Speculative Fiction

Today's claim that Steve Bannon is a "white supremacist" turns on his praise of a work of speculative fiction, The Camp of the Saints. I have never read this book, so I can neither praise nor condemn it. However, the description and excepts make it sound like it falls squarely within a genre of books that includes some highly celebrated on the Left: The Handmaid's Tale, for example, or 1984, or Brave New World, or Fahrenheit 451.

Each of these includes awful images of a highly undesirable future, for the purpose of criticizing present trends with dangerous conclusions. According to Wikipedia, for whatever that's worth, this piece was written in 1973, and was widely praised by intellectuals at the time of its publication. That it is of lasting interest more than forty years after its original publication suggests there might be something to the book; that it provokes such discomfort among its critics, likewise.

I haven't read it. Perhaps it's awful. Still, what an odd ground for criticism. The quite-Left American Library Association organizes a "Banned Books Week" every year, and maintains a part of its online store devoted to banned and challenged books.

Yet here is the alleged proof of Bannon's evil: "He likes a disapproved book."


Christopher B said...

I came relatively close to being a #NeverTrump-er but at this point I pretty much assume anything critical of Trump, his advisers, and his appointees is either thoroughly distorted if not an outright fabrication. Another case being the Left getting the vapors over Dr Ben Carson analogizing slaves to immigrants, only to have conservatives point out that Obama made a very similar analogy on numerous occasions.

Grim said...

I mean, there's stuff to be critical about with regard to Trump. His habit of not paying his vendors is dishonorable. He has regularly treated women badly right before our eyes (although he also regularly treats other women well, a point not always emphasized). There's no doubt that he speaks without much care for getting the facts exactly right, which is problematic in a President.

Still, you're right. Some of the criticism has become wildly unhinged. This is one of those cases where the thing they are waving against him is ordinarily one of their own standards of what right looks like.

jaed said...

I've read a bit of the book, though I didn't finish it. What I read did not strike me as anything that could be described as "white supremacism" or any of its variants. (Not unless you think "third world in conflict with Europe" = "white supremacism". The then-Third-world country in question being India.)

Anonymous said...

Trumps right hand man.I'm delighted you have moved to the subject of Steve Bannon.

Bannon has already told the left he is a Nationalist, but not a white Nationalist. He seems to be a lightning rod for leftist hysteria. I kinda like the guy. He is clearly a well read inteligent slob. He is the thumb, in the wrong place, doesn't fit with the rest of the hand and what I love most about him is that his existance pisses the left off BIGLY. IF you look at him as the odd couple, he would be Oscar.

Now I like to read articles about Bannon, From the Left, as well as the right. The MSM who he has named as an enemy is dying to find dirt on him and are really digging.

Its entertaining to watch. I suppose he had something to do with how Maddow got played, but we are not sure what his role was exactly and that mystery drives the leftist media nuts, because they know he had something to do with it, but they have no proof.

Now one of the nicer takes on Bannon was written by Austin Ruse
Ruse paints Bannon in much nicer light. Here is the Link.

In this article at Breitbart point directly at a book that explains Bannon's Populism and Nationalism.


The book is called
The revolt of the elites : and the betrayal of democracy / Christopher Lasch.

.....Cultural critic Lasch, who passed away before this book was published, argues that American democracy is withering in the hands of professional and managerial elites who lack a sense of social and civic values.....

Hope this helps looking at Bannon


Eric Blair said...

All this criticism from the Fake Stream Media of President Trump (I have to say that out loud to myself sometimes, cause it still sounds pretty weird), is by people who couldn't get anything right during his campaign.

It's just silly at this point.

It's like reading Der Sturmer to learn about Jews.

Anonymous said...

and another nightly Bannon bashing. read the comments, a bit unhinged, he is a Nazi you know...


Grim said...

It's hard to know what to make of that article, which says that he 'expressed admiration' but links to a dead article for proof. I don't know if there was a specific idea of the philosopher he admired, or if it was something ugly he admired. Lots of people express admiration for Heidegger, and he was a true honest-to-God Nazi.

Guilt by association is an old game, but it's curious to me that the associations here are to thinkers and intellectuals. Once again: radical intellectuals are normally favored on the left. If he'd only called for shooting running dog Capitalists in defense of Maoism, rather than Gaullists, this guy might be taught in major universities.

Ymar Sakar said...

Bannon's conduct is easier to see from Breitbart news and how the internal divisions he helped create has hashed out.

As for being nationalist, Israel is a nationalist ideology centered around Jewish cultural tradition, although not necessarily Judaism.

I wonder how much criticism of Israel comes from people who themselves would jump on a nationalist boat, only for them, and they are merely envying Netanyahu for having his own thing.