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.
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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