Steve Bannon’s Idol is French Intellectual Rene Guenon
Steve Bannon is many things to many people. Some believe him to be genius, some believe him to be an anti-semite caught up in ancient ideologies that have no place in the contemporary world. One thing is certain; that no matter how extreme his political views or grandiose his proclamations come off as, he is the master architect behind the national populist movement and the strategist that got Trump into power. Bannon is very well-read and may have a better grip on modern political statistics than that of the most renowned pollsters. What makes him so interesting as a character in the modern political landscape though, is not his understanding of the American people and grass roots campaigns, but rather who he idolizes.
Perhaps Bannon’s most prominent admiration is the likes of twentieth-century french intellectual, Rene Guenon. Steve Bannon’s philosophy and political trajectory are baed on Guenon’s views. This is interesting because Guenon converted to Islam, in arrant contrast to Bannon’s perceived distaste for the religion. Whether you like or dislike Bannon, he remains one of the most interesting people in American politics. Likewise, his hero, Rene Guenon is one of the most compelling of the early-twentieth century French intellectuals, and like Bannon, is somewhat of an enigma. So Who is Rene Guenon?
He was a philosopher, a writer, and an opium addict (which he claimed helped him meditate). But as many genius men with significant chemical dependencies often do, they come out with something totally uncharted. In his book, The Crisis of the Modern World, Guenon states “Matter is essentially multiplicity and division; and this, be it said in passing, is why all that proceeds from matter can beget only strife and all manner of conflicts between peoples and between individuals. The deeper one sinks into matter, the more the elements of division and opposition gain force and scope; and, on the other hand, the more one rises towards pure spirituality, the nearer one approaches to that unity which can only be fully realized by consciousness of the universal principles.” This is interesting because as one delves into the technicalities of bureaucracy facing our government, it is is easy to be caught up in contradiction and division, but truly when we want what’s best for the community as a whole, we can be closer spiritually and also unlock consciousness that we didn’t know was there proceeding these actions.
Another quote of of Guenon’s that I found interesting was “If an idea is true, it belongs equally to all who are capable of understanding it.” Although this is self-explanatory, its simplicity is what makes it so pertinent. Truly, if something is real, all those that have the capacity to understand it will know and understand the same thing. This is where I think Bannon may stray from his idol. There are certain things that are held true and certain things that are pure fiction. But the problem is Steve Bannon really never puts his own opinions down when it comes to the political climate. He is in many ways a shadow strategist, and although his media outputs such as Breitbart.com may establish some of his views, he remains a very closed off figure.