In 2014 he did a live Skype interview for a conference on poverty at the Vatican. BuzzFeed ran it during the campaign under the headline “This Is How Steve Bannon Sees the Entire World.”
It shows an interesting mind at work.
The West is currently facing a “crisis of capitalism,” he said. The world was able to recover after the world wars in part thanks to “an enlightened form of capitalism” that generated “tremendous wealth” broadly distributed among all classes. This capitalism was shaped by “the underlying spiritual and moral foundations . . . of Judeo-Christian belief.” Successful capitalists were often either “active participants in the Jewish faith” or “active participants in the Christian faith.” They operated on a kind of moral patrimony, part tradition, part religious teaching. But now the West has become more secular. Capitalism as a result has grown “unmoored” and is going “partly off track.”
He speaks of two “disturbing” strands. “One is state-sponsored capitalism,” as in China and Russia. We also, to a degree, see it in America. This is “a brutal form of capitalism” in which wealth and value are distributed to “a very small subset of people.” It is connected to crony capitalism. He criticizes the Republican Party as “really a collection of crony capitalists that feel they have a different set of rules of how they’re going to comport themselves.”
The other disturbing strand is “libertarian capitalism,” which “really looks to make people commodities, and to objectify people, and to use them almost.” He saw this strand up close when he was on Wall Street, at Goldman Sachs . There he saw “the securitization of everything” and an attitude in which “people are looked at as commodities.”
Capitalists, he said, now must ask: “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 . . . to actually be a creator of jobs and a creator of wealth?”
With both these strands, he says, the middle class loses ground. This has contributed to the “global revolt” of populism and nationalism. That revolt was fueled, too, by the financial crisis of 2008. None of those responsible on Wall Street were called to account: “No bonuses and none of their equity was taken.” The taxes of the middle class were used to bail them out. [Link]
This was taken from Peggy Noonan’s recent column in WSJ. Her column is titled, ‘Declarations’. The paragraphs capture the views of Steve Bannon on capitalism. Did not know that he used to be associated with Goldman Sachs too.
I would not characterise it as an ‘interesting take on capitalism’ as Peggy Noonan has done. It is a rather correct/apt view on capitalism. Clearly, a thinking man whom President Trump appears to have dumped in favour of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. I hope appearances are deceptive.