By David Martinez
Notorious fascist ideologue Steve Bannon, a former member of Donald Trump’s adviser team, was arrested on Thursday morning aboard a yacht in Long Island on charges of fraud related to his ‘We Build the Wall’ campaign. The campaign has raised $25 million dollars in donations to privately fund a wall along the Southern US border with Mexico. Federal authorities say Bannon and his associates embezzled millions from the donations while claiming it was an all volunteer organization.
According to the charges, Bannon used a non-profit organization to siphon off more than $1 million from the wall-building campaign. Other associates of Bannon took hundreds of thousands of dollars through similar schemes as well as fake invoices and falsified vendor contracts. Bannon has been released with restrictions on a $5 million bail, secured with $1.75 million in cash.
To Bannon, his reactionary supporters are little more than an income stream. He engages in populism to pump fascist ideology into them and whip them up to back US imperialism while the bourgeoisie (such as himself) fleece their wallets and pillage the world.
Bannon was an adviser to Trump until 2017. Prior to his administration tenure, he was a founding board member of Breitbart news, a reactionary media outlet which he declared “the platform for the alt-right.” Under his leadership, the site promoted fascist figures such as Milo Yiannopolous, Europe’s far-right movement, and the white nationalist identitarian movement associated with figures like Richard Spencer.
The federal government, which Bannon was formerly at the highest levels of, is now prosecuting him, but this cannot be seen as a validation of the imperialist state. It is merely one wing of the ruling class going after another. Bannon, a prominent representative of the once vigorous alt-right movement, is seeing his fortunes fall as the ruling class appears to re-calibrate away from Trump’s gestures towards fascism. If elected, the Democrats will still preserve imperialist profits and allow fascist movements to fester under their rule.
The yacht where Bannon was apprehended belongs to Guo Wengui, a Chinese Billionaire and associate of Bannon. Wengui fled China in 2014 after he was charged with bribery, kidnapping, money laundering, fraud, and rape. He is also a one-time member of Trump’s Mar-a-lago resort.
Bannon’s cozy company with a Chinese imperialist, one exiled from social-imperialist China itself, shows his incestuous relationship with the imperialists worldwide and his true position among the bourgeoisie, despite his posturing to appeal to the common people.
Bannon has referenced fascist thinkers such as Julius Evola, an Italian fascist thinker who is considered a touchstone for many from the alt-right movement. Evola is a proponent of ‘traditionalism,’ and reactionary concepts of ‘Western Civilization’ which Bannon has expressed affinity for.
Whether Bannon is convicted or not, there are others ready to take his place and adapt fascist strategies to the changing conditions, and these must be resisted. It is the task of the people, not the state, to bring down figures like Bannon and combat resurgent fascist movements by overthrowing imperialism, the soil of fascism, through People’s War.
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