While Andrew Breitbart celebrated the internet as the great disruptor of the mainstream media, Bannon’s intellectual and political ambitions went further. He embraced a rise-and-decline theory of 80-year cycles of American history, popularized by William Strauss and Neil Howe in the 1990s in their book The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy (1997). It’s a generational theory of history, divided into roughly 20year “highs,” “awakenings,” “unravelings,” and “crises”: from the American revolution to the civil war to the great depression and World War II and finally to the present moment, the decade after 2008. From which, after deep crisis and chaos, the Phoenix of a new old America would rise again in the 2020s. ‘Make America great again’ is the perfect slogan. This historical master-narrative underlies another document in the pre-history of Trumpism: the documentary film Generation Zero (2010) which Bannon scripted and directed. It is a documentary film targeting the Wall Street elites by blaming the 2008 economic crisis and its aftermath on the 1960s generation by a slight of hand. Implausible? Yes, but blaming the 1960s has been a standard trope in the discourse of a broad spectrum of American conservatism (for instance with the trope of yippies becoming yuppies, young urban professionals). But here it comes clothed in a global political prophecy that imagines itself at the cusp of a new populist movement to save America in the coming war against radical Islam.
 Martin Jay, “Dialectic of Counter-Enlightenment: The Frankfurt School as Scapegoat of the Lunatic Fringe,” Salmagundi 168/6 (Fall 2010/Winter 2011). Quoted here from the web: http://rigorousintuition.ca/board2/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=39179
Andreas Huyssen is the Villard Professor Emeritus of German and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. His work has been enormously influential in memory studies and includes such texts as After the Great Divide: Modernism, Mass Culture, Postmodernism (1986); Twilight Memories: Marking Time in a Culture of Amnesia (1995); Present Pasts: Urban Palimpsests and the Politics of Memory (2003). This blog post came about because Andreas and I started talking about contemporary politics during the Mnemonics 2017 Frankfurt conference and he sent me this fantastic article. At the Mnemonics conference Andreas delivered a brilliant keynote entitled: “Memories of Europe in the Art from Elsewhere.” (Brett Kaplan)