Sunday, February 26, 2017

What Does Steve Bannon Want?

Needless to say, I don't want to accidentally defend fascists or racists... And I'm extremely alarmed about Trump...
But...
   ...Is Bannon a racist fascist neo-Nazi genocidal maniac? Well...does it really seem likely that he is? Personally, I think it's a really safe bet that everyone on the right is less-bad than leftier people on the left think (s)he is. (And everyone on the left is less bad than rightier people on the right think that (s)he is.) If there were a market for that sort of thing, I'd be making bets all day long, and I'd soon be rich. And you know I would. I'd be wrong about some cases...but overall, I'd make a killing. What percentage of people the left calls fascists are actually fascists? What percentage of the people the left calls racist are actually racist? They call everyone who disagrees with them those things. Cry "wolf!" at every sound, and you'll get no false negatives...but...  Also: people like me will stop taking you seriously.
   So I can't help but be very, very worried about Steve Bannon. But this is, IMO, worth a read. In particular:
Those focused on Mr. Bannon’s ideology are probably barking up the wrong tree. There are plenty of reasons for concern about Mr. Bannon, but they have less to do with where he stands on the issues than with who he is as a person. He is a newcomer to political power and, in fact, relatively new to an interest in politics. He is willing to break with authority. While he does not embrace any of the discredited ideologies of the last century, he is attached to a theory of history’s cycles that is, to put it politely, untested. Most ominously, he is an intellectual in politics excited by grand theories — a combination that has produced unpredictable results before.
   See, that's plenty scary for me. Bannon, whatever his personal characteristics, sounds like a goddamn philosopher or something. And that ought to scare you. A lot. He's got theories, man. Untested theories. Possibly untestable theories. (But probably not. Sounds like predictions might be possible. Not that anyone will ever really try.) If you had any clear conception of how scary that is, you would, unfortunately, have a lot less time for worrying about whether he's literally Hitler.
   Maybe the left is right in this case. But more and more I see the farther left as basically a religious cult--their analogs of Satan and original sin are everywhere, and explain everything. They mostly don't want to be bothered with the facts. But these facts, they bother me a lot.

Ok. Shutting up now.

4 Comments:

Blogger Pete Mack said...

"Not a Nazi" is very much the soft bigotry of low expectations. Flirting with Nazis, or at least white nationalists? Yes. Evidence:
http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2016/03/29/an-establishment-conservatives-guide-to-the-alt-right/

Note Evola (and others) pop up in this list, again. Bannon is a self proclaimed 'economic nationalist' who--to borrow a phrase is a fellow traveler with the likes of Richard Spenser and Milo. He's not a guy I'd want anywhere near the levers of power.

12:47 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

So...we agree?

12:52 PM  
Blogger Pete Mack said...

we don't. You cited his use of 'theories' as the reason to oppose him. I oppose him based on whose theories he espouses.

1:13 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Well, I exaggerate to some degree for effect...

But anyway:
What do you think the odds are that Steve Bannon is a Nazi?

1:20 PM  

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