In the course of this fairly mild political discussion, a person a few times removed from me, posited the notion of the Deep State as a mere boogeyman, concocted by the right as an all purpose conspiracy theory used to explain away any failure in implementing conservative policy.
I chimed in reminding him that just a few months ago Senator Chuck Schumer, a clear leftist, had warned President Trump of the futility of attempting to combat the Deep State, by name, and that just a few weeks after he bandied the phrase, the media machine of the left changed the narrative to deny the existence of the Deep State altogether.
For many, many years, (at least sixty, if not eighty), when we laughingly joked about "the man" screwing us, I expect that this was invariably an unwitting reference to what has become known as the "Shadow Government" or the "Deep State", and this was in all seriousness, reflective of the "military-industrial complex" paradigm that President Dwight D. Eisenhower so famously warned us about as he left office.
To Deep State conspiracy theorists Eisenhower's admonition was philosophically followed by President John F. Kennedy's speech of April 27th, 1961, where he delineated the nature of a global conspiracy which many mistake, or mistook, for a statement denouncing the Communist powers (Soviet Russia, Maoist China, Castro's Cuba, and increasingly, the VietCong) that the US was in conflict with during the Cold War.
Now, I am one of those who generally believes that President Kennedy's comments ran a lot deeper than just a post-McCarthy Communist rant, and regardless where he would fall on today's political spectrum, I think it merits some place in current discourse. So, let's looks at some excerpts from the transcript in their full context and see if the we can discern any "Fake News", "Globalist" and "Deep State" content embedded beneath the overt Cold War rhetoric implicit to it.
"The very word "secrecy" is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it....
....Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it is in my control. And no official of my Administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know...But I do ask every publisher, every editor, and every newsman in the nation to reexamine his own standards, and to recognize the nature of our country's peril.
....For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence - on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed.
....the facts of the matter are that this nation's foes have openly boasted of acquiring through our newspapers information they would otherwise hire agents to acquire through theft, bribery or espionage; that details of this nation's covert preparations to counter the enemy's covert operations have been available to every newspaper reader, friend and foe alike...
....I have no intention of establishing a new Office of War Information to govern the flow of news. I am not suggesting any new forms of censorship or any new types of security classifications. I have no easy answer to the dilemma that I have posed, and would not seek to impose it if I had one. But I am asking the members of the newspaper profession and the industry in this country to reexamine their own responsibilities, to consider the degree and the nature of the present danger, and to heed the duty of self-restraint which that danger imposes upon us all....
Every newspaper now asks itself, with respect to every story: "Is it news?" All I suggest is that you add the question: "Is it in the interest of the national security?" And I hope that every group in America - unions and businessmen and public officials at every level - will ask the same question of their endeavors, and subject their actions to the same exacting tests.
No President should fear public scrutiny of his program. For from that scrutiny comes understanding; and from that understanding comes support or opposition. And both are necessary. I am not asking your newspapers to support the Administration, but I am asking your help in the tremendous task of informing and alerting the American people. For I have complete confidence in the response and dedication of our citizens whenever they are fully informed.
Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed - and no republic can survive. That is why the Athenian lawmaker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy. And that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment - the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution - not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and the sentimental, not to simply "give the public what it wants" - but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mold, educate and sometimes even anger public opinion....This means greater coverage and analysis of international news - for it is no longer far away and foreign but close at hand and local. It means greater attention to improved understanding of the news as well as improved transmission. And it means, finally, that government at all levels, must meet its obligation to provide you with the fullest possible information outside the narrowest limits of national security - and we intend to do it...
....And so it is to the printing press - to the recorder of man's deeds, the keeper of his conscience, the courier of his news - that we look for strength and assistance, confident that with your help man will be what he was born to be: free and independent."
I think it's clear JFK was speaking about Communism here.
Or was he?
Hmm, does this all sound as startlingly recurrent to you as it does to me?
Of course, President Kennedy may have been simply referring here to Communist sympathizers or Marxist-leaning persons within the press, news media and in the US government, just as Senator McCarthy had done earlier, but, to me, if the pervasiveness of an embedded force with its own agenda is not overt in the substance of the text, then it is surely buried in the sub-text.
So what then is the Deep State?
What do we mean when we picture it as a conspiracy?
And why has the notion of a Shadow Government persisted through the vagaries of administrative change, political party dominance, and multi-generational shifts?
Well, I'll admit that these are all not easy questions to answer because of the complex and elusive nature of the beast, but, hey, let's give it the old college try.
But let's first look at what they're not.
Is the Deep State synonymous with the mysterious Illuminati?
The Illuminati were at best a loose group of Italian Renaissance dissenters who only concealed their libertine and enlightenment beliefs out of fear of excommunication and imprisonment by the Catholic Church. I think the notions of them as a persistent cult are the stuff of fairy tale boogeymen, and are a self-fulfilling reason why they are given so much credit for all of the worlds problems.
Is the Deep State part of some vast, ancient global Jewish conspiracy?
Sure there are always the Rothchild's to point a condemning racist finger at, but as I understand it they are just one wealthy family ripe with old money. Regardless of their personal power, if this was endemic why would there still be such a thing as poor Jews, Globalist bias against Israel, and why wouldn't Jewish people be as even more over-represented in government as they are over-represented in the fields of medicine, science, law, art, media, and for heaven's sake, the restaurant business?
Is Freemasonry a component of the Deep State?
Certainly, a great number of US presidents, about a third, have been members of the Masonic order, starting with George Washington, and most recently, with Gerald Ford. Even Bill Clinton was a member of a Masonic youth division, the Order of DeMolay; a fraternal organization named in honor of Jaques De'Molay, the last Grand Master of the French franchise of the Knights Templar, also known for the ominously macabre children's song, Frere Jacques.
I don't think so.
Otherwise, every head of our covert services: the FBI, CIA, NSA, and CSS, would be known Freemasons.
Is the Deep State an offshoot of "Skull and Bones"?
While a few US presidents have been members of this Yale University pre-graduate "secret" club, and several of its members have gone on to take high ranking positions in the CIA, this is also not pervasive or widespread, or even a secret enough of a club, to command such adherence to a uniform direction and motivations.
Is the Deep State part of the Bilderberg group?
While this faceless organization of business persons is both Corporatist and Globalist, and might have a strong financial influence on specific politicians, it is neither a cult, nor is it specifically America focused.
Is the Deep State connected to the gatherings at Bohemian Grove?
Aside from the late former President Richard M. Nixon deeming it "the most faggoty place he had ever been", and the fact that it does seem like a place where elites mingle in a secret environment, it nonetheless appears much more like a kids summer camp, or place where elites relive their college pot-smoking years.
Is the Deep State adhering to a strict Conservative, Liberal, Marxist, or Globalist agenda?
Well, here is where some useful ideas come into play. Because these Liberals and Conservatives in what I would define as the "Deep State" are not true Liberals or Conservatives, in the true Classical Liberal ideals of the Enlightenment sense of philosophy, but it does make them both Corporatist and moderate enough to agree with one another as Neo-Libs and Neo-Cons.
While the Neo-Libs have incorporated Marxist Internationalism, or Globalism, as a definer of how they see the larger world, Neo-Cons have transferred their notions of America's manifest destiny and militarism embodied in such concepts as "the worlds policeman" outlook, and morphed it into its own type of globalism.
It is often said that the first rule of any organization or system is the self-perpetuation of that said organization or system. There may be those who deny this basic premise of reality, but if we shift the paradigm to, say, a business-based model it becomes very clear. The job of a retail store is to stay open, and if you work in that store you may be invested in helping it stay in business, but hopefully, you do not feel this more than the owner, who theoretically should be the most dedicated to this premise.
These entrenched DC "lifers" are both Neo-Cons and Neo-Libs, and they are by definition Corporatists (in that they support political policies that advance the interests of the seven or eight trans-national publicly traded monopolistic mega-corps, as opposed to supporting entrepreneurial capitalism) and worse, they are consummate bureaucrats, who do not leave their posts regardless of any of the changes mentioned previously, not to mention the vagaries of the economy, nor any other variables, only lest, I suspect, that they fail to "look out for one another".
What both sides share in common is this outlook of the inter-connected nature of global society and trade, and a de-emphasis on national sovereignty. Thus, they are no longer working in the best interests and desires of the American people, but rather for their own vision of the future as defined by their entrenchment in the halls of state, their personal aggrandizement, and the military-industrial complex powered by publicly traded monopolistic trans-national mega-corps.
Within reason, I like to imagine, when I am feeling positive about human nature, that this is not such a premeditated nefariousness endeavor, but rather simply people learning to "play ball" with others and "not making waves" in their place of employment, as if it were any other business. I mean, hey, everyone loves job security, don't they?
I am by no means an apologist for them at all, but at the same time I can understand why they might wish to undermine or corrupt a president who has essentially promised to fire them all, such as Donald J. Trump has. Frankly, they must view any elected official who is not "one of them" as standing against them. It's all or nothing at all.
Looking at the history of earlier Presidents we can easily assume from their warnings about the influence of "the man" that Eisenhower and Kennedy were divergent from the goals of the Shadow State. I suspect that Nixon, as an unpopular outsider, may have also been at odds with elements in his own government, which, even though he executed their will in some respects, eventually led to his forcible resignation from the office.
On the contrary, I think Bill Clinton's impeachment attempt was a very different animal, and reflected a Neo-Con partisan push based in which actual their social Conservatism, or their moralistic principles, got the better of them. We see a similar phenomena in Great Britain right now, where the Marxist identitarian driven Labour Party has duped the Tories to meet them at their level of Stasi-like authoritarianism, by stimulating their innate socially Conservative "fuddy-duddy-ness" in an alliance of those who wish to monitor speech like a wanna-be Big Brother.
But back to the US.
After a number of No-Con and Neo-Lib Corporatist war-hawk administrations, the voters chose a populist cut from the Andrew Jackson mold. A straight-talking outsider oozing bluster, hyperbole, with a focus on national sovereignty. In some respects one could argue that the reaction to Donald Trump from the Deep State, the mainstream media, and those "triggered" by the media's non-stop barrage, i.e. Democrats, Liberals and those on the Far Left, can't really be held responsible for their rather intentional emotional investment (feels over facts, right) in attempting to "get rid of Trump", because they have been easily manipulated into having this belief by those whose vested interest is to oust Trump and hold onto their own power.
So, to sum up, I think these are the members of the Deep State. Devoid of any external ties to secret organizations other than their unswerving desire to hold onto personal power and influence.
Aside an aside I would like to close with a recap of a meme I posted on Facebook the other day that I feel encapsulated the left's sudden embrace of the Deep State. In it I said: "A Liberal History: The 1960's - You fought "The Man", The 1990's - You Loved "The Man", Now - You deny that "The Man" exists. Needless to say, my liberal friends had very little to say about this post, but, then, of course.
Thought Contagion", the most recent music video by the British rock band Muse. I think it's quite relevant and that you'll enjoy it even if their music is "not your thing". If judging from the always cancerous YouTube comment section, it would appear that most watchers are stuck on the overt visual elements rather than the symbolic political elements it is rife with.
So, to quickly demystify, in the video, set in the seeming 1980's, a young man cut from the "Footloose" model, and hence, an individualist fighting against a Socially Conservative hierarchy, leaves a punk-type club with a young lady who we soon realize is a vampire of sorts. She bites and infects the young man, moving him toward being robotic. "You've been bitten by a true believer", the refrain repeats. Other punks on the periphery shamble about also converted to automatons. Suddenly the representatives of the State arrive, in the form of military, medical and administrative figures who appear as if they will save the young man by taking the transformed girl away. The lad tries to rescue her from their clutches, when it becomes obvious that she and the representatives of the state are actually on the same side, and to the young man's horror, start dancing about like marionettes (which those stuck on the visuals just see as a homage to Michael Jackson's Thriller), before his conversion becomes final and his image is moved to a Matrix like simulation on a screen outside of the night club. The lead singer passes by sporting a "They Live" pair of sunglasses, implying that he can see the truth of world.
The end. True libertarian principles at their finest, and a great deconstruction of the misshapen alliance of the Left with the State.
Till next time.