IT has not been a good start to the year for the Trump movement. The President and Steve Bannon, his notorious former chief strategist and executive chairman of Breitbart News, have publicly split. This is already precipitating disorientation among sections of the American radical right. Some right-wing news outlets are openly calling Bannon a traitor, and some are going even further; maybe Bannon himself is part of a globalist ploy.

The spark for this public feuding was revealed in a new book of interviews, "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House", where Bannon went on record to say that a meeting between Trump campaign officials and a Russian lawyer promising information on Hilary Clinton in Trump Tower was "treasonous" and "unpatriotic".

In response, President Trump released a statement: “Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind," said Trump. "Steve was a staffer who worked for me after I had already won the nomination by defeating 17 candidates, often described as the most talented field ever assembled in the Republican Party.”

This is far from the truth. Bannon, the ex-Goldman Sachs investment banker, had been critical to the intellectual and political development of the American radical right well before the Trump candidacy. It was Bannon who truly galvanised a link between the Tea Party and the fight against the Republican establishment. But more than that, Bannon is the key strategic thinker able to place global and domestic developments in historical context.

For Bannon, the crisis of capitalism stems from a degeneration of "Judaeo Christian values". Without these values underpinning an "enlightened capitalism", social disorder is inevitable.

Just as he laments the failure of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in pursuit of the America First doctrine, he is concerned about what he sees as uneducated youth taking part in movements like Occupy Wall Street. They serve as alarm bells for what the future of the US could look like.

The roots of his political strategy stem from the 2008 financial crisis, which he sees as a tipping point: "The way that the people who ran the banks and ran the hedge funds have never really been held accountable for what they did has fuelled much of the anger in the Tea Party movement in the United States," he said.

Bannon sees the movement in the US as being part of an international wave. He is able to claim that it is composed of "the working men and women in the world who are just tired of being dictated to by what we call the party of Davos (the Swiss town where the global elite famously meet each year to discuss economic business)". Bannon developed an overarching theory of the crisis, blended with economic nationalism, and was able to apply it to his understanding of the need for radical social movements to run alongside a clearing out of the Republican establishment. More than that, this was a revolution that went beyond the Republicans: "I want to bring everything crashing down and destroy all of today’s establishment," he claimed.

The response of Western liberalism to the crisis has paled in comparison. Here, there is only confusion and, like the new radical right, a harking back to the past. Not to the 1950s, but to the mid-1990s and the high watermark of neoliberalism. There is no attempt to grapple with the anger and alienation that people feel. Like the final days of the Soviet Union, the last great shift in the world order, the problems in the society are glaring, but the ability to blame some other external enemy is far more palatable. The decline in living standards, the lack of jobs, the feeling that there is no control over global forces and the haemorrhaging of trust in the political and financial institutions that run Western capitalism is the reality that liberalism is failing to confront. This failure leads towards the conclusion that Brexit, Trump and the rise of European right-wing populism are the product of Russian interference. Beyond that, there is a whole book of excuses given in Hillary Clinton’s post-election book, where everyone is to blame apart from the leadership of the Democratic establishment.

The truth is that the radical left have much more to learn from Steve Bannon than they do from the likes of Guy Verhofstadt. Indeed not grasping this will only seed further ground to the radical right. Just look at how Bannon has capitalised on what should be the terrain of the left. It is the left who led the way on confronting organisations like the WTO and the G8 with mass mobilisations and counter-summits. It is the trade unions who know how to rebuild the economy. Bannon utilised anti-war sentiment, but it wasn’t the right who organised the anti-war movement. It is the left who are able to expose the failings of capitalism, and who are the genuine opposition to the establishment armed with the history of social and civil rights movements. Intellectually, it is the left who can expose the reality of late capitalism, and its impact of people and planet. And, it is the left who must reclaim the mantle of opposing the system, and the elites at Davos. We need to show leadership on the big questions of the era – rather than reacting to the latest Trump tweet.

The world order is changing. As Martin Wolf of the Financial Times writes: "We have reached the end of an economic period, that of western-led globalisation.” A reconvening of the political centre is not on the table, and now Bannon and his project are in trouble. 2018 can be the year in which the populist right are staved off, but only if the left are willing to take up a spirit of revolt against an ailing system, and a politics of rupture. The race for the future is on.

Jonathon Shafi is a political activist and an organiser of anti-Trump demonstrations set to take place on Trump's UK visit. He writes and speaks on Scottish politics and international affairs. He recently co-founded a think tank called New Foreign Policy