During today’s Values Voter Summit in Washington D.C., Breitbart News Executive Director Steve Bannon pulled no punches and zeroed in on many targets. He even set his ire toward libertarians, who he feels put too much of an emphasis on economic output and lose sight of the civic nationalism needed to bind America.
Bannon specifically called out policy centers such as the Heritage Foundation, CATO Institute, and American Enterprise Institute for their constant support of free trade. He also critiqued for the Austrian school of economics for stressing that ‘everything is about the economy.’ He hopes to eventually bring these folks on board with his program of economic nationalism.
“We’re a civic society and a culture that has a capitalist, free market system as our economy,” Bannon said. “But we’re not an economy, and you’re not just units of production. You’re free men and women in a civic society underpinned by a capitalist system, but where other people in the world don’t practice capitalism, we have to be savvier than that.”
Bannon claims that Trump won Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Iowa, and other Midwestern states because Trump realized the importance of an economic nationalist program encompassing more than just usual GOP talking points in favor of the free market and tax cuts. He believes that this is the key to unlocking an unstoppable political machine.
“That’s how you’re going to win 400 electoral votes,” Bannon said.
This is not the first time that Bannon has criticized libertarians and their ideals. While serving as White House chief strategist, Bannon allegedly pushed for a healthcare plan seen by most libertarians as little more than an Obamacare bailout. The legislation ultimately failed, but not before a contentious battle between Trump and the House Freedom Caucus occurred.
Nevertheless, a man of Bannon’s experience and expertise cannot be completely discounted in his criticism. Even Austrian economist Hans-Hermann Hoppe agrees that libertarianism must be packaged in populist terms. Perhaps libertarians would be wise to tailor their message directly to the people, instead of using language appealing only to eggheads and academics.