Ayn Rand’s Counter-Revolution

The prelude to all of that was the 1930s, when the nation’s intellectuals first grappled with the meaning and significance of Russia’s revolution. And it was in this decade that Ayn Rand came to political consciousness, reworking her opposition to Soviet Communism into a powerful defense of the individual

.. The Great Depression had cast its dark shadow over the American dream.

.. In this moment, Soviet Russia stood out to the nation’s thinking class as a sign of hope. Communism, it was believed, had helped Russia avoid the worst ravages of the crash.

.. Rand had taken for granted there would be “pinks” in America, but she hadn’t known they would matter, certainly not in New York City, one of the literary capitals of the world.

.. a drama that would shape American thought and politics for the rest of the century: a bitter love triangle between Communists, ex-Communists and anti-Communists.

.. another Soviet inheritance: agitprop novels, dedicated to showcasing heroic individualists and entrepreneurs.

 

Steve Bannon and the Making of an Economic Nationalist

The controversial White House counselor says his father’s 2008 financial trauma helped crystallize his antiglobalist views and led to a political hardening; ‘I’m going to be totally wiped out’

“The only net worth my father had beside his tiny little house was that AT&T stock. And nobody is held accountable?” Steve Bannon, 63, said in a recent interview. “All these firms get bailed out. There’s no equity taken from anybody. There’s no one in jail. These companies are all overleveraged, and everyone looked the other way.”

.. Steve Bannon idealizes the bygone corporate era that gave his father the kind of stability that he himself never pursued. Marty Bannon, who voted for Mr. Trump, sought a life of security, while the thrice-divorced Steve Bannon craves chaos and drama. He has served in the Navy, dabbled in penny stocks

.. “He’s the backbone of the country, the everyman who plays by the rules, the hardworking dad that delays his own gratification for the family,” Steve Bannon says. “The world is probably 95% Marty Bannons, and 5% Steve Bannons. And that’s probably the right metric for a stable society.”

.. Under his leadership, the site ran increasingly controversial headlines such as “The Solution to Online ‘Harassment’ Is Simple: Women Should Log Off,” “There’s No Hiring Bias Against Women In Tech, They Just Suck At Interviews,” and “Hoist It High and Proud: The Confederate Flag Proclaims a Glorious Heritage.”

.. ideology is less about Republicans and Democrats than about middle class versus elites—nationalists versus globalists. He says that explains his opposition to open borders, political corruption and what he views as political correctness.

.. He expected to become a priest as an adult, he says, but met his future wife and soon started his family. He declined an offer to play for the Washington Senators

.. I had great faith in AT&T,” Marty Bannon says. “At their peak they were the best company for service. That was inbred. Fire, flood, storm or whatever, they called you and you went. Whatever time of night. And you stayed out there until the job was finished.”

.. His children nicknamed him “Safety Sam.”

.. Marty Bannon says he lost more than $100,000 because he sold the shares for less than he paid for them. It was a decision he made without consulting a broker or his family, including his two sons with investment backgrounds, who only learned about the sale days after it was finished. The shares subsequently regained much of their value.

.. Jim Cramer told “Today” show viewers to pull money from the stock market if they needed any cash for the next five years. Steve Bannon says the warning spooked his father.

.. “He was older, in his 80s. But all these guys from the Depression, it’s a risk-averse generation because of the horrible things they saw in their youth. He was rattled.”

.. The way Steve Bannon sees it, the institutions his father put his faith in failed him.

.. Steve Bannon thinks U.S. companies should once again feel more responsible to their communities. “Why can’t you revert back to a golden age?” he asks. “You can.”

.. “The government created this problem,” Marty Bannon says. “The elites, they got bailed out. Everybody else in the country, whatever happened, happened, and they just had to move on.”