Wednesday, November 16, 2016

When Trump's New Top Adviser Dissed Ayn Rand and "Libertarian Capitalism" and Called for a Cap on Wealth Creation

Donald Trump’s newly named chief strategist and senior counselor, Steve Bannon, laid out his global nationalist vision in  remarks delivered by Skype to a conference held inside the Vatican in the summer of 2014. Buzzfeed has obtained a copy of the comments and published an audio version and a transcript of his remarks.

In the below excerpt he discusses what he thinks of what he dubs "libertraian capitalism," specifically singling out Ayn Rand:
 I think that you’re seeing three kinds of converging tendencies: One is a form of capitalism that is taken away from the underlying spiritual and moral foundations of Christianity and, really, Judeo-Christian belief.
I see that every day. I’m a very practical, pragmatic capitalist. I was trained at Goldman Sachs, I went to Harvard Business School, I was as hard-nosed a capitalist as you get. I specialized in media, in investing in media companies, and it’s a very, very tough environment. And you’ve had a fairly good track record. So I don’t want this to kinda sound namby-pamby, “Let’s all hold hands and sing ‘Kumbaya’ around capitalism.”
But there’s a strand of capitalism today — two strands of it, that are very disturbing.
One is state-sponsored capitalism. And that’s the capitalism you see in China and Russia. I believe it’s what Holy Father [Pope Francis] has seen for most of his life in places like Argentina, where you have this kind of crony capitalism of people that are involved with these military powers-that-be in the government, and it forms a brutal form of capitalism that is really about creating wealth and creating value for a very small subset of people. And it doesn’t spread the tremendous value creation throughout broader distribution patterns that were seen really in the 20th century.
The second form of capitalism that I feel is almost as disturbing, is what I call the Ayn Rand or the Objectivist School of libertarian capitalism. And, look, I’m a big believer in a lot of libertarianism. I have many many friends that’s a very big part of the conservative movement — whether it’s the UKIP movement in England, it’s many of the underpinnings of the populist movement in Europe, and particularly in the United States.
However, that form of capitalism is quite different when you really look at it to what I call the “enlightened capitalism” of the Judeo-Christian West. It is a capitalism that really looks to make people commodities, and to objectify people, and to use them almost — as many of the precepts of Marx — and that is a form of capitalism, particularly to a younger generation [that] they’re really finding quite attractive. And if they don’t see another alternative, it’s going to be an alternative that they gravitate to under this kind of rubric of “personal freedom.”
Then he goes really off the free market reservation proposing a cap on wealth creation becasue of ISIS. Yes, becasue of ISIS!
[W]e are in an outright war against jihadist Islamic fascism. And this war is, I think, metastasizing far quicker than governments can handle it.
If you look at what’s happening in ISIS, which is the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant, that is now currently forming the caliphate that is having a military drive on Baghdad, if you look at the sophistication of which they’ve taken the tools of capitalism. If you look at what they’ve done with Twitter and Facebook and modern ways to fundraise, and to use crowdsourcing to fund, besides all the access to weapons, over the last couple days they have had a radical program of taking kids and trying to turn them into bombers. They have driven 50,000 Christians out of a town near the Kurdish border. We have video that we’re putting up later today on Breitbart where they’ve took 50 hostages and thrown them off a cliff in Iraq.
That war is expanding and it’s metastasizing to sub-Saharan Africa. We have Boko Haram and other groups that will eventually partner with ISIS in this global war, and it is, unfortunately, something that we’re going to have to face, and we’re going to have to face very quickly.
So I think the discussion of, should we put a cap on wealth creation and distribution? It’s something that should be at the heart of every Christian that is a capitalist — “What is the purpose of whatever I’m doing with this wealth? What is the purpose of what I’m doing with the ability that God has given us, that divine providence has given us to actually be a creator of jobs and a creator of wealth?”
I think it really behooves all of us to really take a hard look and make sure that we are reinvesting that back into positive things. But also to make sure that we understand that we’re at the very beginning stages of a global conflict, and if we do not bind together as partners with others in other countries that this conflict is only going to metastasize.



  1. What is this loon even talking about? He merely repeats the same misconceptions and lies that the left throws around like implying that free market capitalism is SINFUL. He brags about graduating from Harvard Business School as if that granted him special knowledge. Almost ALL crackpot business ideas were brewed at the HBS. He completely misrepresents free market economics by conflating the science with objectivism, which tells you that he's a dangerous ignoramus.

  2. This should be no surprise. Bannon and the Alt-Right are not friends of the market. As Milo put in an essay published by Bannon "An Establishment Conservative's Guide to the Alt Right" on March 29 of this year.

    "The origins of the alternative right can be found in thinkers as diverse as Oswald Spengler, H.L Mencken, Julius Evola, Sam Francis, and the paleoconservative movement that rallied around the presidential campaigns of Pat Buchanan. The French New Right also serve as a source of inspiration for many leaders of the alt-right"

    Other than Mencken, the rest of the names on here should send a cold chill down the backs of any true libertarian.

  3. This guy is a real disappointment. I hope Trump dumps him.

  4. ─ However, that form of capitalism is quite different when you really look at it to what I call the "enlightened capitalism" [...] that really looks to make people commodities, and to objectify people, ─

    And to... *exploit* them? It's almost like he had to stop right there before he started to sound like a real Marxist and not just a closeted one. But, oh boy, what a load of misconceptions and misrepresentations! One is supposed to understand that there are two types of capitalism in this world: the spiritual kind and the worldly kind, the latter being exploitative, you see, because the former follows Judeo-Christian morals or something. Markets, and capitalism by extension, are driven by property exchanges and not by turning people into "commodities". The idea that people are commoditized by capitalism is a typical Marxian trope used to defame capitalists and free markets.

    ─ [...] and that is a form of capitalism, particularly to a younger generation [that] they're really finding quite attractive. ─

    Oh, no! The corruption of the young!

    ─ And if they don't see another alternative, it's going to be an alternative that they gravitate to under this kind of rubric of "personal freedom." ─

    What this convoluted statement means is that young people will succumb to self-interest rather than the lofty and altruistic motives that drive people like Bannon. The bulls..t smells fresh especially in the morning, doesn't it?

    One thing I do appreciate from Bannon's candor when exposing his inner Marxian is that it provides a CLEAR and incontrovertible picture of what makes Nativist Protectionists tick. If there was any doubt that Nativist Protectionists are really SOCIALISTS in conservative drag, Bannon helped dispel it.

  5. Goldman Sachs is all about state central planning intervening to distort price discovery of the market economy. It starts with the central bank and it never stops.