Former M&A banker at Goldman Sachs, Steve Bannon struck gold by investing in “Seinfeld,” before a pivot to politics took him all the way to the Trump White House. Bannon is one of the moving forces behind the rising populist movement harnessing just disaffection among the working and middle classes, turning it into nationalism, anti-credentialism and votes. Bannon is a classic American snake oil salesman: whip smart, self-interested, erudite and able to weave together solid verifiable facts, astute socioeconomic insight and well placed bullshit in real-time. Like most of the smartest guys of this type, the Dorian Gray personal aesthetics of younger days gets layered over by indulgence and debauchery, steakface and slicks taking him through middle age.
"Meet Josiah Zayner - America's Most Censored Person" article by Matt Taibbi. Josiah Zayner is a poo eater. Possibly a snake oil salesman. But definitely an exemplar outlier, a heterodoxer pushed out of the intellectual mainstream, denied a role in contributing to developing orthodoxy. Quack quack.
Christ Hedges (18-Sept-1956 in St. Johnsbury VT USA) is an American journalist, Presbyterian minister, author and multilingual journalist. Educated at Eaglebrook School, Loomis Chaffee School. Hedges has also taught college credit courses for several years in New Jersey prisons as part of the B.A. program offered by Rutgers University.
“Corporations are, theologically speaking, institutions of death. They commodify everything – the natural world, human beings – that they exploit until exhaustion or collapse. And what they want is for us to give up. They want us to become passive. They want us to become tacitly complicit in our own destruction.”
“Social media lets the public feel like a participant in the public conversation; while devices collect behavioural data on behalf of the platforms, to better hone the power of institutional influence.”“Cult leaders [demagogues] arise from decayed communities and societies in which people have been shorn of political, social and economic power. The disempowered, infantilized by a world they cannot control, gravitate to cult leaders who appear omnipotent and promise a return to a mythical golden age. The cult leaders vow to crush the forces, embodied in demonized groups and individuals, that are blamed for their misery. The more outrageous the cult leaders become, the more they flout law and social conventions, the more they gain in popularity. Cult leaders are immune to the norms of established society. This is their appeal. Cult leaders demand a God-like power. Those who follow them grant them this power in the hope that the cult leaders will save them.”