We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Republican insider: Trump is creating Deep State 2.0, but it might crash the economy

Click here to access article by Nafeez Ahmed from Insurge Intelligence. (Edited for clarity at 3:45 PM Seattle time.)

The "Republican insider" is Mike Lofgren who had a 28 year career in various staff positions in Congress. This article consists of interview with Lofgren by Nafeez Ahmed. I found it to be one of the most insightful interviews that I've ever read. I gained two major insights.

First of all, I now see why major political figures always deny that what happens politically is in any sense a result of a conspiracy. Since the publication of Logren's book in January 2016 people on websites have increasingly used the word "deep state" with little understanding of the concept. Although I have not read Lofgren's book, from his comments in this article I conclude that he doesn't understand the extent of it either. Nobody does. (Although some people have a much better understanding than others.) That is precisely why the "deep state" functions in secret so that nobody knows their existence and the details of how they actually function. Still, Lofgren insists, like many others, that they are not engaging in a conspiracy. 
“It’s a series of coalitions of people and it’s not a conspiracy. The names of the people we know. We know Lloyd Blankfein is the CEO of Goldman Sachs, who now has dozens of his alumni throughout the government, including in the president’s economic team. I would say that Trump’s cabinet has so many billionaires it makes George W. Bush’s cabinet look like a Bolshevik workers council. It’s just unbelievable. So to conclude it’s just the military is wrong. It’s a series of interlocking interest groups who coalesce the same way people with power, money and influence always gravitate to one another. Adam Smith said 225 years ago or more that there’s never a meeting among businessmen, a private meeting that takes place, but that sooner or later they get involved in some conspiracy against the public interest.”
I think the main reason why Lofgren and others insist that their operations are not a conspiracy is because the "deep state" controls the entire government and insures that participants in it make and interpret laws that favor the interests of the ruling capitalist class. Therefore they, unlike typical criminals, don't do anything that is strictly illegal. But they do function in secret and plan the policies that will be carried out by their puppets in government. It's just that they don't experience the mindset of criminals of doing things illegally. This interpretation often creates some confusion in the minds of people who deny a conspiracy. Notice the contradiction contained in the above statement by Lofgren by comparing the first sentence with the last.

Secondly, I can see more fully why the ruling class through their corporate media are portraying Trump's many actions so negatively. They are very concerned that his bumbling actions, vulgar behavior, and reckless lies are going to make people question more about the nature of their government and ultimately expose the deep anti-democratic and anti-working class character of their government.
“Trump is kind of like Herman Goering telling the German police ‘your bullet is my bullet’. All this signalling that’s been going on has resulted in these customs and immigration people behaving in an extremely high handed and brutish fashion towards ordinary immigrants, not just people with Arab names, a white Frenchman, a white Australian woman, for the most trivial things. And I could see that really getting out of control with this kind of Gresham’s law of human behavior. The bad apples will sort of set the example. They’ll get promoted, they’ll get the plum assignment and everyone else will be swept along.”

Insight: Trump is escalating the repression of ordinary people. But this will make more people opposed to him – and to the Deep State structures he wields against them. This creates a heightening opportunity for people to wake up and step up.
Also, aside from his remarks about Goldman Sachs executives being a major part of Trump's administration, I don't get a lot from this interview that Lofgren really understands the composition of the deep state. For example:
You see aspects where some of the more obviously Deep State-type institutions like law enforcement, these customs and immigration inspectors, Border Patrol and its union endorsed Trump. And now I see gradually occurring what happens in authoritarian states…
Yes, Trump is trying to reconstruct the numerous "intelligence" agencies to serve his agenda, but that is only one component of the deep state and leaves out the numerous think tanks that formulate policies that serve the interests of the capitalist class. The police state structure that he refers to are only agencies to carry out policies of the deep state. Thus, I believe that "Deep State 2.0" is only a figment of Lofgren's imagination.
 
It appears to me that Lofgren suddenly woke up one day to see that official policies did not make sense and thus he posited that some sort of "deep state" had to be operating behind the scenes in control of government regardless of which political party was theoretically in control.  He was right, but his knowledge of the deep state is rather shallow.

I've noticed in the past several weeks that some very knowledgeable people are predicting a disastrous crash of the economy under Trump. Lofgren adds to this chorus of doom.

4 comments:

  1. If Lofgren thinks Trump - or any president, for that matter - is the personal creator of the increasingly brutal police state tactics employed by people with even a smattering of authority, he needs to stop writing and do more research. The POTUS plays Vanna White to the deep state's praetorian guard (the CIA).
    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/10/opinion/what-intelligence-briefings-can-tell-us-about-candidates.html?_r=0

    A brief search like "TSA brutal searches" will bring up plenty of evidence of escalating disrespect and belligerence towards ordinary citizens. Yes, even white middle class ones.

    Or, see what "police seizure of cash from motorists" gets you. Of course, Alphabet/Google could sweep this post and block the above phrases. In that statistically unlikely event, take advantage of being a human (not computer) and think of some other wording.

    As for the economy, we know that boom and bust cycles are created in capitalism by Capitalists (deep state) because both market directions can be used to make fortunes. When one cycle has peaked, the other becomes useful. Depressions, for example, allow the buying up of enormous quantities of land and other "resources" for pennies on the dollar.

    Could it be that there is NOT really a rift in the deep state, with one portion supporting and a (seemingly) larger portion hating Trump? Maybe the public's being set up. Certainly public divisions - including many created over the past 10 years - are now being extremely exacerbated. What better time to pull the plug on the economy than while the public is completely distracted by major internecine squabbling? And, who better as Fall Guy than someone with Trump's image?

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    1. Of course anything is possible in the deep state, the secret directorates of the capitalist ruling class, but I think that another major economic crash at this time would provoke major opposition in this country that would threaten their rule and their empire. Thus, I think the divisiveness among the ruling class is real.

      I think it is being brought about by events in Syria where the US Empire was challenged and thwarted, in Ukraine where the government is a disaster, and by the powerful combination of Russia, China, and maybe Iran that is challenging the Empire everywhere in the world. Thus I think there is a segment of the ruling class that recognizes that pursuing the same old policies is not working, and are favoring other policies that recognize the new realities of the 21st century.

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    3. I neglected to mention that I also think, based on comments made by knowledgeable people and Trump's policies, that another economic crash is likely to happen within the next two years.

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