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What is the Deep State?


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Posted (edited)

Do you think we here might arrive at consensus on this question, but I doubt it. Until a few years ago when Steve Bannon came on the scene the phrase was not widely used, other than by anti establishment lefties. According to Peter Dale Scott, who coined the phrase decades ago, it’s basically Wall Street, Big Oil, Military Industrial Complex. I’d add Congressional, originally in Eisenhower’s prescient speech but edited out. To me that means that Big Money controls big decisions in the service of American Empire. Scott put the 9/11 attacks in that category, as well as the 1960’s Assassinations and Watergate. 
Something changed around the time that Scott published The American Deep State in 2015. It suddenly, almost overnight, became a meme used by rightist Republicans and Libertarian types. Can anyone trace this disturbing shift? I call it disturbing because it seems to me that it seeks to obscure the real Deep State, and for that reason I suspect it is actually the work of Deep State actors. Now maybe this secret government, and alternate moniker, is not monolithic. Maybe a faction has moved in, represented by Bannon, Trump and the like. A lot of us found ourselves rooting for bad actors previously shunned, like the FBI and CIA, as part of our desire to see Trump ousted. That felt mighty uncomfortable to me then, and even more so now, as the Anyone But Trump meme worked it’s way deeply into the Democratic establishment. And what did that establishment do in the service of this idea? It made bloody sure that progressives would not have a presidential candidate, and even further that progressives running for the House would face well funded challengers in primaries, beginning with Stacey Abrams and continuing through this current primary season. 
I cannot and will not change my idealistic belief that we deserve a better, more financially fair, less warlike, world. I do not see our current Democratic establishment fighting for this. A month after Biden, in April, made a pro union anti Amazon speech his government awarded a $10 billion cloud computing contract to Amazon. Hypocrisy. Did we even notice? Hating Trump has lulled us to sleep. We cannot, even here, stomach it when one of us criticizes the Democrats. This, in my view, is in fact the work of the Deep State, whose primary objective is to divide the left. They don’t fear the Republican establishment. Historically this was done by heavily infiltrating the Press, and we know it was the ‘liberal’ press that got the full Monty. Sure, we can’t trust Fox and Murdoch, but we also can’t trust NYT and WAPO and CNN. We’ve seen that proven over and over. To paraphrase Carl Jung, it’s not what you say that counts, it’s what you do.

Edited by Paul Brancato
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Paul,

     Trumplicans discovered the "Deep State" in 2016-- as part of Trump's public relations effort to deny his involvement with the Kremlin.

     Trumplicans-- including Bannon, Fox, et.al.-- tried to frame the FBI investigation of Michael Flynn and Trump's numerous 2016 campaign contacts with Kremlin assets as persecution of Trump by the "Deep State."

    This Trumplican "Deep State" ruse has had multiple permutations since 2016-- all nothing burgers.

    First, it was "Obama-gate."  Then "Spy-gate."  Then Trump's fraudulently constructed "Nunes Memo."

    The latest permutation is Bill Barr's Durham investigation.

    As for the correct definition, it should, certainly, include the CIA and Prouty's concept of the "Secret Team."

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The co-opting of the term "deep state" by the radical right from forums like this was largely the work of Roger Stone, IMO. I don't think it's a coincidence that he wrote a book on the JFK assassination fingering LBJ at the same time he was helping Trump pursue the White House. 

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I would have to agree with Pat on that one.

Roger Stone understood from his JFK books that this would be like a 1890 Silver Dollar for him in more than one way.

And one of those ways would be  for Trump to cast himself as the enemy of the Deep State as a way of casting himself as a change agent.

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Paul, I've thought about this before a little.  I've not the reading, expertise or depth of knowledge of others.  I have one book by Dr. Scott, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK.  Which I've read once, many years ago. 

If asked to define it in a nutshell I'd say the 1%, maybe the 5%.  The Billionaires control our country.  It's not a Democracy but an Oligarchy.  The own both parties through lobbyists, virtually all the M$M, the corporations and the MIC.  The Koch brothers and Buchanan among others.  Citizens United finished sinking the ship years ago.  My only foreloin hope was a resurrection of the DP but that seems a little out of reach now.  I hope I'm wrong. 

The CIA, MIC, Wall Street are all tools of it. 

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I highly recommend Mike Lofgren's "Deep State" book, 2016. 

An NPR review of Lofgren: https://www.npr.org/2019/11/06/776852841/the-man-who-popularized-the-deep-state-doesnt-like-the-way-its-used

So NPR says Lofgren, generally apolitical, "popularized" the term. He worked for 30 years on The Hill, giving him a bird's eye view---not a mere academic. 

I am happily surprised some right-wing populists are questioning the Deep State and endless interventionism, or the ever-increasing powers of the police state. For the first time you have right-wingers questioning Deep State narratives--how is this not a positive?

Since the New Donks have gone all-in with the Deep State, the populists are all we have left. 

Would that the New Donks imitated the New Right. (BTW the libertarians have been talking about the Deep State, perhaps in different nomenclature for decades and decades).

While Lofgren's book was excellent, I think he underplayed to national security state, and the role of multi-nationals in US foreign-military-trade policies.  It has been a while since I read the book. 

And remember: The Hunter Biden laptop is a Russian disinformation story. That is what the Deep State-Donk- M$M said. 

I think the right-wing populist awareness of the Deep State is a lot broader than just Roger Stone, a recycled Nixonian. I give Stone credit for political theater and chutzpah, but did anybody ever take anything he ever said seriously? Well maybe Trump did for 10 minutes, which sort of proves my point. 

 

 

 

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16 hours ago, Paul Brancato said:

Do you think we here might arrive at consensus on this question, but I doubt it. Until a few years ago when Steve Bannon came on the scene the phrase was not widely used, other than by anti establishment lefties. According to Peter Dale Scott, who coined the phrase decades ago, it’s basically Wall Street, Big Oil, Military Industrial Complex. I’d add Congressional, originally in Eisenhower’s prescient speech but edited out. To me that means that Big Money controls big decisions in the service of American Empire. Scott put the 9/11 attacks in that category, as well as the 1960’s Assassinations and Watergate. 
Something changed around the time that Scott published The American Deep State in 2015. It suddenly, almost overnight, became a meme used by rightist Republicans and Libertarian types. Can anyone trace this disturbing shift? I call it disturbing because it seems to me that it seeks to obscure the real Deep State, and for that reason I suspect it is actually the work of Deep State actors. Now maybe this secret government, and alternate moniker, is not monolithic. Maybe a faction has moved in, represented by Bannon, Trump and the like. A lot of us found ourselves rooting for bad actors previously shunned, like the FBI and CIA, as part of our desire to see Trump ousted. That felt mighty uncomfortable to me then, and even more so now, as the Anyone But Trump meme worked it’s way deeply into the Democratic establishment. And what did that establishment do in the service of this idea? It made bloody sure that progressives would not have a presidential candidate, and even further that progressives running for the House would face well funded challengers in primaries, beginning with Stacey Abrams and continuing through this current primary season. 
I cannot and will not change my idealistic belief that we deserve a better, more financially fair, less warlike, world. I do not see our current Democratic establishment fighting for this. A month after Biden, in April, made a pro union anti Amazon speech his government awarded a $10 billion cloud computing contract to Amazon. Hypocrisy. Did we even notice? Hating Trump has lulled us to sleep. We cannot, even here, stomach it when one of us criticizes the Democrats. This, in my view, is in fact the work of the Deep State, whose primary objective is to divide the left. They don’t fear the Republican establishment. Historically this was done by heavily infiltrating the Press, and we know it was the ‘liberal’ press that got the full Monty. Sure, we can’t trust Fox and Murdoch, but we also can’t trust NYT and WAPO and CNN. We’ve seen that proven over and over. To paraphrase Carl Jung, it’s not what you say that counts, it’s what you do.

Hating Trump has lulled us to sleep.--PB

Even worse. There is the category of "useful idiot." 

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10 hours ago, Ron Bulman said:

Paul, I've thought about this before a little.  I've not the reading, expertise or depth of knowledge of others.  I have one book by Dr. Scott, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK.  Which I've read once, many years ago. 

If asked to define it in a nutshell I'd say the 1%, maybe the 5%.  The Billionaires control our country.  It's not a Democracy but an Oligarchy.  The own both parties through lobbyists, virtually all the M$M, the corporations and the MIC.  The Koch brothers and Buchanan among others.  Citizens United finished sinking the ship years ago.  My only foreloin hope was a resurrection of the DP but that seems a little out of reach now.  I hope I'm wrong. 

The CIA, MIC, Wall Street are all tools of it. 

I agree that the billionaires are in control. I won’t argue with Pat and Jim who say Roger Stone popularized ‘Deep State’. I am hoping that readers chime in whether they agree there is a Deep State or not, or how they would define it if they agree. 

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Posted (edited)

I think

On 5/28/2022 at 9:18 PM, Ron Bulman said:

If asked to define it in a nutshell I'd say the 1%, maybe the 5%.  The Billionaires control our country. 

>>> IT'S NOT A DEMOCRACY BUT AN OLIGARCHY <<<

The own both parties through lobbyists, virtually all the M$M, the corporations and the MIC.  The Koch brothers and Buchanan among others.  Citizens United finished sinking the ship years ago.  My only foreloin hope was a resurrection of the DP but that seems a little out of reach now.  I hope I'm wrong. 

The CIA, MIC, Wall Street are all tools of it. 

 

 

Ron's nutshell summary above seems common sense logical to me.

During his run for the presidency in 1992 Ross Perot repeatedly stated that the main problem with our federal government executive and congressional branches was "the out-of-control influence of the massive number of corporate lobbyists upon them."

An influence that superceded that of average working class and poorer Americans and always benefitted the "majority" owners of these corporations. Basically the 1 to 5%. The 1 to 5% who own 85% of the wealth of this country with the other 95% owning the last 15%, with the majority of that left over wealth owned by the top 25% of the 95%.

Perot said his number 1 priority if elected would be to break the hold of these corporate lobbyists.

You will remember Ross Perot dropped out of the race just weeks before the election due to all the threats made to harm his family which he believed and took that seriously.

I also believe that our non-elected, hugely limited oversight, secret agencies have grown in power, influence and control beyond anything average Americans could even fathom with trillions of black budget dollars sucked up since JFK's time.

JFK's worst unfettered secrecy fear realized?

Coupled with Eisenhour's MIC biggest threat to our democracy warning which has also been realized to it's worst possible degree.

A bonded corporate, military, industrial, congressional and secret intel agency complex controlled and mostly owned by that 1 to 5% and that Bill Clinton once categorized on a late night national TV talk show as ..." a  secret government."

One that prevented him and other presidents from knowing anything substantial regards greatest secret of all time. The ET one.

The gate keeper holders and controllers of this greatest secret have probably held and used the importance of this secret as a controlling hammer over all other leadership groups in our country, elected and not.

As far back as JFK times this was a huge hidden elephant in the room.

Doug Caddy even claims E. Howard Hunt personally told him JFK was killed over it.

And when Helms told Nixon where to shove it by disobeying a direct order from Nixon to release information to his people about the JFK assassination (that Nixon was hoping to use as leverage in his desperate attempt to control the ever growing Watergate criminal investigation) you saw how powerful the CIA had become even as early as 1974.

Telling Presidents where to go. Ignoring direct orders from them?

48 years and trillions of dollars later can anyone prove that this unelected power hasn't grown exponentially?

Just my common man gut feeling take.

 

 

Edited by Joe Bauer
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Posted (edited)
Yes I would agree in that I think the first I first heard of the right co opting "deep state" was Steve Banon or Roger Stone. Neither of them rail about the power of corporations in government.
 The concept they're pushing of the "government deep state" is used as a propaganda tool in their aim to severely cripple the "government administrative state" as Banon calls it, and defund it to a level either in the 1950's or in the more extreme 1930's  before FDR. Stone used the JFKA  as a propaganda tool to say "what good is government?" They just take your taxes and they  kill your President!
The bottom line is, it's about the wealthy and the major corporations paying less taxes.
Paul: I am hoping that readers chime in whether they agree there is a Deep State or not, or how they would define it if they agree. 
I just have, it's the "Deep State" using the "deep state" against you!
Edited by Kirk Gallaway
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On 5/29/2022 at 11:31 AM, Kirk Gallaway said:
Yes I would agree in that I think the first I first heard of the right co opting "deep state" was Steve Banon or Roger Stone. Neither of them rail about the power of corporations in government.
 The concept they're pushing of the "government deep state" is used as a propaganda tool in their aim to severely cripple the "government administrative state" as Banon calls it, and defund it to a level either in the 1950's or in the more extreme 1930's  before FDR. Stone used the JFKA  as a propaganda tool to say "what good is government?" They just take your taxes and they  kill your President!
The bottom line is, it's about the wealthy and the major corporations paying less taxes.
Paul: I am hoping that readers chime in whether they agree there is a Deep State or not, or how they would define it if they agree. 
I just have, it's the "Deep State" using the "deep state" against you!

Just to be sure I understand - you are saying that crippling the government administrative state is the aim of the Deep State? 

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I think Kirk and I are on the same page on this one. The term "Deep State" originally meant the rich and powerful, with the intelligence agencies doing their bidding. Trump and his propagandists, however, spun it around, and now the Deep State" means any entrenched interest in Washington, including that of bureaucrats and diplomats determined to do their job no matter who is president. These people were a threat to Trump and he knew it, and so he used some Luntz/Stone/Orwellian voodoo stuff to make them look like the bad guys. When you read Haldeman's book on Nixon, moreover, you see that Trump was not the first President at war with much of the government. It's just that Nixon wanted to purge everyone he felt disloyal to him personally, and Trump actually tried to do so. 

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Posted (edited)

Paul what Voltaire said about God. That if there wasn't a God , man would create one. Similarly on this forum, if there wasn't a "deep state" most here would create one. You're question implies you're looking for one, and trying to get consensus from others.. But IMO, all you should really be concerned about now., is not a deep state at all. What's your searching for has been going on in our lives right under our noses, for many decades, and insisting that there's something hidden about it tells me you don't understand that.

What specifically are you looking for? I believe there was once the deep state you're implying. Is it the "hidden government"..

****

In regards to what Pat says. Are the bureaucracy in Washington really the "deep state". Is Alexander Vindman who blew the whistle on Trump really a member of the "Deep State". All those implementers who dragged their feet at every one of Trump's idea to send missiles into Mexico or Iran or Venezuela, are they really the Deep State? You asked some one like Ben, he'd probably say yes. So would Roger Stone and Steve Banon..

******

Paul; A lot of us found ourselves rooting for bad actors previously shunned, like the FBI and CIA, as part of our desire to see Trump ousted. That felt mighty uncomfortable to me then, and even more so now,And what did that establishment do in the service of this idea? It made bloody sure that progressives would not have a presidential candidate, and even further that progressives running for the House would face well funded challengers in primaries, beginning with Stacey Abrams and continuing through this current primary season.
 
I think you're conflating 2 establishments here. The FBI and the CIA with what, the DNC? Please explain.
 
 
It's unclear, but we'll leave that alone if you want. Honestly, some of your thinking seems very fuzzy to me. I accept when you use the term the "establishment" you mean in the darkest sense. Yes the establishment wants to perpetuate itself, and so is against Trump , is against 1/6 riots , is for free elections, because they've over the last 40 years have been able to game the system no matter whose been elected. But instead of this binary shunning yourself for being on some side or another, you have to ask yourself first, was Trump good for the country? Were the 1/6 riots good for the country?Trump publicly stated that because of the great success of his economic policies, it will soon be time to cut entitlements. Do you want really want the destabilization of a revolution, spearheaded by this opposition that could take away your social security check?
 
The answer to all this is  obvious. It's this silly binary thinking that has Ben, and I don't mean to pick on him again to call the "Donks" the NSS because they don't want  to tear down  the current system (which 95% of the Republicans don't want to do either actually). This is dualistic thinking when there are really more choices and different time frames. Paul, You don't have to justify your interests to anyone.
 
Edited by Kirk Gallaway
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Great topic. 

The term "deep state" has been largely coined by the political right but, many originally on the political left (liberals) are now called "right-wing" or "far right" for believing in the existence of a secret government, or institutional corruption at the highest levels. How do you separate the two? To me that's more evidence that the terms "left" & "right" are totally redundant, they are only useful for playing identity politics. You train the public into believing there are two tribes that they must fall into and their views must align with the tribes. 

I do agree with others when they say Roger Stone knew what he was doing, it was part of a strategy and he is very long in the tooth when it comes to such tactics. I do also agree with Paul when he suggests that Trump has lulled people to sleep. Trump being in power and the MSM representing the left and the right managed to divide America even further than before. A hysteria was created and it's had such a psychological impact on democrats, that each name his name is mentioned, there is an emotional/tribal reaction. People aren't thinking with the rational part of the brain (neo-cortex), they are reacting impulsively from the emotional part of the brain (older part containing the amygdala). It's the same part of the brain that the MSM and politicians access in the population when they want support (consent) for a war abroad. Everyone has such massive egos that they think they are impervious to such stimulation or manipulation. Amongst the republicans, they had some hope with Trump, the idea that America would return to its heyday, that jobs would return to the broken states, as would the better standard of living and pride that their fathers and grandfathers had. Trump played his own media game, whipping up anger, hate, and tribalism in the masses, he knew what he was doing, people like Bannon & Stone were helping him. The result for both sides was 4 years and beyond of emotional thinking, the people at loggerheads, a massive distraction, which actually is the best thing if you want peoples eyes off a corruption. The legacy is still in full swing, Reps just want the mentally incapacitated Biden out and Dems are in a state of anxiety about the idea of what Trump might do if he ever comes back. Is it possible that both leaders represented continuity for the deep state? 

As usual, I'll go out on a limb here and give a definition and answer to the question that will not be welcomed by all or even most. The circle of the elect, the round table group, power elite, new world order or deep state, are all the same thing, a dominance hierarchy, or strata that pulls the government strings, and the people that run this receive almost zero exposure, or notoriety in the public domain. To me, these people have true power, the influence to control your military industrial complex, foreign policy, the CIA, FBI, NSA, etc. They bankroll candidates and approve them to rise in politics. It amounts to a network, designed in the same way that Cecil Rhodes set out and Prouty eerily referenced concerning the CIA infiltration of the military, with most people on each level being unaware that there is a higher strata or of who it comprises of. Ivy league lecturer and historian Carroll Quigley wrote about, Clinton gave Quigley a non in his nomination speech. Quigley wrote a huge book on it called "Tragedy & Hope", believing the existence of this network was too important to leave out, as they'd had so much influence. He quickly found his huge book was out of print, despite it being received well. He wasn't a whistleblower, it was his class. In America, I think you first really know of its emergence on the 22nd November 1910, when a bunch of notable elites of the time all boarded a train down to Georgia's Jekyll Island using aliases and occupied a private rail car, to meet at the Rockefeller estate. These included politician Nelson Aldrich, a secretary of the treasury, two of JP Morgan's partners, a Warburg and a Vanderlip. In a true conspiracy they drew up the Federal Reserve Act, recognising that not only could they profit from being private shareholders but, if they controlled the money supply, then they controlled America. Of course America went on to control the world. Woodrow Wilson was duped into supporting this act and the rest is history. 

Another way I perhaps differ from most of you guys is that I don't think this hierarchy is chaired or run by just billionaires, it's the old money guys and your Gates and go are playing for a seat at the table. It occurs to me that Amazon's Bezos, nor Musk could be allowed to ascend to being the wealthiest men on earth without consent of this hierarchy. We haven't see a monopoly break up in a long time, have we? Plenty exist. Maybe we should add 'The Davos lot" to the equation too. What do you think the Royal families of Europe and notable leaders or ex leaders are doing attending Bilderberg meetings? People supposedly without power being invited to a secret meeting? What do we think they are discussing, how good the tea and biscuits are? It's now overt, as we're asleep. The war is on us, the people, that's all. People are the architects of our futures, unelected people, and yet we talk all the time about threats to our precious democracies. 

If you all clear your heads for a moment, ask yourself how you'd feel if the JFKA, Vietnam, 9/11, war on terror, and C19 were all orchestrated by the same people (network), how you'd feel? All those deaths. Where is the money flowing when such events take place? Up. Our tragedy and trauma is their gain, repeatedly. We love a coincidence. We're so focussed on that microscopic that we don't see the macroscopic. 





 

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My beef with a lot of the discussions of the "deep state" is that it evokes the image of a bunch of rich people sitting at a table carving up the world, or signing off on plans to make more money. And I think that's just nonsense.

I think a more accurate picture is achieved when one recognizes that when fat cats see an opportunity to make money, they don't shy away from it just because they already have more than enough money. Let me give an example. I worked for a sleazy criminal at a record distributor. He didn't plan the Rodney King riots. He didn't participate in the riots. But he sure took advantage of them when they happened. To be clear, he made money in two ways. First, he sent his employees down to two stores of ours that had been looted, to scrape up all the CDs and cassettes that had been left behind. (As I recall, two of these employees arrived while one of the stores was still being looted, and pretended to be looters themselves while loading up garbage bags of product.) He then returned these to the various distributors for credit, all the while telling his insurance company he'd suffered a total loss. He made money off the riot. Now, to the second way he made money. He cried to all the distributors that his cash flow had been so badly damaged by the riots that he couldn't pay his bills on time. They then extended his credit line and added extra time for the payment of the outstanding invoices. Even worse, some of the companies were scared we were gonna have to close up shop and settled for 30-50 cents on the dollar. All told, I would bet he made a million dollars off some idiots looting a couple of his stores. 

I think it's the same with the military industrial complex. They're like "Well, what a second, if someone's gonna make some money off this stupid foreign war, it oughta be us--how bout you fellers in Washington buy some more tanks you don't need? I know, I know, but think of all the jobs we can bring to your constituents!" 

FWIW, at one point I did some research on my dad's boss when I was a kid, and discovered he'd been the head of a group of oil men who were protesting LBJ at the beginning of the Vietnam War. No no no, they weren't peaceniks. They just thought it was wrong that Uncle Sam was buying up Arab oil to fuel our planes and helicopters, when some good old American crude was available for only slightly more to the taxpayers. IOW, they were fine with the war as long as they could make money off of it. 

That's the way the deep state works, IMO. They don't need to have secret meetings. They just need to pursue their self-interest, and corruption and death follow.

 

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