Steve Bannon’s Brussels plans threaten Europe’s liberal legacy

The American far right has spotted a gap in the European market, as the continent buckles from the fallout of mass migration and austerity. For liberals to maintain control, they must ally themselves with the radical left.

Recently, it has been widely reported that Steve Bannon plans to establish a group to coordinate right-wing nationalist populists all around Europe. Based in Brussels, “The Movement,” as the body is called, will research and write policy proposals, commission polling, and share expertise on messaging and data targeting. It already employs 80 people and its ultimate goal is nothing less than to radically change the political landscape of Europe, by sidelining the liberal consensus and replacing it with my-country-first anti-immigrant nationalism.

Right now, US public opinion is obsessed with alleged Russian meddling into their electoral process – but just imagine if Putin were to send someone to Washington to act like Bannon in Brussels. Thus, here we encounter the old paradox: the separatist forces of disunity are better at establishing their transnational unity than the forces of international solidarity. No wonder liberal Europe is in a panic.

We are bombarded by the idea that today, in the early 21st century, the precious liberal legacy of human rights, democracy and individual freedoms is threatened by the explosive rise of “fascist” populism, and that we should gather all our strength to keep at bay this threat. This idea should be resolutely rejected on two levels. First, populism didn’t hit Earth like a comet (as Joschka Fischer wrote about Donald Trump): its rise is more like a crack in the earth, a flow of lava streaming out – and it is the result of the disintegration of the liberal consensus and the inability of the Left to offer a viable alternative. The first step in fighting populism is, therefore, to cast a critical glance at the weaknesses of the liberal project itself – because populism is a symptom of this weakness.

Illusory free will

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Off the shelf

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Old rope

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[Abstract. Appeared in RT on September 26th 2018.]