Monday, October 23, 2017

Steve Bannon Wants to Form an Alliance with Libertarians

Last week Friday, Steve Bannon spoke in Anaheim at the fall California GOP Convention. (SEE: Steve Bannon California GOP Convention Full Speech October 20th, 2017)

During his speech, he told the crowd that he wanted to
hold together an alliance between his anti-Republican establishment movement and libertarians (among others) that began with the movement that got Donald Trump elected president:
The consulting class, the lobbyists, the K street crowd, the donor class and the politicians they own, they have taken this country in a very, very dangerous — very, very dangerous — direction.

Donald Trump, the whole campaign, and this is why it had to be a coalition aginst the Republican establishment. It had to be limited-government conservatives, it had to be libertarians, it had to be populists, it had to be economic nationalists, it had to be evangelical Christians.

If you have the wisdom, the strength, the tenacity to hold that coalition together, we will govern for 50 to 75 years. And it's not going to be easy. Not everybody agrees on everything, right? Grover Norquist, I don't know where Grover is here tonight. Grover, where are you, brother? Grover Norquist, one of the greatest guys on taxes around. Grover and I don't agree on everything in policy, right?

The economic nationalists don't agree with the libertarians, the libertarians don't agree with the limited government conservatives. Often times we have a lot of different opinions on foreign policy. But we agree on enough stuff that we combine together.

If we do not unite, and unite not just in campaigning but in governing, and understand we are going to have to put certain differences aside to get things done.

But it is difficult to see why libertarians and Bannon's populist movement should maintain an alliance when most pro-Trump libertarians during the 2016 presidential campaign are disappointed in the direction Trump has gone as president.

Indeed, during the speech, Bannon listed a series of policy positions he supported, which are horrific policy positions from a libertarian perspective. He listed as Trump accomplishments:
The decertification of the Iran deal.
A Trump supplement to the ‘17 budget of 30 billion dollars to upgrade our military.

And he lied about the scam Trump tax "reform":
We had Secretary Mnuchin come out and reinforce this is going to be a middle-class tax cut, and the entrepreneurs are going to get almost the same tax cut that the big corporations are going to get, just to reinforce it. SEE: Laughing at the Laffer Curve: The Trump Tax Reform Con and Trump Says He May Have to Institute a New Higher Top Tax Rate for Wealthy.
And he came out as an economic nationalist, by which he means an anti-free trade nationalist:
Economic nationalism is not what’s going to drive us apart, it's what’s going to bind us together...An economic nationalism, looking out for our fellow men to make sure that manufacturing jobs that we allowed go to Asia come back to the United States of America.
Of course, this mercantilist perspective is just economic ignorance. see: Why Donald Trump Never Washed the Windows at Trump Tower.

Bannon also came out against working immigrants:
[W]e need bold ideas. And not just quoting the thing of [unintelligible], I mean bold, actionable ideas. Ideas like Donald Trump ran on. Like build the wall, protect our southern border, reduce legal immigration, restrict HB1 [sic] visas, because in restricting HB1 visas the Hispanic and black kids can get into engineering schools and then they can go to Silicon Valley and work because they are citizens of the United States of America.
What an economic ignoramus. He seems to be working with the Lump of Labor Fallacy as a guiding principle.

Notice, there is nothing about addressing the cutting off of government support to immigrants. It's all about keeping them out---even the workers. which is totally idiotic. SEE: The Problem with Stephen Miller.

So what exactly, Steve, is the basis of an alliance between libertarians and your movement? Throw out the crony establishment and replace it with a bunch of economic ignoramuses who think they can intervene all over the economy?

No thanks.

And while spending most of his talk about the necessity for economic nationalism, he took this strange swipe at Austrian school economics:.
Economic nationalism is not what’s going to drive us apart, it's what’s going to bind us together.

We've had a very dangerous thing come as conservatives over the last 30 or 40 years — just another thing I know everybody in this room is not going to agree with. This kind of Austrian School of economics, this kind of Ayn Rand, you know, where everything was about the economy. What was most important six weeks before the election — gotta see what the unemployment rate is, it’s GDP as everything.

We are not an economy. We are a country. We have a social fabric and a civic responsibility. By the way, I'm a free market capitalist, as most of you are, right? That’s the underpinnings of our society.

I really don't think he knows what the hell he is talking about. In his sense of the term economic nationalism, is not the same thing as free market capitalism. He is not a free market capitalist. And Austrian school economics is the foundation, the bedrock of free market capitalism.



  1. We are an economy. We have a society.

  2. No thanks indeed. You are on point when you say that Steve Bannon doesn't know what he is talking about.

  3. Whenever conservatives or right-populists/socialists want to work with libertarians it always requires libertarians to sacrifice their principals but never the other way around.

  4. Libertarians have about as much common ground with Bannon as they do with Bernie Sanders, i.e. none.

    If you held a gun to my head, I’d rather temporarily ally with the neoliberal establishment against the Trump/Sanders populist menace. At least they have enough sense not to destroy the economy (even if it’s only so that they can continue to plunder it.)

  5. He apparently doesn't understand what libertarianism is.