IN the midst of critical discourses, let us take a grip on the contemporary accounts of what military societies call “discipline”. I am inclined to think that there is a flaw of understanding or rather the suffocation in contemporary explanations or in interpreting and comprehending the concept of discipline in the military fraternity.
This lead us to the extent of questioning of whether the Generals and intellectuals in the military fraternity and other military clans has not fell on the trap of unsophisticated understanding and implementation of the concept of military discipline to themselves and their subjects.
To understand this, we need to relearn the history and origin of military culture and the propagation of such culture in detail taking a special consideration and reference to the Spartan law of ancient Greece and the Roman propagation of Christian faith” during the early days of military wars and Christian propaganda.
The kind of discipline referred to here is understood and practiced as a way of training people to obey rules or a code of behaviour using punishment to correct disobedience.
For example a member of Namibian police can impose disciplinary proceedings against a junior police officer who did not salute a senior officer or who has made disparaging remarks toward the administration of the force.
That kind of military discipline can no longer be applicable to the 21st century generation of military personnel. Change is inevitable social element in human affairs and the context of military discipline during the Greek civilization can no longer apply today.
It is reasonable to the use of military propaganda during wars.
Today discipline is used as a basis for promotion in the military. Perhaps the reason I call it propaganda is because the draconian laws that enforce discipline are aimed at promoting “the most disciplined” officers.
The most obeying sheep is the most among those who are likely to be given ranks.
The propagation of Military discipline can be equated to the 1622 religious propagation of faith by Pope Gregory XV of the Catholic Church.
In order to earn loyalty in Churches one has to be “faithful” in their religion. Say nothing, hear nothing, do as told is a status quo of discipline in the military and forces.
The context in which discipline is used needs to be exposed and repealed.
In entrenching the propaganda of discipline and by extension military slavery, Article 104 of the Namibian Constitution provides that all laws that were in force before independence shall remain in force until repealed or amended by an Act of Parliament or declared unconstitutional.
The laws of Namibia originate from Roman-Dutch law during the colonial administration. It entrenches military discipline as a competent concept in the lives of military personnel that their rights to freedom of speech are subject to limitation upon derogation by military laws.
To extrapolate on the intellectual standing of military discipline lets look at the case of Kauesa v. Minister of Home Affairs and Others 1995 NR 175 (SC); (4) SA 965 (Nms) whereby the court has to rule on the constitutionality of Regulation 58(32) of the Police regulations deemed to have been made under the Namibian Police Act of 1990 which prohibited a member of the Namibian police from Commenting unfavourably in public on the administration of the Namibian Police.
Mr. Kauesa , the appellant was serving as a warrant officer in the Namibian Police and had appeared on NBC television panel discussion on the topic of affirmative action in the context of restructuring of the Namibian Police and the Public Service.
He had stated inter alia that white officers in the command structure of the Police force were determined to undermine the governments policy of reconciliation and that they had facilitated corruption. The Namibian Police started disciplinary proceedings againist Mr. Kauesa citing “indiscipline”.
He applied to the High Court for an order declaring the regulation unconstitutional and the application was dismissed. He lodged an appeal to the Supreme Court which overruled the High Court judgement.
With this landmark judgment, the propagation of discipline in the Namibian police force was declared unlawful even in its own draconian context of law. The military and force fraternity are facing a serious liquidation in terms of their own laws and other unsophisticated concepts given the legal and philosophical minds in the society.
The concept of discipline in the military context is very much unsophisticated and there is a necessity to urgently rehabilitate this concept. and its application as society begins to transform. I appeal to the consciousness and patriotism of all Namibians in support of revolutionary morality not to embrace military discipline as a sophisticated propaganda for it is not.
A Critical Theorist
NOTE: This letter has been shortened.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015