’s said at the beginning of pretty much every book. It is literally the worst possible timeline to be alive in.
Rick "Joined GW so they'd make his game" Priestly has been pretty clear about it.
Doesn't matter what they say faccism has a definition and a theocratic empire that divest huge amounts of governance and power while also having loads of independent bodies inside it is not faccism.
What Arch has done here is either knowingly (tactically) or unknowingly used Carl Schmidt’s theory of the friend-enemy distinction and how depoliticisation can be used as a tool of State power to create civil enmity.
By attempting to depoliticise the political (40k), he makes people like us, the “political”, the enemy of the state (the 40k community).
If you’re an Australian you can see a similar tactic being adopted by the Liberal Party to justify decreasing our civil liberties by way of the “Quiet Australian- Loud Australian discourse”.
This has been the modus operandi of reactionary nerds for decades and reached it's zenith with GamerGate, which depended entirely upon this narrative of politicking SJW's ruining nerd culture and is still going on. You see this narrative constantly. I do not think for a second he's doing it unknowingly, he's aware of what he's doing.
Yes, 40k isn’t satire at all.
Or how Konrad Curze was killed by the assassin M’shen and totally isn’t just the ending of Apocalypse Now.
And don’t even get me started on Inquisitor Obiwan Sherlock Clouseau.
It’s amazing how much evidence the right are willing to ignore while gathering ‘evidence’ to support their disgusting pathetic little views
I don't think those count as 'satire', but count more towards the begining of 40k when it was just a grab-bag of various media properties and inspirations that the creators liked.
Isn't that a myth?
Man, you forgot the best one.
Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka AKA Ghazghkull Margaret Thatcher
Or that the Orks as a whole are just an entire parody of cockney football hooligans, which were a problem during the same era.
There's honestly so much to unpack here.
Right off the bat you notice that this is Arch Warhammer arguing that 40k isn't satirical or more importantly, has never been satirical.
This is a red warning sign, immediately, as it's very obvious why a literal Nazi is invested in arguing that 40k isn't, never has been or doesn't and never will be, satirising authoritarianism and racial ideologies. It's so that you come to the conclusion that if it isn't satire, then everything the Imperium does is entirely justified. You're meant to take away the message that what the Imperium is doing is not only neccessary, but activley justified in every sense.
The purpose of claiming that 40k isn't political, is to prevent people from thinking deeper about the setting and taking everything within it for granted. While it's true that GW and other writers have sloughed off much of the early, Rogue Trader era satire, it's still present in the more grimdark elements that are being kept alive in the lore by certain writers, but also even in the minis themselves (the recent Sororitas releases being some of the best in recent memory).
If the setting isn't satirical, then that is a ringing endorsement of fascism itself. But it's there, no matter how much fash want to argue it isn't. It is a deeply ignorant argument, of both literature and of the setting and it's history itself, and ignorance is precisely off of what the fash thrive. It's arguing against the thirty plus years of writing and setting details clearly meant to showcase that the Imperium is an unending nightmare. Just look at The Regimental Standard. It is a deeply and obviously satirical piece of work. If you can convince enough people that 40k isn't satire, you eventually get a fandom full of unironic Nazis.
Even the argument that the Imperium isn't fascist because it doesn't meet the technical definition of fascism are merely useless semantics meant to make the person arguing this sound more objectivley right, so that then every other argument can be disregarded as coming from a flawed premise.
It doesn't matter if the Militarum is a death cult war machine fueled by fear and hate, or that complacency is entirely ensured through the use of overwhelming, state authorised violence and nepotism, this isn't 'strictly fascism by definition', which of course means the Imperium isn't fascist, ergo your argument is wrong.
At some point this doesn't matter. The argument is entirely a method to derail the actual point being made. This is the reddit school of online arguing, where you simply pick apart the argument mechanically like an engineer, rather than engaging with it narrativley. It's an argumentative style that supposes there is no artistic or thematic merit in storytelling, it simply exists as a collection of words and ideas that have to be explained 'objectivley'. It's entirely souless and benefits no one but the fash.
Regarding technical definition of fascism , I like umberto ecos list.
The imperium meets at least 11 of those and 2 others could be Argued for. As far as I’m concerned , yes technically the imperium is fascist . ( as if a authoritarian theocracy / oligarchy is any better which is the only other thing you could say the imperium is )
I'm sorry, I got a problem of understanding there, as I'm trained into mechanical disassembly of arguments. Could you specify what you mean by narrativley engaging with an argument?
This is a great breakdown of the vid.
Your last paragraph really hit home and it's what, in particular, drove me fucking insane about the post about Slaanesh and how her themes literally demonize LGBTQ people and deviant sexuality. The top rated and gilded post on 40klore in response to that very well thought out OP relating Slaanesh's writing to the attitudes of '80s Britain essentially said "You can't relate Slaanesh's writing to anything in the real world, because Slaanesh's very presence in 40k changes the nature of sexuality and 40k is this different."
It was the diagetic fallacy taken to it's logical end. A whole post essentially asserting that because Slaanesh's presence as written made deviant sexuality literally evil then it's impossible to relate it to anything in the real world. It not only didn't engage with the "why" of Slaanesh being written that way or what tropes authors are drawing from, it literally asserted that you can never ask "why" in the first place or else you're analyzing the universe wrong.
Meanwhile a /pol/ worthy rant about how the 4 chaos gods reflect human corruption and Slaaneshi "degeneracy" in the modern world didn't provoke these arguments at all. For some reason.
How can anyone be so hopelessly stupid that they manage to read 40k and not understand that the Imperium aren't good or justified?
They're not stupid, they're just fascists who want to claim it as their ground, to advance fascism.
No one says that the Imperium is good, if anything everyone in the 40k universe is really fucking evil, but that is what draws so many to 40k. Its not a PC fairy princess story but a gritty reality that someone can relate to in a distant sort of way.
Jesus Fuck. Someone remind me why the fuck he has one of the loudest voices in the community when he's so unbashedly wrong on so many things, this shit pisses me off.
Cause he puts himself out there as the go to lore guy for the newest of newbies entering the setting.
He gets in their head and makes himself out to be the sole repository of 40k lore knowledge and that anybody who contradicts him is wrong.
From there it's simple to put in his more deep dive "lore" videos "critiques" about 40k,mainly how there are too many SJW politics in the setting. By then, people have just been too indoctrinated and/or subconsciously blocking out his worst behavior to leave him.
Let's admit it: 40K hasn't been satire for a long time now.
It's been a few decades. The goofiness and as-it-comes time of Rogue Trader is an interesting historical footnote and nothing else. The young adults who grew up bashing their plastic mans together or coming up with fantastical stories are now writing those stories, and they're not the same people who imagined it as a silly space opera or making fun of Thatcher-era politics. They're the people who can now build the heroes they always imagined.
Is that a bad thing?
No, I don't think so. Not inherently. The setting has matured in many ways. It's opened itself to self-examination and critique. Horus Rising is a book, at its core, about tax policy, the effects of galactic propaganda and militant atheism, how a 'soldier class' can (or even could, or should) be integrated back into 'peacetime' society. It's a story about ego and politics and misunderstanding compounding errors.
Unfortunately, that was in 2006. The Horus Heresy is where 40K truly began to, I think, take itself seriously. It's a fifty-four book massive space opera that presents a reasonably clear line between 'goodies' and 'baddies'. We see much less of the poor and downtrodden, and when we do, they're exceptions, or merely in the background, or their misery is considered acceptable. We see much less of the 'bad side' of the Imperium - think Eisenhorn talking about how he left a horribly suffering woman to die because putting her out of her misery would have caused him political problems, then chiding the reader for feeling at all bad about it. 'You don't have the moral fortitude to be an Inquisitor', the character delivers, and you immediately know that it's a view from that character, not in any way connected to the author or the company.
More and more the poverty and suffering of Imperial citizens is trotted out as misery porn rather than any examination or critique of the society that enforces it. If it's ever mentioned in that light at all, it's always immediately shrugged off as necessary. It's there as pathos for our heroic protagonist (generally an enforcer or soldier for this regime) to navel-gaze about briefly before getting back to work.
I don't think the current state of 40K can be summed up any better than the flagship Siege of Terra novels. Big heroic characters bash into each other for hundreds of pages, while disconnected side-plots show us the 'plight of the common man', all wrought by the evils of Chaos rather than the Imperial regime. There is no self-awareness to it. It is - and I rarely use this as a negative - fanfiction. It's fans of the setting who have become the writers for it indulging in their heroic ideals and fantasies, without any of the nuance, subtext or subtlety that came before it.
Nope. 40k reached its zenith of maturation around the time Horus Rising was published, and then the rest of the Horus Heresy shot it down to unprecedented levels.
And it accomplishes this via taking source material that was political satire at its core and twisting it into some soulless cash-grab of a franchise.
40k had something to say about the world, as loud and ridiculous as its methods may have been, and then it didn't. It takes those original concepts and then bloats them with self-importance and tries to self-contain them, which at the end of the day doesn't work.
This would've still been kind of okay if it had stayed relegated to 30k, which kind of can pull it off on its own. The problem is that the success of the Horus Heresy has caused this "goodies vs baddies space opera" motif to bleed over into 40k proper, and...well, now 40k proper is becoming a Saturday Morning Cartoon. You've acknowledged this yourself, expressing dismay at how recent novels have handled the Primaris Marines and made them less interesting then their predecessors.
The worst part, for me, is that this isn't killing off the franchise as it probably should (in a sane world). 40k is becoming more successful than ever, actually. It's just that thousands, no, hundreds of thousands of new fans have an idea of 40k rooted in this new era. The "HERESY!" statement and the humor of it isn't rooted in how horrible the Imperium is in a sort of way similar to Verhoeven's Starship Troopers and "I'M DOING MY PART". It's shouted for the sake of the word, now. Just because it's...a thing people do in 40k. That's it. And the same people actually believe that the Imperium is entirely justified and entirelg necessary, some sort of shining beacon of humanity's percieved fortitude and adaptability in horrible conditions. There is no joke, only people who have repeated propaganda so many times that they've begun believing it.
I'm just...angry and disappointed. Angry at Games Workshop for taking something horrifically beautiful and turning it into something boring and dangerous. Disappoited that nothing's being done to fix it, there's no massive outcry, there's no self-awareness of it from within, there's nothing. But it's the way things are.
I've mentioned that 40k has sloughed off many of it's satirical elements as time went on and i agree that as time went on, the misery being shown is being shown simply for the sake of being grimdark. But i would argue that the effects of the satire are still widely felt in the fandom and the lore, as you will still see many people openly state so.
The Horus Heresy series might fail at this in more ways then one, but that's why we have moments in the Ciaphas Cain, Gaunt's Ghosts and Eisenhorn novels, and in many others and in setting details.
Furthemore and most importantly, i refuse to cede ground to fascists who wish to claim 40k as their own and to deny the elements in the lore that clearly establishes that the Imperium is bad. I think that is far more important and ceding ground to say 'yeah it's not satire' gives into what they want. We can't have that, we have to stake a claim and be loud and clear about it.
Even this
I don't think is correct considering we have moments in the novels where Astartes who fell to Chaos openly speak about the fact that they may have chosen the wrong side, but that doesn't mean the other side is in the right.
Very well put
I wrote this post
I don't want to deny that GW hasn't been the best about keeping up with the satire in many departments, but i don't believe that it's completely gone. On top of this, as i've said, The Regimental Standard exists. These elements are still here and they're not obscured or hidden from view.
“Keep your politics out of my political satire “
Warboss ghazghkull mag uruk thraka sez society don't exist you gitz!
Have y’all looked through arches videos recently? The dude has decided to embrace how horrible of a person he is and start a far right wing news letter.
Like I am so ashamed I used to watch him before I knew how crazy he was. Always feel like I need a shower after seeing some new crazy shit he is posting about
Right wing arguments about this, in a nutshell.
The Imperium isn't fascist, but fascism is good, actually.
When people wearing SS outfits talk about purging the unclean, that's not political. But if they're black or female, it is.
They always have to have it both ways.
He never said fascism was good. Not once.
The Imperium of Man is a fictional device to shows a grimdark way humanity could be organized.
far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and of the economy.
Hive worlds of slaves, commissars, and the god emperor of mankind.
What's the counter arguement?
I'm confused why this is a big deal anyway.
Well to be fair, the one good point he did make (and he made quite a few bad ones tbf) is that the Imperium is too decentralized to be fascist. Also, their strongman leader is comatose and a council of theocrats run the empire.
Holy shit how could you be so braindead?
Oh that's right, they're fascists.
I need a Death Note that works with internet usernames, heresy or not.
Does Archweakling even play 40k? I don't see any videos/posts on his channel about painting, listing, playing, etc. He seems like he regurgitates lore from other places and has maybe played DoWII a few times, and that's it.
I don't think any sane person would even want to play a game with that manlet. He also seems to hate everything GW releases so i doubt he's bought a model since the launch of AoS and later on the introduction of Primaris Marines to the lore.
> Pretending the IoM isn't a blend of theocracy, WW2 steretyope Germany and Russia, exaggrated totalitarianism and for good measure capitalism mixed with full-on nazbol fanfiction
Catholic Stalinist Nazis in space.
His take on Umberto Eco causes me legitimate pain, like how can misunderstand ya boi so hard
Blessed is the mind too small for doubt.
I'm feeling masochistic; someone link me to the post?
Why does that níðingr continue to belabour this point when he knows the people who made Warhammer were Leftos who did explicitly intend the whole thing as a satire? And not just 40K, but Fantasy as well?
Because he's not arguing in good faith.
I find it very interesting that there seems to be this idea about that "if" the Imperium of Man is not fascist, then that somehow makes all the horrible shit in the setting not horrible. How? Genocides can be committed by others than fascists.
Also the idea that the authors have stated that it is portraying fascism, satirically or not, is somewhat lost on me.
The Imperium is a theocratic oligarchy with feudal elements, it's not fascist. But just because it isn't fascist doesn't mean the shit the Imperium does isn't absolutely abominable. There are justifications for the actions of the Imperium, but just because something is justified doesn't make it good, or right. The Nazis had justifications and that didn't make them right.
some one has never picked up a political science class or book. the imperium is a bureaucratic theocratic oligarchy. the fact that terra allows planets to govern themselves and gives 2 shits if they're democratic, communist or anarchic as long as they pay their tithes and say "yay emperor!" debunks the "muh imperium is fascist" and is just as logically compromised as "muh tau are commies!".
The tau are fascist.
Why do you assume i like the Tau.
Oh hey that's my thread. Thanks for helping Arch notice it and giving him free publicity. Love you too. <3
Yeah have fun being ostracised by half the fandom and the literal company that makes the game you like, you pathetic fascist piece of shit.