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Lon’s Blog

Steve Bannon’s Dream

American Politics Posted on Sat, February 29, 2020 11:54:59

Where does Steve get his inspiration from?

Established academic historians hesitate to predict the future based on the past. It is something they call “counter-factual” history, as in Fake News. The Historian/Economist Neil Howe, together with William Strauss, a man of unclear academic background, has written a book with the rather longish title ” An American Prophecy, The Fourth Turning – What the Cycles of History Tell us About America’s Next Rendezvous with Destiny“. According to numerous social media comments this book is where Steve Bannon has found his inspiration in Life. 

For those that haven’t heard of Steve Bannon I’ll include some biographical information from Wikipedia:

“Bannon was an officer in the United States Navy for seven years in the late 1970s and early 1980s. After his military service, he worked at Goldman Sachs as an investment banker, and left as vice president. In 1993, he became acting director of the research project Biosphere 2. In the 1990s, he became an executive producer in Hollywood, and produced 18 films between 1991 and 2016. In 2007, he co-founded Breitbart News, a far-right website which he described in 2016 as “the platform for the alt-right”.

In August 2016, Bannon was named the chief executive officer of Trump’s 2016 presidential bid. Following Trump’s victory, Bannon was appointed Chief Strategist in the Trump administration. He left this position on August 18, 2017 and rejoined Breitbart. In January 2018, Bannon was disavowed by Trump for critical comments reported in the book Fire and Fury, and left Breitbart.”

source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Bannon

Also:

“After leaving the Navy, Bannon earned a master’s degree in national security studies at Georgetown University and then went on to Harvard Business School before landing an investment banking job at Goldman Sachs’ New York offices.”

source: https://www.cosmopolitan.com/politics/a8288455/who-is-steve-bannon-trump-chief-strategist/

 

Steve Bannon

Steve likes to portray himself as a just another White Trash supporter of President Trump. That is not the case. Steve is intelligent, resourceful and calculating. Everything he says and does is directed towards fulfilling the goals found in his favorite book, The Fourth Turning.

What exactly do the 380 pages of this book deal with?

The authors maintain that there is a crisis or “turning” in American history about every 20 or so years. These turnings come in packages of four, over a period of 70 to 110 years.

The 4th Turning is seen as a regular cyclic event, an era of secular upheaval, when the values that have dominated the cycle of the 4 turnings is overthrown and new values arise to herald the arrival of the 1st turning of the new cycle of events.

The authors disagree with the concept of Linear Time, and instead see history evolving in cycles of events structured around generational differences with a pinch of the psychologist CJ Jung’s archetypes thrown in for good measure.

The best short version of Jung’s archetypes could be this one:

Jung rejected the tabula rasa theory of human psychological development, believing instead that evolutionary pressures have individual predestinations manifested in archetypes. Jung first used the term primordial images to refer to what he would later term “archetypes”. Jung’s idea of archetypes was based on Immanuel Kant’s categories, Plato’s Ideas, and Arthur Schopenhauer’s prototypes. For Jung, “the archetype is the introspectively recognizable form of a prioripsychic orderedness”.

source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jungian_archetypes

In order to maintain some semblance of readability here I am not going to dive too deeply into how their cycles are structured. Suffice to say that the authors have created a matrix built around their Theoretical Construction and then sought to Place Anglo-American history, from the 15th Century to today, inside their matrix. Having done so they Point towards patterns that they claim are easy to see. In short, we are expecting to see the United States either destroyed or victorious within the next 10-20 years.

Traditional academic historians would never go looking for facts to place in a pre-conceived matrix. Historians examine factual material and try to use the facts to explain the historical context. Their book would never pass inspection in any University history department that I know of.

Destruction of Biblical size awaits us, they say.

When we add to this equation the 2nd coming of Jesus, awaited by Evangelicial Christians in the US, we have a formula for mass destruction (war) far beyond anything we could imagine. Trump’s newly launched so-called Peace Proposal for the Middle East is just another step towards greater conflict between Jews and Arabs in the region. Trump is doing what is required for the 4th Turning to become reality.

The salvation of the United States is aligned with the 2nd coming of Jesus. The road to American greatness lies through Cultural Conflict, both inside America and with others outside of America. Christianity and the USA are to stand up against all others (read Islam and non-Whites everywhere).

The KKK and other White extremists in the USA are supportive of this concept. Christian evangelists see Trump as sent by God to make the 2nd coming of Jesus a reality, so it doesn’t matter what Trump says or does that they otherwise would agree to call disgusting, he is their man!



Thoughts on modern American Political History

American Politics Posted on Thu, January 02, 2020 11:27:20

As 2020 begins and we try as Americans to evaluate what has brought us to where we are there is good reason to look back at American history.

In the election of 1866, during the period known as Radical Reconstruction in the South (occupied, after the end of the Civil War, by Northern troops 1865-1877) over 80% of Republican voters in the South (all former slaves) easily won positions of power due to former Confederate soldiers not being allowed to vote at all — the whites that could vote in the South voted for the Democratic Party, perhaps because it was the pro-slavery party prior to the Civil War breaking out in 1861.

Today the Democratic Party in the United States is heavily dependent on the “Black vote”, and the Republican Party has few Black members. What happened?

One of my main sources for much of what follows is a relatively new History of the United States, published late in 2018, and written by a Harvard Professor of American History, Jill Lepore. Highly readable, even though it has some 930 pages.

book cover

As our memories are at times not to be trusted entirely, I’m using the Oxford University Companion to United States History for fact-checking purposes. Published in 2001 it is also too heavy to carry around in your pocket (940 pages).

The Democratic Party in the 1930’s, under the leadership of President FDR , implemented the New Deal based on Keynesianism – an economic theory derived from the writings of the British economist John Maynard Keynes. Keynes, in response to the Great Depression, challenged the ability of traditional Capitalism to deal with mass unemployment and poverty. According to Keynes public (tax financed) investment would stimulate the economy and create jobs. Workers that had been involved in tax-financed employment would then move back into the private sector due to the greater demand for goods and services. According to Keynes this increased demand was caused by their getting income from tax-financed jobs. FDR’s New Deal policies were extremely popular with the working class and caused the Democratic Party to gravitate towards the interests of the Trade Union movement. Workers, usually men, became the party activists of the Democratic Party and were the infrastructure of the party. The rich were expected to pay higher taxes to ensure the survival of Capitalism.

We are seeing today how Keynesianism is making a comeback in the Presidential election with both Saunders and Warren seeing the benefits of a return to New Deal thinking and Public Works projects as a way of dealing with poverty in America today.

The Republican Party of the 1930’s did not agree with FDR, and denounced public spending as a source of corruption, maintaining that Keynesianism created welfare dependency making the poor unwilling to look for “real jobs” in the private sector. Instead, they promoted the importance of hierarchy and patriarchy and claimed to find virtue in austerity. The Government, according to the Republican Party, needed to cut back on taxes, stop spending money on welfare, and support the needs of the private sector, i.e., help provide access to cheap labor by making unemployment painful. Cultural changes, they maintained, caused cultural decline and should be avoided. Traditional Christian values (God, Country and Family) were promoted. From 1945 to 1955 church membership in American grew from 75 to 100 million members and much of that growth was due to Southern Baptist preachers, white conservative Protestants, such as my fellow North Carolinian Billy Graham. They found a home in the Republican Party. During the 1950’s a new group of women emerged, they were the housewives. For them Family, God and Country were a perfect fit and many joined the Republican Party and took over responsibility for making coffee, baking cookies, and ringing doorbells during elections. By the 1950’s a majority of party activists were women, they had become the infrastructure of the party. In 1972 Nixon began the process of making the Republican Party an anti-abortion party in response to the feelings of Republican women members. Barry Goldwater admitted that there would be no Republican Party without all those women. Nixon couldn’t stand them and said once “I will not go and talk to those shitty ass old ladies!” , but of course he did anyway as they were important for getting him elected.

Ronald Reagan, in 1981, said that “Government is not the solution to our problem, Government is the problem.” Trump agrees. Taxes for the rich need to be lowered and government spending on benefits for the poor must be ended. The poor need to be encouraged to get a job and that can only be done by making unemployment exceptionally painful.

After 9/11, the White Supremacist movement in America began to revive and regain strength based on their two main goals: they wanted to preserve the icons of the Confederacy and also stop all immigration of non-whites into the USA. When Trump started talking about the need for a wall in order to keep out Latino murders and rapists they became enthusiastic supporters of his election. Here we find many of his core supporters today, side by side with Christian groups that may feel uncomfortable with Trump as a person, but feel strongly that Trump has been chosen by God to do numerous Good Deeds, such as outlawing abortion and packing the Supreme Court with Christian Conservatives. The Christian Conservatives had a meeting with Trump during the 2016 election and gave him a list of their candidates to the Supreme Court. Two have been appointed already. They also presented a list of hundreds of Christian Conservative candidates that they wanted to have as federal judges. Trump has been appointing them and well over 100 are already appointed.

I feel that radical changes are needed in the United States, however I am doubtful about the probability of such changes taking place.

In the Democratic Party we have three potential Presidential candidates: Joe Biden, who represents “more of the same” and will not make any radical changes at all, and then we have Saunders/Warren that both represent middle of the road Social Democracy from a European perspective. Neither are “radical” from a German or Swedish perspective. It is understandable that the rich and super-rich in America fear having to pay any taxes, as they are not used to doing so, however the shrinking middle class should vote for Saunders/Warren with both hands and both feet.

If we get another 4 years with Trump we can forget about Democracy in America. Saunders/Warren, if elected in November, will need 10 years or more to repair the damage Trump has already done to American Democracy.