The thoughts and views of Stephen Bannon are just a google search away.
Whether it’s a documentary he made (Citizen Zero) or remarks he gave to a conference at the Vatican (of all places) his intentions are dismally clear. The apocalyptic yearnings, the religious fervour, the narcissim and paranoia…. We’ve been here before in history. In trying to make sense of the chaos emanating from the White House we miss the larger picture: THIS IS A COUP WITH THE INTENTION OF STARTING WORLD WAR 3.
But don’t take my word or shouty caps for it. Below I’ve used his own words from the talk he gave the unironically titled Human Dignity Institute in 2014. I’ve re-jiggered the order and added headings to clarify his intentions. After all, he was the one who said “Darkness is good…Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power. It only helps us when they get it wrong. When ‘they’re’ blind to who we are and what we’re doing.”
Well, we’re not blind. Despite the cloak-and-dagger grandiosity his meaning is perfectly clear to anyone with the inclination to read (although from Donald Trump on down his people aren’t inclined – or even able – to read).
HE WANTS APOCALYPSE. NOW.
I believe the world, and particularly the Judeo-Christian West, is in a crisis…and it is a crisis both of capitalism but really of the underpinnings of the Judeo-Christian West in our beliefs.
[We’re experiencing] an immense secularization of the West…. that secularism has sapped the strength of the Judeo-Christian West to defend its ideals.
It’s ironic, I think, that we’re talking today at exactly, tomorrow, 100 years ago, at the exact moment we’re talking, the assassination took place in Sarajevo of Archduke Franz Ferdinand that led to the end of the Victorian era and the beginning of the bloodiest century in mankind’s history.
Just to put it in perspective, with the assassination that took place 100 years ago tomorrow in Sarajevo, the world was at total peace. There was trade, there was globalization, there was technological transfer… that war triggered a century of barbaric — unparalleled in mankind’s history — virtually 180 to 200 million people were killed in the 20th century, and… we’re children of that barbarity. This will be looked at almost as a new Dark Age.
HE IS SPOILING FOR A HOLY WAR
I believe you should take a very, very, very aggressive stance against radical Islam.
We have to face a very unpleasant fact. And that unpleasant fact is that there is a major war brewing, a war that’s already global. It’s going global in scale, and today’s technology, today’s media, today’s access to weapons of mass destruction, it’s going to lead to a global conflict that I believe has to be confronted today. Every day that we refuse to look at this as what it is, and the scale of it, and really the viciousness of it, will be a day where you will rue that we didn’t act [sooner].
We’re at the very beginning stages of a very brutal and bloody conflict… that will completely eradicate everything that we’ve been bequeathed over the last 2,000, 2,500 years.
We are in an outright war against jihadist Islamic fascism. And this war is, I think, metastasizing far quicker than governments can handle it… Boko Haram and other groups that will eventually partner with ISIS in this global war, and it is, unfortunately, something that we’re going to have to face, and we’re going to have to face very quickly.
We’re in a war of immense proportions
HE WANTS TO BRING DOWN THE ESTABLISHMENT
He says he is an economic nationalist and sees two kinds of capitalism:
One is a form of capitalism that is taken away from the underlying spiritual and moral foundations of Christianity…if you look at the leaders of capitalism at that time, when capitalism was I believe at its highest flower and spreading its benefits to most of mankind, almost all of those capitalists were strong believers in the Judeo-Christian West.
[On the other hand] crony capitalism (he also calls it State-sponsored capitalism) …forms a brutal form of capitalism that is really about creating wealth and creating value for a very small subset of people. And it doesn’t spread the tremendous value creation throughout broader distribution patterns that were seen really in the 20th century.
The Republican establishment is really a collection of crony capitalists … And, quite frankly, it’s the reason that the United States’ financial situation is so dire, particularly our balance sheet. We have virtually a hundred trillion dollars of unfunded liabilities.
(the shorter version of this is what he told a Daily Beast Reporter: “Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment” or the even shorter, tweetable version “I am Thomas Cromwell in the court of the Tudors.” [as said to Michael Wolff]).
HE IS AN UN-POPULIST (he didn’t win the popular vote and is asserting the minority over the majority)
I think you’re seeing a global reaction to centralized government, the underpinning of this populist revolt is the financial crisis of 2008. That revolt, the way that it was dealt with, the way that the people who ran the banks and ran the hedge funds have never really been held accountable for what they did, has fueled much of the anger in the tea party movement in the United States
And that center-right revolt is really a global revolt…. The theme is all the same. And the theme is middle-class and working-class people — they’re saying, “Hey, I’m working harder than I’ve ever worked. I’m getting less benefits than I’m ever getting through this, I’m incurring less wealth myself, and I’m seeing a system of fat cats who say they’re conservative and say they back capitalist principles, but all they’re doing is binding with corporatists.” Right? Corporatists, to garner all the benefits for themselves.
HE SEES HIMSELF AS A PROTECTOR OF MORALITY (and is a casual racist)
On the social conservative side, we’re the voice of the anti-abortion movement, the voice of the traditional marriage movement, and I can tell you we’re winning victory after victory after victory
I think when you look at any kind of revolution — and this is a revolution — you always have some groups that are disparate. I think that will all burn away over time and you’ll see more of a mainstream center-right populist movement.
They have had some aspects that may be anti-Semitic or racial… there’s always elements who turn up at these things, whether it’s militia guys or whatever. Some that are fringe organizations. My point is that over time it all gets kind of washed out, right? People understand what pulls them together, and the people on the margins I think get marginalized more and more.
HE HAS A CRUSH ON OTHER TOTALITARIANS
Putin’s quite an interesting character. He’s also very, very, very intelligent… at least Putin is standing up for traditional institutions, and he’s trying to do it in a form of nationalism — and I think that people… want to see nationalism for their country…I happen to think that the individual sovereignty of a country is a good thing and a strong thing
Putin and his cronies are really a kleptocracy, that are really an imperialist power that want to expand… However, I really believe that in this current environment, where you’re facing a potential new caliphate …/.. I think we have to deal with first things first.
You can read his full transcript (thanks to Buzzfeed) here.