This transcript of a talk he gave to a conference at the Vatican from 2014 is revealing: he lashes out at "crony capitalism" and "Ayn Rand capitalism," but lauds "Judeo-Christian capitalism" that produced wealth that was broadly shared (it's unclear whether he notices it was broadly shared only because of agitation from the left that produced the social welfare state, progressive taxation and so on--indeed, I think it's fair to say he has no idea). He thinks the two big enemies are "securalism" and "Islamic jihadism." The latter is no surprise, the former is, and indicates that there's something much more sinister and nutty at work here. Consider this:
When Vladimir Putin, when you really look at some of the underpinnings of some of his beliefs today, a lot of those come from what I call Eurasianism; he’s got an adviser who harkens back to Julius Evola and different writers of the early 20th century who are really the supporters of what’s called the traditionalist movement, which really eventually metastasized into Italian fascism. A lot of people that are traditionalists are attracted to that.
One of the reasons is that they believe that at least Putin is standing up for traditional institutions, and he’s trying to do it in a form of nationalism — and I think that people, particularly in certain countries, want to see the sovereignty for their country, they want to see nationalism for their country. They don’t believe in this kind of pan-European Union or they don’t believe in the centralized government in the United States. They’d rather see more of a states-based entity that the founders originally set up where freedoms were controlled at the local level.
I’m not justifying Vladimir Putin and the kleptocracy that he represents, because he eventually is the state capitalist of kleptocracy. However, we the Judeo-Christian West really have to look at what he’s talking about as far as traditionalism goes — particularly the sense of where it supports the underpinnings of nationalism — and I happen to think that the individual sovereignty of a country is a good thing and a strong thing. I think strong countries and strong nationalist movements in countries make strong neighbors, and that is really the building blocks that built Western Europe and the United States, and I think it’s what can see us forward.
You know, Putin’s been quite an interesting character. He’s also very, very, very intelligent. I can see this in the United States where he’s playing very strongly to social conservatives about his message about more traditional values, so I think it’s something that we have to be very much on guard of. Because at the end of the day, I think that Putin and his cronies are really a kleptocracy, that are really an imperialist power that want to expand. However, I really believe that in this current environment, where you’re facing a potential new caliphate that is very aggressive that is really a situation — I’m not saying we can put it on a back burner — but I think we have to deal with first things first.
Julius Evola was a fascist and anti-Semite, but dressed up in mysticism and "traditionalism". Julius Evola plus opposition to crony capitalism gets you Stephen Bannon, and maybe National Socialism. That this guy should be anywhere near the levers of power is horrific. But it's also as clear as day that Bannon is playing Trump, since Trump is crony capitalism embodied, and no traditionalist.
ANOTHER: A website devoted to Evola includes this usesful description of "traditionalism," which will give one an idea how weird this is--"reactionary" barely does justice to it.
AND STILL MORE: See the discussion of Evola and other "traditionalists" here.