Trump’s Right Hand: His Ideology
Steve Bannon has become chief strategist and senior counselor to President Donald Trump. It is none other than Bannon who will be in charge of the ideological component of the new president and his administration, as well as the media component. Earlier, 62-year-old Bannon managed the Trump campaign, which turned out extremely successful. Bannon’s team worked with the electorate on social networks, actively using the potential of meme-teams, especially those of an alternative-right orientation.
Steve Bannon was born into an Irish Catholic family. He also served in the army. Bannon has several college degrees, including one from Harvard University. He began his career as an investment banker for Goldman Sachs, and then moved into the media sphere. The largest project headed by Bannon is the news website Breitbart News. Thanks to Bannon’s activism, this resource gained the reputation as a platform for the dissemination of alternative-right opposition views and opposition to political correctness which is unhealthy in the opinion of many white (and not only) Americans.
Steve Bannon represents a rather complex mixture of ideologies which strongly differ from traditional notions of “left” and “right”. For example, during an interview, Bannon called himself simultaneously a “Leninist” and a “pragmatist and capitalist”.
Good capitalism and bad capitalism
“That capitalism really generated tremendous wealth. And that wealth was really distributed among a middle class, a rising middle class, people who come from really working-class environments and created what we really call a Pax Americana,” Steve Bannon said. Certainly, Bannon preaches the idea of white messianism and American supremacy over the rest of the world. This point is definitely different from the European “New Right” parties for which the diversity of cultures does not imply any competition for greatness.
According to Bannon, after the collapse of the USSR and by the dawn of the 21st century, the world did not move forward, but rather rolled back into crisis and degradation. He believes that we are at the doorstep of a new bloody conflict in which Christian civilization will have to either unite in the fight for its beliefs and very existence, or perish.
Bannon sees two main trajectories along which “good” capitalism degraded after once giving life to the now waning prosperity of the middle class. On the one hand, this is the libertarian capitalism of the Ayn Rand-style doctrine, which makes people themselves into commodities. Bannon uses the term "objectification", which is commonly used by feminists to describe the transformation of the body and female sexuality into a commodity in the capitalist world, and extends this definition to the whole of society. He emphasizes that, in the absence of alternatives, young people perceive this model as a certain kind of "personal freedom.”
Russia, China, and Latin America have become the territories from which the second kind of degraded capitalism is spreading, which Bannon calls “kleptocracy.” Indeed, in contrast to European right parties, Bannon criticizes Russia and does so rather harshly. However, his charges cannot be denied as valid at least in the context in which he talks about the clannish nature of capitalism which leads to the concentration of wealth, the rule of a very small social group, and the stratification of society, as in the first case.
When a national establishment is partially subservient to transnational capital and foreign political strategists, it doesn’t make any sense for the system to solve issues on this plane, instead preferring to communicate with “customers” who will, if necessary, give contracts to the “national elite” like to a herd of cattle.
The Alternative-Right movement and Faith
Many perceive the alternative-right movement as atheistic, pagan, or in any case anti-Christian. Bannon refutes this theory. According to him, the secularization of the West is the indirect cause of the fact that today it cannot resist radical Islam and proscribed terrorist organizations such as ISIS. Islamic fascism is at war with the Christian world, driving Christians out from their historical places of residence in the Middle East, throwing dozens of them off of cliffs, and cutting their throats. Because it practically no longer exists, Western Christianity can no longer pose any equally fierce resistance to Islamic radicals.
“We’re at the very beginning stages of a very brutal and bloody conflict which, if the people in this room, the people in the church, do not bind together and really form what I feel is an aspect of the church militant, to really be able to not just stand with our beliefs, but to fight for our beliefs against this new barbarity that’s starting, that will completely eradicate everything that we’ve been bequeathed over the last 2,000, 2,500 years”, Steve Bannon stated during a conference in the Vatican in the summer of 2014, when Islamic terrorists had still not yet reached their peak and were, because of Western media’s promotion, still perceived as "rebels" and "freedom fighters" (just like Chechen terrorists in their time).
The absence of faith makes modern capitalists too cynical and greedy, forcing them to deny human nature in people and perceive such as an attachment to this commodity. No matter whether the capitalists of the "old world" were Jews, Protestants, or anyone else, their religious beliefs would have influenced the course of business and served as a natural brake, which has now been completely frustrated. This is leading the whole world into the abyss.
Bannon and the Right in Europe
Notwithstanding the above-said, Bannon considers the European and Russian “new right” to be allies in the fight against the world government. Trump’s advisor and the editor-in-chief of Breitbart is not a supporter of ZOG or other conspiracy theories, as he himself admits, but does not ignore that people “in New York and Davos feel closer to people in London and in Berlin than they do to people in Kansas and in Colorado, and they have more of this elite mentality that they’re going to dictate to everybody how the world’s going to be run”.
It is this confrontation to the transnational elite, of which the working and middle classes of Europe, Asia, and the United States are so tired, that is the central link between center-right movements around the world. People are tired of feeding the global financial system with their sweat and blood. This is the essence of the movement and alt-right beliefs of Bannon. And what is most paradoxical is that these people have today come to fulfill the role of the good old Marxist left, advocating a more equitable distribution of wealth in society. “So I think you’re seeing a global reaction to centralized government,” says Bannon.
Thus, being staunch capitalists on the one hand and supporters of social justice on the other, the alt-right defends traditional marriage and oppose abortion, thus being somewhere between right and left ideologies. The “alternative” dimension in this is that the “New Right” consider the Republican conservatives of the so-called Tea Party to be their opponents even more than leftists. It is no coincidence that the famous TV presenter and showman-conservative Glenn Beck called Steve Bannon “quite possibly the most dangerous guy in all of American politic” and a “horrible, despicable human being.”
Russia on the threshold of change
The fact that Bannon has openly criticized the Russian kleptocracy shows that Trump will hardly work with the elites who are running the country now. Today, the Russian establishment are exactly those "fat cats" and transnationals whom the American new right have targeted to fight. Today, these kleptocratic liberal elites can no longer hide under the the cover of external pressure or hostile world hegemony like they have been successfully doing for decades. In recent years, Russia has also come to be considered a world leader of the conservative right-wing movement by virtue of its traditional values.
With Trump and Bannon’s arrival in the White House, Russian political spin doctors from the Sixth Column will no longer be able to bathe in the rays of Vladimir Putin’s glory as an informal traditionalist leader.
Now they have a strong competitor whose team is working much more professionally and is familiar with the latest technology for virally promoting political goals. Without a doubt, this competitor is above the heads of Russian bureaucrats in matters of image and reputation.
Thus, if Russia wants to inspire conservative forces within states to fight for national sovereignty and overcome the social divide, or at least stand on a par with their new partners and not reel back to second or third rate plans, then Russia will have to break the whole prevailing system. But for now, there is simply no person in the Kremlin who can talk to the new US president and his adviser.