The Class of Lenin

TimeWatch Editorial
March 01, 2017

According to the Conservapedia, Ronald Radosh was born on Manhattan 's Lower East Side in 1937. His parents, Reuben and Ida Radosh, were Jewish immigrants from the former Russian Empire and lifelong members of the Communist Party USA . A self-described Red Diaper Baby , he attended the Little Red Schoolhouse and Elisabeth Irwin High School . Currently employed by the Hudson Institute , Radosh has also published books about the activities of Joseph Stalin 's NKVD during the Spanish Civil War and the foundation of the State of Israel . On August 22, 2016, Radosh published an article for The Daily Beast entitled: “Steve Bannon, Trump's Top Guy, Told Me He Was 'A Leninist' who wants To ‘Destroy the State’.” There are very few individuals that I have come across that have testified concerning Mr. Bannon’s personal description regarding his political persuasion, so I found this article intriguing in many ways. Here is how Ronald Radosh describes the situation.

“I met Steve Bannon—the executive director of who’s now become the chief executive of the Trump campaign , replacing the newly resigned Paul Manafort —at a book party held in his Capitol Hill townhouse on Nov. 12, 2013. We were standing next to a picture of his daughter, a West Point graduate, who at the time was a lieutenant in the 101 Airborne Division serving in Iraq. The picture was notable because she was sitting on what was once Saddam Hussein’s gold throne with a machine gun on her lap. “I’m very proud of her,” Bannon said. Then we had a long talk about his approach to politics. He never called himself a “populist” or an “American nationalist,” as so many think of him today. “I’m a Leninist,” Bannon proudly proclaimed. Shocked, I asked him what he meant.” Ronald Radosh, Steve Bannon, Trump's Top Guy, Told Me He Was 'A Leninist' who wants To ‘Destroy the State’.” The Daily Beast, August 22, 2016

Now remember, according to Ronald Radosh, this was November 12, 2013 that this conversation took place. Mr. Bannon at that time was not assigned to the Trump program, so I would imagine he felt free enough to express himself in un-edited language. As the article continues he explains what he means by being a “Leninist.”

“Lenin,” he answered, “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.” Bannon was employing Lenin’s strategy for Tea Party populist goals. He included in that group the Republican and Democratic Parties, as well as the traditional conservative press. I emailed Bannon last week recalling our conversation, telling him that I planned to write about it and asking him if he wanted to comment on or correct my account of it. He responded: “I don’t remember meeting you and don’t remember the conversation. And as u can tell from the past few days I am not doing media.” Ronald Radosh, Steve Bannon, Trump's Top Guy, Told Me He Was 'A Leninist' who wants To ‘Destroy the State’.” The Daily Beast, August 22, 2016

Even though Ronald Radosh e-mailed Bannon, asking him if he would like to “comment on or correct” his memory of the conversation, notice that Bannon said that he did not remember meeting him, or remember the conversation. What is interesting however is that when the article was published by The Daily Beast on August 22, 2016, there does not appear to be any contradictory statement or correction by Bannon. In fact, the Washington Post published an article on February 23, 2017 which repeats Bannon’s description of his belief system in a more philosophical manner.

“The reclusive mastermind behind President Trump’s nationalist ideology and combative tactics made his public debut Thursday, delivering a fiery rebuke of the media and declaring that the new administration is in an unending battle for “deconstruction of the administrative state.” Appearing at a gathering of conservative activists alongside Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Bannon dismissed the idea that Trump might moderate his positions or seek consensus with political opponents. Rather, he said, the White House is digging in for a long period of conflict to transform Washington and upend the world order. “If you think they’re going to give you your country back without a fight, you are sadly mistaken,” Bannon said in reference to the media and opposition forces. “Every day, it is going to be a fight.” “Bannon vows a daily fight for ‘deconstruction of the administrative state’” Washington Post, February 23, 2017

It is clear that the philosophical position of the incoming Administration is precisely articulated by Bannon. Whether or not the agenda persists and is successful is yet to be seen. As he puts it,

“Bannon framed much of Trump’s agenda with the phrase, “deconstruction of the administrative state,” meaning the system of taxes, regulations and trade pacts that the president says have stymied economic growth and infringed upon U.S. sovereignty. Bannon says that the post-World War II political and economic consensus is failing and should be replaced with a system that empowers ordinary people over coastal elites and international institutions.”“Bannon vows a daily fight for ‘deconstruction of the administrative state’” Washington Post, February 23, 2017

Not only is Bannon focused upon his plan to Deconstruct the Administrative State, but he is not the least bid hesitant to say it out loud. He apparently relishes the confrontation that will come, and looks forward to engaging the battle.

National Review and The Weekly Standard,” he said, “are both left-wing magazines, and I want to destroy them also.” He added that “no one reads them or cares what they say.” His goal was to bring down the entire establishment including the leaders of the Republican Party in Congress. He went on to tell me that he was the East Coast coordinator of all the Tea Party groups. His plan was to get its candidates nominated on the Republican ticket, and then to back campaigns that they could win. Then, Bannon said, when elected they would be held accountable to fight for the agenda he and the Tea Party stood for.” .” Ronald Radosh, Steve Bannon, Trump's Top Guy, Told Me He Was 'A Leninist' who wants To ‘Destroy the State’.” The Daily Beast, August 22, 2016

It is clear that the dragon has begun to speak.

Cameron A. Bowen

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