Saturday, March 4, 2017

Reuven Brenner — Past perfect – Stephen K. Bannon’s generational view of history

One of the best assessments of Steve Bannon I have encountered. It is based the major influences on the development of Bannon's social, political and economic perspective as a strategist and political thinker. And it has the added advantage of being a short read.

Asia Times
Past perfect — Stephen K. Bannon’s generational view of historyReuven Brenner | Repap Chair at McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management


lastgreek said...

One of the best assessments of Steve Bannon I have encountered.

Excellent find, Tom. Thank you for posting. (Ha! McGill University, my alma mater :) )

I encourage everyone here who hasn't read it to do so. As Tom says, it's a short read -- but boy does it pack a punch!

Polybius (/pəˈlɪbiəs/; Greek: Πολύβιος, Polýbios; c. 200 – c. 118 BC) was a Greek historian of the Hellenistic period noted for his work, The Histories, which covered the period of 264–146 BC in detail. The work describes the rise of the Roman Republic to the status of dominance in the ancient Mediterranean world and included his eyewitness account of the Sack of Carthage in 146 BC. Polybius is important for his analysis of the mixed constitution or the separation of powers in government, which was influential on Montesquieu's The Spirit of the Laws and the framers of the United States Constitution.

Tom Hickey said...

Alfred North Whitehead said that Western philosophy is a footnote to Plato.

“The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato” (Process and Reality, p. 39, Free Press, 1979).

What he meant is that Plato broached most of the enduring questions in his works.

This can be extended to say that Western civilization is an elaboration of issues raised in ancient Greece, Rome, and Palestine, with the addition of modern science and technology.

Bob said...

Bannon is a moron.

When the older generation starts griping about the younger one, this can have several causes, such as outdated values that were instilled in the person from childhood, or early symptoms of senility. This is often encountered in life and is not something to be taken seriously i.e. has political implications.

Nostalgia as politics? Bannon would not be the first to turn generational griping into an ideology. The problem is that it doesn't work. The conditions that existed in a given time and place are impossible to recreate. 1945-1960 America is no exception. It's occurrence was contingent upon past events, with World War 2 being a destructive prerequisite.

America's fortunes were and still are dependent on conditions not just in the 'homeland' but around the world. For better or worse, humanity is interdependent. If we don't play our cards right, we could be headed for a collapse in civilization.

Bannon's view is another expression of American exceptionalism. The 'values' he professes to hold in high regard are anachronistic. His concerns are parochial, as any politician's would be. He is a critic of the present establishment, but not of the system.