In his Friday evening keynote at the Citadel Republican Society’s 2017 Patriot Dinner, Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon made the case that the populist-nationalist social awakening behind the twin revolutions of Brexit and President Donald Trump’s election represent one unified challenge to the post-war globalist economic order that has prevailed since 1945.
Occurring back to back, Brexit and Trump came as complete shocks to the Transatlantic political system, the direction of which toward free trade and globalization has continued largely unchanged since shortly after the allied victory in World War Two.
The two consensus-shattering events were, according to Bannon, “inextricably linked” – part of the same backlash against the globalist class that benefits from exporting production to the developing world. Bannon told the crowd about the two events:
Here’s what links them: China. It’s exporting Chinese inflation, Chinese excess capacity. That’s where the jobs in Midland England went, that’s where the Labour [Party] vote that got Brexit done [is from]. That’s the upper Midwest. That’s Ohio. That’s Pennsylvania and Detriot, Michigan.
Key to both victories, according to Bannon, was breaking the complete stranglehold of the globalists on media outlets. “When Brexit happened, Nigel Farage went on the BBC the next morning and said: ‘Had Breitbart London not been created there’d be no Brexit. We had the media, we had the platform, to tell our story,” he said.
Sociology drives what Bannon calls the fourth “great turning” of American history after the Revolution, the Civil War, and the saga of the Great Depression and the Second World War. “Read the book Hillbilly Elegy, by J.D. Vance, a Marine Corps officer,” Bannon said, praising the national bestseller oft-cited by coastal elites as a manual for understanding the white working class. “Magnificent book, you ought to read it, the sociological underpinnings of the Trump revolution as told through the story of a family.”
Bannon cited, along with Vance, studies from MIT and Harvard that show “a direct correlation between the factories that went to Asia, the jobs they took with them, and the opioid crisis among the workers left behind.”
“Folks we have a culture and a society that is just about to go into free fall,” Bannon said, continuing:
You go through the industrial heartland of this country, it’s been gutted. Okay? And that’s not the second law of thermodynamics, that not any law of physics that did that. That’s human agency. That is us. We allowed that to happen, right? Those jobs were shipped over to Asia, those workers were left behind and a lot of people in Silicon Valley, on Wall Street, in Hollywood and in the imperial capitol of America, Washington, DC, made an awful lot of money. The ascendant economy in this country took off and the descendant economy got left behind without a fair do well.
“If you’re not angry about that, then you’re not an American,” Bannon harangued the crowd. “Bernie Sanders’ guys are angry about it. And I gotta tell you, 60 percent of Sanders guys voted for us in some of the key districts. Trust me, mainstream media, there’s an awful lot of guys on the Sanders side who are going to come in and vote for us in 2020.”