Reprint from 2017: Steve Bannon’s Fearful Purity and Pollution Discourse

Yvonne Owens, PhD
6 min readOct 20, 2021
Oliver Wasow, ‘Steve Bannon, White House Chief Strategist,’ manipulated photograph, 2017.

In 2017, spurred by Oliver Wasow’s portrait of Steve Bannon in which the subject looms like The toxic Master of the Wasteland, I was finally prompted to really wonder what exactly made this visibly sick individual tick.

I knew of his dark money affiliations and resume. Bannon has historically agitated for a host of anti-immigrant measures. “In his previous role as executive chairman of the right-wing news site Breitbart — which he called a ‘platform for the alt-right,’ the online movement of white nationalists — he made anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim news a focus.” (Paul Blumenthal, JM Rieger, ‘This Stunningly Racist French Novel Is How Steve Bannon Explains The World,’ in The Huffington Post, 03/04/2017 05:00 pm ET.

I knew of his racism and xenophobia, and had heard him refer to his style of thinking as like unto Lenin’s, who once said, “The art of any propagandist and agitator consists in his ability to find the best means of influencing any given audience, by presenting a definite truth, in such a way as to make it most convincing, most easy to digest, most graphic, and most strongly impressive.” As Bannon told Ronald Radosh of the Daily Beast, “Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.” (Ronald Radosh, ‘Steve Bannon, Trump’s Top Guy, Told Me He Was ‘A Leninist’ Who Wants To ‘Destroy the State,’ in The Daily Beast, 08.21.16 10:00 PM ET)

But suddenly I burned to know: What is his credo, his ethos, his philosophical animus and ideological core belief? Then, just minutes ago while scanning my FB newsfeed, this very enlightening article came up addressing that very subject, as is so often the case when one tends to access FB as something like an I-Ching/E-rolodex, only to find that the shitty bastard isn’t even original, just a Hate-spewing coward, afraid of the Stranger, fearing and despising immigrants of non-Northern European descent, and quivering under a deep seated belief in the idea of the ‘Polluted Other.’ He is a card-carrying subscriber to the ‘Purity and Pollution’ discourse of Indo-European White Supremacy, deeply fearing the ideological and racial ‘contagion’ he sees as being brought into Western Civilization by unchecked migrations westward by the dark races.

Team Trump is a cybernetically controlled cult with millions of members and an algorithmically implanted subliminal belief system engineered by former programmer/computer scientist, now media mogul and psychographic behaviour-modification billionaire nutcase, Robert Mercer, in league since Breitbart with Steve Bannon. The cult’s manifesto is no less bonkers than that of Scientology, Jim Jones, or the Children of God. Their and their followers’ unwitting ideology is Steve Bannon’s, built out of a personal phobia, which is fuelled by a xenophobic fear of immigrants. His abiding creed, all through his panned cinematic attacks on the Occupy Movement and his founding of the Tea Party, is as sickeningly put forth in his personal bible, the 1973 French novel, “The Camp of the Saints,” an obscure and revolting narrative by French author Jean Raspail.

Original 1973 cover for U.S. release

“Everywhere, rivers of sperm, streaming over bodies, oozing between breasts, and buttocks, and thighs, and lips, and fingers.” As Jonathan Ofir wrote in March of 2017, “This is not a description of a hard-core porn-film. This is an excerpt from Jean Raspail’s 1973 French novel, Camp of the Saints. Raspail’s obscenely prurient description is that of, “…a fictional Indian ‘armada’ of 800,000 “wretched creatures” consisting of “scraggy branches, brown and black” with “fleshless Gandhi-arms”, who have come to take over France — that is white Europe — the ‘camp of the saints’. The title is derived from St. John’s Revelation (20:9): “And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.”

This rabidly racist novel is Donald Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon’s model of perception, as beautifully and chillingly laid out by Jonathan Ofir in his seminal article about this strange twist in Bannon’s make-up. . (Jonathan Ofir, ‘Steve Bannon’s Judeo-Christian Camp of the Saints, in Mondoweiss: News & Opinion About Palestine, Israel & the United States, March 11, 2017.) “The Camp of the Saints” is the grotesquely scatological and violently racist tale about a migrant invasion designed to destroy Western civilization. The main, terrifying villain of this intellectually and morally bereft piece of fiction is an East Indian immigrant Untouchable called ‘Turd eater,’ as Raspail’s boogeyman character literally eats shit (which Dalits don’t, though they are forced to clean up everybody else’s in India’s ancient, racial-supremacist, Indo-Aryan caste system). It includes disgusting representations of the impoverished and desperate economic refugees as abject as Bannon’s own diatribes against Occupy Movement activists.

Cover image for ‘This Stunningly Racist French Novel Is How Steve Bannon Explains The World,” by Paul Blumenthal and JM Rieger, Huffington Post, March 6, 2017

As described in the Huff Post in 2017:

“[This book is] racist in the literal sense of the term. It uses race as the main characterization of characters,” said Cécile Alduy, professor of French at Stanford University and an expert on the contemporary French far right. “It describes the takeover of Europe by waves of immigrants that wash ashore like the plague.” The book, she said, “reframes everything as the fight to death between races.” Upon the novel’s release in the United States in 1975, the influential book review magazine Kirkus Reviews pulled no punches: “The publishers are presenting The Camp of the Saints as a major event, and it probably is, in much the same sense that Mein Kampf was a major event.” (‘This Stunningly Racist French Novel Is How Steve Bannon Explains The World,” by Paul Blumenthal and JM Rieger, Huffington Post, March 6, 2017.)

In the clearest explanation for why nearly all of Trump’s cabinet choices are known mostly for despising and attacking the very Federal agencies they’ve been designated to lead, Bannon stated that they weren’t appointed to lead these agencies, but to destroy them. The crippling or wholesale elimination of Federal agencies that ensure we receive such things as clean air, clean water, fair labor laws, fair housing standards, anti-discrimination laws, financial protections, food and drug safety, national education standards and the like, has been the nihilistic, unlawful goal of far-right ideologues for decades. (Dartagnan, ‘Bannon Admits Trump’s Cabinet Nominees Were Selected To Destroy Their Agencies.’ In Daily Kos, Feb 23, 2017 · 1:27 PM PST.)

The juggernaut of vandalizing executive orders and essential program cuts put into effect during Trump’s brief embarrassment of a reign must be repealed and negated, as they are all a part of Bannon’s declared, unlawful and treasonous vendetta against the State of the Union. Everything legislative, regulatory or judicial must be put back where it was when Obama left office, before Bannon’s organized, malicious vandalizing of countless, carefully evolved programs to protect the Environment, Women’s Rights, Civil Rights, anti-Hate measures, and Religious Freedom, to be maintained in a sane holding pattern. A provisional government must be put in place until a re-election can be called to correct this cybernetically engineered, digitally maneuvered misstep in the political and ideological evolution of democracy in America.

Intellectual history must account for the breaches in spiritual manners that have preceded us, currently engulf us, and threaten to colour the unimaginable future. Given our unthinkable capacity to destroy, humanity must acknowledge and embrace the moral duty to act as ethical stewards of civilization and its relationship to the environment — the conscientious caretakers, and not the malice and fear-fuelled dismantlers, of viable government.



Yvonne Owens, PhD

I'm a writer/researcher/arts educator on Vancouver Island and all round global citizen who loves humans even though we're such a phenomenal pain-in-the-ass.