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16 October 2017

Steve Bannon and Nationalism




I read some reactions to a recent speech by Steven K. Bannon from people identifying as Alt Right. One response, I thought, was overly laudatory, the other overly dismissive. Here I give very briefly my view of Bannon's relationship to nationalism and to the race.

On the whole, Steve Bannon is a conservative Catholic -- conservative in the old sense of preserving traditions. His public statements generally reflect that. He has in the past stated his rejection of racism, but also his opposition to economic globalism and support for a nationalism based not on race but on social ties and culture. This seems to be in accord with the Catholic worldview. Based on this understanding of Bannon, I would not expect him to advocate anything more radical than civic nationalism.

Civic nationalism is not really enough to prevent racial decline, but it is a good start. I might point out that Mussolini's Italy was a civic nationalist state. Once the principle is established, that the state exists to preserve the people in it and to guard their interests against predatory minorities and against predatory foreigners, further refinements can be made later.

What I find especially important is Bannon's stated view that the economy exists to serve the nation. This is a direct repudiation of what passes for conservatism today. That "conservatism," which would not have been regarded as conservative a century ago, subordinates all other considerations to profit. Under that ideology, race is one of many values sacrificed on the altar of Mammon. The rejection of that ideology is a prerequisite for our race's survival. In that regard, Bannon is in practice, regardless of his declared disregard for race as a value, a more radical advocate for our race than some who carried torches in Charlottesville, who still espouse that destructive ideology of profit.

What I find curious is Bannon's repeated misuse of the word corporatist. He uses the word corporatist as a smear-word, the way Marxists use it, apparently as a synonym for plutocrat, and of course as a way to avoid saying Jew.

As a conservative Catholic, Bannon ought to know the proper meaning of corporatism, because it was advocated by Pope Leo XIII. Corporatism is a system that is supposed to prevent any particular set of interests from dominating a national economy and serving themselves to the detriment of the nation as a whole. This is the corporatism that was later adopted by Mussolini's Italy, and would eventually have been implemented in National-Socialist Germany. It is an expression of economic populism. There is even a fine article on Wikipedia that explains this, if it hasn't yet been vandalized by editors.

Marxists have inverted the meanings of words like corporatism that represent alternatives to Leninism in order, I believe, to remove those concepts from public discourse. As a conservative Catholic, Bannon should know better.

During the election last year I supported Trump. To those who pointed out Trump's shortcomings, especially his Jewish connections, my response was that unfortunately Hitler was not on the ballot. Nor is it reasonable to expect somebody like Hitler to be on the ballot in a country as badly entrenched in delusion as the United States. The USA needs radical change, and this does not happen overnight. There are bound to be intermediate stages. Before the National-Socialists became dominant in the German Reichstag and Hitler was appointed chancellor, Europe was shocked by the election in 1925 of the conservative president Paul von Hindenburg. Hindenburg was not Hitler, but he made Hitler possible. Without losing sight of our ideal, this is how we have to view political change, as an incremental process.

Steve Bannon seems to be less educated in nationalism than he should be; he doesn't even know as much as a conservative Catholic should know. It appears that his outlook is not altogether free of the prevalent "conservative" attitudes and other propaganda of the past few decades -- but he does nonetheless represent a move in the right direction.

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