Bannon’s philosophy is a mix of elements so correct I want to cheer, and other parts that are deeply wrong and scary.
He’s dead right about crony capitalism, the elevation of pure selfishness to a cult, and capitalism’s abandonment of the middle and working classes.
Bannon identifies Putin and his regime as dangerous kleptocrats.
Those are the good parts of what he has to say, and it’s refreshing to see a national political figure come out and say them.
On the other hand, in backing Trump, Bannon is supporting precisely the kind of crony capitalism and kleptocracy he’s speaking out against here.
His sanctification of Judeo-Christian values above all is a threat to hundreds of millions of peaceful Muslims, as well as Sikhs, Buddhists, Shintoists, atheists, LGBTQ people, and more than a billion Asians. It’s a threat to most of the population of the world and much of the population of the United States.
Bannon portrays 20th Century capitalism as a golden age, and completely ignores its history of imperialism.
His belief that radical Islam represents an existential threat to the Western way of life is wrong and dangerous. There are a few thousand radical Islamicsts in the world, and more than a billion other Muslims. Bannon and his ilk are threatening to expand the police action against the smaller group to a war against the latter — bringing about the world war they warn about.
Bannon downplays the bigotry of right-wing populist parties. It “all gets kind of washed out” in the end, he says. And yet if you believe that the source of good in the world is European Judeo-Christian values, it naturally follows that non-Jews, non-Christians, and non-Europeans must be inferior. Bigotry isn’t some minor toxin in the body of Bannon’s populism that will naturally wash away when the body is healthy enough; it’s a cancer that has absorbed the tissue and bone.
Moreover, through Breitbart, Bannon isn’t working to rid the right of bigotry. He’s stoking bigotry.
Also: I’m suspicious whenever Christian social conservatives go on about “Judeo-Christian values.” I believe they’re embracing Jews so long as we’re useful; when we’re no longer needed they’ll stuff us into the ghettos.