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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

Steve Bannon just can’t help himself. The president’s chief strategist, and former executive chair of Breitbart News, has repeatedly cited fascists and white supremacists without compunction or even discretion.

A recent investigation by the Huffington Post exposed how Bannon’s fondness for The Camp of the Saints, an obscure French novel that portrays a race war between the “civilized” white West and the evil brown hordes of the so-called East. The Huffington Post even highlighted several interviews in 2015 and 2016 in which Bannon compared global politics and the refugee crisis to the plot of the book, which has been likened to Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf.

The Camp of the Saints, which takes its title from the Bible, was written by ultra-reactionary French author Jean Raspail, who openly describes himself as a “royalist” who wants to restore the Catholic monarchy. In the book, he describes hordes of Indians trying to conquer white Western Christendom as “thousands of wretched creatures” and “turd-eaters.”

The Huffington Post described the novel Bannon admires as “nothing less than a call to arms for the white Christian West, to revive the spirit of the Crusades and steel itself for bloody conflict against the poor black and brown world without and the traitors within.”

Yet Bannon’s admiration of The Camp of the Saints is by no means an isolated example of his extreme far-right politics. The New York Times pointed out that Trump’s right-hand man cited Nazi-affiliated Italian philosopher Julius Evola in a 2014 speech at a Christian conference.

Benito Mussolini, the founder of Italian fascism, greatly admired Evola. The Italian leader of the extreme right-wing Traditionalist movement wrote for fascist publications and journals, espousing anti-democratic and anti-egalitarian ideas. Evola was virulently racist and anti-Semitic and openly claimed that non-European races were inferior. He also condoned patriarchal domination of women and advocated rape.

A big fan of Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler, Evola spent years in Nazi Germany, where he gave lectures. He personally welcomed Mussolini to the Wolf’s Lair, Hitler’s military headquarters. In a post-war trial in 1951, Evola denied being part of Mussolini’s fascist movement, which was apparently not bombastic enough for his tastes; instead, he proudly declared himself to be a “superfascist.”

Neo-fascist leader Richard Spencer told the Times he was excited that Bannon knew of Evola.

“It means a tremendous amount,” Spencer said, adding that Trump’s chief strategist “is at least open to them.”

AlterNet previously reported on Bannon’s 2014 speech, in which he described his belief in an intractable violent conflict between the “enlightened” Christian West and the forces of Islam, secularism, and socialism.

“We’re at the very beginning stages of a very brutal and bloody conflict,” Bannon warned. “We are in an outright war against jihadists, Islam, Islamic fascism.”

He condemned the “immense secularization of the West” and the increasing secularism among millennials, and insisted that Christians must “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.”

Right-wing pundit Glenn Beck went so far as to compare Bannon to the Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels, calling Bannon “quite possibly the most dangerous guy in all of American politics.”

Fascist forces in the West are not the only ones that find a kindred spirit in Bannon. His mortal enemy, Islamist extremists, share Bannon’s eschatological, clash-of-civilizations worldview — albeit from the opposite side. In fact, al-Qaeda identifies so much with Bannon’s ideas, it put him on the front page of an affiliated newspaper, al-Masra.

The genocidal Islamic State has made it clear that its goal is to destroy the so-called Grayzone, or space where Muslims are accepted in Western countries. Far-right leaders like Trump and Bannon—along with their extreme, anti-Muslim counterparts Marine Le Pen in France, Geert Wilders in the Netherlands and beyond—help extremist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda fulfill their missions.

ISIS has rejoiced at Trump’s presidential victory. An ISIS-affiliated media network said, in a translation quoted by the Washington Post, “Trump’s win of the American presidency will bring hostility of Muslims against America as a result of his reckless actions, which show the overt and hidden hatred against them.”

Before becoming Trump’s right-hand man in the Oval Office, and CEO of Trump’s campaign before that, Bannon was previously chair of the far-right website Breitbart News, where he was also a founding board member. Bannon proudly described Breitbart as “the platform for the alt-right,” using the popular euphemism for the white supremacist movement led by neo-fascists like Richard Spencer.

Spencer, who adores Trump, is an avowed white supremacist who coined the term “alt-right” and edits a website of the same name, where he published an article justifying “black genocide” and pondering “the best and easiest way to dispose” of “the Black race.”

At a white supremacist “alt-right” conference in Washington, D.C. in November, Spencer was caught on camera shouting “Hail Trump! Hail our people! Hail victory!” — a reference to the Nazi slogan “Sieg Heil.”

The Huffington Post created a video compiling Bannon’s references to these far-right, fascist, white supremacist thinkers and views. You can watch it below.

Ben Norton is a reporter for AlterNet’s Grayzone Project. You can follow him on Twitter at @BenjaminNorton.

IMAGE: Chief White House Strategist Steve Bannon speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Gage Skidmore / Flickr

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23 Responses to Steve Bannon’s Intellectual Influences Are Mostly Fascists And White Supremacists

    • It’s All his parents fault! He was born in 1953.
      The whole shebang was predictable! Reichs don’t die they mutate and move around.
      America, Russia and free Europe destroyed the third! Where is the fourth now?
      Easy! Look over your shoulder! Who will stop it? Dream.

  1. That a racist, white supremacist, anti-semite like Steve Bannon has a powerful position of influence in the White House is a stain on our nation that is never going to wash clean.

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    • Let’s face it, Dr. Taddesse, we’re ALL part black African. Our first ancestor CAME from Africa and we ALL have that little piece of DNA in our mitochondrial DNA make-up! I know that would probably gall the alt right folks, but it’s the truth!

  2. When you have mentalities that take credit for the achievements of others when the numbers and reports are “good,” and then when they aren’t, you blame others, that’s a recipe for failure.

    You have a right wing in the US today that is irresponsible and refuses any accountability for their speech or actions. More failure.

    Bannon is the product of another dysfunctional family where authoritarianism was militarized to the degree the children in these families grow up believing they have more entitlement to break laws, make irrational and unreasonable demands on others and generally make life as miserable as they can so they can make everyone around them suffer. That is mental illness in its clearest picture and what you see when you see Bannon, Conway and Spicer all hanging onto the most mentally ill money mad, profit hungry lunatic in history.

    The downside to this is that the very people these nuts kept in Walmartian poverty are suddenly feeling they can be just as obnoxious, rude, crude and classless as their Sleazebag in Chief.

  3. I read the English version of “Mein Kampf.” I also read “The Rise and Fall of The Third Reich.” Wake up, America. Bannon is one of those kinds of people. Our Democracy is in real danger. Eight years from now, will someone be writing “The Rise and Fall of the Fourth Reich?” Fascism is a malignancy. It must be excised.

    • I know, I thought the same thing! Reminded me of that one time I agreed with George W. while he was President. Glenn Beck has gone through a conversion and is a more humane and thoughtful person. Media failure and getting away from the malignant Fox (so called) News has been good for Glen’s soul and thought processes.

    • Glen Beck would periodically make the point that his program was not serious politics, but merely show business. Just a quick & dirty way to get rich from the rubes he played to. The outrageous public character of Howard Stern masked a quiet Long Island suburban father who didn’t “party” and preferred a quiet weekend mowing his lawn & spending time with his family (until I think the lines blurred & he became the public Stern. Alice Cooper, with his androgynous rock star character, was actually a young Republican who would sit in the back of his limo on his way to a concert, reading the stock pages in the WSJ. Jerry Springer was actually a lawyer & former mayor who made his fortune playing to the morons & bimbos who believed professional wrestling was real. Maybe we are finally seeing the real person behind Beck’s public caricature.

  4. I have the real fear that it is already too late for America as a democracy. The Republicans, never friends with a system where people can disagree with them, are beholden to Trump & his extreme base. Trump is an empty vessel, with no core principles or ideology. Bannon & to a lesser extent neo-fascist Steve Miller, have secured their positions as “Trump Whisperers,” using Trump as their tool for creating their all white, evangelical, bigoted fatherland. And there is nobody left with the power to stop them. It’s already a fait accompli.

    • Fortunately, there ARE people left with the power to stop them….we just have to gather together and fight for our democracy like we fought for it once before!

  5. Ryan, Pence, and Bannon are the real forces driving the so called Trump agenda. Trump is an ignorant, arrogant narcissist, prone to over reactions, too lazy to educate himself, and easily manipulated by those around him and the fake media he relies on for information (Breitbart and FOX). Ryan, Pence, and Bannon are the ones behind the decisions that are being made, including the replacement of the safety net with giveaways to the wealthy, a confrontation foreign policy mixed with nationalist themes, and an overt transition to Fascism.

    • “the replacement of the safety net with giveaways to the wealthy, a confrontation foreign policy mixed with nationalist themes” is why he was elected. ” overt transition to Fascism” ?? Quite the contrary. It is return of democracy to middle America where it belongs. This does not fit with your leftist progressive assessment of America, so you attack the messenger personally for that feel-good progressive comfort.

  6. As long as Bannon has the ear of Trump, we’re all in trouble! His goal is to take down our democratic government and install a monarch-type system! Over 200 years ago, our ancestors fled from England so they could worship as they wish and form their own government. How long will it take before Bannon and his ilk end up chasing most of us somewhere else? The only problem is….there IS no where else that we can go to get away from this perfidy! But, I can guarantee you…..it will not be easy for Bannon and his buddies to overtake our democracy….we fought too hard to get it, and we’ll fight to keep it!

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