Who is/are the Deep State(s)?
By far the biggest challenge facing a concerned citizen of the USA in 2018 is figuring out what to believe amid the contradictory gales of facts, lies, invective and distraction generated by digital communication. It is pretty easy to show, from any of several points of view, that somebody is lying, and lying intentionally. What is not so easy is to know any damn thing for sure.
Until the last few years, the Main Stream Media had the power to define the national discourse, which for most of the 20th century was led by a handful of nationally distributed news organizations: ABC, CBS, NBC, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek and US News and World Report all employed global reporting teams and they all adhered to a shared sense of journalistic ethics. Ironically, one of those shared standards was that a politician’s private life was none of the public’s business. JFK and RFK could not remain in office in today’s Me-Too environment
Another common ethic from those traditional national news organizations was patriotism. From the sinking of the Maine, through the Tonkin Gulf Incident and all the way into this century with the tale of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq and the allegation of Russian interference in the election of 2016, you see those main stream outlets repeating what they are told by people employed by the Federal Government — without skepticism. I have no doubt that the editors who approved all those stories believed that skepticism in those cases would have been unpatriotic.
From my personal point of view, I don’t think the MSM ever was “honest” in the sense of being willing to print the truth when the truth bothers powerful people. And I think that the resort to patriotism to explain away their complicity in spreading utter bullshit is nothing but rationalization. But my life experience has taught me that the stories that journalists tell themselves in order to look in the mirror are the most deeply held of all convictions. The old line has several variations — it is really easy to make somebody believe something when her paycheck requires her to believe it.
So I do not give them any credibility now that they are all challenged by the unprecedented development of digital communication. Today, you do not need a printing press and delivery trucks or TV cameras and broadcast antennas to spread a message — everyone of us on this board has access to an audience in the billions. This is not a bad thing, it is a great thing for communication to be democratized.
The difficulty of understanding what is going on in a world of 7 billion souls is now exacerbated by the reality that there is no longer a privileged narrative. The old guard networks, newspapers and magazines are not even the same companies they used to be, and they just do not have the power to define the truth that they had just a couple of decades ago. The advent of the internet has had the effect of turning the Main Stream Media into Pravda under the Soviet Union — the House Organ for the old order that is crumbling as we speak.
We are all familiar with individual Know It Alls who can quote from their favorite “news” outlet to explain every little detail of existence. The boldest initiative in marketing to such people is the Fox News Channel. The old guard fantasizes that this challenge was one of falsehood undermining their truth, but that is absurd. Rupert Murdoch just sold another set of lies. This cacophony of bullshit puts the citizenry in the quandary of trying to figure out who is lying and who is telling the truth — or if every damn thing you hear is a lie.
I would like to say Who Cares? and tune it all out — but other realities get in the way. Global warming, economic collapse and war forever are just too hard to ignore. So, I belong to this message board and nose around the internet on a daily basis trying to make my best guess about what the hell is going on.
So now we all have to speculate about reality for the simple reason that nothing has inherent credibility. Any tale you hear could be a con job. Or a con job within a con job.
One way to try to make sense out of 2018 is to follow the money. Who gains from war? Several trillion dollars have already been spent on the Bush-Obama-Trump wars, and most of the easily debunked bullshit “news” is obviously intended to keep people from raising any kind of a ruckus about what was originally called, The War on Terrorism. Now it has no name, it is just what all our politicians say we have to do, without even stating a reason for it.
That is my world view — somebody in the government has arranged for wars to continue forever at a cost of about a trillion bucks a year, and growing. But who? You could not specify three more disparate personalities that Bush, Obama and Trump. Compassionate Conservative, Hope and Change, Make American Great Again — three vacuous slogans, utter bullshit in all three cases. But all suggesting a very clear message to voters:
Compassionate Conservative — the slogan of a brand name, distinguishing itself from the red meat of Reaganism
Hope and Change — the slogan of reform, acknowledging the need for change and offering hope that change will come
Make American Great Again — a call for national renewal, akin to Obama’s slogan, offering to re-create the opportunities that evaporated under Bush and Obama.
Yet what is the difference in their policies? The War Forever rolls along no matter who is President. That makes it obvious that somebody other than the President is prosecuting this perpetual war. Who would that be?
Many call it the Deep State. I don’t object to using this term, because I think it is an accurate way to describe the people who staff the Federal Government, its contractors and the network of political support for the two parties. The politicians come and go, but the people who really run the government are deeply entrenched, and in their own minds, probably think of themselves as patriots and selfless public servants.
Although I do not object to that term, I only use it to annoy Hillarians. It does drive them up the wall. But I think the more persuasive term is Permanent Government. It means the same thing as Deep State, but it is a much older and less evocative expression. I can easily imagine career bureaucrats in the CIA or the State Department telling themselves that “national security” is too important to be left to political buffoons like W or Trump.
This is an inherently weak way to argue, deducing what we imagine to be in the minds of people we cannot name — the quintessential “they.” It is so easy for a smug “realist” to roll her eyes in disgust at this point. We cannot even name who we are talking about, yet we are sure they exist and we are sure that we know what they are trying to do.
It gets worse. Not only do we not know who is calling what shots within the Deep State, it also seems clear to many on our board that there is a civil war going on within the Deep State. That suggests not one, but two discrete Deep States at odds with each other — some apparently wanting brinksmanship with Russia and China, while others want to do business with the former Communist Bloc. Some were supporting Hillary, while others supported Trump.
But who the hell are we talking about? And how do we explain our belief in the Deep State without making people think we are fucking idiots?joentokyo, caliny, Spanish Devil and 33 othersbobthedrummer, Koko, chknltl, Flying Squirrel, tonyl, incognito, talkstoclouds, leveymg, glinda, DesertRat2015, Harold, canoeist52, mother earth, ZimInSeattle, Iwalani88, ozoneman, OCMI, Enthusiast, davidthegnome, iggy, eridani, Xcaliber, Deadpool, Pam, Marym625, Ohio Barbarian, Yanath, ThomPaine, Peace Patriot, Dragon Turtle, Johnny Rash, Populist Prole, Stockholmer like this
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