Sunday, February 5, 2017

Watching the Watchers: Wherein I Agree and Disagree With Bannon

Quartz recently published an article about the beliefs for Steve Bannon, President Trump's close adviser seen as the driving force behind his policies. (As an aside, sites that look into such things rate Quartz's editorial bias as slightly left of center.) It's a very long piece, but an interesting skim. As a thought exercise, here are some unordered points where I agree with Bannon and some where I do not, as his views are presented in the article.

Agree:

  • Capitalism without morality can be more damaging than beneficial.
  • Focusing the economy on speculation rather than capital and production damages capitalism.
  • Both the Republicans and Democrats are to blame for the current state of America.
  • America's and American society's accumulated debit is a danger.
  • Capitalism is facing a crisis.
  • The media do not understand why Donald Trump won.


Disagree:

  • I believe abstract concepts such as egalitarianism can be laudable goals and are completely compatible with existing values.
  • I do not believe nationalism is a positive force, rather that it causes artificial divides and has historically been a driver of conflicts. Bannon appears to be conflating nationalism and shared values, and I just don't think they should be combined in such a manner.
  • I'm not sure how one can tout Judeo-Christian values while dismissing all forms of socialism. Jesus has some things to say about feeding the poor and treating foreigners...
  • I believe global warming is an economic danger.
  • I believe the health care system in the U.S. is horribly broken, from an economic/capitalist standpoint.
  • I believe the crisis capitalism is facing is of its own making, not due to magical liberals or radical religions.
  • I do not believe the media is the enemy, they are suffering from a disrupted business model and the loss of their long-lived monopoly on information spread. But we need them as fact checkers, investigators, and to be a check on government.

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