Steve Bannon Cited WWII-era Nazi Writer as Ideological Influence

Julius Evola wrote under Benito Mussolini but preferred Hitler.

White House chief strategist Steve Bannon listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with county sheriffs in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017.
White House chief strategist Steve Bannon listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with county sheriffs in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017. Evan Vucci/AP

Steve Bannon apparently referenced an infamous Italian fascist thinker as influential on his own ideology in a talk he gave at the Vatican three years ago, continuing to raise alarms about the extent of connections between the chief White House strategist and the far-right fringes.

Bannon made passing mention in that address to Julius Evola, who actively wrote under Benito Mussolini’s regime and afterward, espousing a philosophy of Traditionalism that presented concepts like equality and progress as false ideals. His work has been taken up in the past decade by leaders of the “alt-right,” with the white nationalist Richard Spencer praising Evola as one of his intellectual fathers. Evola has also been adopted by far-right parties in Europe, including Hungary’s Jobbik and Greece’s Golden Dawn.

In an ironic twist, Evola was not only a fascist – he met with Mussolini and influenced the dictator’s writing of racial laws against Jews and other minorities – but even more radical than the Italian leader, castigating him for being too compromising and instead finding his intellectual model in the Nazis.

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