Populism and Fascism ‘Are Not Even Related – That’s Just a Smear’

Steve Bannon
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‘Fascism’ is just a ‘smear’ used by the media to discredit ‘populism’, Steve Bannon has said in a wide-ranging interview in the Spectator.
Bannon – former senior advisor to President Trump and former Executive Chairman of Breitbart News – was talking to interviewer Nick Farrell, who asked him what he thought of claims that “populism is the new fascism.”

‘This is all theoretical bullshit. I don’t know. Populism, fascism — who cares? It’s a media smear of the populist movement.’

Donald Trump, I suggest, can’t be a fascist, as he does not want to replace democracy with dictatorship, nor is he left-wing, as was fascism.

‘The bigger threat we have got than socialism is state-controlled capitalism, which is where we’re headed, where we have big government and a handful of big companies. That’s what you’re seeing in technology right now with these massive companies. It’s the biggest danger we have.

Interviewer and interviewee were brought together by a shared interest in Mussolini. Neither shares his politics but they both find the Italian dictator “fascinating.”

Mussolini was perhaps the reason Bannon granted me an interview. It turns out he likes a book I wrote about the dictator years ago.

‘How many guys have you interviewed who have read your biography?’ he asked. ‘Am I the first?’

Had he really read it? ‘I have, definitely … I haven’t read all the old biographies but it’s the only modern one that treated Mussolini as … one of the most important figures of the 20th century. You put the juice back in Mussolini. He was clearly loved by women. He was a guy’s guy. He has all that virility. He also had amazing fashion sense, right, that whole thing with the uniforms. I’m fascinated by Mussolini.’

Bannon was speaking to Farrell on his European tour, where he has been speaking at a series of sell-out events and reporting on the recent Italian elections which Bannon described as “the most important thing happening politically in the world right now”.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

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Steinbeck’s Eden

Coast
Positano’s sun-bleached terracotta houses are set against rolling hills and an azure sea.

‘Nearly always when you find a place as beautiful as Positano, your impulse is to conceal it. You think: “If I tell, it will be crowded with tourists and they will ruin it, turn it into a honky-tonk and then the local people will get touristy and there’s your lovely place gone to hell.” There isn’t the slightest chance of this in Positano.’
John Steinbeck, 1953.

Yeah, right. The sad truth is that like so many classic destinations, Positano, on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, has long since been overtouristed almost to the point of ruination. Even as early in the season as late April, when the Fawn and I visited, the tiny beach area was almost unbearable. Boatloads of day trippers swarmed across the promenade, funnelling into the steep narrow alleys on a near-impossible quest to find somewhere to eat. At which point you might wonder: ‘Why bother?’

Read the rest in the Spectator.

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