Steve Bannon's worldview and how it has affected the world and democracy

In a podcast in December 2023, he said if the former president (i.e., Trump) returns to office, he will truly fulfill his promises to punish his critics in the media – by using the U.S. government.

nd I want the Morning Joe producers who are watching us and all the producers watching us – this is not just rhetoric. We are absolutely deadly serious,' said Bannon, directly threatening MSNBC's staff, and added

We cannot have a constitutional republic and allow what these deep state actors have done to the country. The deep state, the administrative state, the fourth branch of government never mentioned in the constitution, will be taken apart, brick by brick, and the individuals who have committed these evil deeds will be held accountable and prosecuted, criminal charges.

"We will go after them, whether it's criminal or civil, we will figure it out. But yes, we are putting you all on notice, and Steve, this is why they hate us. This is why we are tyrants. This is why we are dictators because we are actually going to use the constitution to prosecute them for crimes they have always accused us of but have never been guilty of."

Steve Bannon Podcast December 2023

Who is Steve Bannon?

Steve Bannon is an American political strategist and business executive who is a close associate of former U.S. President Donald Trump. He served as the chief strategist for Trump's administration from January to August 2017. Prior to this, Bannon was the chairman of the right-wing news website Breitbart News and has also been involved in the film industry and investment banking. He has often been controversial and criticized for his extremist views, anti-feminism, racism, and nationalism. He played an active role in the planning of January 6th.

The Senate Intelligence Committee also investigated his activities and connections to George Papadopoulos and Carter Page, both of whom played a role in the Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election of 2016.
In November 2019, Bannon testified against Roger Stone, stating that Stone was the WikiLeaks contact for the Trump campaign. Stone was later convicted on all charges but was pardoned by Trump. In August 2020, members of the Senate Intelligence Committee said they believed that Bannon, Jared Kushner, and Don Trump Jr. may have misled them with their testimonies.

Bannon himself was arrested in August 2020 and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering. Bannon and others collected money to build a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border and allegedly made payments to themselves instead. Trump pardoned Bannon in January 2021.

Steve Bannon was sentenced in 2022 to four months in federal prison and a fine of $6,500 after being found guilty of criminal contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena issued by the House Select Committee on January 6th of the previous year.

Här är en jämförelse tabell som visar Sverige och de utvalda länderna med högre BNP per capita, inklusive både EU- och icke-EU-länder. Kring makroekonomin ser siffrorna inte bra ut med svag BNP tillväxt och recension. Den amerikanska investeraren Ray Dalio pratar om renässans länder där han har med länder i Mellan-Östern som Qatar och Förenade Arabemiraten (Emirates). Before the Trump era, Bannon was long the face of Breitbart News, which pushed propaganda — often with racist overtones and against gay rights.

Today, Bannon offers right-wing populists campaign support through his movement— The movement where he supports them with digital marketing and uses data mining in order to influence political elections.

Bannon's theoretical map

Books that shaped political strategist Steve Bannon's worldview are marked by: The Fourth Turning by William Strauss and Neil Howe. Another book said to be a great one inspiration is The True and Only Heaven by Christopher Lasch.

Bannon has read history and been fascinated and studied fascism where he himself talks a lot about Mussolini. In these circles they are careful to mention Hitler and violence - but if they do, they distinguish between the early Hitler who built up German society and the later wishful Hitler who went to war. At the same time, historical references are often made to the man's man Churchill and the importance of not bowing down and being negotiable like Chamberlain.

Conservative voices are often supported by religious groups. In the United States, they have often had the support of evangelical Christians and Christian denominations. Trump has appeased this group by attending the national prayer breakfast, opposing the right to abortion and moving the US embassy to Jerusalem.

Another group that often supports national conservatism is the gun lobby.

In 2018, Bannon formed a foundation called The Movement, where he tried to unite right-wing populist parties around Europe. He visited and held talks with many of the pro-Kremlin parties in Europe, including Austria's FPÖ, Britain's UKIP, Germany's AfD, Italy's Lega and he has also met with representatives of the Sweden Democrats.

In Europe, populist leaders such as Victor Orbán in Hungary, Matteo Salvini in Italy, Marine Le Pen in France and Geert Wilders in Holland have the support of Bannon, who are likely to use his digital marketing services. A growing pattern of attacks throughout Europe is about a conflict of ideas with prevailing values around, for example, liberalism and equality between the sexes.

Even larger countries such as Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil and Narendra Modi in India have welcomed the new so-called right-wing populism. In Brazil, Bolsonaro's son has joined the Bannons Movement and where he they according articles by journalist Glenn Greenwald got his main political opponent the corrupt socialist Lula da Silva in prison.

Bannon's strategy is based on 3 pillars

Bannons världsbild bygger på Tea-party rörelsen där målgruppen ofta var arbetare och medelklass. De frågor som han lyft upp är framförallt det som kallas för wedge-issues och som splittrar olika väljargrupper. I en undersökning som publicerades i februari 2023från Pew Research vidsde att klimatfrågan är den mest polariserade frågan.

  • The immigration issue: national security by reducing immigration and pushing for greater restrictions.
  • Countering free trade: economic nationalism as a counter force to free trade, globalism and state capitalism run from tech companies.
  • Obvious enemies: destruction of central authorities and what is called "main stream media". Scientific arguments carry quite a bit of weight in this world because they work with emotional values.

The strategy is based on finding questions that are "wedge issues” in society on issues related to immigration, homosexuality, abortion, forms of taxation, foreign policy, climate denial, media and arms control. In order to achieve their political goals, the target groups are processed by:

  • Activate and mobilize church-going Christians and get them to vote by process them digitally. There are core Catholic groups that are strongly against abortion. These groups are activated with messages on Facebook that a billion people have been killed by abortion in the last 100 years.
  • Disable target groups that don't vote conservative - make them think it doesn't matter if they stay at home. The concept is called for voter suppression and involves asking people close to election day to boycott the election because the politicians don't support people of color.

In Bannon's worldview, trade and immigration are a major reason why workers' wages are kept down. Economic nationalism is not about race, religion, sexual preference, or gender, but is based on a meritocratic system and that you are a citizen of the United States.

The book The Fourth Turning is about history being cyclical and shifting over generations with demographic changes and social shifts. The authors have examined long-term cycles in various fields to see where developments are headed. Marginalization of the working class in America and how society in 1930 affected Americans to a great extent. Criticism of the UN and that they instead want people who take responsibility instead of relying on market mechanisms.

Each major shift runs for 80-100 years, i.e. roughly a lifetime, for example the American reveolution, the depression during the 2nd World War.

Within each larger shift, it is possible to divide them into four time periods of 20 years.

First wave: Institutions are strong and individualism is weak. Within this time period, the family is strong and institutions are strengthened.
For example, 1946-1963, i.e. after World War II until John F. Kennedy was assassinated

Second Wave: Increased individualism is a spiritual time from the student protests of the mid-1960s to the tax revolts of the early 80s.

Third Wave (unraveling): Spanning the early 1980s to 2008, an era where institutions are weak and individualism is strong, which leads to people ceasing to believe in authorities.

Fourth wave: 2008 to 2030 with the global financial crisis leads to crises for institutions always against a greater threat to the country.

During the fourth wave, it is a successful strategy to attack institutions such as the UN, UNESCO, the EU, the IMF and accuse them of supporting market forces and being technocrats. NATO and the Washington establishment ("drain the swamp”) and mass media accused of being elitist and fake new.

The intelligentsia, experts and the academic world are accused of being arrogant and not grounded in reality The favorite objects of hatred among the right-wing forces are gender research. Gender studies has become a battleground and a central topic for those who claim to defend European Christian civilization.

At the same time, universities are attacked for being left-wing and i Budapest students are asked to submit the names of professors who hold left-leaning political views.

The last wave is seen by many as apocalyptic while one sees it as inevitable to remove what does not work. They believe that this is the price we must pay for a new golden age. In the last phase, agreements are created and we create a period of new waves.

Different generations have different views of the world

The authors of the fourth wave Wiliam Strauss and Neil Howe see how different generations are driven by different values and how they are shaped by the period in which they grew up. Howe and Strauss were the ones who originally coined the term millennial generation back in 1991.

  • Generation1 born between 1902-1924 was marked by the First World War and the 1920s
  • The Silent Generation 1925-1942 – The Great Depression, World War II
  • Boomer generation 1943-1960 – American boom
  • Gen X generation 1961-1981 – Awareness
  • Millenial generation 1982-2004 - culture war wants structure, safety and norms, wants to work in teams and have constant feedback and see themselves as part of a bigger part.
  • Homeland generation 2005-2025 - financial crisis, the war on terror

In addition to this segmentation, it is common in digital marketing to divide personality types in order to be able to tailor messages that are targeted in social media, especially Facebook.

How does right-wing populism build its infrastructure?

Steve has adopted the Russian propaganda style "firehose of falsehood", and calls it "flood the zone with shit" and propaganda expressions like Drain the Swamp, Lock Her Up, Build a Wall which mobilizes and gets people to vote.

The big tech companies like Twitter, Facebook and Google have enormous power. Facebook is used by 2,375,000,000 people every month. Youtube (owned by Google) 5 billion hours of visitors watching their videos daily. What is seen in social media is usually only seen in that bubble and there is little transparency about what the messages look like.

Anyone who can get their message out and direct the messages in the social channels can manipulate public opinion and gain a great deal of political power on specific issues. Paying for populist messages is an effective method for the economic elite to drive issues away from policy decisions around taxes and financial control. Programs for prosperity, stimulus programs, taxes and Medicare are categorized as socialism and set as the opposite pole to freedom.

Those who support Bannon's ideas often have strong financial powers and a large number are dark money. Many lobbying organizations in the US are tax-exempt with little transparency about which people provide financial support. For example, the Koch brothers spend $300 million in an election year. Where a large part of the money goes to organizations that exist under the strongly conservative and Trump-friendly tea-party movement.

The Economist newspaper has said that Bannon (along with political analysts such as Stephen Miller) sees Putin as a "fellow nationalist & crusader against cosmopolitanism". Bannon has said that Putin "stands up for traditional institutions, and he tries to do it in the form of nationalism."

Bannon is an admirer of Alexander Dugin, a Russian political strategist he allegedly met in Rome in 2018. He has quoted Dugin on various occasions and has described himself as a fan of his 2009 book, The Fourth Political Theory. The book has been called an inspiration for Russian foreign policy, including the war in Donbas. Bannon himself has described Putin's invasion of Ukraine as a "border dispute" and "a Slavic fist on Ukraine's eastern border."

At the national level, Russia wants to push issues around security policy away from issues related to fighting corruption and money laundering. Here, too, oligarchs have interests in a state power that does not follow up on money laundering and corruption. How much Russia with its oligarchs supports Bannon's ideas and Trumpism and the splitting of the EU, few know, but much suggests that there is cooperation.

All I'm trying to be is the infrastructure, globally, for the global populist movement

Steve Bannon, New York Times

How can the political landscape be affected in Sweden?

Other countries' direction towards populism will affect the image of Sweden and our liberal and secular worldview. Right-wing forces often talk about with negative emphasis the culture war and multiculturalism, liberalism and social democracy - where a negative image of Sweden and society fits their narrative. Swedish journalists' coverage of Israel/Palestine is accused of being one-sided and taking the Palestinians' side.

Anti-globalism and a national policy with other countries with which we have been allies will hit hard against free trade, which Sweden has historically had great advantages around, but also our currency and banking system. Anti-globalism also comes in wanting to abolish international cooperation and reduce the power of organizations such as NATO, the UN, the EU and the WHO. We have also seen Swexit's proposal at SD.

Anti immigration and to stop the borders on immigration.

Anti LBQT like having drag queens in libraries.

Criticism of the environmental movement, wind turbines and climate denial.

Criticism of mass media and journalists: Traditional mass media but also public service have often been accused of being left-wing by SD and we will see more and more attacks on the media. We see that the Swedish right-wing populism uses Bannon's ideas and attacks what they consider to be a "political elite" and "socialist journalists". In recent months, we have seen more and more attacks on journalists such as Anders Lindström, Owe Nilsson or politicians such as Annika Strandhäll or Magdalena Andersson who are described as Angry Magdalena according to the same model that was described Crocked Hillary.

Swedish traditional nationalism is based a lot on openness and equality, and our country is for many a model of how to build a progressive society. Immigration has been problematic but has brought us revenue and there are many successful, intelligent and innovative immigrants. Both in difficult positions and tiring jobs, there are people with a foreign background who perform extraordinary work on a daily basis, often in silence. But we must never be satisfied – authorities and companies need to get better at integration and review their processes. At the same time, we need to make demands on those who are here and make sure that the second generation is involved and helps our country rise.

Perhaps we will see progressive and liberal forces mobilizing and directing messages on social media to specific target groups for freedom and freedom of the press. They can direct messages against corruption, environmental issues and what taxes and what welfare and healthcare give back.

We will also see attacks on Sweden. Swedish politicians must discuss Sweden's image abroad and be prepared to start defending our traditional values at home.

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