Morning mashup: Army vs. SWP

Nothing illustrates the similarities between the army and the SWP like a good ol’ fashioned student union societies fair. Both parties (I use that term in the loosest sense) stand around looking awkward/serious, trying to convince gullible or foolhardy 18 year olds that they should sign up to fight for the winning team. The main difference of course being that the SWP have beardy silver-haired men who will treat you to a tirade of nonsense about who said what and in which sentence Trotsky picked his nose during the Third International (was it the 4th or 7th? – nobody knows) and that the army have a bunch of blank-faced robots in army jumpsuits standing around trying to pretend that they remember what it means to sit down and relax, who will treat you to a tirade of nonsense about how it is “fun” and “educational” to shoot stuff and kill things.

swap soldier

An entertaining game of Spot the Difference can then ensue… The two both pursue the same tactic – recruit shamelessly and a) hope the revolution will come and that their ideology (or lack thereof) will be shown to be the bestest or b) hope there will be another war and that nobody will notice that they need fresh meat to replace the ones that got sent to Afghanistan last year, hail them as unsung heroes and hope that their ideology (or lack thereof) will be shown to be the bestest. It’s also interesting that as soon as you challenge this tactic – based solely on recruiting enough people so that the revolution will arrive/recruiting enough people so the government will give them more money for death toys – they have no idea where to go. They are left dumbfounded when confronted with someone who sees through this tactic – yes but what do you have to offer in the meantime? How are you going to orchestrate a revolution, when all you seem to do is bitch amongst the 429 platform/splinter sects about which line of which paragraph is more important to the Marxist dialectic? OR: How can you justify recruiting kids (because that’s what they are) to come and have what I assume must be a fair amount of outdoorsy fun, judging by the level of uptake, in the hope that some of them will be a) foolish enough to either think the army is actually like that, or b) that they will absorb some of the rhetoric, start to believe the ideology, and actually willingly become cannon fodder for an army that defends the rights of capitalist, imperialist governments and kills innocent civilians and members of the global working class? Anyone who claims to have all the answers is obviously bullshitting, or the next lefty Jesus, but it’s clear that it is virtually impossible to please everyone. Despite all of this, I think it’s worth noting that the Left is scrappy as fuck, and all the infighting is utterly puerile – there should be a united approach (of course we’re not capable of that, but then again, neither is the EDL) if anything resembling a revolution is likely to manifest itself. So, to sum up: I am mostly joking, but also not. I am secretly crying on the inside.


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About shakkka

Londoner, climate scientist, extremist. All views are my own.

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