DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - Trump chief strategist and senior counselor Steve Bannon declared in a newly transcribed talk that "the world, and particularly the Judeo-Christian West, is in a crisis."
Bannon gave a talk at the Vatican on June 27, 2014, sponsored by the Institute for Human Dignity. Buzzfeed is releasing a transcript of the talk for the first time, calling it "This Is How Steve Bannon Sees the Entire World."
He opened the talk describing how 100 years previously the world was at peace, with unprecedented amounts of trade, globalization and sharing of technology, as well as acceptance of the primacy of Christianity throughout Europe. He noted that seven weeks after the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo, the world was at war, with more than a million casualties on every side — opening the 20th century as the most "barbaric … unparalleled in mankind's history."
"We're children of that barbarity," he remarked. "This will be looked at almost as a new Dark Age."
Bannon suggests it was personal heroism and "enlightened capitalism" that helped the Judeo-Christian West combat atheism and a "barbaric empire in the Far East." The working class generated a great deal of wealth — now dwindling in the 21st century, when people now face, as he describes, "a crisis both of our Church, a crisis of our faith, a crisis of the West, a crisis of capitalism."
And we're at the very beginning stages of a very brutal and bloody conflict, of which if … the people in the Church do not bind together and really form what I feel is an aspect of the Church Militant, to really be able to not just stand with our beliefs, but to fight for our beliefs against this new barbarity that's starting, that will completely eradicate everything that we've been bequeathed over the last 2,000, 2,500 years.
Bannon suggests capitalism is a specifically Judeo-Christian idea, condemning what he calls crony or state-sponsored capitalism and the "Objectivist school of libertarian" capitalism, which he says "looks to make people commodities, and to objectify people, and to use them almost — as many of the precepts of [Karl] Marx."
He insists the discussion of wealth creation and distribution "should be at the heart of every Christian that is a capitalist." According to him, a Christian should always 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, that divine providence has given us to actually be a creator of jobs and a creator of wealth?"
Bannon discusses the rise of ISIS and "jihadist Islamic fascism," warning that it has taken the tools of capitalism and turned it against Christianity and Western civilization. He warns 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."
"I think we are in a crisis of the underpinnings of capitalism," he adds, "and on top of that we're now, I believe, at the beginning stages of a global war against Islamic fascism."
Bannon then turns to condemn the big bankers, saying "they have more of this elite mentality that they're going to dictate to everybody how the world's going to be run."
I will tell you that the working men and women of Europe and Asia and the United States and Latin America don't believe that. They believe they know what's best for how they will comport their lives. They think they know best about how to raise their families and how to educate their families. So I think you're seeing a global reaction to centralized government, whether that government is in Beijing or that government is in Washington, D.C., or that government is in Brussels.
He condemns the crony capitalism running politics in D.C., even among conservatives, saying that government and corporatism are merging to exercise "monopolistic" power over people. He maintains that people are asking, "Hey, I'm working harder than I've ever worked. I'm getting less benefits than I'm ever getting through this, I'm incurring less wealth myself, and I'm seeing a system of fat cats who say they're conservative and say they back capitalist principles, but all they're doing is binding with corporatists."
The awakening of people to these realities, according to Bannon, is the origin of today's populist movement.
He suggests the 2008 financial crisis is not over. "The United States economy is in very, very tough shape," he comments, explaining that nobody has gone to prison over the mishandling of bank and hedge funds; rather, middle-class workers footed the bill for the 2008 corporate bailouts — what Bannon characterized as "completely outrageous."
It bailed out a group of shareholders and executives who were specifically accountable. The shareholders were accountable for one simple reason: They allowed this to go wrong without changing management. And the management team of this. And we know this now from congressional investigations, we know it from independent investigations, this is not some secret conspiracy. This is kind of in plain sight.
According to Bannon, the bailouts didn't actually make the companies stronger but covered up for the financial mismanagement of businessmen and economists who "have all gone to Yale, and Harvard, they went to the finest institutions in the West. They should have known better."
"It's all the institutions of the accounting firms, the law firms, the investment banks, the consulting firms, the elite of the elite, the educated elite," he comments. "They understood what they were getting into, forcibly took all the benefits from it and then look to the government, went hat in hand to the government to be bailed out."
"And they've never been held accountable today," he concludes. "Trust me — they are going to be held accountable."