Bannon vs. Ryan: The Faux Struggle For Trump’s Love Between Populist White Supremacism And Ayn Rand’s ‘Objectivist’ Capitalism
I believe it’s what Holy Father 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. 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. 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. Bannon, ironically, has been the primary influence on Donald Trump, an aspiring kleptocrat, who would define “Enlightened capitalism” as knowing how best to fleece investors, workers and consumers. Despite the media’s caricature of Trump voters as solely from the white working-class, it included most college-educated whites. Bannon is likely more disingenuous than ignoramus in his muddled economic philosophy. Bannon’s deepest ideological commitment is probably to white supremacy at home and abroad. Ryan and a large part of the GOP in Congress want to gut social spending, reverse as much progressive taxation as possible and de-regulate business. There are plenty of bigots there as well as in the electorate, so Bannon and Trump find little GOP opposition to their anti-immigrant orders, travel bans, or efforts to weaken the enforcement of civil rights. There are several areas where Bannon and the GOP would be at odds if he took non-affluent whites’ well-being seriously. Bannon knew, however that many white people have or will get expensive medical problems and might be unable to afford health insurance if Obamacare was not delicately reformed. Bannon, whose influence hinges largely on Trump’s whims, decided not to fight for his alleged populist ideology and put himself at odds with his patron’s doomed quest to get Obamacare “Repealed and replaced” in any form and then declare victory. Trump and Bannon say they want to bring temporary construction jobs to rural white communities―-building new bridges, roads, and repairing crumbling ones–if only to garner future votes. If Trump agrees to further decimate what Bannon calls the “Administrative state”, ordinary white people’s quality of life will also be adversely affected, and relatively little money saved. One wild card affecting the outcome if there was ever any significant conflict between Bannon and the GOP Congress for Trump’s allegiance is the President’s Russia problem. If Bannon’s influence fades, as may be the case, the white working-class won’t even notice.
The Enlightened Capitalist
Clearly, the enlightened capitalist press wasnt particularly keen on showcasing the power basis of accumulation. Scarcely had a day passed from the articles publication that we got an angry email from an asset manager whom well call Mr. X. Mr. X is an enlightened capitalist, and reading our piece had set him on fire. Small businesses are being looted and taken over by the government while shortages increase and inflation soars at over 60%. Are capitalists profiting from this crisis? No just corrupt politicians and businessmen that collude with state run enterprises all of whom would never survive in a capitalist economy. Mr. Xs emotional email reflects a broader capitalist anxiety. The leading capitalists and their investment organs are taking over larger and larger chunks of our natural resources, human-made artefacts and collective knowledge; they formulate and steer public policy to their own advantage; and they dominate ideology, education and the mass media. Second, the very power logic of accumulation the need to strategically sabotage others in order to increase ones own share of the total forces capitalists to continue and dig their own graves, so to speak. Now, of course, most capitalists, particularly the smaller ones, are unaware of and certainly wont admit these power underpinnings of capitalism. For politically correct capitalists with substantial money to invest, Mr. Xs fund offers a carefully hedged, two-pronged strategy: buying and holding do-good companies that profit from saving the planet while shorting firms that harm the environment and governments that misallocate the worlds resources. Now, once upon a time there existed a real, undistorted capitalist system as outlined above. So who are the real capitalists? If you havent guessed it by now, real capitalists are those who never accumulate. To be a real capitalist, you have to either lose money or break even with enough income to survive. To see real capitalists in action, you need go to their impact investing gatherings, where they deliberate saving the world, capitalist style. The mandate of the ethical fund manager is simple: leverage the worlds distortions and imperfections by selling short and buying long future variations of inequality, the ups and downs of expected hunger, anticipated ecological degradation and regeneration and other assorted disasters and triumphs and do it all in such a way that we, your capitalist clients, end up beating the holy average. The problem is that, according to the enlightened capitalist, we dont live in the best of all possible worlds, but in one of the worst. So in the end, the only way to beat the big unreal capitalists of the distorted world is to join them.