Op Ed. Ramble.
Steve Bannon is often described as a Neo-Nazi, or just a Nazi. He really isn’t. That’s way too simple. He knows his Nazi imagery and iconography, evident from the “America First” inauguration speech, the lingo of the campaign, plus the regime’s early policy. Bannon claims to be a Nationalist, one with an originalist view of the Constitution, much like Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s pick for SCOTUS. So what do you get when you thread a Fascism fetish, Old-School Constitutional thinking, and capitalism?
A loose federal government, controlled by a strong military, the oligarchy ruling class lording over the spoils of the states which would possibly be recombined, even, into loose nations, pooling resources, and trade leverage.
Dystopia schmopia. And how would that even happen?
We’ll have to go through Russia to get there. If you’re just catching onto Steve Bannon, and Stephen Miller for that matter, two power hungry conservatives running the Trump machine, then it is vital you understand Aleksandr Dugin, a Russian Orthodox philosopher who is also one of the inspirations of the Alt-Right.
First a run-down of the players.
Steve Bannon is a provocateur--at best, and at worst a white nationalist known for his chaotic style, and his originalist Constitutional views, he infamously suggested only male property owners should vote.
Stephen Miller, a college buddy of Richard Spencer, (head of the NPI white Nationalist organization--Spencer’s wife translates Dugin for NPI publishing branches) is one of Trump’s speech writers, and also served as the opening act to Trump. He’s disavowed any association with Spencer, which isn’t that surprising considering the stakes of the campaign, and now governing the White House. However, Miller has entered into the public spectrum, and in doing so puts himself up for scrutiny, and the Spencer connection is completely believeable, despite Miller’s claims. And under the microscope it becomes obvious that Miller has at least been influenced by the traditionalist nationalist movement that has infiltrated mainstream culture, and the White House, that’s right...the Alt Right. Three minutes into this video Miller is raging about women in this country being genitally mutilated by immigrants. He masks his Islamophobia with a faux women’s rights. Like his boss, when Miller is called a liar, he doubles down (much like Kellyanne Conway). In this one Miller gaslights the audience with HRC facts that could apply to his own candidate. These are hallmark tactics of Aleksandr Dugin’s the Fourth Political Theory: get angry, disrupt, separate, infiltrate and destroy. Miller’s strident voice itself is a weapon. His arrogance when challenged illustrate the Right’s entrenched entitlement. It’s off-putting and aggressive. How dare you? The white nationalist movement thinks alpha status is owed to them, and anyone, especially Muslims and LGBT folk, who dare seek equality which encroaches upon their own rights as enemies.
Miller, and especially Bannon, have used Donald Trump’s narcissism as a Trojan Horse for right wing Russian Americanism. Both Bannon and Miller are vessels for the spirit of the Aleksandr Dugin.
Aleksandr Dugin is alive. He’s not a dead white guy speaking from beyond the grave, he’s a radical traditionalist with podcasts and a Twitter account. He’s a philosopher, well spoken, connected to Putin, and the Russian right. He tweets, mostly pro-Trump, pro-LePen, pro-Putin, pro-Assad propaganda. If you are going to read him, read his own words, don’t let my research be your own and only.
Once called Putin’s Rasputin, Dugin was fired from his University job and appears to be separated from Putin. But that hasn’t slowed him down. He is a scholar, and a philosopher, and an academic. One who advocates agitation and conflict. And to be fair, in their abstracts agitation and conflict create competition, stir the spirit, and can create greatness. But
violent rhetoric breeds violence. When Dugin smiles and charmingly suggests that Russia go back to a caste system to achieve greatness, he chooses to ignore the inherent violence that such a power shift would occur. This kind of shift in power, money, and jobs, could easily spark civil wars, or world wars. Do not be fooled by personality, charm, or intellect. These people are dangerous. They scared off Glenn Beck.
Dugin, at times, sounds very much like a Trump voter, in that he sees political correctness as some sort of breach of the first amendment. “ If you say even a word about how you don’t like another nation, you’re going to jail. In the West, it’s very harsh. If you call a black a black, that’s it, you’re off to jail. It’s very harsh. This means that you can be right-wing or left...” The interview from which this above quote is taken finds Dugin discussing Trump and his fourth political theory, as well as liberalism in Europe, though the way he name drops Trump and the constitution, one wonders if he was only thinking of the US. (On the day after election day, Dugin posted on his social media; Washington is ours...). Brietbart media, once run by Bannon, has built its burgeoning empire on the basis of white rights, using fear of immigrants and disillusionment of the economic recession, plus the rapid human rights gains by LGBT communities as fertilizer.
The first amendment guarantees free speech, guaranteeing one the right to be offensive. You are allowed to be an asshole, it’s not against the law. The crude world of toxic machismo. Brashness, guns, bold cheeky in-your-face humor. And memes. Lots of memes. This is Brietbart. These are its followers. This is its world. They are vulgar, low, smart, and angry. You’ll find more name dropping of the first amendment on their pages than you would in a law journal. They love to brag and boast about their freedom to be offensive to the left. The alt-right was “born” there. But if you search Stormfront, and the Daily Stormer, two white supremacist/Neo-Nazi websites, you’ll find contentious claims in their forums claiming Bannon and company stole the Alt Right movement from them, and watered it down so “normies” can swallow it hook line and sinker. The Daily Stormer has their own Guide to the Alt Right,
Rebranding white nationalism as the alt right as been one of the cultural coups of the election. Alt is ubiquitous, a constant reminder of the alternative reality the election brought on.
And rebranding white nationalism,well that’s what Dugin did with Christo-fascism. Disguise your contempt of others in a neat wrapper, in this case the Fourth political theory.
Dugin, like Miller, Bannon, and the alt-right see liberals, lib-tards, and snowflakes as opposition. Snowflakes are the tyrannical monsters trying to stopper their conservative views. In Dugin’s own words: If you are outside of liberalism and democracy, then you’re a dangerous extremist, a fanatic, a terrorist…And now that only the liberals remain in today’s global society, we see that liberalism is the carrier of the last form of totalitarianism. In Dugin’s narrative neo liberals are the fascists. Dugin thinks conflict is healthy, that chaos is healthy. He fantasizes about civil war, and looks backward to the Middle Ages to the “pillars of faith, tradition, and religion, and caste society” for Russia to find its greatness again. He doesn’t mean returning our modernity back to the Middle Ages, but rather our values, our politics, and our nations. For in his mind and narrative the Christian right can take the lead once again, ruling side by side with a strong man ruler, a strong central government, surrounded by smaller fiefdoms, city states, which make their own rules and create their own economy, connected by a vast infrastructure.
This comparison to the Middle Ages should sound familiar.
Back during the campaign Carly Fiorina described ISIS as medieval. ISIS has long been cast as a Middle Age violent movement. Their interpretation of Islam is more aligned to the alt-right than you think, And they are the beast in Dugin’s narrative, along with Asia, standing in the way of a glorious white nation state, a new Russia. This myth of ISIS as an agent of the apocalypse isn’t unique to Russia’s Dugin; it’s beating at the heart of Trump’s administration. Just listen to Stephen Miller go off on Ted Cruz about immigration. Consider Kellyanne Conway’s Bowling Green Massacre, not a mistake, a calculated move. Consider the “ban,” or any number of ways Trump’s team casts Muslims as the greatest enemy to western civilization. The repeated attacks are a long game, mind you. They are trying to change public perception about Islam. If they can get people to think of Islam as something other than religion, then the US can economically and legally destroy it. Religion is protected by the Constitution, ideologies are not. Thus the religious freedom executive order, currying favor with Trump’s richest supporters, the religious right, while stirring conflict within the country. The move serves multiple purposes, and as it plays out in states across the country, will see the Supreme Court soon (remember Gorsuch?).
Bannon in a Hollywood Reporter interview famously said “darkness is good,” and how he wished to launch a new political movement. So what would Bannon’s new movement look like? Combine the originalist view of the Constitution with the Middle Age inspired theocracy of Dugin’s 4th Political Theory, and one can easily see a loose central government governing states, or confederacies. The central government, with a huge defense budget, and control of the economy through the billionaire class, state nations, or confederacies vying for competition, with religion woven into the fabric of the government, all connected by a vast infrastructure. The GOP recently yanked a bill to sell off public lands, lands that would privatized, stripped, and commercialized. Something big and shiny built off the side of the road, just waiting for Bannon’s infrastructure to connect it to the rest of the country.
Imagine the US broken up into feudal states. Sound far fetched? It isn’t. Calexit is supported by Russia, and so is Texit. And if you believe the rumors on Twitter, a Calexit, pushed by Bannon, Miller, and Trump, would break the Dems hold on the electoral college forever. Without Cali, how could the Dems win, especially if they remain so divided and so many of the voting population decides to opt out. Not so far fetched when you hear Bannon riff to HR “We’ll govern for a fifty years.”
But how would they hold on?
Bannon keeps floating infrastructure. You can’t think about infrastructure without thinking of FDR, and it’s hard to not think of FDR without thinking of war.
A war with China would free us from the shackles of Chinese controlled debt. Bannon loves war, it’s part of his machismo mythos. He sits on the NSC, and he has as much power as conspiracy fanatic Michael Flynn. Bannon is in position to push forward whatever agenda he wishes. And much of his agenda has to do with Asia, oil, and trade. Bannon, and Trump’s team look at economics in terms of a Zero sum game. In a zero sum game there can be only one winner. And Bannon, Miller, and Trump are banking on the US to be that winner. China will have to fall in line or be destroyed. This is also in line with Dugin’s Medieval chaotic caste system that thrives on conflict; China is an enemy to Russia’s imperialism.
Bannon, in his own words and images, believes America is faced with a culture war, one caused by a morally bankrupt Washington. A corrupt secular government has allowed evil to creep into the country. His culture war pits Christianity against Islam. Breitbart, Bannon’s former workplace, creates narratives. Brietbart is the hub of the alt-right lite, the mainstream Nationalism that is vulgar, anti-elite, and anti-progressive. They stir people up, and spread propaganda for the right. Brietbart recruits the rough housers, the bullies, Pence courts thee gentile and the ladies, and the Daily Stormer recruits the soldiers. Bannon’s got his own militia, and they’d fight for Trump, troll their forums for yourself. Throw in Drudgereport as an echo chamber, and you have the modern “populist” GOP, one funded by billionaires, and one convinced that anyone who doesn’t agree with them are “the left,” eager to destroy the country. They are entrenched, entitled, and eager to repeal civil rights for more power.
“Drain the Swamp,” a variation of Mussolini’s phrase, didn’t mean get rid of the corruption, though that’s what Trump supporters were led to believe. Far from it. Bannon and crew mean to only drain DC of folks who would oppose balkanization, and white nationalism. Get rid of garden variety political corruption. Bring on kleptocracy, and a movement to break up America.
Bannon wants to get his infrastructure going so he can save America, and get rich doing it. And if States succeed, so what? They can negotiate their own trade deal, make their own laws, and raise their own military. Let the lib-tards have New York, the white nationalist theocracy will take the middle, and the Great Lakes. And if you don’t like where you’re living you can move, if you have money.
Because when it’s all said and done, money is what it is all about. The billionaires Trump’s putting in charge are really out for themselves, their special interests, and their family’s businesses; America, you’re last on their list. Personalities over principles.
And Trump? He’s the Trojan Horse, so concerned with ego and attention that he latched on with the right wing evangelical industrial complex to gain power, money and supporters. Though he shares the alt-right’s vulgarity and penchant for aggressive propaganda, he’s likely compromised, and not to mention emotionally unhinged, or even senile. Bannon surely recognized this money train from far away; he plotted his jump and made it, and now he’s in charge, making sure the train arrives on time.