Bannon linked Modi win to ‘a global revolt’


Stephen Bannon, who led Donald Trump’s campaign to win the U.S. presidency and is slated to be the chief strategist of the incoming administration, saw the victory of Narendra Modi in 2014 as the beginning of a global revolt against a capitalist system that lost its moral moorings and has turned against the working class and the middle class.

Mr. Bannon argued that entrepreneurial capitalism has declined, even as State capitalism and corporate capitalism took over. “Capitalism …is taken away from the underlying spiritual and moral foundations of Christianity and, really, Judeo-Christian belief,” he said, attributing it to the aggressive secularisation of Western society.

Islamic fascism

While the Judeo-Christian system is eroding, “we are in an outright war against jihadist Islamic fascism”, Mr. Bannon said. While the tools of capitalism enabled the victory of the West in the Second World War, “Islamic fascism” is now using capitalist tools to attack the West, he said.

Mr. Bannon’s politics involves rescuing capitalism from corporations and State power while creating a coalition of nationalist forces around the world to fight Islamism in the coming decades.

“And that centre-right revolt is really a global revolt. I think you’re going to see it in Latin America, I think you’re going to see it in Asia, I think you’ve already seen it in India. Modi’s great victory was very much based on these Reaganesque principles, so I think this is a global revolt,” he said a month after the 2014 Indian election.

Mr. Bannon was speaking at the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences in the Vatican City, in a conference on “Poverty and the Common Good: Putting the ‘Preferential Option for the Poor’ at the Service of Human Dignity”. Buzzfeed published the transcript of his speech on Tuesday. “I certainly think secularism has sapped the strength of the Judeo-Christian West to defend its ideals,” he said.

While pushing back against State capitalism is essential, fighting Islamism must be the priority now, he argued. Russia, which he said was a kleptocracy, has, however, asserted its national power against global institutions.

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