Steve Bannon & his allies have leased a monastery in the Italian countryside for 19 years, where they plan to build a school for budding populists and "modern gladiators." But it's ignited protest from locals, who want Bannon to take his right-wing populist agenda elsewhere. pic.twitter.com/kHWhY86SQu
— On Assignment with Richard Engel (@OARichardEngel) April 16, 2019
Stephen K. Bannon is back. He’s making the rounds in the United States and abroad, talking about uniting “the Judeo-Christian West” in a clear call for violence against the Islamic world. Two new documentaries focus on his life and work — Alison Klayman’s “The Brink” and Errol Morris’s not-yet-released “American Dharma” — and Anderson Cooper interviewed him on CNN late last month.
Bannon’s return should raise concerns. It became clear during his time in the Trump campaign and then the administration that the former head of Breitbart was a key player in the mainstreaming of the alt-right in the United States. But Bannon’s reemergence is tied to the global spread of the far right in the United States and Europe. And Bannon is using a racist version of the history of the Middle Ages to justify and legitimize his vision for nationalist imperialism.
To understand Bannon and the threat posed by his reemergence, we need to get to know the dangerous Russian ideologue who has inspired him: Aleksandr Dugin, a man once called “The Most Dangerous Philosopher in the World” for his influence on world politics. A Russian political analyst and modern fascist, Dugin has written dozens of books laying out his political philosophy. His Eurasianist ideology is grounded in a fundamentalist religious nationalism that seeks to create a Christian empire that unites Europe and Asia in a quest to restore a “traditionalism” rooted in conservative Orthodox Christian values and white supremacy. [Continue reading…]