Revolutionary Politics and Institutions – a National Guard
After the Revolution, there would exist an opportunity for a National/Civil Guard to be established, both as an instrument of the Revolution and as an asset to civil society. Post the overthrow of the previous regime, there will have a pressing need for instruments and mechanisms for safeguarding the Revolution and furthering its legitimacy. A National Guard provides a number of ways and means to achieve that goal. It would not in the first instance though, be a military or paramilitary organization. Military and Policing would be distinctly separate roles and organisations. Although, it can provide career progression for people finishing military and policing service. (ie after 20 years) and it can form the basis for a national reserve force. That utilises their skills and experience, includes them in the new social compact and transfers their loyalties away from the failed past and towards the future. Hold outs and loyalists of the old system are just going to be a political reality, it will be necessary to do whatever is possible to either neutralise their opposition or to co-opt them and encompass them into the new system. Bring them into your camp if possible, it is better they are in your tent pissing out than they are outside pissing in. A National Guard is golden opportunity for achieving that.
It would be a broad based civilian organisation and bring a number of social institutions under one unified Authority. It would provide a degree of legitimacy and security for those organisations swept up under its umbrella that they hitherto mostly lacked – coastguard, surf lifesaving, rescue helicopters, civil defense etc. With proper training and induction pathways, properly structured career and promotional routes into the various departments, a National Guard becomes a large and powerful social instrument. It is a vehicle for indoctrinating large numbers of people with the Revolutionary credo. The people employed within it would have a vested interest in maintaining the organization and it ties their interests with the Revolution. The Guard and the Revolution become linked, a newly established organization, which as they join and become a part of, will inherently be recognised by them as being integral with the Revolutionary regime. The purpose of the Guard is to secure the safety and well being of civil society and the regime becomes legitimate by being the supplier of those social services, by being perceived to be doing good.
For instance, the Guard can be utilised to promote social inclusion and commitment. A specific division could be set up to deal with disengaged and disenfranchised young people with backgrounds of either unemployment or youth offending. A National Guard couldn’t help everyone of course, but it can provide an avenue for including and dealing with a significant number of young people when they are at an age and stage they can still be reasonable easily reached and re-educated, taught a (revolutionary) civil conscience and given a genuine career pathway. The National Guard could have distinct training facilities and programs for this, in the same way that for instance the military and police do, and for the same sorts of reasons, isolation, indoctrination, education and training. Removing young people from dysfunctional social environments and networks and then put them into a new environment that values and encourages them and ultimately employs them would stop many social ills and criminal activity before it even starts. That benefits the wider community and generates a stream of people who support our society rather than disrupting it. It generates legitimacy and loyalty at all sorts of social and personal levels for the Guard and for the Revolution.
The politics of a Revolution demand that as much acceptance and support of the new regime can be created as strongly and swiftly as possible. The Revolution also needs to be seen to be breaking decisively from the past. A new Civil/National Guard can be a major contributor to that end, and be a major benefit to the whole of society in the process.
There is the danger (inevitability?) that the Guard over time would develop into a large bureaucracy in its own right and slowly ossify – but that would be a problem for another generation to deal with, if and when it needs to.
This would be a Revolution for our times.