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Elite [Dominance] Theory and the Revolt of the Elite
(Silent Coup, or Revolt of the Rich under Neoliberalism)

News Principal-agent problem Recommended Books Recommended Links The Iron Law of Oligarchy The Deep State Neoliberal "New Class" as variant of Soviet Nomenklatura
Audacioues Oligarchy and Loss of Trust The Pareto Law Amorality of neoliberal elite Moral degradation of the US elite  Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite Two Party System as polyarchy
Factional struggle within the elite Corporatism Neo-fascism National Security State New American Militarism  Bureaucracy as a Political Coalition Pluralism as a myth
Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Casino Capitalism Inverted Totalitarism Predator state Ayn Rand and Objectivism Cult Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism What's the Matter with Kansas
Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few US and British media are servants of security apparatus Lesser evil trick of legitimizing disastrous, corrupt neoliberal politicians in US elections The Rise of the New Global Elite The importance of controlling the narrative New American Caste System Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich
Wrecking Crew: Notes on Republican Economic Policy Real war on reality  Media-Military-Industrial Complex Groupthink Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc

Introduction


Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.

Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

Hermann Goering, President of the Reichstag, Nazi Party, and Luftwaffe Commander in Chief

In political science and sociology, elite [dominance] theory is a theory of the state which seeks to describe the power relationships in contemporary society. The theory posits that a small minority, consisting of members of the economic elite, policy-planning networks (which include not only think tanks, but also part of academia, see Econned) and selected members of "professional class", holds the most political power. They acquire this power bypassing the democratic elections process and are able to hold into it for a long time (see Two Party System as polyarchy).

This, in a way, is close to position of "classic" or paleo conservatives (not to mix them with neocons). Their position has never been simply that a hierarchical society is better than an egalitarian one; it always has been that an egalitarian, genuinely democratic  society is impossible. That every society includes rulers and ruled, and it is rulers(the elite) who make critical decisions, no matter under which sauce: democratic republic, communist dictatorship, authoritarism  or some other variant.  The central question of politics, therefore is how to select the rulers in an optimal way so that those at the bottom of food chain were not mercilessly squeezed or wiped out.

Extremes meet and in fact Bolsheviks were early adopters of the same "elite dominance" vision as paleoconservatives. Lenin’s classic  question “who, whom?” is an essence of Bolshevism. While Bolsheviks promised that a classless society would one day emerge as a variant of Christ Second Coming, in the meantime, however, they were open and enthusiastic practitioners of brutal power politics which they shrewdly called "dictatorship of proletariat", while in reality it was a dictatorship of the Party elite and state bureaucrats (so called "Nomenklatura").  Neoliberalism borrowed a lot from Bolshevism and also created "New Class" out of financial elite, modules of Silicon Valley and military industrial complex.  It falsely promoted the idea that the rising tide lift all boats, while in reality middle class sinks under neoliberalism lower and lower and lost both its standard of living and some privileges.

Under neoliberalism any democracy even theoretically is impossible and to claim otherwise is to engage in open and blatant propaganda. Even revolt of people, which is the past was a powerful control mechanism of the elite,  now is very unlikely due to the power and sophistication of repressive apparatus and advances in communications, power at which functionless of Stasi could only dream.. Through positions in corporations and corporate boards, as well as the influence over the policy-planning networks through financial support of foundations`` or positions with think tanks or policy-discussion groups, members of the "elite" are able to exert dominant power over the policy decisions of the corporations in their own favor (outsized bonuses of top executives in large corporations is just one example here) and subdue the national governments to the interests of those corporations due to financial levers that corporate wealth provides in influencing  politics of the society.

A recent example of this can be found in the Forbes Magazine article [1] (published in December 2009) entitled The World's Most Powerful People, in which Forbes lists the 67 people, which the editors consider to be the most powerful people in the world (assigning one "slot" for each hundred million of humans).

The initial variant of this theory was proposed In 1956, C Wright Mills. In his book The Power Elite he described how political, corporate and military leaders in the US made policy with minimal, if al all, control, or even just consideration of preferences or concerns of ordinary citizens.

The majority of Americans now feel they are ruled by a remote, detached from their needs elite class.  As Robert Johnson noted "Oligarchy now is audacious. They don't really care if they are legitimate. Their slogan is: "Legitimate if you can, coerce if you have to, and accommodate if you must."  That creates  as Christopher Hayes  noted "national mood of exhaustion, frustration and betrayal" at the "near total failure of each pillar institution of our society."

As soon as we understand the dominance of elite is inevitable several fundamental questions arise:

  1. To what extent democracy as a political organization is a utopian ideal?  Or smoke screen for [often brutal] elite rule. Elite theory stands in opposition to pluralism in suggesting that democracy is a utopian ideal. It also stands in opposition to state autonomy theory. It provokes serious rethinking about the real meaning of the term "democracy" in any modern society (as in "democracy for whom?"). And to what extent it serves as just as "opium for masses" then a recipe for the society organization and recruitment of elite. It also rases an important question about the role of money in politics.
  2. What is proper level of upward mobility/forced rotation of the elite in the given society? Stagnation and degeneration of the elite is a problem which contributed to the collapse of the USSR and now is continuing to the collapse of the neoliberalism in the USA. And what are mechanisms that ensure that? There can be some institutional measures (like no more then two consecutive terms for the US president) that help.
  3. How to keep the elite greed (and first of all greed of financial elite) in check. The brief historical period after WWII when the USSR existence kept the USA elite from appropriating the lion share of profits is now gone and no other countervailing forces are seen on the horizon...
  4. Is the modern transnational elite really interested in the stability and well-being of a given society, or it represents a parasitic element which can eventually destroy the host.
  5. To what extent the elite, especially the US elite, include a special class on individuals called sociopaths.
  6. How to prevent degeneration of the elite (Epstein, Madoff, Bill Clinton and company) and ensure the rotation of the elite)
  7. How internal struggle within the ruling elite destabilizes the society (Russiagate is one revealing examplee repalted to the USA elte, when one faction wasted to kick neoliberal can down the road, while another wanted some changes and destruction of the neoliberal status qui, especially its globalization aspect)
  8. To what extent powerful intelligence agencies (with the top brass which are the part of the elite) try to control the elite. It is clear that they systematically seek "kompromat" on politically powerful individuals and in certain cases try to satisfy their most low desires to obtain it (Epstein connection to intelligence agencies; they also served as "kingmakers" in 2016 election helping to derail Sanders and thus ensuring Trump victory)

Elite dominance theory postulates that there are powerful barriers that exist for citizens  participation in the control of government. Rulers are always detached form ruled and pursue the set of interests that only partically if at all overlaps with the interest of the public at large. In less "politically correct" terms we can state that outside rare moments when ideology collapses,  "rank-and-file" citizens are politically powerless. Still the stability of the society depends on the ability of the most capable members of the society, no matter in what strata they were born, to rise to the top.  Equal opportunities in education in this sense are of paramount importance and represent a real "safety valve" in the society. 

As for the question whether the elite is interested in stability and well-being of the given society, the key problem is to determine about which society we are talking. Elite low operates in transnational categories and can value stability of "transnational world" higher then stability and well-being of a given society. The idea that the national elite acts in the interest of the nation is now under review. Dissolution of the USSR, when the elite (aka nomenklatura)  singlehandingly decimated and "privatized" the whole country to get their "fair share" of wealth is a telling example, a textbook example of self-centered and destructive behavior of  new "transnational" elites.

It has shown that modern elites are not anymore connected with their country of origin and social background and roots. Paradoxically, the KGB elite actively participated in dismantling of the USSR, and Gorbachov was put in power mostly by efforts of Andropov, the guy who was the head of KGB.  Here is one telling comment:

IHaveLittleToAdd, Aug 28, 2014 9:03:13 AM

Considering the non-elite citizens of the US have effectively no say in policy, what would happen if all of a sudden our government and media began shooting straight? Seems to me, pretty much nothing. It's not that most of the people I know don't realize we are being deceived to advance an altogether hidden agenda, it's that they simply don't care and are unaware of even the fabricated story.

In other words, the world's ruling elites are abandoning their host countries. They have a global vision and ambitions, their families often live in countries other are then their native country (and the country of main business), and they do not accept any constraints (such as level of taxation) and limits (such as local laws) in the pursuance of their egotistical interests, which are basically money oriented.

They move their money to offshore zones to avoid taxation. They break with impunity local laws to increase profits. It is now common for the leaders and members of the ruling elite to base self esteem upon material success, accumulation of raw wealth, emphasize Randian positivist philosophy and downplay humanistic ideals such as respect and tolerance. They no longer feel in the same boat as the rest of the society and openly worship on the altar of unlimited, pathological greed. This is especially noticeable among the US and GB financial elite.  In the USA they also morphed both Republican party and Democratic party into a single party of  rent-seekers on behalf of the wealthier members of society.

Marx would turn in his grave, if he saw how his idea of international unity of workers mutated into the actual international unity of elites. And how elites instead of workers implement a version of socialism, "socialism for rich", or "corporate welfare society". And they do it much more effectively then communists ever managed to implement "socialism for working class" (which actually was never a real goal, just a convenient slogan).  And like Bolsheviks they also practice redistribution of profits. In the same direction toward "nomenklatura", but much more effectively (also under Stalin regime position in nomenklatura was a precarious, as Stalin practiced "purges" as a method for rotation of the elite)

With NAFTA as a prominent example, Jeff Faux had shown how national elites are morphing into a global governing class ('The Party of Davos') and are shaping the new global economy alongside the lines of their neoliberal gospel. Their long arms are the IMF, the WTO, transnational corporations and transnational economic agreements. Being transnational the US elite does not care that the technological engine of the 20th century, the USA, is fatally wounded. That its high-tech industry, which was envy of the whole world is now outsourced, education way too expensive and outside several top universities is quite mediocre, and its scientific power is waning.

In other words they no longer believe in a Benjamin Franklin's dictum: "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."

Classic Elite theory

  “Now, there's one thing you might have noticed I don't complain about: politicians. Everybody complains about politicians. Everybody says they suck. Well, where do people think these politicians come from? They don't fall out of the sky. They don't pass through a membrane from another reality. They come from American parents and American families, American homes, American schools, American churches, American businesses and American universities, and they are elected by American citizens. This is the best we can do folks. This is what we have to offer. It's what our system produces: Garbage in, garbage out. If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you're going to get selfish, ignorant leaders. Term limits ain't going to do any good; you're just going to end up with a brand new bunch of selfish, ignorant Americans. So, maybe, maybe, maybe, it's not the politicians who suck. Maybe something else sucks around here... like, the public. Yeah, the public sucks. There's a nice campaign slogan for somebody: 'The Public Sucks. F*ck Hope.”

-- George Gavlin

Classic Elite [Dominance] Theory is based on several ideas:

  1. Power lies in the positions of authority in key economic and political institutions.  
  2. The Iron Law of Oligarchy is a political theory, first developed by the German sociologist Robert Michels in his book 1915 Political Parties. Michels was an anarcho-syndicalist at the time he formulated the Law. He later became an important ideologue of Mussolini's fascist regime in Italy. The simplest formulation of the 'Iron Law of Oligarchy': "Who says organization, says oligarchy." In essence Iron law of oligarchy postulate that any complex organization self-generate its own elite, an oligarchy that has disproportional influence on the decisions made in the organization and is pretty autonomous from "rank-and-file" members and is little affected by elections. As such Iron law of oligarchy stands in stark opposition to pluralism and suggests that "participatory democracy" is a utopian ideal and that democracy is always limited to very narrow strata of existing oligarchy (top 0.01% in the USA). It also stands in opposition to state autonomy theory. 
  3. Pareto principle is related to the original observation was in connection concentration of the wealth in top 20% of the population. Pareto noticed that 80% of Italy's land was owned by 20% of the population. He then carried out surveys on a variety of other countries and found to his surprise that a similar distribution applied. Due to the scale-invariant nature of the power law relationship, the relationship applies also to subsets of the income range. Even if we take the ten wealthiest individuals in the world, we see that the top three (Carlos Slim Helú, Warren Buffett, and Bill Gates) own as much as the next seven put together. A chart that gave the inequality a very visible and comprehensible form, the so-called 'champagne glass' effect, was contained in the 1992 United Nations Development Program Report, which showed the distribution of global income to be very uneven, with the richest 20% of the world's population controlling 82.7% of the world's income.
    Distribution of world GDP, 1989[8]
    Quintile of population Income
    Richest 20% 82.70%
    Second 20% 11.75%
    Third 20% 2.30%
    Fourth 20% 1.85%
    Poorest 20% 1.40%

    The Pareto principle has also been used to attribute the widening economic inequality in the United States to 'skill-biased technical change'—i.e. income growth accrues to those with the education and skills required to take advantage of new technology and globalization. 

  4. The psychological difference that sets elites apart is that they have personal resources, for instance intelligence and skills, money, and a vested interest in the government; while the rest are relatively incompetent and do not have the capabilities of governing themselves and are deprived of money. That means that once in power the elite are resourceful and will strive to sustain its rule. 
  5. The elite have the most to lose if government or state failed as Russian elite discovered twice in the last century. So there are some natural limits of plundering of the state by the elite. 
  6. The simple plurality voting system is a single-winner voting system also called  winner-takes-all or  first-past-the-post. The latter term is an analogy to horse racing, where the winner of the race is the first to pass a particular point (the "post") on the track, after which all other runners automatically lose. Elections in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada belong to this category. In this voting there is no requirement that the winner gain an absolute majority of votes. Duverger's law is a principle which asserts that any plurality voting system elections naturally impose a two-party system  That means that single-winner voting system essentially hand all the power to the elite as it is elite that controls the electability of candidates from both parties. The discovery of this tendency is attributed to Maurice Duverger, a French sociologist who observed the effect and recorded it in several papers published in the 1950s and 1960s. In the course of further research, other political scientists began calling the effect a "law" or principle. Duverger's law suggests a nexus or synthesis between a party system and an electoral system: a proportional representation (PR) system creates the electoral conditions necessary to foster party development while a plurality system marginalizes smaller political parties, resulting in what is known as a two-party system.

The top twelve classical elite theorists include

  1. Karl Marx  is typically cited, along with Émile Durkheim and Max Weber, as one of the three principal architects of modern social science. Although the key postulate of Marxism about liberating role of proletariat proved wrong, Marxism made a tremendous contribution into understanding of power structure of the society, pointing that all power is concentrated directly or indirectly in owners of capital hands: a sociological theory of class domination. Marxism teaches that all societies progress through the dialectic of class struggle: a conflict between an ownership class which controls production and a lower class which produces the labor for goods. He called the current socio-economic form of society (capitalism) "dictatorship of the bourgeoisie" that is run by the wealthy elite purely for own benefit, and predicted that, like previous socioeconomic systems, it would inevitably produce internal tensions within different faction of the elite. He first understood that political class represents a powerful force that is somewhat independent from economic foundations, especially if it is organized as a political party (and state can even be dominated by a fervent ideological network like USSR, China, Saudi Arabia,  Iran since 1979).  and that the current political elite is vary to redistribute this power with other factions of the elite even if relative balance of power within various factions changed.  What Marx give to the world is the understanding is that of Western history from the disintegration of Roman Empire was about the deadly conflict between rising factions of economic elite (industrial, landed, banking, etc) and existing political elite, with an occasional and temporary coalitions with peasants or artisans who tried to take advantage of the divisions in elite circles. So what Marx incorrectly called class struggle was actually a deadly struggle between economic and political elites within a society. In the 17th and 18th centuries it begins to make sense to describe the state -- paraphrasing Marx -- as an executive committee for managing the common affairs of the elite.  Generally speaking, Marx overstated the importance of industrial capitalists as compared to landed elites within the ruling circles of the 19th century, and of urban workers as compared to other urban dwellers and peasants (Hamilton, 1991). 
  2. Thorstein Veblen combined sociology with economics in his masterpiece The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899) where he argued that there was a basic distinction between the productiveness of "industry", run by engineers manufacturing goods, vis-à-vis the parasitism of "business" that exists only to make profits for elite that he called  a leisure class. The chief activity of the elite was "conspicuous consumption", and their economic contribution is "waste," activity that contributes nothing to productivity. The American economy was thereby made inefficient and corrupt though Veblen never made that claim explicit. He believed that technological advances were the driving force behind cultural change, but, unlike many contemporaries, refused to connect change with progress. Although Veblen was sympathetic to state ownership of industry, he had a low opinion of workers and the labor movement. He pointed out that the new industrial processes created a conflict between businessmen and engineers, with businessmen representing the older order and engineers as the innovators of new ways of doing things. In combination with the tendencies described in The Theory of the Leisure Class, this conflict resulted in waste and “predation” that served to enhance the social status of those who could benefit from predatory claims to goods and services. 
  3. Vilfredo Pareto. Pareto emphasized the psychological and intellectual superiority that the Elites obtained, he believed that the elites were the highest accomplishers in any field and he discussed how there were two types of Elites
    1. governing elites
    2. non-governing elites

    He also extended on the idea that a whole elite can be replaced by a new one and how one can circulate from being elite to non-elite. 

  4. Gaetano Mosca. Mosca emphasized the sociological and personal characteristics of elites. He said elites are an organized minority and that the masses are an unorganized majority. The ruling class is composed of the ruling elite and the sub-elites. He divides the world into two groups:
    1. ruling class
    2. class that is ruled

    Mosca asserts that elites have intellectual, moral, and material superiority and/or other qualities that is highly esteemed and influential. 

  5. Robert Michels.  German sociologist Robert Michels developed The Iron Law of Oligarchy in his book  Political Parties published in 1915.  The Iron Law of Oligarchy  asserts that social and political organizations are run by few individuals, and social organization and labor division are the key. He believed that all organizations are elitist and that existence of elites is based on several factors that come into play in the bureaucratic structure of any large political organization:
    1. Need for leaders, as well as for specialized staff and facilities.
    2. The relative scarcity of the people with the psychological attributes of the leaders
    3. Natural monopolization of the their position by elected leaders within any sizable organization and related subversion of the democratic process even in organizations devoted to the promotion of democracy.

    Michels stressed several factors that underlie the 'Iron Law of Oligarchy'.

    In other words rule by an elite (aka "oligarchy") is inevitable within any large organization and society as a whole because both  "tactical and technical necessities".  As Michels stated:

    "It is organization which gives birth to the dominion of the elected over the electors, of the mandataries over the mandators, of the delegates over the delegators. Who says organization, says oligarchy".

     He went on to state that "Historical evolution mocks all the prophylactic measures that have been adopted for the prevention of oligarchy." That means that the official goal of democracy of eliminating elite rule is impossible, and any "democracy" is always just a façade legitimizing the rule of a particular elite. What is important is the level of mobility of "non-elite" to the elite and the rotation of the elite.  

  6. C. Wright Mills. Mills published his book The Power Elite in 1956, which provided a new sociological perspective on structure of power in the United States. He identified a triumvirate of power groups - political, economic and military - which form a distinguishable, although not unified, power-wielding body in the United States. This theory later was enhanced by Michael Mann who proposed that the power structures within Western civilization, and probably other civilizations, too, are best understood by determining the intertwining and relative importance at any given time of the organizations based in four "overlapping and intersecting sociospatial networks of power" (Mann, 1986, p. 1). These networks are ideological, economic, military, and political. This view is called "The IEMP model".  Simultaneous crisis in several of those networks, the phenomenon we observe now in the USA and previously in the USSR represent a social crisis.

    Mills proposed that those groups emerged through a process of rationalization at work that occurs in all advanced industrial societies. And in all of them power became concentrated at the very top (0.01%), funneling overall control into the hands of a very small, somewhat corrupt group.  This tendency is reflected in a decline of politics as an arena for debate about social change and relegation it to a merely formal level of discourse about non-essential issues, a smokescreen for backroom dealings of the oligarchy,

    This macro-scale analysis sought to point out that the degradation of democracy in "advanced" societies in not accidental. It reflects the fact that real power generally lies outside  of the elected representatives. A main influence on the emergence of this views on politics was Franz Leopold Neumann's book, Behemoth: The Structure and Practice of National Socialism, 1933-1944 , a study of how Nazism came to power in the German democratic state.

    It provided the tools to analyze the structure of a political system and served as a warning of what could happen in a modern capitalistic democracy. 

  7. Floyd Hunter. The elite theory analysis of power was also applied on the micro scale in community power studies such as that by Floyd Hunter (1953). Hunter examined in detail the power relationships evident in his "Regional City" looking for the "real" holders of power rather than those in obvious official positions. He posited a structural-functional approach which mapped the hierarchies and webs of interconnection operating within the city – mapping relationships of power between businessmen, politicians, clergy etc.

    The study debunks current mythology about the level of ‘democracy’ is present within urban politics.

    This type of analysis was also used in later, larger scale, studies such as that carried out by M. Schwartz examining the power structures within the corporate elite in the USA. 

  8. G. William Domhoff. In his book Who Rules America?, G. William Domhoff researched local and national decision making process networks in order to illustrate the power structure in the United States. He asserts, much like Hunter, that an elite class that owns and manages large income-producing properties (like banks and corporations) dominate the American power structure politically and economically.  
  9. James Burnham. Burnham’s early work The Managerial Revolution sought to express the movement of all functional power into the hands of appointed managers rather than the owners – separating ownership and control. Many of these ideas were adapted by paleoconservatives Samuel T. Francis and Paul Gottfried in their theories of the managerial state. Burnham's thoughts on Elite Theory were elucidated more specifically in his book The Machiavellians which discusses the thoughts of, among others, Pareto, Mosca, and Michels; in it he attempts to analyze of both elites and politics generally from his background as a former Trotskyite. 
  10. John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-2006) proposed the term technostructure in his book "The New Industrial State" (1967) to describe the group of managers within an enterprise (or an administrative body) with considerable political influence (especially true for financial brass) and the level of control on nation's economy. It usually refers to so called managerial capitalism where top managers, scientists, or lawyers acquire more power and influence than the shareholders in the corporation. They are the de-facto the owners of the corporation, while shareholders (outside a few large one) are generally powerless to influence the way the corporation develops and do business. 
  11. Robert D. Putnam

    Putnam saw the development of technical and exclusive knowledge among administrators and other specialist groups as a mechanism by which power is stripped from the democratic process and slipped sideways to the advisors and specialists influencing the decision making process.[7]

    "If the dominant figures of the past hundred years have been the entrepreneur, the businessman, and the industrial executive, the ‘new men’ are the scientists, the mathematicians, the economists, and the engineers of the new intellectual technology."

  12. Thomas R. Dye. Dye in his book Top Down Policymaking, argues that U.S. public policy does not result from the "demands of the people," but from quite opposite phenomenon -- the Elite consensus found in Washington. It is a consensus between key non-profit foundations, think tanks, special-interest groups, and prominent lobbyists and law firms. Dye's thesis is further expanded upon in his works: The Irony of Democracy, Politics in America, Understanding Public Policy, and Who's Running America?

The idea of "The Revolt of the Elites" and "The Quiet Coup" by Financial Oligarchy

Previous consensus was that elite generally shares the idea that the society in which they live works best when all members of society can engage in upward mobility and improve their status via education and entrepreneurship. If there is significant upward mobility channels then members of society perceive themselves as belonging to the same team and care about ensuring that that team succeeds.

But in new" internationalized" world dominated by transnational corporations, the notion that a company or corporate executive of transnational corporation or professional (for example, IT professional) working is such a corporation is bound by an allegiance to their country of origin and work for its benefit is passé. The elites  of today are bound to their corporations, one another, not to the countries. And their greed is just overwhelming and decimates all other considerations such as patriotism and moral obligations. Amorality became a norm. 

People outside the elite became just tools, not compatriots and their standard of living means nothing.  This new generation of transnational elite are running the country like a regular for profit corporation in which they are both the members of the board and the controlling shareholders.

Not all elites are created equal. In the last half-century we have witnessed a dramatic expansion of American corporate power into every corner of the world, accompanied by an equally awesome growth in U.S. military power. The means the US elite is higher on pecking order then elites of other countries. That does not make it less transnational.  And this new power of the USA as a sole superpower state  is not used in traditional way to conquer and plunder the countries (like the USA did in Philippines, Mexico and other countries in the past). Instead it is used to support subservient regimes that favor business interests of transnational companies, putting those interests above interest of the country and its people. And if necessity remove non-complaint regimes by force The USA foreign policy now is essentially based on the coercive use of economic, political, and military power to expropriate other nations land, labor, capital, natural resources, commerce, and markets in the interests of transnational corporation, not in the interest of the American people. Now the decisive factor in the selection of allies and foes is the respective actors' position on "free market policies" like trade liberalization, privatization and deregulation, that favor international corporations and related transnational part of elite. In fact, the USA recent "patterns of intervention" reveal no or little correlation between democratic ideals and the role the US plays in the affairs of other nations. Globalization that is very successfully enforced by the USA foreign policy establishment (which contrary to its critics proved to be very apt and competent in achieving its goals) amounts to a Quiet coup d'état by transnational capital over the peoples of the world, subverting democracy and national autonomy everywhere including the USA itself, while ushering in a new stage of international expropriation of resources in the interest of elite and sending the US citizens to die for the benefit of transnational corporations. the blowback for the US people includes a national security state, an inviolable Pentagon budget, and rampant PTSD among military personnel.  From this point of view the popular but simplistic notion that a neoconservative cabal headed by George W. Bush has somehow 'hijacked' the U.S. government looks extremely naive.

In effect the transnational elite behaves as an occupying  power, although less brutal, toward the US population as well.  In a way America  is just another casualty of the new transnational elite. Cutbacks in social programs, decaying infrastructure, declining wages, massive unemployment, and the rise of municipalities facing bankruptcy means not only that a republic in decline, but that unchecked appetites of transnational elite fit classic Marxist scenario -- to expropriate as much above minimum subsistence level as possible. 

An important additional factor is the a new elite despise commoners. As Christoper Lasch pointed out in his groundbreaking book: "The new elites, the professional classes in particular, regard the masses with mingled scorn and apprehension."

Playing with financial flows as if they are computer game lead to high levels of unemployment, which can no longer be regarded as aberrational, but due to labor arbitrage and dramatically improved communications became a necessary part of the working mechanisms of  modern capitalist mode of production.

Oligarchy became really audacious. They don't really care if they are legitimate. "Legitimate if you can, coerce if you have to, and accommodate if you must." Crass materialism and accumulation of excessive wealth became the primary goal. Privatization and sell of public assets -- the mean to achieve those goals.

They have what Dr. John McMurtry has termed "The Ruling Group Mind"  when reality is warped to  conform to manufactured delusions submerging the group and its members within a set of  hysteria, denials and projections...

The USA still has a privileged position in this "new world order" but no my much. As Napoleon Bonaparte observed

"When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes.

Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain." 

"The Revolt of the Elites" by Christoper Lasch

Christopher Lasch (1932-1994) was a historian and penetrating social critic. He was the first who promoted the idea  that the values and attitudes of elites and those of the working classes have dramatically diverged to the extent that elite became a natural "fifth column" within the state and generally hostile to the nation-state well-being and especially to the well-being of lower strata of the population. 

In 1994, Lasch had come to believe that the economic and cultural elite of the United States, who historically has insured the continuity of a culture had lost faith in the traditional values (which that organized the country culture since its inception), and replaced then with unrestrained greed . He saw a threat to the continuation of Western civilization was not a mass revolt as envisioned by the pro-communist New Left of the 1960's, but a rejection of its liberal and pluralistic values by the educated elite. (see Ayn Rand and Objectivism Cult)

In the process of throwing off  elements of traditional morality, transnational elite adopted Nietzschean "Übermensch" mentality (typically in the form of Objectivism).  They also have mastered the art of the shameless transgression of authority for their own enrichment. This tendency became possible because of computer revolution. Computers dramatically increased the capability of transnational corporation making possible growth far beyond that was possible before them. They also enabled "hacking" on monetary system to the extent that was not possible in 1920, although financial elite were always capable to find a sure way to a huge crash to be bailed out by the state again and again. . 

Here is a couple of insightful reviews from Amazon:

According to Lasch, contrary to the thesis advanced by Ortega y Gasset in The Revolt of the Masses, the revolt of the masses is over ending in the defeat of communism and is to be followed by a revolt of the cultural elite. Lasch advances arguments showing how we have reached a new stage of political development in America where the elite have become increasingly detached from the concerns of the common man. Unlike the elite of past ages, the former aristocracy of wealth and status, the new elite constitutes an aristocracy of merit. However, unlike in past ages, the new elite have increasingly alienated themselves from the common man. Lasch demonstrates how an increasing division between rich and poor, in which the working class has become alienated from the intellectual class of "symbolic analysts", has led to an utter sense of apathy among the American people.

In addition, the values of the new intellectual class are utterly different from the values of the man in the street. While the working class is fundamentally culturally conservative (a fact which Lasch has certainly latched onto) demanding moral certainties on such issues as homosexual rights, abortion, feminism, patriotism, and religion, the intellectual class demands political correctness advocating affirmative action, feminism, homosexual liberation, and promoting a radical (or rather, pseudo-radical) agenda.

Lasch seems to sympathize with the populists of old, who sought a sort of third way between the horrors of monopoly capitalism and the welfare state. Populists promoted the values of the common man, thus maintaining a cultural conservativism, while at the same time demonstrating an innate fear of bigness and far off bureaucracy. In addition, Lasch sees in communitarianism which seeks to emphasize the role of community, neighborhoods, and organic connectedness (contrary to libertarianism which emphasizes the individual at the whim of market forces and cultural pluralism) a new hope for the working class and cultural conservativism. Those who are opposed to communitarianism argue that based on previous experiments with small close knit communities (particularly emphasizing cases such as Calvin's Geneva and the New England Puritans but also small towns and neighborhoods) that these are oppressive. Obviously a balance needs to be struck; nevertheless, a re-emphasis on community and traditional values is obviously an important way to achieve improvement in human conditions. Unlike many right wing libertarians who may give lip service to "family values" but who then place the family at the whim of unfettered markets and corporate interests, Lasch argues for a restraint in order to facilitate family and community growth. Lasch shows how class remains an important division with equality of opportunity being merely a further means to oppress the working class. In addition, Lasch shows how the left uses the issue of race (extended arbitrarily to include all minorities and underprivileged - as defined by them, particularly so as to include whites) to create further difficulties for the common man, who is utterly alienated by political correctness. Lasch also argues that feminism remains an important force for the new class, because by allowing more women to enter the workforce they have achieved a situation whereby they perpetuate themselves. Lasch also turns his attention to education, showing how the modern system of compulsory education has failed, emphasizing the failures of such individuals as Horace Mann, who sought to eliminate politics from education. In addition, Lasch turns his attention to the university system, a hotbed of political correctness, multiculturalism, and postmodernist philosophies. Lasch shows how these philosophies have totally alienated any contact that universities may have with ordinary citizens, becoming more and more jargon-laden and specialized while at the same time promoting values completely contrary to those of the common man. Lasch refers to this as "academic pseudo-radicalism" to show how it differs distinctly from true radicalism, how it is fundamentally elitist, and how it further denies opportunities to the very minorities that it claims to so valiantly protect. However, unlike many of the other right wing critics of the university system, Lasch argues that corporations have continued to play a large role in the development of departments leading to a weakening of humanities programs. I found Lasch's criticisms of political correctness in the university system to be particularly cogent. While economically Lasch is opposed to unfettered capitalism, nevertheless he finds room to criticize the welfare state and government bureaucracy which promotes dependency and a culture of victimization. Lasch also shows how respect and shame have been misunderstood by the modern age. In addition, Lasch shows how a culture of narcissism has developed in this country, in which individuals have become excessively self interested and rely heavily on psychotherapies which promote self esteem and "happiness" as the highest good. Lasch also argues for a return to traditional religious values as a means for achieving hope and providing an inoculation against otherwise difficult times.

As a cultural conservative, I found Lasch's brand of populism/communitarianism to be particularly interesting. Lasch's analysis of the elites seems to make sense in light of their lack of contact with everyday reality, their lack of respect for common sense and the average person, and their lack of ties to nation and place. Our country is increasingly controlled by political elites in both parties who serve merely as tourists with little interest in America beyond what makes them money. In this respect, I believe Lasch's arguments to be particularly well thought out.

caroline miranda "caroline miranda" (los angeles) -

The aristocratic elitism of modern society's version of royalty--well-educated liberals, university administrators, race and class baiters and political elites who fear accusations of being insufficiently sophisticated and sensitive--are tossed off their thrones by Christopher Lasch. Lasch gives a clear and comprehensive overview of the social and political upheaval of the last 40 years that occurred under the noses of a bland and uncaring populace.

He explains the changes in America that led to morality becoming a code word for judgmentalism, standards becoming a code word for racism, multiculturalism becoming a code word for denigrating an evil European culture, the loss of family and neighborhood hailed as necessary for individual freedom, and the death of social cohesiveness, which never was mourned. "Most of our spiritual energy is devoted precisely to a campaign against shame and guilt, the object of which is to make people 'feel good about themselves.' The churches themselves have enlisted in this therapeutic exercise...," he notes.

Lest one think this is a Bill Bennett-type bromide, Lasch's observations extend far beyond the ain't-divorce-and-latchkey-children-terrible speech and extends to the paradox of modern society in which people have never been better off materially because of capitalism but so in danger of losing the core of their souls and their society's democratic values.

Individuality without community connection and the disintegration of unstated but commonly understood traditional rules and obligations that neighbors and a community once believed they owed other threaten democracy, Lasch believes.

When multiculturalism is seen from a limited tourist-type approach of folk dances and exotic food, when crime and violence in ethnic neighborhoods replace social cohesiveness, when impersonal malls and fast food restaurants displace informal gathering spots where people once discussed ideas and experiences, and when intimidation and name-calling replace reasoned debate, the country is deeply troubled, he notes. Worse yet, no one seems to find these developments alarming, so enmeshed they are in their structured public work worlds and isolated private home worlds.

Lasch pessimistically regrets the faltering of the foundation of a culture lost the very core of its democratic ideals: reasoned governance by an informed populace with a sense of community and ethics. He decries the usurpation of cultural norms instigated by elites, who rarely venture outside their smug circle of we-know-best-for-you compatriots and who refuse to acknowledge a need for individual responsibility and rather see the average, ordinary working person as a spigot for unending social spending and an unsophisticated inferior.

"...Identity politics has come to serve as a substitute for religion--or at least for the feeling of self-righteousness that is so commonly confused with religion," he says, while meanwhile decrying the modern tendency to use religion as a way to achieve personal happiness instead of as a guide to rightful living.

Lasch's clear and flowing writing style and his insights into the disorder and straying of modern society from its historical anchor make the book a timely and informative expose of many of the ills of modern society.

The Quiet Coup of Financial Oligarchy by Simon Johnson

Simon Johnson is the Ronald A. Kurtz (1954) Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT's Sloan School of Management. He wrote an influential piece in the Atlantic Magazine titled The Quiet Coup.  While in reality translation elite is much broader, he concentrated on financial elite (or financial oligarchy) as the dominant player among them and provided an interesting perspective on how they got dominant power position and fully control government of a particular country (in this case the USA was an example):

Typically, these countries are in a desperate economic situation for one simple reason—the powerful elites within them overreached in good times and took too many risks. Emerging-market governments and their private-sector allies commonly form a tight-knit—and, most of the time, genteel—oligarchy, running the country rather like a profit-seeking company in which they are the controlling shareholders.

When a country like Indonesia or South Korea or Russia grows, so do the ambitions of its captains of industry. As masters of their mini-universe, these people make some investments that clearly benefit the broader economy, but they also start making bigger and riskier bets. They reckon—correctly, in most cases—that their political connections will allow them to push onto the government any substantial problems that arise.

In Russia, for instance, the private sector is now in serious trouble because, over the past five years or so, it borrowed at least $490 billion from global banks and investors on the assumption that the country’s energy sector could support a permanent increase in consumption throughout the economy. As Russia’s oligarchs spent this capital, acquiring other companies and embarking on ambitious investment plans that generated jobs, their importance to the political elite increased. Growing political support meant better access to lucrative contracts, tax breaks, and subsidies. And foreign investors could not have been more pleased; all other things being equal, they prefer to lend money to people who have the implicit backing of their national governments, even if that backing gives off the faint whiff of corruption.

But inevitably, emerging-market oligarchs get carried away; they waste money and build massive business empires on a mountain of debt. Local banks, sometimes pressured by the government, become too willing to extend credit to the elite and to those who depend on them. Overborrowing always ends badly, whether for an individual, a company, or a country. Sooner or later, credit conditions become tighter and no one will lend you money on anything close to affordable terms.

The downward spiral that follows is remarkably steep. Enormous companies teeter on the brink of default, and the local banks that have lent to them collapse. Yesterday’s “public-private partnerships” are relabeled “crony capitalism.” With credit unavailable, economic paralysis ensues, and conditions just get worse and worse. The government is forced to draw down its foreign-currency reserves to pay for imports, service debt, and cover private losses. But these reserves will eventually run out. If the country cannot right itself before that happens, it will default on its sovereign debt and become an economic pariah. The government, in its race to stop the bleeding, will typically need to wipe out some of the national champions—now hemorrhaging cash—and usually restructure a banking system that’s gone badly out of balance. It will, in other words, need to squeeze at least some of its oligarchs.

Squeezing the oligarchs, though, is seldom the strategy of choice among emerging-market governments. Quite the contrary: at the outset of the crisis, the oligarchs are usually among the first to get extra help from the government, such as preferential access to foreign currency, or maybe a nice tax break, or—here’s a classic Kremlin bailout technique—the assumption of private debt obligations by the government. Under duress, generosity toward old friends takes many innovative forms. Meanwhile, needing to squeeze someone, most emerging-market governments look first to ordinary working folk—at least until the riots grow too large.

Eventually, as the oligarchs in Putin’s Russia now realize, some within the elite have to lose out before recovery can begin. It’s a game of musical chairs: there just aren’t enough currency reserves to take care of everyone, and the government cannot afford to take over private-sector debt completely.

He lays out the threat that the American society faced now -- capture of the government by the finance industry:

"The great wealth that the financial sector created and concentrated gave bankers enormous political weight—a weight not seen in the U.S. since the era of J.P. Morgan (the man). In that period, the banking panic of 1907 could be stopped only by coordination among private-sector bankers: no government entity was able to offer an effective response. But that first age of banking oligarchs came to an end with the passage of significant banking regulation in response to the Great Depression; the reemergence of an American financial oligarchy is quite recent."

"The crash has laid bare many unpleasant truths about the United States. One of the most alarming, says a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is that the finance industry has effectively captured our government—a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many emerging-market crises. If the IMF’s staff could speak freely about the U.S., it would tell us what it tells all countries in this situation: recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform. And if we are to prevent a true depression, we’re running out of time."

In his NPR interview with Terry Gross he demonstrated that he does not understand the fact that the mousetrap is closed and that financial oligarchy the ruling elite of the country without any significant countervailing forces. So he dispensed a pretty naive advice (Fighting America's 'Financial Oligarchy):

"We face at least two major, interrelated problems," Johnson writes. "The first is a desperately ill banking sector that threatens to choke off any incipient recovery that the fiscal stimulus might generate. The second is a political balance of power that gives the financial sector a veto over public policy, even as that sector loses popular support."

Johnson insists the U.S. must temporarily nationalize banks so the government can "wipe out bank shareholders, replace failed management, clean up the balance sheets, and then sell the banks back to the private sector." But, Johnson adds, the U.S. government is unlikely to take these steps while the financial oligarchy is still in place.

Unless the U.S. breaks up its financial oligarchy, Johnson warns that America could face a crisis that "could, in fact, be worse than the Great Depression — because the world is now so much more interconnected and because the banking sector is now so big."

A good discussion of his key ideas can be found at Jesse's Café Américain Sep 02, 2012 post  Reprise -- Simon Johnson On the Quiet Coup d'Etat in the Anglo-American Financial System

In an interview with MIT economist Simon Johnson which was posted here in February, 2009.

Have we heeded Simon Johnson's warning? Has he proven to be prescient? Is crony capitalism and the kleptocracy becoming bolder, more aggressive, ever more demanding?

"I think I'm signaling something a little bit shocking to Americans, and to myself, actually. Which is the situation we find ourselves in at this moment, this week, is very strongly reminiscent of the situations we've seen many times in other places.

But they're places we don't like to think of ourselves as being similar to. They're emerging markets. It's Russia or Indonesia or a Thailand type situation, or Korea. That's not comfortable. America is different. America is special. America is rich. And, yet, we've somehow find ourselves in the grip of the same sort of crisis and the same sort of oligarchs...

But, exactly what you said, it's a small group with a lot of power. A lot of wealth. They don't necessarily - they're not necessarily always the names, the household names that spring to mind, in this kind of context. But they are the people who could pull the strings. Who have the influence. Who call the shots...

...the signs that I see this week, the body language, the words, the op-eds, the testimony, the way they're treated by certain Congressional committees, it makes me feel very worried.

I have this feeling in my stomach that I felt in other countries, much poorer countries, countries that were headed into really difficult economic situation. When there's a small group of people who got you into a disaster, and who were still powerful. Disaster even made them more powerful. And you know you need to come in and break that power. And you can't. You're stuck....

The powerful people are the insiders. They're the CEOs of these banks. They're the people who run these banks. They're the people who pay themselves the massive bonuses at the end of the last year. Now, those bonuses are not the essence of the problem, but they are a symptom of an arrogance, and a feeling of invincibility, that tells you a lot about the culture of those organizations, and the attitudes of the people who lead them...

But it really shows you the arrogance, and I think these people think that they've won. They think it's over. They think it's won. They think that we're going to pay out ten or 20 percent of GDP to basically make them whole. It's astonishing....

...these people are throughout the system of government. They are very much at the forefront of the Treasury. The Treasury is apparently calling the shots on their economic policies.

This is a decisive moment. Either you break the power or we're stuck for a long time with this arrangement."

Bill Moyer's Journal - Interview with Simon Johnson, February, 2009.

Johnson also wrote a piece in the Atlantic Magazine titled The Quiet Coup. It may be worth re-reading.
Here is the introduction to this in The Fall of the American Republic: The Quiet Coup d'Etat in August 2010.
"I am not so optimistic that this reform is possible, because there has in fact been a soft coup d'etat in the US, which now exists in a state of crony corporatism that wields enormous influence over the media and within the government.

Let's be clear about this, the oligarchs are flush with victory, and feel that they are firmly in control, able to subvert and direct any popular movement to the support of their own fascist ends and unshakable will to power.

This is the contempt in which they hold the majority of American people and the political process: the common people are easily led fools, and everyone else who is smart enough to know better has their price. And they would beggar every middle class voter in the US before they will voluntarily give up one dime of their ill gotten gains.

But my model says that the oligarchs will continue to press their advantages, being flushed with victory, until they provoke a strong reaction that frightens everyone, like a wake up call, and the tide then turns to genuine reform."

As far as I can tell, we are right on track for a very bad time of it. And you might be surprised at how far a belief in exceptionalism and arrogant superiority can go before it finally ends, or more likely, falls.

Revolt of the Rich by Mike Lofgren

An interesting variation of the quiet coup theory was advanced by Mike Lofgren in his influence article Revolt of the Rich (TAC, August 27, 2012)

It was 1993, during congressional debate over the North American Free Trade Agreement. I was having lunch with a staffer for one of the rare Republican congressmen who opposed the policy of so-called free trade. To this day, I remember something my colleague said: “The rich elites of this country have far more in common with their counterparts in London, Paris, and Tokyo than with their fellow American citizens.”

That was only the beginning of the period when the realities of outsourced manufacturing, financialization of the economy, and growing income disparity started to seep into the public consciousness, so at the time it seemed like a striking and novel statement.

At the end of the Cold War many writers predicted the decline of the traditional nation-state. Some looked at the demise of the Soviet Union and foresaw the territorial state breaking up into statelets of different ethnic, religious, or economic compositions. This happened in the Balkans, the former Czechoslovakia, and Sudan. Others predicted a weakening of the state due to the rise of Fourth Generation warfare and the inability of national armies to adapt to it. The quagmires of Iraq and Afghanistan lend credence to that theory. There have been numerous books about globalization and how it would eliminate borders. But I am unaware of a well-developed theory from that time about how the super-rich and the corporations they run would secede from the nation state.

I do not mean secession by physical withdrawal from the territory of the state, although that happens from time to time—for example, Erik Prince, who was born into a fortune, is related to the even bigger Amway fortune, and made yet another fortune as CEO of the mercenary-for-hire firm Blackwater, moved his company (renamed Xe) to the United Arab Emirates in 2011. What I mean by secession is a withdrawal into enclaves, an internal immigration, whereby the rich disconnect themselves from the civic life of the nation and from any concern about its well being except as a place to extract loot.

Our plutocracy now lives like the British in colonial India: in the place and ruling it, but not of it. If one can afford private security, public safety is of no concern; if one owns a Gulfstream jet, crumbling bridges cause less apprehension—and viable public transportation doesn’t even show up on the radar screen. With private doctors on call and a chartered plane to get to the Mayo Clinic, why worry about Medicare?

Being in the country but not of it is what gives the contemporary American super-rich their quality of being abstracted and clueless. Perhaps that explains why Mitt Romney’s regular-guy anecdotes always seem a bit strained. I discussed this with a radio host who recounted a story about Robert Rubin, former secretary of the Treasury as well as an executive at Goldman Sachs and CitiGroup. Rubin was being chauffeured through Manhattan to reach some event whose attendees consisted of the Great and the Good such as himself. Along the way he encountered a traffic jam, and on arriving to his event—late—he complained to a city functionary with the power to look into it. “Where was the jam?” asked the functionary. Rubin, who had lived most of his life in Manhattan, a place of east-west numbered streets and north-south avenues, couldn’t tell him. The super-rich who determine our political arrangements apparently inhabit another, more refined dimension.

To some degree the rich have always secluded themselves from the gaze of the common herd; their habit for centuries has been to send their offspring to private schools. But now this habit is exacerbated by the plutocracy’s palpable animosity towards public education and public educators, as Michael Bloomberg has demonstrated. To the extent public education “reform” is popular among billionaires and their tax-exempt foundations, one suspects it is as a lever to divert the more than $500 billion dollars in annual federal, state, and local education funding into private hands — meaning themselves and their friends. What Halliburton did for U.S. Army logistics, school privatizers will do for public education. A century ago, at least we got some attractive public libraries out of Andrew Carnegie. Noblesse oblige like Carnegie’s is presently lacking among our seceding plutocracy.

In both world wars, even a Harvard man or a New York socialite might know the weight of an army pack. Now the military is for suckers from the laboring classes whose subprime mortgages you just sliced into CDOs and sold to gullible investors in order to buy your second Bentley or rustle up the cash to get Rod Stewart to perform at your birthday party. The sentiment among the super-rich towards the rest of America is often one of contempt rather than noblesse.

Stephen Schwarzman, the hedge fund billionaire CEO of the Blackstone Group who hired Rod Stewart for his $5-million birthday party, believes it is the rabble who are socially irresponsible. Speaking about low-income citizens who pay no income tax, he says: “You have to have skin in the game. I’m not saying how much people should do. But we should all be part of the system.”

But millions of Americans who do not pay federal income taxes do pay federal payroll taxes. These taxes are regressive, and the dirty little secret is that over the last several decades they have made up a greater and greater share of federal revenues. In 1950, payroll and other federal retirement contributions constituted 10.9 percent of all federal revenues. By 2007, the last “normal” economic year before federal revenues began falling, they made up 33.9 percent. By contrast, corporate income taxes were 26.4 percent of federal revenues in 1950. By 2007 they had fallen to 14.4 percent. So who has skin in the game?

... ... ...

Since the first ziggurats rose in ancient Babylonia, the so-called forces of order, stability, and tradition have feared a revolt from below. Beginning with Edmund Burke and Joseph de Maistre after the French Revolution, a whole genre of political writings—some classical liberal, some conservative, some reactionary—has propounded this theme. The title of Ortega y Gasset’s most famous work, The Revolt of the Masses, tells us something about the mental atmosphere of this literature.

But in globalized postmodern America, what if this whole vision about where order, stability, and a tolerable framework for governance come from, and who threatens those values, is inverted? What if Christopher Lasch came closer to the truth in The Revolt of the Elites, wherein he wrote, “In our time, the chief threat seems to come from those at the top of the social hierarchy, not the masses”? Lasch held that the elites—by which he meant not just the super-wealthy but also their managerial coat holders and professional apologists — were undermining the country’s promise as a constitutional republic with their prehensile greed, their asocial cultural values, and their absence of civic responsibility.

Lasch wrote that in 1995. Now, almost two decades later, the super-rich have achieved escape velocity from the gravitational pull of the very society they rule over. They have seceded from America.

Mike Lofgren also authored the book The Party Is Over How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted. Here is quote from one of Amazon reviews:

Over time, that sense of entitlement insensibly changed Democrats into what we in the Pentagon would call ENABLERS of Republicans. The Democratic enablers unwittingly played a crucial role in the demolition of the American dream, not unlike that played by infiltration troops in blitzkrieg. Infiltration troops soften up the front by slipping through defenses to find or create holes and weak areas for the tanks to roar thru to reap chaos and destruction deep in the enemy's rear area. Only in this case, the rear area being ruined is the American middle class, and the flood of tanks is taken up by the flood money supplied by the oligarchs who feather their nests by buying Democrats as well as Republicans in one seamless auction.

Put bluntly, to protect a sense of hereditary entitlement to the power that accompanied the coattails of FDR and the New Deal, Democrats abandoned their heritage and moved to Wall Street, Big Pharma, Defense, etc., and in so doing, insensibly mutated into faux Republicans. If you doubt this, look at the enervating, quasi-neoliberal bloviating by the self-inflating Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) or the cynical triangulations and warmongerings of Messrs. Clinton and Obama. The abdication of traditional Democratic principles gave Republican crazies more room to get even crazier, and together the faux Republicans and the real crazy Republicans reinforced each other to create a rightward shift in the American political dynamic that unleashed the emergence of a new gilded age, together with the emergence of a legalized plutocracy that criminal Russian oligarchs would envy. And this mutation came about in a remarkably short time of 30 to 40 years.

In so doing, the Democrats sold out their most important constituency, i.e., John Q. Average American, and colluded in the historic swindle that brought the great American middle class to the brink of impoverishment and debt peonage, a condition some times referred to chillingly in the tone-deaf salons of Versailles on the Potomac as the "new normal."

If you think collusion is too strong a term, I would urge you to think about Bill Clinton's (the DLC's choice for president in the 1992 election) collusion with Republicans in 1999 to nullify of the Depression era Glass-Steagle Act -- one of monuments of reform in the New Deal. This nullification was one of the main deregulatory "initiatives" that unleashed the greedy excesses that led to the 2007-8 financial meltdown. When he left office, Bill Clinton, by the way, did not pick up his grips and retire to a modest house in Independence Missouri like Harry Truman; he chose instead to join the plutocratic elite, where he is now well on his way to becoming a card-carrying member of the one-tenth of one-percent club of the mega rich. The bottom line: the Democrats' sense of entitlement and the consequent corruption of their principles have been a necessary, if not sufficient, condition in the emergence of the current political-economy that is destroying what is left of the middle class in our good ole USA. The reader would make a great mistake if he or she allowed the hilariously disgusting Republican hijinks described by Lofgren to brand his book as an anti-Republican polemic written by a convert, and miss his main message.

Mike, of course, states clearly in his title that his subject is how the madness of the Republicans and the uselessness of the Democrats reinforced each other over the last 30 to 40 years to hose the American People. It is the degenerate nature of their symbiotic relationship that is his thesis and should be the Left's call to arms.

I do not count on this happening, however. The faux Republicans are far more likely to try to exploit the embarrassment of riches in Mike's book for their narrow short-term political advantage, in yet another demonstration of the hypocrisy and opportunism that are central pillars propping up their losing mentality.

Neo-classical economics smoke screen in Yves Smith’s Econned

Chicago neoclassical economics school is a well known pseudo-science school, one of the pillars of Economic Lysenkoism (along with  Supply Side Economics).  This is an economic cult, an ideology of financial oligarchy. So it is more proper to it not neoclassical, but as aptly suggested by Bill Black “theoclassical”   or  Chicago Ponzinomics.  It is a neoliberal phenomenon, not neoclassical. Like in Lysenkoism, and high demand sects anybody who strays from the cult is in danger of being ostracized. As Mark Thoma observed:

Some years ago, when I first presented an empirical paper questioning some of the conventional views on trade to a high profile economics conference, a member of the audience (a very prominent economist and a former co-author of mine) shocked me with the question "why are you doing this?

There is a useful part of neoclassical economy related to thinking about an aggregate social phenomena in terms of costs and benefits of individual participants, and that can be sometimes (but not always) as a useful supplementary approach. Bastartized version of this notion which tries to imply cost-benefit motives in all human interactions is called Freakonomics. Still you can view some choices people make as tradeoffs between desired goals and social constraints (which can interpreted as costs). 

Still neoclassical economics as practiced by Chicago school  is driven by ideology and financed by financial oligarchy.

And like Trofim Lysenko and his followers those people are as close to criminals as one can get.  Like Rabbies and Catolic Priests can be criminals, the same is true about people in academic mantles. Corruption of academics is nothing new, but corruption of economists is a very dangerous mass form of  white-collar crime as close to Madoff  and his associates as one can get. This is the way we should look at the Chicago schools: kind of incarnation of Lysenko henchmen or, if you wish, Chicago mafia in a university environment. Actually similar way of thinking can be applied to Harvard (see Harvard Mafia, Andrei Shleifer and the economic rape of Russia ).

Is neoclassical economics a mafia? Sort of, says Christopher Hayes in a very well-written and very interesting piece in The Nation. He says orthodox economists are a close-knit group and are quick to penalize those among them or from outside who overstep the boundaries. Here is an excerpt:

So extreme is the marginalization of heterodox economists, most people don't even know they exist. Despite the fact that as many as one in five professional economists belongs to a professional association that might be described as heterodox, the phrase "heterodox economics" has appeared exactly once in the New York Times since 1981. During that same period "intelligent design," a theory endorsed by not a single published, peer-reviewed piece of scholarship, has appeared 367 times.

It doesn't take much to call forth an impressive amount of bile from heterodox economists toward their mainstream brethren. John Tiemstra, president of the Association for Social Economics and a professor at Calvin College, summed up his feelings this way: "I go to the cocktail parties for my old schools, MIT and Oberlin, and people are all excited about Freakonomics. I kind of wince and go off to another corner or have another drink." After the EPI gathering, Peter Dorman, an economist at Evergreen State College with a gentle, bearded air, related an e-mail exchange he once had with Hal Varian, a well-respected Berkeley economist who's moderately liberal but firmly committed to the neoclassical approach. Varian wrote to Dorman that there was no point in presenting "both sides" of the debate about trade, because one side--the view that benefits from unfettered trade are absolute--was like astronomy, while any other view was like astrology. "So I told him I didn't buy the traditional trade theory," Dorman said. "'Was I an astrologer?' And he said yes!"

Please note that some of the most close to Lysenkoism figures at Chicago, such as Cochrane and Fama, are in the business school rather than the econ department.   And they were key enablers of  Goldman Sacks and Co. looters. Deregulation wave was promoted by right wing extremists who recruited corrupted academicians like Milton Friedman to perform specific role of Trojan horse to undermine New Deal.  He managed to made the "invisible hand" a prefect pocket picker!  And the method of spreading influence was essentially borrowed from the Lysenko book: control the economic department and those who went to college and studied those theories in the 70’s and 80’s would then go to Wall St and Government and enact them. Control the key academic magazines and conferences and any aspiring economists need either to conform or leave the field.

Here is one telling comment about corruption of those modern day Lysenkoists in the blog Crooked Timber

ogmb 09.18.09 at 12:01 pm

...Cochrane is the AQR Capital Management Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago Booth [formerly Graduate] School of Business. Which incidentally also makes his whining that Krugman ‘accuses us literally of adopting ideas for pay, selling out for “sabbaticals at the Hoover institution” and fat “Wall street paychecks”’ a bit malnourished in the introspection department, coming from someone who holds a chair sponsored by a quantitative trading firm at a school sponsored by the founder of an EMH investment firm. (Nevermind that Krugman never, literally or otherwise, accused Cochrane and his peers of selling out to Wall Street…)

In this ideology Milton Friedman is playing the role of false prophet and lesser "giants" producing continued steam of detached from reality papers and speeches. It also includes several clown who as Krugman noted have some qualities of irritable adolescents, but actually are proper heirs of Academician Trofim Lysenko:

And that same adolescent quality was evident in the reactions to the Obama administration’s attempts to deal with the crisis — as Brad DeLong points out, people like Robert Lucas and John Cochrane (not to mention Richard Posner, who isn’t a macroeconomist but gets his take from his colleagues) didn’t say that when serious scholars like Christina Romer based policy recommendations on Keynesian economics, they were wrong; the freshwater crowd declared that anyone with Keynesian views was, by definition, either a fool or intellectually dishonest. So the freshwater outrage over finding their own point of view criticized is, you might think, a classic case of people who can dish it out but can’t take it.

But it’s actually even worse than that.

When freshwater macro came in, there was an active purge of competing views: students were not exposed, at all, to any alternatives. People like Prescott boasted that Keynes was never mentioned in their graduate programs. And what has become clear in the recent debate — for example, in the assertion that Ricardian equivalence rules out any effect from government spending changes, which is just wrong — is that the freshwater side not only turned Keynes into an unperson, but systematically ignored the work being done in the New Keynesian vein. Nobody who had read, say, Obstfeld and Rogoff would have been as clueless about the logic of temporary fiscal expansion as these guys have been. Freshwater macro became totally insular. And hence the most surprising thing in the debate over fiscal stimulus: the raw ignorance that has characterized so many of the freshwater comments. Above all, we’ve seen the phenomenon of well-known economists “rediscovering” Say’s Law and the Treasury view (the view that government cannot affect the overall level of demand), not because they’ve transcended the Keynesian refutation of these views, but because they were unaware that there had ever been such a debate. It's a sad story. And the even sadder thing is that it’s very unlikely that anything will change: freshwater macro will get even more insular, and its devotees will wonder why nobody in the real world of policy and action pays any attention to what they say.

The proper label for neo-classical economics might be "theological voluntarism", the term which has some academic aura... There are several issues here:

  1. Excessive dependence or even open prostitution to the financial oligarchy. It's deplorable but probably unavoidable as the grip of financial community of economic profession does not requires any additional commentary. Also there are always exceptions to the rule.
  2. Mathematical masturbation instead of science. When, for example, a paper that propose even a linear equation (or God forbid differential equation) does not provide any estimate of errors of input data such a paper in a narrow sense can be called mathematical masturbation. Classic example here would be any paper that has inflation as an input variable. In a more broad sense this occurs when research paper contains results or mathematical model which rely on idealized, with little connections to reality postulates about the structure of economic activities. Many supply/demand models belong to this category as they rely on existence of equilibrium between supply and demand and/or are ignoring Minsky instability hypothesis. Most neo-classical economics can be called a theory in a desperate search for suitable reality.
  3. Relying on discredited and openly anti-scientific assumptions or hypothesis. Examples include, but not limited to "supply side voodoo", "monetarism", "Taylor rule", "permanent equilibrium fallacy", "invisible hand" (both as a postulate about absence of manipulation of the markets and the idea that "free markets lead to efficient outcomes" disregarding the role of government and almost permanent government intervention as well as issues of economic rent and taxation of participants to support an aristocracy or oligarchy).

Chicago (or as some called it freshwater) school specializes in deification of the market (often in the form of "invisible hand" deification, see The Invisible Hand, Trumped by Darwin - NYTimes.com). 

Econned

Yves Smith’s in her book Econned, How Unenlightened Self Interest Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism discussed the role of corrupted economics professor in establishing and supporting the rule of financial oligarchy. Here is one Amazon review

kievite:

 Neoclassical economics as a universal door opener for financial oligarchy, September 25, 2010

There are many good reviews of the book published already and I don't want to repeat them. But I think there is one aspect of the book that was not well covered in the published reviews and which I think is tremendously important and makes the book a class of its own: the use of neoclassical economics as a universal door opener for financial oligarchy. I hope that the term "econned" will became a new word in English language.

Neoclassical economics has become the modern religion with its own priests, sacred texts and a scheme of salvation. It was a successful attempt to legitimize the unlimited rule of financial oligarchy by using quasi-mathematical, oversimplified and detached for reality models. The net result is a new brand of theology, which proved to be pretty powerful in influencing people and capturing governments ("cognitive regulatory capture"). Like Marxism, neoclassical economics is a triumph of ideology over science. It was much more profitable though: those who were the most successful in driving this Trojan horse into the gates were remunerated on the level of Wall Street traders.

Economics is essentially a political science. And politics is about perception. Neo-classical economics is all about manipulating the perception in such a way as to untie hands of banking elite to plunder the country (and get some cramps from the table for themselves). Yves contributed to our understanding how "These F#@king Guys" as Jon Steward defined them, economics professors from Chicago, Harvard, Columbia, Princeton and some other places warmed by flow of money from banks for specific services provided managed to serve as a fifth column helping Wall Street to plunder the country. The rhetorical question that a special counsel to the U.S. Army, Joseph Welch, asked Senator McCarthy: "Have you no sense of decency?" applies.

The main effect of neoclassical economics is elevating unregulated ( "free" in neoclassic economics speak) markets into the key mechanism for distribution of the results of economic activity with banks as all-powerful middlemen and sedating any opposition with pseudo-mathematical mumbo-jumbo. Complexity was used as a powerful smoke screen to conceal greed and incompetence. As a result financial giants were able to loot almost all sectors of economics with impunity and without any remorse, not unlike the brutal conquerors in Middle Ages.

The key to the success of this nationwide looting is that people should be brainwashed/indoctrinated to believe that by some alchemical process, maximum level of greed results in maximum prosperity for all. Collapse of the USSR helped in this respect driving the message home: look how the alternative ended, when in reality the USSR was a neo-feudal society. But the exquisite irony here is that Bolsheviks-style ideological brainwashing was applied very successfully to the large part of the US population (especially student population) using neo-classical economics instead of Marxism (which by-and-large was also a pseudo-religious economic theory with slightly different priests and the plan of salvation ;-). The application of badly constructed mathematical models proved to be a powerful tool for distorting reality in a certain, desirable for financial elite direction. One of the many definitions of Ponzi Scheme is "transfer liabilities to unwilling others." The use of detached from reality mathematical models fits this definition pretty well.

The key idea here is that neoclassical economists are not and never have been scientists: much like Marxist economists they always were just high priests of a dangerous cult -- neoliberalism -- and they are more then eager to stretch the truth for the benefit of the sect (and indirectly to their own benefit). All-in-all this is not unlike Lysenkoism: state support was and still is here, it is just working more subtly via ostracism, without open repressions. Look at Sheller story on p.9.

I think that one of lasting insights provided by Econned is the demonstration how the US society was taken hostage by the ideological views of the neoclassical economic school that has dominated the field at least for 30 or may be even 50 years. And that this ideological coup d'état was initiated and financed by banking establishment who was a puppeteer behind the curtain. This is not unlike the capture of Russia by Bolsheviks supported by German intelligence services (and Bolsheviks rule lasted slightly longer -- 65 years). Bolsheviks were just adherents of similar wrapped in the mantle of economic theory religious cult, albeit more dangerous and destructive for the people of Russia then neoclassical economics is for the people of the USA. Quoting Marx we can say "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce".

That also means that there is no easy way out of the current situation. Ideologies are sticky and can lead to the collapse of society rather then peaceful evolution.

Amorality and psychopathic tendencies

It might well be that for certain part of this new transnational elite with their "cult of greed" can be characterized by a callous disregard for other people feelings typical for psychopaths. Moreover for new, first generation members of this elite those psychopathic tendencies (which does not mean that the person is an outright psychopath, or sociopath)  might be a powerful engine in climb to the top and can play a important, if not decisive role in their success. They look more like "well compensated" sociopaths. See Authoritarians and Corporate Psychopaths as Toxic Managers for more information about typical traits that define this condition.

 There’s a section in the book The Psychopath Test, in which British journalist Jon Ronson  does the psychopath test on "Chainsaw Al" Dunlop, the former CEO of Sunbeam who was notorious for gleefully laying off thousands of workers to make more money.  And he redefines a great number of the items on the checklist as business positives. He turned the psychopath test into “Who Moved My Cheese?” The thing that’s so startling about his story is that the more ruthlessly and remorselessly psychopathically he behaved when he was heading up Sunbeam and the company before Sunbeam — Scott — the more he was rewarded. As Times reported on 2011/09/20:

One in 25 bosses may be psychopaths — a rate that’s four times greater than in the general population — according to research by psychologist and executive coach Paul Babiak.

Babiak studied 203 American corporate professionals who had been chosen by their companies to participate in a management training program. He evaluated their psychopathic traits using a version of the standard psychopathy checklist developed by Robert Hare, an expert in psychopathy at the University of British Columbia in Canada.

Psychopaths, who are characterized by being completely amoral and concerned only with their own power and selfish pleasures, may be overrepresented in the business environment because it plays to their strengths. Where greed is considered good and profitmaking is the most important value, psychopaths can thrive.

Just look at the at their grandiosity, their pathological lying, their lack of empathy, their lack of remorse of the financial elite demonstrated during the crisis of 2008.  I know there’s a danger in seeing psychopaths everywhere, but sometimes in this case it’s just impossible not to see some alarming correlations. Look at the apostils of deregulation in the USA such as:

Shaming the poor as a new sport for the transnational elites and subservient politicians

Amorality and psychopathic tendencies of new transnational elite and a special breed of corrupted politicians who serve them are perfectly demonstrated in the new sport for crooked politicians, especially from the part of the US Republican Party which can be called neo-confederates.

Barbara Ellen in her Guardian column (Guardian March 2, 2013) pointed out that the Methodists, the United Reformed Church, the Church of Scotland and the Baptist Union have joined forces to publish a study called The Lies We Tell Ourselves. It highlights myths surrounding people and poverty, including Iain Duncan Smith's much trumpeted "families out of work for three generations" line (which, it turns out, has never been backed up by data).

The report argues that the government is "deliberately misrepresenting" the poor, blaming them for their circumstances while ignoring more complex reasons, including policy deficiencies. Moreover, they feel that this scapegoating is the result of collusion between politicians, the media and the public.

Increasingly, the shame is being taken out of poor-shaming. It didn't seem so long ago that most people would think twice about denigrating fellow citizens who were having a hard time. These days, it appears to have been sanctioned as a new sport for the elites. A politician is one thing but these attitudes are spreading and hardening among ordinary people too. Indeed, poverty seems a trigger to inspire hate speech that would be quickly denounced if it related to race or gender.

Is this our new default setting – that the needy are greedy? This chimes with a slew of government policies that appear to be founded on notions of bulletproof self-reliance, making no allowances for circumstances or sheer bad luck, and which many would require huge amounts of help to put into practice, never mind sustain. Meanwhile, the more fortunate are invited to pour scorn upon anyone who fails.

While there are people whose problem are self-inflicted for many this is not true. In reality substantial number of poor are former people of modest means hit by a serious disease and who run out of options.

And shaming poor is a pretty safe sport. The poor are poor. They have no money, no voice, no representatives, and no means to defend their interests. Poverty is a like collapse of domino – once the first domino falls, all others follow the suit. In such circumstances, if a group of people are "deliberately misrepresents" the real situation with the poor, then there's precious little they can do about it. The churches got it right – if anything, the truth seems so much worse that it must surely be time to put the shame back into poor-shaming.

Poor-shamers are bullies, and right now they're getting away with it.

To what extent new transnational elite is monolithic ?

State interests and interest of large social groups are "projected" on the elite making is less monolithic then otherwise it might be. Here is come to a complex question of "national elite" vs. "transnational elite". This question is often discussed under the banner of  "Fifth column".  In this sense   Color revolutions  can be viewed as attempts to "harmonize" elite with the requirements of international corporations plus geostrategic interests of the counties which "home" those corporations.  See for example Russian experience in "white Revolution" of 2011-2012

In this sense Civil war can be viewed as a condition in which two parts of the elite in the same country can't reconcile their differences with peaceful means. That's definitely true about the US Civil War. 

Existence of "ideologically charged" and openly nationalistic parties which periodically come to power in various countries somewhat undermines the thesis about international elite dominance, unless you assume that such parties represent "blowback" of internationalization of capital and come to power to protect the interest of some parts of the national elite threatened by "more international" (aka comprador) part of the elite. Which is historically  true for NDSP (with military-industrial complex as the main supported of them as a tool against communists as well as against Jewish financial oligarchy) as well as for Bolsheviks in Russia (if we assume the theory that the initial core of Bolsheviks movement before Stalin purges was Russian Jewish intelligencia supported by the USA (via Trotsky connections) and some other countries (paradoxically Germany during the period of WWI; it was Germany that "delivered" to Russia by via a special train  Bolshevik leaders caught at the beginning of WWI in various European countries including Germany, in violation of the their status as "interned" nationals for the duration of the First World War )).

"Resource nationalism" is another close, but more modern phenomenon

Nationalism is probably the most potent force for undermining the unity of international elite.

The problem of degeneration of elite

The elite in most European countries and the USA consists not of the "best of the breed". It became more like the result of adverse selection.  Conversion to neoliberalism just made this problems more acute. At this point the problem of degeneration of elite comes to the forefront. George Bush II was clear a warning in the respect. Obama might well be the second bell. In criticizing the degeneration of the current US or GB elite, we should not forget that such processes are not new and in the past were the cause of several revolutions. Financial oligarchy of the neoliberal society is only a new name for aristocrats. And in the past the self-serving, decadent and corrupted upper class was the important source of instability in the society.  level of degeneration  of European elite which clearly demonstrated the fact the Cameron managed to came to power in GB in many respects makes the situation even more fragile than in the USA. Here is one telling quote (The EU's ugly kindergarten of intellectually challenged clowns):

It is generally accepted that "politics is the art of the possible" and yet the EU leaders are clearly engaged in the art of the absolutely impossible. The fact that they are all pretending like this is going to have some useful impact is truly a sign of how much the EU leadership has degenerated over the years. Can you imagine Helmut Schmidt, Charles de Gaulle, Margaret Thatcher, François Mitterrand or Francisco Franco engaging in that kind of infantile nonsense? All these leaders had their bad aspects, but at least none of them were clowns, whereas when I look at the current EU leadership, especially Van Rumpey, Adners Fogh Rasmussen or José Manuel Barroso I get the feeling that I am looking at some ugly kindergarten of intellectually challenged clowns and, frankly, I can understand Mrs Nuland's feelings.

Degeneration of elites lead the denunciation of the elites, when to a large body of civil population became clear that the upper class is no longer fulfill their function, do not care about the people, and, in case of neoliberal elite, is not even the part of the same society -- it acquired features of a foreign, parasitizing on the national body occupation force.

If the elite is not regenerates itself, catastrophic crisis in Society became more likely.  The state itself became a “quasi-state”: endowed with juridical statehood, yet lacking the political will, institutional capacity, and organized authority to protect human rights and provide socioeconomic welfare for the population. In this case a parallel political authority -- a shadow state replaces the "regular" stat – whose defining characteristic is the change of the role of security services in the governance of the state. See National Security State. Dissolution of the USSR was particularly connected with such a level of degeneration of the elite as well as betrayal of security services with KGB brass changing sides and adopting neoliberalism as a new ideology. 

At the same time while people like Obama and Cameron are merely instruments of  neoliberalism and financial capital.  So one explanation of the degradation of elite is the current crisis of neoliberalism. This is somewhat similar to the degradation of  Politburo in last years of the USSR.  They all however fit the definition of idiocy, repeating the same mistakes that prove so unfailingly disastrous, over and over, the inability to learn from their mistakes.

Here is one telling comment from Moon of Alabama discussion:

jayc | Aug 29, 2014 3:12:01 PM | 13

When Cameron started taking selfies at Mandela's funeral it undermined any remaining notion that he was some kind of leader, he was rather revealed as a mediocre middle-management suckup.

Western political leadership is chock full of these types. Policy is being developed at another level than elected representatives and middle-management is there to sell the policy.

I'm not sure NATO wants a full shooting proxy war - they don't care much about Ukraine or its people and would be content with new bases and new weapons programs.

The intent, it seems, is to isolate Russia from Europe and hope that the effects from sanctions could produce some sort of regime change or fracture the country into territories It seems that the Kiev regime has done just about everything possible to provoke a Russian invasion.

Western politicians and media, by their open hysteria and constant insistence that Russia has "invaded" and shot down a passenger plane, are invoking a sort of nostalgia for the Afghanistan invasion of 1978 or the KAL007 shoot down, when the evil empire stood revealed and the brave middle managers could rush to the barricades.

Unfortunately for them, Russia hasn't played that game and because they are mediocre the West's political leadership cannot summon the imagination for what to do next.

Crest | Aug 29, 2014 6:26:49 PM | 47 

@jayc 13
"Russia hasn't played that game and because they are mediocre the West's political leadership cannot summon the imagination for what to do next."

This is a great line. Western elites have no imagination, because of a generation of brutally purging all dissent from the neoliberalism/financialist imperalism paradigm.

If you don't believe in the Washington consensus, you don't exist.

They simply can't think of anything better, and they won't allow themselves to try.


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[Nov 14, 2019] From Russiagate to Ukrainegate An Impeachment Inquiry by Renée Parsons

Notable quotes:
"... Love the Clapper claim (the same Clapper who lied to Congress) says he was just doing his duty in Russiagate. As GBS said, " when a scoundrel is doing something of which he is ashamed, he always says he is doing his duty". ..."
"... There is also a long and inglorious history of interference in domestic politics from the Zinoviev Letter onwards. Plots to stage a military coup against the Wilson government of the 60s and 70s, with Mountbatten as its figurehead. The more recent Skripal Hoax. The contrived Syrian Gas Attack Hoaxes and the White Helmets. They would not hesitate to do the same to Corbyn if they deemed it necessary. ..."
"... The CIA and FBI conspired with the UK and Ukrainian governments to prevent the election of Trump, and then to sabotage and smear his administration once he had been elected. The UK played a major part in this through MI6 and Steele. This is highly dangerous for this country, irrespective of your view of Trump. ..."
"... The Democrats, the Deep State, the MSM, and the Deranged Left were willing to support these conspiracies and hoaxes, and even suspend disbelief, for the greater good. The ends justify the means. All that matters is getting rid of Trump. Anything goes. The corrosive erosion of trust, credibility and integrity in all the institutions of the state is probably irreparable. The legislature and the political process in general. The judiciary. The spooks and police. About 9% of Americans now believe the MSM. ..."
"... No need to even discuss, until Western societies ALL get a grip on the depths of depravity that lie within the actions and "The History of the National Security State" you have to admit, that Julian Assange could not have picked a better book to firmly grip and signal with, than GORE Vidal's, when being manhandled out of the Ecuadorian Embassy, by Spooks who would sell their own mother, let alone nation, in their utter technological ignorance and adherence to anachronistic doctrines & mentality ! ..."
"... The most important thing for us and deliciously so now the election is happening is the BLOWBACK. Our DS lying murdering arses are going to get new ones drilled by Trump and BoBos bromance exploding in full technicolor. ..."
"... By sharing we disrupt the msm messages. Bernard at MoonofAlabama is also worth a daily visitation – priceless analysis on multiple subjects. ..."
"... I'd have thought that events like the spy in the holdall, the spies caught by farmers in Libya, the Skripal's, and the whole over-the-top reaction to the domestic terrorism threat and consequent successful pleas for extra funding, the obvious danger of creating terrorists by security services, the policy of giving asylum to foreign terrorists of countries we don't like and the whole concept of the 5 eyes and GCHQ needs more than ministerial oversight, a committee of yes men/women and an intelligence services commissioner. ..."
Oct 30, 2019 | off-guardian.org

As the Quantum field oversees the disintegration of institutions no longer in service to the public, the Democratic party continues to lose their marbles, perpetuating their own simulated bubble as if they alone are the nation's most trusted purveyors of truth.

Since the Mueller Report failed to deliver on the dubious Russiagate accusations, the party of Thomas Jefferson continues to remain in search of another ethical pretense to justify continued partisan turmoil. In an effort to discredit and/or distract attention from the Barr-Durham and IG investigations, the Dems have come up with an implausible piece of political theatre known as Ukrainegate which has morphed into an impeachment inquiry.

The Inspector General's Report, which may soon be ready for release, will address the presentation of fabricated FBI evidence to the FISA Court for permission to initiate a surveillance campaign on Trump Administration personnel. In addition, the Department of Justice has confirmed that Special Investigator John Durham's probe into the origin of the FBI's counter intelligence investigation during the 2016 election has moved from an administrative review into the criminal prosecution realm. Durham will now be able to actively pursue candidates for possible prosecution.

The defensive assault from the Democrat hierarchy and its corporate media cohorts can be expected to reach a fevered pitch of manic proportions as both investigations threatened not only their political future in 2020 but perhaps their very existence.

NBC s uggests that the Barr investigation is a ' mysterious ' review " amid concerns about whether the probe has any legal or factual basis " while the NY Times continues to cast doubt that the investigation has a legitimate basis implying that AG Barr is attempting to " deliver a political victory for President Trump." The Times misleads its readers with:

Trump has repeatedly attacked the Russia investigation, portraying it as a hoax and illegal even months after the special counsel closed it."

when in fact, it was the Russiagate collusion allegations that Trump referred to as a hoax, rather than the Mueller investigation per se.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va), minority leader of the Senate Intel Committee suggested that Attorney General William Barr " owes the Committee an explanation " since the committee is completing a " three-year bipartisan investigation " that has " found nothing to justify " Barr's expanded effort.

The Senator's gauntlet will be ever so fascinating as the public reads exactly how the Intel Committee spent three years and came up with " nothing " as compared to what Durham and the IG reports have to say.

On the House side, prime-time whiners Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) commented that news of the Durham investigation moving towards criminal liability " raised profound concerns that Barr has lost his independence and become a vehicle for political revenge " and that " the Rule of Law will suffer irreparable damage ."

Since Barr has issued no determination of blame other than to assure a full, fair and rigorous investigation, it is curious that the Dems are in premature meltdown as if they expect indictments even though the investigations are not yet complete.

There is, however, one small inconvenient glitch that challenges the Democratic version of reality that does not fit their partisan spin. The news that former FBI General Counsel James Baker is actively cooperating with the BD investigation ought to send ripples through the ranks. Baker has already stated that it was a 'small group' within the agency who led the counterintelligence inquiry into the Trump campaign; notably former FBI Director James Comey and former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

Baker's cooperation was not totally unexpected since he also cooperated with the Inspector General's FISA abuse investigation which is awaiting public release.

As FBI General Counsel, Baker had a role in reviewing the FISA applications before they were submitted to the FISA court and currently remains under criminal investigation for making unauthorized leaks to the media.

As the agency's chief legal officer, Baker had to be a first-hand participant and privy to every strategy discussion and decision (real or contemplated). It was his job to identify potential legal implications that might negatively affect the agency or boomerang back on the FBI. In other words, Baker is in a unique position to know who knew what and when did they know it.

His 'cooperation' can be generally attributed to being more concerned with saving his own butt rather than the Constitution.

In any case, the information he is able to provide will be key for getting to the true origins of Russiagate and the FISA scandal. Baker's collaboration may augur others facing possible prosecution to step up since 'cooperation' usually comes with the gift of a lesser charge.

With a special focus on senior Obama era intel officials Durham has reportedly already interviewed up to two dozen former and current FBI employees as well as officials in the office of the Director of National Intelligence.

From the number of interviews conducted to date it can be surmised that Durham has been accumulating all the necessary facts and evidence as he works his way up the chain of command, prior to concentrating on top officials who may be central to the investigation.

It has also been reported that Durham expects to interview current and former intelligence officials including CIA analysts, former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper regarding Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election.

In a recent CNN interview , when asked if he was concerned about any wrongdoing on the part of intel officials, Clapper nervously responded:

I don't know. I don't think there was any wrongdoing. It is disconcerting to know that we are being investigated for having done our duty and done what we were told to do by the President."

One wonders if Clapper might be a candidate for 'cooperating' along with Baker.

As CIA Director, Brennan made no secret of his efforts to nail the Trump Administration. In the summer of 2016, he formed an inter-agency taskforce to investigate what was being reported as Russian collusion within the Trump campaign. He boasted to Rachel Maddow that he brought NSA and FBI officials together with the CIA to ' connect the dots ."

With the addition of James Clapper's DNI, three reports were released: October, 2016, December, 2016 and January, 2017 all disseminating the Russian-Trump collusion theory which the Mueller Report later found to be unproven.

Since 1947 when the CIA was first authorized by President Harry Truman who belatedly regretted his approval, the agency has been operating as if they report to no one and that they never owe the public or Congress any explanation of their behaviour or activity or how they spend the money.

Since those days it has been a weak-minded Congress, intimidated and/or compromised Members who have allowed intel to run their own show as if they are immune to the Constitution and the Rule of Law. Since 1947, there has been no functioning Congress willing to provide true accountability or meaningful oversight on the intel community.

Renee Parsons has been a member of the ACLU's Florida State Board of Directors and president of the ACLU Treasure Coast Chapter. She has been an elected public official in Colorado, an environmental lobbyist with Friends of the Earth and staff member of the US House of Representatives in Washington DC. She can be found on Twitter @reneedove31


Martin Usher
I don't think the Democratic leadership wanted a formal impeachment, they would prefer that Trump just faded away quietly before the 2020 election and were in the process of collecting information to reinforce this. They got cornered into formalizing the investigation by Trump's defense team baiting them as part of their overall strategy. It really doesn't change anything.

Whichever way you slice and/or dice it Trump is fundamentally incompetent, he's unable to fulfill the duties of the office of the President. He also refuses to distinguish between private interests and public service. His cabinet, a rag tag body of industry insiders and special interests, are busy trying to ride roughshod over opposition, established policy and even public opinion to grab as much as possible before the whole house of cards collapses. Its a mess, and its a mess that's quite obviously damaging US interests. Many constituency groups will have gone along with the program because they thought they could control things or benefit from them but as its become increasingly obvious Trump's unable to deliver they've been systematically alienated.

The DNC is playing this with a relatively weak field of potential candidates for 2020. Much as I personally like a Sanders or Warren they're just not going to fly in a Presidential contest -- as we found from the Obama presidency the ship of state just doesn't turn on a dime, you're not going to undo decades or generations of entrenched neoconservatism and a politically divided country overnight by some kind of Second Coming pronouncements. My concern is that if we don't get our collective acts together we're going to end up with a President Romney after 2020 -- a much more reasonable choice considering the last four years but also one that's guaranteed to change nothing. We need the journey but its only going to start with a few steps.

( and as for Trump/collusion we've spent the last three years confusing money with nation states. Trump's a businessman in a business that's notorious for laundering money from dubious sources (this doesn't mean he's involved, of course)(legal disclaimer!). I daresay that if Russia really wanted to sink Trump they could easily do so but why would they bother when he's doing such a great job unaided?)

Joerg
Please make sure You see the Interview-Video "MICHAEL FLYNN CASE UNRAVELS. US-UK DEEP STATE ENTRAPMENT PLAN" on https://youtube.com/channel/UCdeMVChrumySxV9N1w0Au-w – it's a must-see!
Jonathan Jarvis
Something much deeper going on?

http://thesaker.is/the-terrorists-among-us11-azov-battalion-and-american-congressional-support/

Latest in series of articles by the author re USA – Ukraine connections

"American Ukrainian nationalists don't like democracy. They don't understand the concept of it and don't care to learn. But they do understand nationalist fascism where only the top of society matters. They are behind the actors of the Intelligence coup going on in the US today .This is the mentality and politics the Diaspora is pushing into American politics today. Hillary Clinton and the DNC is surrounded with this infection which even includes political advisors.

Rest assured they all the related Diasporas are in a fight for their political lives. If Donald Trump wins, their ability to infect American politics might be broken. Many of the leadership will be investigated for attempting to overthrow the government of the United States."

Simon Hodges
"My thoughts on all this are that many of us have become distracted and failed to examine the timeline of events since 9/11. We look at news and conflict in isolation and move on to the next without seeing what is now a clear pattern."

In terms of the Middle East you need to go back further than the fortuitous event of 9/11 – at least to 1997 and the founding of the Project for the New American Century which was essentially the first explicit formalisation of the agenda for an imperialist Neoliberal and Neoconservative globalist new world order deployed through the media constructed conflicts of 'good' and 'evil' around the world and with it the call for the 'democratisation' of the Middle East under the alibi of humanitarian interventionism against broadly socialist governments, which since the fall of communism were constructed by Neoliberal fundamentalists as being patently heretical and ideologically illegitimate forms of government. If it is economically illogical to elect a socialist failed form of government then one can only assume that the election must have been rigged.

I started looking at this all a few years ago when I asked myself the question 14 years after the invasion of Iraq: where was the liberal outrage at what had subsequently taken place in the ME? The answer was that from the Invasion of Iraq onward in addition to fully embracing the economics of Neoliberalism as the end of economic history, the progressive 'left' quietly assimilated and reduplicated the fundamentalist illiberal political philosophy of the Neocons. The progressive 'left' both in the UK and US have subsequently become the far Neocon 'right' in all but name and their party hosts of Labour in the UK and the Democrats in the US remain blissfully unaware of all of this. How else can we explain why they would welcome 'Woke' Bill Kristol into their ranks? Once one accepts this hypothesis, then an awful lot falls into place in order to explain the 'Progressive' open support for regime change and the almost total lack of any properly liberal objections to what has taken place ever since.

One key point here is that the Neocons have nothing to do with conservatism or the right. What is striking and most informative about the history of Neo-conservatism is that it does not have its roots in conservatism at all, but grew out of disillusioned US left wing intellectuals who were Marxist, anti-Stalinist Trotskyites. This is important because at the heart of Neo-conservatism is something that appeals strongly to the die hard revolutionaries of the left who hold a strong proclivity for violence, conflict and struggle. If one looks at the type of people in the Labour party who gravitated to the 'progressive' Neoliberal imperialist camp they all exhibit similar personality traits of sociopathic control freaks with sanctimonious Messiah complexes such as Blair. These extremist, illiberal fundamentalists love violence and revolution and the bloodier the better. In Libya or Syria is did not matter that Gadaffi or Assad headed socialist governments, the Neo-colonised progressives would back any form of apparent conflict and bloody revolution in any notional struggle between any identifiable form of 'authority' or 'oppression' with any identifiable form of 'resistance' even if those leading the 'resistance' were head chopping, misogynist, jihadist terrorists. It makes no difference to the fundamentalist revolutionary mindset.

The original left wing who gradually morphed in the Neoconservatives took 30-40 years to make the transition for the 1960s to 1990s. The Labour party Blairites made the same journey from 1990 to 2003. Christopher Hitchens made the same journey in his own personal microcosm.

Gezzah Potts
When is this nausea inducing confected pile of crap going to end? Does anyone else think that Adam Schiff has a screw or three loose, and should be residing in an institution? And imagine if somehow Mike Pence became Prez. Now that would be something to scare the bejesus out of you.
Tim Jenkins
Adam Schiff should be shot for Treason, of the highest order, along with many others, including HRC, Brennan & Clapper ; and it should be a public execution, like in Saudi Arabia. This is war on the minds of the masses, that Schiff for brains cares nothing for.

As for Chuck Schumer, he can have a life sentence, as long as he manages to shut his utterly unfunny dumb vulgar cousin Amy up & keep her out of the public eye, forever

Gezzah, life may seem bad right now: but imagine if, you were Amy Schumer's Husband and father of her child. Talk about obnoxious and utterly nauseating 🙂 , with you Gezzah, all the way.

"When is this nausea inducing confected pile of crap going to end?"

vexarb
Pepe sends more news from the real world:

https://thesaker.is/the-age-of-anger-exploding-in-serial-geysers/

"The presidential election in Argentina was a game-changer and a graphic lesson. It pitted the people versus neoliberalism. The people won – with new President Alberto Fernandez and former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (CFK) as his VP.

Neoliberalism was represented by a PR marketing product, Mauricio Macri [a Micron look-alike]: former millionaire playboy, president of football legends Boca Juniors, obsessed with spending cuts, who was unanimously sold by Western MSM as a New Age paradigm.

Well, the paradigm will soon be ejected, leaving behind the usual New Age wasteland: $250 billion in foreign debt, less than $50 billion in reserves; inflation at 55 percent; 35.4 percent of Argentine homes can't make it); and (incredible as it may seem in an agriculturally self-sufficient nation) a food emergency."

vexarb
And from Yemen:

https://southfront.org/10000-sudanese-troops-to-potentially-withdraw-from-yemen-leaving-saudi-arabia-to-dry/

vexarb
Meanwhile, in the real world, the Denmark's Ukronazi-friendly regime has been brought to heel by Germany's common sense:

Some big natural gas news very significant for Russia, Germany and the Ukraine. The Danish pipeline sector has been stalled for a while now by anti-Russia, pro-Ukrainian forces within the Scandiwegian NATZO-friendly regimes. But it appears that Nordstream 2 _will_ get completed and that Ukraine's gas transit chokehold on the EU will come to an end when Russia's Nordstream 2 comes online for Europe.

-- -- -- -

Permit for the Nord Stream 2 project is reluctantly granted by the Danish Energy Agency. Nord Stream 2 AG has been granted a permit to construct natural gas pipelines on the Danish continental shelf.

The permit is granted pursuant to the Continental Shelf Act and in accordance with Denmark's obligations under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Denmark has been put under obligation to allow the construction of transit pipelines with respect to resources and the environment.

https://en-press.ens.dk/pressreleases/permit-for-the-nord-stream-2-project-is-granted-by-the-danish-energy-agency-2937696

Antonym
Gas is the second most firm green energy source after nuclear. Denmark manages only due to their undersea cables to Norway's hydro mountains.

In another field has far more common sense than neighbors Germany or Sweden: immigration / integration.

RobG
In my humble opinion, the Trump stuff is all total nonsense.

Donald Trump was a property speculator in New York (amongst other places) and was heavily involved with the Mafia. Likewise, Trump was heavily involved with Jeffery Epstein.

There's so much dirt on Trump that they could get him with the snap of fingers; but of course that's not what they really want. Trump is pure theatre; a ploy to divert the masses. 'RussiaGate', 'UkraineGate' are all utter rollocks.

Trump and Obama, and all the rest going back to the assassination of Kennedy, are just puppets.

American/ deep state policy doesn't change a jot with any of them.

Wilmers31
America is always presentation over substance, wrapper over content, and shoot the messenger if you don't like the message. In the meantime the adults in this world outside the US have to hold it all together. Why was for instance Hillary Clinton not in the dock for saying 'Assad must go'?? It was meddling in the highest order.
phree

I guess this just goes to show you that a person can be a member of the ACLU, even a leader apparently, and still be highly biased in favor of Trump.

Just because a witness is "cooperating" with an investigation does not entail that the witnesses testimony or evidence will favor any particular side.

And implying that Clapper's comments somehow shows guilt when he clearly says he knows of no wrongdoing is pretty over the top.

I've read a lot of what's out there about the start of the initial Russia investigation, and it does seem that some of the FBI personnel leading it (McCabe particularly) were anti-Trump.

Isn't the bigger question whether the investigation was justified based on the reports from the Australians that Trump was getting political dirt on Hillary from Russia? Is the FBI just supposed to ignore those reports? Really?

George Cornell
Love the Clapper claim (the same Clapper who lied to Congress) says he was just doing his duty in Russiagate. As GBS said, " when a scoundrel is doing something of which he is ashamed, he always says he is doing his duty".
mark
The Spook Organisations and the Dirty Cops are a greater threat to our way of life than any foreign army or terrorist group (most of which they created in the first place and which they directly control.) They are a law unto themselves and completely free of any genuine oversight or control.

This applies equally to the US and UK. "We lie, we cheat, we steal", as Pompeo helpfully explains. They also murder people, at home and abroad. JFK, David Kelly, Diana, Epstein. They plant bombs and blow people up. Many of the "terrorist atrocities" from Northern Ireland to the present day, were false flag spook operations. The same applies with Gladio on the continent and the plethora of recent false flags.

There is also a long and inglorious history of interference in domestic politics from the Zinoviev Letter onwards. Plots to stage a military coup against the Wilson government of the 60s and 70s, with Mountbatten as its figurehead. The more recent Skripal Hoax. The contrived Syrian Gas Attack Hoaxes and the White Helmets. They would not hesitate to do the same to Corbyn if they deemed it necessary.

The CIA and FBI conspired with the UK and Ukrainian governments to prevent the election of Trump, and then to sabotage and smear his administration once he had been elected. The UK played a major part in this through MI6 and Steele. This is highly dangerous for this country, irrespective of your view of Trump.

Trump has repaid the favour by meddling in Brexit and interfering in UK politics. It is not in his nature to turn the other cheek. We have spook organisations claiming for themselves a right of veto over election results and foreign policy. These people are poor servants and terrible masters. We see Schumer warning against crossing the spook organisations, begging the obvious question – who runs this country, you or the spooks?

The Democrats, the Deep State, the MSM, and the Deranged Left were willing to support these conspiracies and hoaxes, and even suspend disbelief, for the greater good. The ends justify the means. All that matters is getting rid of Trump. Anything goes. The corrosive erosion of trust, credibility and integrity in all the institutions of the state is probably irreparable. The legislature and the political process in general. The judiciary. The spooks and police. About 9% of Americans now believe the MSM.

The irony in all this is that it very much serves Trump's interests. He is extremely vulnerable, having failed to keep any of his promises. Building The Wall, Draining The Swamp, Bringing The Troops Home. Sorting out health care. Building "incredible, fantastic" infrastructure.

All the Democrats had to do was highlight these failures, find a suitable candidate, and put forward some sensible policies, and they were home and dry. Instead, they provided an endless series of diversions and distractions from Trump's failures by charging down every rabbit hole they could find, Russiagate, Ukrainegate, Impeachment. It couldn't work out better for Trump if he was paying them.

Expect to see the Orange Man in the White House for another 4 years. And another even more virulent outbreak of Trump Derangement Syndrome.

Tim Jenkins
Enigmatic and brilliant synopsis, m8, lol: & surely BigB could only agree. And you never even mentioned HQ.Intel. inside.Israel, today & their illegal trespass of WhatsApp, via corporate 'subsidiaries' with 'plausible' denial of liability of spying on everything-everything & any body, that could possibly threaten corporate fascist computerised dictatorship: distributing backdoors, like Promis & Prism, liberally & worldwide, the Maxwells legacy . . . (yet)

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/oct/29/whatsapp-sues-israeli-firm-accusing-it-of-hacking-activists-phones

No need to even discuss, until Western societies ALL get a grip on the depths of depravity that lie within the actions and "The History of the National Security State" you have to admit, that Julian Assange could not have picked a better book to firmly grip and signal with, than GORE Vidal's, when being manhandled out of the Ecuadorian Embassy, by Spooks who would sell their own mother, let alone nation, in their utter technological ignorance and adherence to anachronistic doctrines & mentality !

Glad you mentioned 'good ole' cousin ChuckS.' >>> Lol, just for a laugh and a sense of perspective: yes, he is related to Amy Queen of Vulgarity & hideous societal distraction. What a family of wimps & morons: the 'Schumers' being perfect fodder for ridicule & intelligent humour, naturally . . . on a positive note, mark, think yourself lucky that you are not married to or the father of Amy Schumer's child 🙂

Dungroanin
Catching up Off-G. Excellent.

Larry C Johnson is at the vanguard on the debacle and is miles ahead on it. Check his output at sst. Here is a short speech outlining the conspiracy.
https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2019/10/my-speech-on-the-deep-state-plot-by-larry-c-johnson.html

Two more pieces there – it is moving fast now.

The most important thing for us and deliciously so now the election is happening is the BLOWBACK. Our DS lying murdering arses are going to get new ones drilled by Trump and BoBos bromance exploding in full technicolor.

Think May's dementia tax and Strong and Stable were bad?

Lol. This is going to be a FUN month of early xmases.

Chris Rogers
Dungroanin,

SST is essential reading for anyone concerned with US overseas policy and the corruption of the USA itself in the service of the security state, so, many thanks for posting this link.

Dungroanin
By sharing we disrupt the msm messages. Bernard at MoonofAlabama is also worth a daily visitation – priceless analysis on multiple subjects.
lundiel

Since those days it has been a weak-minded Congress, intimidated and/or compromised Members who have allowed intel to run their own show as if they are immune to the Constitution and the Rule of Law. Since 1947, there has been no functioning Congress willing to provide true accountability or meaningful oversight on the intel community.

Pretty much a carbon copy of our own oversight. We hear even less about our security services than Americans do of theirs. I'd have thought that events like the spy in the holdall, the spies caught by farmers in Libya, the Skripal's, and the whole over-the-top reaction to the domestic terrorism threat and consequent successful pleas for extra funding, the obvious danger of creating terrorists by security services, the policy of giving asylum to foreign terrorists of countries we don't like and the whole concept of the 5 eyes and GCHQ needs more than ministerial oversight, a committee of yes men/women and an intelligence services commissioner.

[Nov 14, 2019] Fake news content seems very close to what a lynch party seeking to get up the never to hang an innocent slave for a criminal act "done by one of their kind" would do.

Oct 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

I am sorry but I c/n remember if was the guy at the far end of the bar down near to the bathroom in the boots, bathing suit, and top hat, or the guy at the seat nearest to the front door, in the grey flannel suit with polished boots, but it was one of them who gave the bar, a few evenings back, much of what it needs to be coherent. It was hierarchy of elements that propagandist use to install and support false narratives in their written and spoken words. It was system of analysis, given to us here at the bar, to establish the gosh awful truth hidden within an intentionally wrong narrative.

That evening I had too much bar juice, so this all I can recall, 8 elements could be applied to the propaganda to diagnose and debunk and discover the false in wrongful, misleading propaganda.. see the following.

1. EN always the propagandist must establish the general narrative God turned the blue sky, red.
2. WR the propagandist must make great wrongs into powerful strong rights.. The devil made him do it.
3. PE profession propagandists cherry pick the facts; include in the narrative only those facts that support the proposition.
The devil was seen talking to God on more than one occasion.
4. IS ignore damning or off point stuff that challenge or defeat the narrative or transform it into a positive
The fact that God had killed the devil two years before is ignored.
5. BV blame the victim.. don't give the victim a chance to speak.. The victim (God) did it..
6. MU make stuff up to support the narrative. A person on Jupitor saw God practising every evening He watched as God turned blue seas red and red seas blue
7. AC Attack all challengers allow no one to intercede in the attack. The Pope said God could not show him that he could turn Blue seas to red, or vice a versa
8. RL Repeat, and repeat and repeat the lie.. until it becomes embedded in the mind of the innocent. We are all tired of hearing this story..

After sobering up and thinking about this list, I realized its content seems very close to what a lynch party seeking to get up the never to hang an innocent slave for a criminal act "done by one of their kind" would do. The party would pretty much go through the 8 things, attempting to convince itself that the slave was guilty, until finally one of the members of the lynching party would swat the horse and the party would watch the victim swing..

We must develop a technology suitable to encoding these things, and to find other such things to add to this debunk the propaganda list of 8 items; so that no one can pass off on us wrongful narrative?

Its ok to be innocently wrong, in fact, we all learn when we discover a wrong, but intentional wrong should be against the rules of the bar.

We should adopt these 8 things and use them in our analysis..

[Nov 14, 2019] Neoliberalism Paved the Way for Authoritarian Right-Wing Populism by Henry A. Giroux

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Neoliberalism became an incubator for a growing authoritarian populism fed largely by economic inequality. ..."
"... This apocalyptic populism was rooted in a profound discontent for the empty promises of a neoliberal ideology that made capitalism and democracy synonymous, and markets the model for all social relations. In addition, the Democratic proponents of neoliberalism, such as Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, participated in the dismantling of the social contract, widening economic inequality, and burgeoning landscapes of joblessness, misery, anger and despair. ..."
"... Liberal democracies across the globe appeared out of touch with not only the misery and suffering caused by neoliberal policies, they also produced an insular and arrogant group of politicians who regarded themselves as an enlightened political formation that worked " on behalf of an ignorant public ." ..."
"... As a regime of affective management, neoliberalism created a culture in which everyone was trapped in his or her own feelings, emotions and orbits of privatization. One consequence was that legitimate political claims could only be pursued by individuals and families rather than social groups. ..."
Sep 26, 2019 | truthout.org

Part of the Series The Public Intellectual

Talk of a looming recession is heating up as the global economy slows and President Trump's tiff with China unsettles financial markets. As world trade contracts, stock markets drop, the manufacturing sector in the United States is in decline for the first time in a decade , and farmers and steel workers continue losing their income and jobs.

Rumors of a coming recession accentuate fears about the further deterioration of conditions faced by workers and the poor, who are already suffering from precarious employment, poverty, lack of meaningful work and dwindling pensions. A global economic slump would make living standards for the poor even worse. As Ashley Smith points out , levels of impoverishment in the United States are already shocking, with "four out of every ten families [struggling] to meet the costs of food, housing, health care, and utilities every month."

Just as the 2008 global economic crisis revealed the failures of liberal democracy and the scourge of neoliberalism, a new economic recession in 2019 could also reveal how institutions meant to serve the public interest and offer support for a progressive politics now serve authoritarian ideologies and a ruling elite that views democracy as the enemy of market-based freedoms and white nationalism.

What has not been learned from the 2008 crisis is that an economic crisis neither unites those most affected in favor of a progressive politics nor does it offer any political guarantees regarding the direction of social change. Instead, the emotions that fueled massive public anger toward elites and globalization gave rise to the celebration of populist demagogues and a right-wing tsunami of misdirected anger, hate and violence toward undocumented immigrants, refugees, Muslims and people of color.

The 2008 financial crisis wreaked havoc in multiple ways. Yet there was another crisis that received little attention: a crisis of agency. This crisis centered around matters of identity, self-determination and collective resistance, which were undermined in profound ways, giving rise to and legitimating the emergence of authoritarian populist movements in many parts of the world, such as United States, Hungary, Poland and Brazil.

At the heart of this shift was the declining belief in the legitimacy of both liberal democracy and its pledges about trickle-down wealth, economic security and broadening equal opportunities preached by the apostles of neoliberalism. In many ways, public faith in the welfare state, quality employment opportunities, institutional possibilities and a secure future for each generation collapsed. In part, this was a consequence of the post-war economic boom giving way to massive degrees of inequality, the off-shoring of wealth and power, the enactment of cruel austerity measures, an expanding regime of precarity, and a cut-throat economic and social environment in which individual interests and needs prevailed over any consideration of the common good. As liberalism aligned itself with corporate and political power, both the Democratic and Republican Parties embraced financial reforms that increased the wealth of the bankers and corporate elite while doing nothing to prevent people from losing their homes, being strapped with chronic debt, seeing their pensions disappear, and facing a future of uncertainty and no long-term prospects or guarantees.

Neoliberalism became an incubator for a growing authoritarian populism fed largely by economic inequality.

In an age of economic anxiety, existential insecurity and a growing culture of fear, liberalism's overheated emphasis on individual liberties "made human beings subordinate to the market, replacing social bonds with market relations and sanctifying greed," as noted by Pankaj Mishra. In this instance, neoliberalism became an incubator for a growing authoritarian populism fed largely by economic inequality. The latter was the outcome of a growing cultural and political polarization that made "it possible for haters to come out from the margins, form larger groups and make political trouble." This toxic polarization and surge of right-wing populism produced by casino capitalism was accentuated with the growth of fascist groups that shared a skepticism of international organizations, supported a militant right-wing nationalism, and championed a surge of anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and anti-democratic values.

This apocalyptic populism was rooted in a profound discontent for the empty promises of a neoliberal ideology that made capitalism and democracy synonymous, and markets the model for all social relations. In addition, the Democratic proponents of neoliberalism, such as Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, participated in the dismantling of the social contract, widening economic inequality, and burgeoning landscapes of joblessness, misery, anger and despair.

At the same time, they enacted policies that dismantled civic culture and undermined a wide range of democratic institutions that extended from the media to public goods such as public and higher education. Under such circumstances, democratic narratives, values and modes of solidarity, which traded in shared responsibilities and shared hopes, were replaced by a market-based focus on a regressive notion of hyper-individualism, ego-centered values and a view of individual responsibility that eviscerated any broader notion of social, systemic, and corporate problems and accountability.

Ways of imagining society through a collective ethos became fractured, and a comprehensive understanding of politics as inclusive and participatory morphed into an anti-politics marked by an investment in the language of individual rights, individual choice and the power of rights-bearing individuals.

Under the reign of neoliberalism, language became thinner and more individualistic, detached from history and more self-oriented, all the while undermining viable democratic social spheres as spaces where politics bring people together as collective agents and critically engaged citizens. Neoliberal language is written in the discourse of economics and market values, not ethics. Under such circumstances, shallowness becomes an asset rather than a liability. Increasingly, the watered-down language of liberal democracy, with its over-emphasis on individual rights and its neoliberal coddling of the financial elite, gave way to a regressive notion of the social marked by rising authoritarian tendencies, unchecked nativism, unapologetic expressions of bigotry, misdirected anger and the language of resentment-filled revolt. Liberal democracies across the globe appeared out of touch with not only the misery and suffering caused by neoliberal policies, they also produced an insular and arrogant group of politicians who regarded themselves as an enlightened political formation that worked " on behalf of an ignorant public ."

The ultimate consequence was to produce later what Wolfgang Merkel describes as "a rebellion of the disenfranchised." A series of political uprisings made it clear that neoliberalism was suffering from a crisis of legitimacy further accentuated by the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, the election of Donald Trump, support for the National Rally ( formerly known as the National Front ) in France, and the emergence of powerful right-wing populist movements across the globe.

What has been vastly underestimated in the rise of right-wing populism is the capture of the media by authoritarian populists.

As a regime of affective management, neoliberalism created a culture in which everyone was trapped in his or her own feelings, emotions and orbits of privatization. One consequence was that legitimate political claims could only be pursued by individuals and families rather than social groups. In this instance, power was removed from the social sphere and placed almost entirely in the hands of corporate and political demagogues who used it to enrich themselves for their own personal gain.

Power was now used to produce muscular authority in order "to secure order, boundaries, and to divert the growing anger of a declining middle and working-class," Wendy Brown observes . Both classes increasingly came to blame their economic and political conditions that produced their misery and ravaged ways of life on "'others': immigrants, minority races, 'external' predators and attackers ranging from terrorists to refugees." Liberal-individualistic views lost their legitimacy as they refused to indict the underlying structures of capitalism and its winner-take-all ethos.

Functioning largely as a ruthless form of social Darwinism, economic activity was removed from a concern with social costs, and replaced by a culture of cruelty and resentment that disdained any notion of compassion or ethical concern for those deemed as "other" because of their class, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religion. This is a culture marked by gigantic hypocrisies, "the gloomy tabulation of unspeakable violent events," widespread viciousness, "great concentrations of wealth," "surveillance overkill," and the "unceasing despoliation of biospheres for profit."

George Monbiot sums up well some of the more toxic elements of neoliberalism, which remained largely hidden since it was in the mainstream press less as an ideology than as an economic policy. He writes :

Neoliberalism sees competition as the defining characteristic of human relations. It redefines citizens as consumers, whose democratic choices are best exercised by buying and selling, a process that rewards merit and punishes inefficiency. It maintains that "the market" delivers benefits that could never be achieved by planning. Attempts to limit competition are treated as inimical to liberty. Tax and regulation should be minimized, public services should be privatized. The organization of labor and collective bargaining by trade unions are portrayed as market distortions that impede the formation of a natural hierarchy of winners and losers. Inequality is recast as virtuous: a reward for utility and a generator of wealth, which trickles down to enrich everyone. Efforts to create a more equal society are both counterproductive and morally corrosive. The market ensures that everyone gets what they deserve.

In the neoliberal worldview, those who are unemployed, poor consumers or outside of the reach of a market in search of insatiable profits are considered disposable. Increasingly more people were viewed as anti-human, unknowable, faceless and symbols of fear and pathology. This included undocumented immigrants in the United States and refugees in Europe, as well as those who were considered of no value to a market society, and thus eligible to be deprived of the most basic rights and subject to the terror of state violence.

Marking selected groups as disposable in both symbolic and material forms, the neoliberal politics of disposability became a machinery of political and social death -- producing spaces where undesirable members are abused, put in cages , separated from their children and subject to a massive violation of their human rights. Under a neoliberal politics of disposability, people live in spaces of ever-present danger and risk where nothing is certain; human beings considered excess are denied a social function and relegated to what Étienne Balibar calls the "death zones of humanity." These are the 21st century workstations designed for the creation and process of elimination; a death-haunted mode of production rooted in the "absolute triumph of irrationality."

Economic and cultural nationalism has become a rallying cry to create the conditions for merging a regressive neoliberalism and populism into a war machine.

Within this new political formation, older forms of exploitation are now matched, if not exceeded, by a politics of racial and social cleansing, as entire populations are removed from ethical assessments, producing zones of social abandonment. In this new world, there is a merging of finance capital and a war culture that speaks to a moral and political collapse in which the welfare state is replaced by forms of economic nationalism and a burgeoning carceral state .

Furthermore, elements of this crisis can be seen in the ongoing militarization of everyday life as more and more institutions take on the model of the prison. Additionally, there is also the increased arming of the police, the criminalization of a wide range of behaviors related to social problems, the rise of the surveillance state, and the ongoing war on youth, undocumented immigrants, Muslims and others deemed enemies of the state.

Under the aegis of a neoliberal war culture, we have witnessed increasing immiseration for the working and middle classes, massive tax cuts for the rich, the outsourcing of public services, a full-fledged attack on unions, the defunding of public goods, and the privatization of public services extending from health and education to roads and prisons. This ongoing transfer of public resources and services to the rich, hedge fund managers, and corporate elite was matched by the corporate takeover of the commanding institutions of culture, including the digital, print and broadcast media. What has been vastly underestimated in the rise of right-wing populism is the capture of the media by authoritarian populists and its flip side, which amounts to a full-fledged political attack on independent digital, online and oppositional journalists.

While it is generally acknowledged that neoliberalism was responsible for the worldwide economic crisis of 2008, what is less acknowledged is that structural crisis produced by a capitalism on steroids was not matched by subjective crisis and consequently gave rise to new reactionary political populist movements. As economic collapse became visceral, people's lives were upended and sometimes destroyed. Moreover, as the social contract was shredded along with the need for socially constructed roles, norms and public goods, the "social" no longer occupied a thick and important pedagogical space of solidarity, dialogue, political expression, dissent and politics.

As public spheres disappeared, communal bonds were weakened and social provisions withered. Under neoliberalism, the social sphere regresses into a privatized society of consumers in which individuals are atomized, alienated, and increasingly removed from the variety of social connections and communal bonds that give meaning to the degree to which societies are good and just.

Establishment politics lost its legitimacy, as voters rejected the conditions produced by financialized capitalism.

People became isolated, segregated and unable " to negotiate democratic dilemmas in a democratic way " as power became more abstract and removed from public participation and accountability. As the neoliberal net of privilege was cast wider without apology for the rich and exclusion of others, it became more obvious to growing elements of the public that appeals to liberal democracy had failed to keep its promise of a better life for all. It could no longer demand, without qualification, that working people should work harder for less, and that democratic participation is exclusively about elections. What could not be hidden from many disenfranchised groups was that ruling elites produced what Adam Tooze describes as "a disastrous slide from the hypocrisies and compromises of the previous status quo into something even [more dangerous]."

As the global crisis has intensified since 2008, elements of a political and moral collapse at the heart of an authoritarian society are more obvious and find their most transparent expression of ruthlessness, greed and unchecked power in the rule of Donald Trump. As Chris Hedges points out :

The ruling corporate elites no longer seek to build. They seek to destroy. They are agents of death. They crave the unimpeded power to cannibalize the country and pollute and degrade the ecosystem to feed an insatiable lust for wealth, power and hedonism. Wars and military "virtues" are celebrated. Intelligence, empathy and the common good are banished. Culture is degraded to patriotic kitsch . Those branded as unproductive or redundant are discarded and left to struggle in poverty or locked away in cages.

The slide into authoritarianism was made all the easier by the absence of a broad-based left mass movement in the United States, which failed to provide both a comprehensive vision of change and an alignment of single-issue groups and smaller movements into one mass movement. Nancy Fraser rightly observes that following Occupy, "potential links between labour and new social movements were left to languish. Split off from one another, those indispensable poles of a viable left were miles apart, waiting to be counterposed as antithetical."

Since the 1970s, there has been a profound backlash by economic, financial, political and religious fundamentalists and their allied media establishments against labor, an oppositional press, people of color and others who have attempted to extend the workings of democracy and equality.

As the narrative of class and class struggle disappeared along with the absence of a vibrant socialist movement, the call for democracy no longer provided a unifying narrative to bring different oppressed groups together. Instead, economic and cultural nationalism has become a rallying cry to create the conditions for merging a regressive neoliberalism and populism into a war machine. Under such circumstances, politics is imagined as a form of war, repelling immigrants and refugees who are described by President Trump as "invaders," "vermin" and "rapists." The emergence of neoliberalism as a war machine is evident in the current status of the Republican Party and the Trump administration, which wage assaults on anything that does not mimic the values of the market. Such assaults take the form of fixing whole categories of people as disposable, as enemies, and force them into conditions of extreme precarity -- and in increasingly more instances, conditions of danger. Neoliberal capitalism radiates violence, evident in its endless instances of mass shooting, such as those that took place most recently in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. This should not be surprising for a society that measures power by the speed that it removes itself from any sense of ethical and social responsibility. As Beatrix Campbell puts it ,

The richest society on the planet is armed. And it invests in one of the largest prison systems in the world. Violence circulates between state and citizen. Drilled to kill, doomed to die: mastery and martyrdom is the heartbreaking dialectic of the manufacture of militarized, violent masculinity . The making and maintaining of militarised masculinities is vital to these new modes of armed conflict that are proliferating across the flexible frontiers of globalized capitalism, between and within states.

What has become clear is that the neoliberal agenda has been a spectacular failure . Moreover, it has mobilized on a global level the violent political, social, racial and economic energies of a resurgent fascist politics. Across the globe, right-wing modes of governance are appearing in which the line collapses between "outside foreign enemies" such as refugees and undocumented immigrants, on the one hand, and on the other, inside "dangerous" or "treasonous" classes such as critical journalists, educators and dissidents.

As neoliberal economies increasingly resort to violence and repression, fear replaces any sense of shared responsibilities, as violence is not only elevated to an organizing principle of society, but also expands a network of extreme cruelty. Imagining politics as a war machine, more and more groups are treated as excess and inscribed in an order of power as disposable, enemies, and [forced] into conditions of extreme precarity. This is a particularly vicious form of state violence that undermines and constrains agency, and subjects individuals to zones of abandonment, as evident in the growth of immigrant jails and an expanding carceral complex in the United States and other countries, such as Hungary.

As neoliberalism's promise of social mobility and expanding economic progress collapsed, it gave way to an authoritarian right-wing populism looking for narratives on which to pin the hatred of governing elites who, as Paul Mason notes , "capped health and welfare spending, [imposed] punitive benefit withdraws [that] forced many families to rely on food banks [and] withdraw sickness and disability benefits from one million former workers below retirement age."

Across the globe, a series of uprisings have appeared that signal new political formations that rejected the notion that there was no alternative to neoliberal hegemony. This was evident not only with the election of Donald Trump and the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, but also with the election of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil and support for popular movements such as the National Rally in France. Establishment politics lost its legitimacy, as voters rejected the conditions produced by financialized capitalism.

In the United States, both major political parties were more than willing to turn the economy over to the bankers and hedge fund managers while producing policies that shaped radical forms of industrial and social restructuring, all of which caused massive pain, suffering and rage among large segments of the working class and other disenfranchised groups. Right-wing populist leaders across the globe recognized that national economies were in the hands of foreign investors, a mobile financial elite and transnational capital. In a masterful act of political diversion, populist leaders attacked all vestiges of liberal capitalism while refusing to name neoliberal inequities in wealth and power as a basic threat to their societies. Instead of calling for an acceleration of the democratic ideals of popular sovereignty and equality, right-wing populist leaders, such as Trump, Bolsonaro and Hungary's Viktor Orbán defined democracy as the enemy of those who wish for unaccountable power. They also diverted genuine popular anger into the abyss of cultural chauvinism, anti-immigrant hatred, a contempt of Muslims and a targeted attack on the environment, health care, education, public institutions, social provisions and other basic life resources. As Arjun Appadurai observes , such authoritarian leaders hate democracy, capture the political emotions of those treated as disposable, and do everything they can to hide the deep contradictions of neoliberal capitalism.

In this scenario, we have the resurgence of a fascist politics that capitalizes on the immiseration, fears and anxieties produced by neoliberalism without naming the underlying conditions that create and legitimate its policies and social costs. While such populists comment on certain elements of neoliberalism such as globalization, they largely embrace those ideological and economic elements that concentrate power and wealth in the hands of a political, corporate and financial elite, thus reinforcing in the end an extreme form of capitalism. Moreover, right-wing populists may condemn globalization, but they do so by blaming those considered outside the inclusive boundaries of a white homeland even though the same forces victimize them . At the same time, such leaders mobilize passions that deny critical understanding while simultaneously creating desires and affects that produce toxic and hypermasculine forms of identification.

Authoritarian leaders hate democracy and do everything they can to hide the deep contradictions of neoliberal capitalism.

In this instance, an oppressive form of education becomes central to politics and is used as a tool of power in the struggle over power, agency and politics. What is at stake here is not simply a struggle between authoritarian ideas and democratic ideals, but also a fierce battle on the part of demagogues to destroy the institutions and conditions that make critical thought and oppositional accounts of power possible. This is evident, for example, in Trump's constant attack on the critical media, often referring to them as "'the enemy of the people' pushing 'Radical Left Democrat views,'" even as journalists are subject to expulsion, mass jailing and assassination across the world by some of Trump's allies.

Waging war on democracy and the institutions that produce it, neoliberalism has tapped into a combination of fear and cathartic cruelty that has once again unleashed the mobilizing passions of fascism, especially the historically distinct registers of extreme nationalism, nativism, white supremacy, racial and ethnic cleansing, voter suppression, and an attack on a civic culture of critique and resistance. The result is a new political formation that I have called neoliberal fascism, in which the principles and practices of a fascist past and neoliberal present have merged, connecting the worst dimensions and excesses of gangster capitalism with the fascist ideals of white nationalism and racial supremacy associated with the horrors of a fascist past.

Neoliberal fascism hollows out democracy from within, breaks down the separation of power while increasing the power of the presidency, and saturates cultural and social life with its ideology of self-interest, a survival-of-the-fittest ethos, and regressive notions of freedom and individual responsibility.

What needs to be acknowledged is that neoliberalism as an extreme form of capitalism has produced the conditions for a fascist politics that is updated to serve the interest of a concentrated class of financial elite and a rising tide of political demagogues across the globe.

The mass anger fueling neoliberal fascism is a diversion of genuine resistance into what amounts to a pathology, which empties politics of any substance. This is evident also in its support of a right-wing populism and its focus on the immigrants and refugees as "dangerous outsiders," which serves to eliminate class politics and camouflage its own authoritarian ruling class interests and relentless attacks on social welfare.

A new economic slump would further fuel forces of repression and strengthen the forces of white supremacy.

In the face of a looming global recession, it is crucial to understand the connection between the rise of right-wing populism and neoliberalism, which emerged in the late 1970s as a commanding ideology fueling a punitive form of globalization. This historical moment is marked by unique ideological, economic and political formations produced by ever-increasing brutal forms of capitalism, however diverse.

Governing economic and political thinking everywhere, neoliberalism's unprecedented concentration of economic and political power has produced a toxic state modeled after the models of finance and unchecked market forces. It has also produced a profound shift in human consciousness, agency and modes of identification. The consequences have become familiar and include cruel austerity measures, adulation of self-regulating markets, the liberating of capital from any constraints, deregulation, privatization of public goods, the commodification of everyday life and the gutting of environmental, health and safety laws. It has also paved the way for a merging of extreme market principles and the sordid and mushrooming elements of white supremacy, racial cleansing and ultranationalism that have become specific to updated forms of fascist politics.

Such policies have produced massive inequities in wealth, power and income, while further accelerating mass misery, human suffering, the rise of state-sanctioned violence and ever-expanding sites of terminal exclusion in the forms of walls, detention centers and an expanding carceral state. An impending recession accentuates the antagonisms, instabilities and crisis produced by the long history and reach of neoliberal ideologies and policies.

A new economic slump would further fuel forces of repression and strengthen the forces of white supremacy, Islamophobia, nativism and misogyny. In the face of such reactionary forces, it is crucial to unite various progressive forces of opposition into a powerful anti-capitalist movement that speaks not only to the range of oppressions exacerbated by neoliberalism, but also to the need for new narratives that speak to overturning a system steeped in the machineries of war, militarization, repression and death.

Henry A. Giroux currently holds the McMaster University Chair for Scholarship in the Public Interest in the English and Cultural Studies Department and is the Paulo Freire Distinguished Scholar in Critical Pedagogy. His most recent books include: Neoliberalism's War on Higher Education (Haymarket 2014), The Violence of Organized Forgetting (City Lights 2014), Dangerous Thinking in the Age of the New Authoritarianism (Routledge, 2015), America's Addiction to Terrorism (Monthly Review Press, 2016), America at War with Itself (City Lights, 2017), The Public in Peril (Routledge, 2018) and American Nightmare: Facing the Challenge of Fascism (City Lights, 2018) and The Terror of the Unforeseen (LARB Books, 2019). Giroux is also a member of Truthout 's Board of Directors.

[Nov 13, 2019] CIA emerged as a Political Party

Notable quotes:
"... this impeachment isn't directed at Trump at all, it's about undermining the rising left-wing opposition in the Democratic party. They are plausibly on the verge of seizing the party agenda away from the neo-liberal consensus of the Clinton-Obama decades -- with issues like universal public health-care and equitable taxes. They've even found ways to fund campaigns without bowing to the corporate gods. ..."
"... Political parties are nothing more than gangs. To me, the Dems are like the Gambinos and the Repoops are like the Genovese. And they hate it when someone from outside their domain comes and disrupt their racket, when things are going smooth. ..."
"... To me Trump is like the mobster Joe Gallo, killed at Umberto's clam house in NYC. Gallo was a big shot, talked loud and fast, and wanted to start his own racket. And the other crime families would not let him do that. So they whacked him. The same thing both Dems and Repoops are trying to do with Trump. And yes Repoops don't like Trump, as in the latest from Drudge, that the Repoops are split when it comes to impeachment. ..."
"... Apropòs the articles about the 'deep state' meddling in US domestic politics, here's an oldie but a goodie from the World Socialist Web Site: The CIA Democrats . ..."
"... "The Mueller investigation has thus ultimately ended up prosecuting people for telling the same pack of lies that Mueller himself was pushing. The Clinton media, including CNN, the Washington Post and New York Times, are baffled by this. They follow the Stone trial assiduously from delight in seeing a long term Trump hanger-on brought down, and in the hope something will come out about Wikileaks or Russia. Their reporting, as that of the BBC, has been deliberately vague on why Stone is being charged, contriving to leave their audience with the impression that Stone's trial proves Trump connections to Wikileaks and Russia, when in fact it proves the precise opposite. A fact you will never learn from the mainstream media. Which is why I am doing this at 2am on a very cold Edinburgh night, for the small but vital audience which is interested in the truth." ..."
"... Of course, it stretches back to both parties, but that's what it is about - not high crimes and misdemeanors, but who lost the Ukraine - plus S, L, Y, and above all I & A!!! Gosh, we might get the entire alphabet included; ahoy all boats! ..."
"... Let me briefly sketch out an alternative narrative that more accurately captures our present predicament. Since the end of World War II, successive administrations have sought to devise a formula for assuring American consumers access to Persian Gulf oil while also satisfying pressing domestic political interests. Over a period of decades, that effort succeeded chiefly in giving birth to new problems. Out of these multiplying difficulties came the 9/11 attacks and their immediate sequel, a "war on terrorism" meant to settle matters once and for all. ..."
"... To state the matter bluntly, 9/11 was an expression of chickens coming home to roost, a massive strategic failure that the ensuing military campaigns beginning in 2001 and continuing to the present moment have affirmed. Given the dimensions of that failure, the likelihood of resuscitating X's illusory Pax is essentially zero. ..."
"... The very fact Bloomberg had to enter the Democratic Party presidential race is the definite proof Biden's corruption and involvement on the destruction of Ukraine is so overwhelming and difficult to hide that it will eventually be impossible to cover it with the NYT and WaPo power alone should he be chosen as the nominee. ..."
Nov 10, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Bemildred , Nov 10 2019 15:41 utc | 1

I am amazed how the Impeachment Circus and the mainstream media continue to ignore the facts of this story:

Joe Biden has been a favorite target for Trump-allied lawmakers. Many have adopted Trump's unsubstantiated assertion that Biden pushed for the ouster of a Ukrainian prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, because he was investigating Burisma.

Other people get it:

The CIA is emerging as a domestic political party.
...
Brennan put a friendly finger on my chest. "The CIA is not involved in domestic politics," he said. "Period. That's on the record."

This he asserted confidently, at an event where he had just spoken about about influence campaigns on swing voters and implied that Hillary Clinton might be right in calling U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard a Russian asset. Even seasoned analysts, it seems, have their blind spots.

Motivation to impeach Trump is about control of Democratic Party - Rick Salutin, The Star

What shifted [House Speaker Nancy Pelosi] now? I'd say the answer is: this impeachment isn't directed at Trump at all, it's about undermining the rising left-wing opposition in the Democratic party. They are plausibly on the verge of seizing the party agenda away from the neo-liberal consensus of the Clinton-Obama decades -- with issues like universal public health-care and equitable taxes. They've even found ways to fund campaigns without bowing to the corporate gods.
I agree with Mr. Salutin, the impeachment is not about impeachment, although if impeachment results, I'm sure they will take it. And I agree it's about protecting the current Democratic Part "elites", both from scandal (Joe Biden, Clinton) and from the challenge on the left. A risky and desperate move .

I tend to think it was Trump going after the Ukraine cesspit that precipitated the impeachment, but other motives seem relevant. I have thought since Obama went all in with Russiagate that the current Dem leadership does not feel it can afford to relinquish control.


Walter , Nov 10 2019 15:54 utc | 2

@ "ince Obama went all in with Russiagate that the current Dem leadership does not feel it can afford to relinquish control."

How about that...geewhiz, one does speculate as to what crimes they fear might become known and public?

Everybody Knows...Brother Leonard Cohen... this they fear.

It's a mighty force. To the mat.

Jose Garcia , Nov 10 2019 16:59 utc | 4
Political parties are nothing more than gangs. To me, the Dems are like the Gambinos and the Repoops are like the Genovese. And they hate it when someone from outside their domain comes and disrupt their racket, when things are going smooth.

To me Trump is like the mobster Joe Gallo, killed at Umberto's clam house in NYC. Gallo was a big shot, talked loud and fast, and wanted to start his own racket. And the other crime families would not let him do that. So they whacked him. The same thing both Dems and Repoops are trying to do with Trump. And yes Repoops don't like Trump, as in the latest from Drudge, that the Repoops are split when it comes to impeachment.

pnyx , Nov 10 2019 17:58 utc | 10
Biden / Ukraine: Others begin to get it: 'Further scratches become visible on the picture of the Bidens in the Ukraine affair' (original in German: 'Am Bild der Bidens in der Ukraine-Affäre werden weitere Kratzer sichtbar' nzz 9.11.19, nzz.ch/international/ukraine-affaere-rolle-der-biden-familie-undurchsichtig-ld.1520759)
Seamus Padraig , Nov 10 2019 18:23 utc | 12
Apropòs the articles about the 'deep state' meddling in US domestic politics, here's an oldie but a goodie from the World Socialist Web Site: The CIA Democrats .
karlof1 , Nov 10 2019 18:24 utc | 13
Craig Murray has an exclusive interview with Randy Credico he prefaces with these remarks:

"The Mueller investigation has thus ultimately ended up prosecuting people for telling the same pack of lies that Mueller himself was pushing. The Clinton media, including CNN, the Washington Post and New York Times, are baffled by this. They follow the Stone trial assiduously from delight in seeing a long term Trump hanger-on brought down, and in the hope something will come out about Wikileaks or Russia. Their reporting, as that of the BBC, has been deliberately vague on why Stone is being charged, contriving to leave their audience with the impression that Stone's trial proves Trump connections to Wikileaks and Russia, when in fact it proves the precise opposite. A fact you will never learn from the mainstream media. Which is why I am doing this at 2am on a very cold Edinburgh night, for the small but vital audience which is interested in the truth."

That would include MoA barflies since we crave Truth. Murray has a bit more to say prior to the excerpt I provide, which I suggest be read, too.

juliania , Nov 10 2019 19:13 utc | 18
What a feast of links! I've only just started, with b's Daniel Lazare piece at Stretegic Culture.org - well done!

" ...This is what impeachment is about, not high crimes and misdemeanors, but who lost the Ukraine – plus Syria, Libya, Yemen, and other countries that the Obama administration succeeded in destroying – and why Trump should pay the supreme penalty for suggesting that Democrats are in any way to blame..."

Of course, it stretches back to both parties, but that's what it is about - not high crimes and misdemeanors, but who lost the Ukraine - plus S, L, Y, and above all I & A!!! Gosh, we might get the entire alphabet included; ahoy all boats!

chop stick , Nov 10 2019 19:17 utc | 19
Impeachment is about controlling where the attention is focused. When things get to close to home Pelosi says look over here at the orange head, look over there at the border but whatever you do, do not look over https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1KfU5ifhqE ">here.
b , Nov 11 2019 14:20 utc | 114
@pnyx - Thanks for linking the NZZ piece

"Biden / Ukraine: Others begin to get it: 'Further scratches become visible on the picture of the Bidens in the Ukraine affair' (original in German: 'Am Bild der Bidens in der Ukraine-Affäre werden weitere Kratzer sichtbar' nzz 9.11.19, nzz.ch/international/ukraine-affaere-rolle-der-biden-familie-undurchsichtig-ld.1520759)"

Funny it is mostly a recap of my findings of Biden in Ukraine. The piece links to William Bowles ( https://williambowles.info/2019/10/08/when-ukraines-prosecutor-came-after-his-sons-sponsor-joe-biden-sprang-into-action/) and attributes that the findings to him.

But it is not Bowles but a copy my piece here ( https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/10/biden-timeline.html).

So the Neue Züricher Zeitung, the most prestige Swiss outlet, is practically quoting MoA.

I am honored.

Bemildred , Nov 11 2019 14:35 utc | 115
Andrew J. Bacevich weighs in on US foreign policy:
Let me briefly sketch out an alternative narrative that more accurately captures our present predicament. Since the end of World War II, successive administrations have sought to devise a formula for assuring American consumers access to Persian Gulf oil while also satisfying pressing domestic political interests. Over a period of decades, that effort succeeded chiefly in giving birth to new problems. Out of these multiplying difficulties came the 9/11 attacks and their immediate sequel, a "war on terrorism" meant to settle matters once and for all.

To state the matter bluntly, 9/11 was an expression of chickens coming home to roost, a massive strategic failure that the ensuing military campaigns beginning in 2001 and continuing to the present moment have affirmed. Given the dimensions of that failure, the likelihood of resuscitating X's illusory Pax is essentially zero.

There is no going back to an imagined Golden Age of American statecraft in the Middle East. The imperative is to go forward, which requires acknowledging how wrongheaded U.S. policy in region has been ever since FDR had his famous tete-a-tete with King Ibn Saud and Harry Truman rushed to recognize the newborn State of Israel.t

So succinct.

The Blob: Still Chasing After Pax Americana

vk , Nov 11 2019 14:41 utc | 116
@ Posted by: b | Nov 11 2019 14:20 utc | 114

The very fact Bloomberg had to enter the Democratic Party presidential race is the definite proof Biden's corruption and involvement on the destruction of Ukraine is so overwhelming and difficult to hide that it will eventually be impossible to cover it with the NYT and WaPo power alone should he be chosen as the nominee.

[Nov 07, 2019] Rigged Again Dems, Russia, The Delegitimization Of America s Democratic Process by Elizabeth Vos

Highly recommended!
Images removed.
Notable quotes:
"... The Clinton camp was hardly absent from social media during the 2016 race. The barely-legal activities of Clintonite David Brock were previously reported by this author to have included $2 million in funding for the creation of an online " troll army " under the name Shareblue. The LA Times described the project as meant to "to appear to be coming organically from people and their social media networks in a groundswell of activism, when in fact it is highly paid and highly tactical." In other words, the effort attempted to create a false sense of consensus in support for the Clinton campaign. ..."
"... In terms of interference in the actual election process, the New York City Board of Elections was shown to have purged over one hundred thousand Democratic voters in Brooklyn from the rolls before the 2016 primary, a move that the Department of Justice found broke federal law . Despite this, no prosecution for the breach was ever attempted. ..."
"... In 2017, the Observer reported that the DNC's defense counsel argued against claims that the party defrauded Sanders' supporters by favoring Clinton, reasoning that Sanders' supporters knew the process was rigged. Again: instead of arguing that the primary was neutral and unbiased in accordance with its charter, the DNC's lawyers argued that it was the party's right to select candidates. ..."
"... The DNC defense counsel's argument throughout the course of the DNC fraud lawsuit doubled down repeatedly in defense of the party's right to favor one candidate over another, at one point actually claiming that such favoritism was protected by the First Amendment . ..."
"... The DNC's shameless defense of its own rigging disemboweled the most fundamental organs of the U.S. body politic. This no indication that the DNC will not resort to the same tactics in the 2020 primary race, ..."
"... f Debbie Wasserman Schultz's role as disgraced chairwoman of the DNC and her forced 2016 resignation wasn't enough, serious interference was also alleged in the wake of two contests between Wasserman Schultz and professor Tim Canova in Florida's 23rd congressional district. Canova and Wasserman Schultz first faced off in a 2016 Democratic primary race, followed by a 2018 general congressional election in which Canova ran as an independent. ..."
"... Debacles followed both contests, including improper vote counts, illegal ballot destruction , improper transportation of ballots, and generally shameless displays of cronyism. After the controversial results of the initial primary race against Wasserman Schultz, Canova sought to have ballots checked for irregularities, as the Sun-Sentinel reported at the time: ..."
"... Ultimately, Canova was granted a summary judgment against Snipes, finding that she had committed what amounted to multiple felonies. Nonetheless, Snipes was not prosecuted and remained elections supervisor through to the 2018 midterms. ..."
"... Hillary Clinton's recent comments to the effect that Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is being "groomed" by Russia, and that the former Green Party Presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein is a "Russian asset", were soon echoed by DNC-friendly pundits. These sentiments externalize what Gabbard called the "rot" in the Democratic party outward onto domestic critics and a nation across the planet. ..."
"... Newsweek provided a particularly glaring example of this phenomenon in a recent op-ed penned by columnist Naveed Jamali, a former FBI double agent whose book capitalizes on Russiagate. In an op-ed titled: " Hillary Clinton Is Right. Tulsi Gabbard Is A Perfect Russian Asset – And Would Be A Perfect Republican Agent," ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Elizabeth Vos via ConsortiumNews.com,

Establishment Democrats and those who amplify them continue to project blame for the public's doubt in the U.S. election process onto outside influence, despite the clear history of the party's subversion of election integrity. The total inability of the Democratic Party establishment's willingness to address even one of these critical failures does not give reason to hope that the nomination process in 2020 will be any less pre-ordained.

The Democratic Party's bias against Sen. Bernie Sanders during the 2016 presidential nomination, followed by the DNC defense counsel doubling down on its right to rig the race during the fraud lawsuit brought against the DNC , as well as the irregularities in the races between former DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Tim Canova, indicate a fatal breakdown of the U.S. democratic process spearheaded by the Democratic Party establishment. Influences transcending the DNC add to concerns regarding the integrity of the democratic process that have nothing to do with Russia, but which will also likely impact outcomes in 2020.

The content of the DNC and Podesta emails published by WikiLeaks demonstrated that the DNC acted in favor of Hillary Clinton in the lead up to the 2016 Democratic primary. The emails also revealed corporate media reporters acting as surrogates of the DNC and its pro-Clinton agenda, going so far as to promote Donald Trump during the GOP primary process as a preferred " pied-piper candidate ." One cannot assume that similar evidence will be presented to the public in 2020, making it more important than ever to take stock of the unique lessons handed down to us by the 2016 race.

Social Media Meddling

Election meddling via social media did take place in 2016, though in a different guise and for a different cause from that which are best remembered. Twitter would eventually admit to actively suppressing hashtags referencing the DNC and Podesta emails in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. Additional reports indicated that tech giant Google also showed measurable "pro-Hillary Clinton bias" in search results during 2016, resulting in the alleged swaying of between 2 and 10 millions voters in favor of Clinton.

On the Republican side, a recent episode of CNLive! featured discussion of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which undecided voters were micro-targeted with tailored advertising narrowed with the combined use of big data and artificial intelligence known collectively as "dark strategy." CNLive! Executive Producer Cathy Vogan noted that SCL, Cambridge Analytica's parent company, provides data, analytics and strategy to governments and military organizations "worldwide," specializing in behavior modification. Though Cambridge Analytica shut down in 2018, related companies remain.

The Clinton camp was hardly absent from social media during the 2016 race. The barely-legal activities of Clintonite David Brock were previously reported by this author to have included $2 million in funding for the creation of an online " troll army " under the name Shareblue. The LA Times described the project as meant to "to appear to be coming organically from people and their social media networks in a groundswell of activism, when in fact it is highly paid and highly tactical." In other words, the effort attempted to create a false sense of consensus in support for the Clinton campaign.

In terms of interference in the actual election process, the New York City Board of Elections was shown to have purged over one hundred thousand Democratic voters in Brooklyn from the rolls before the 2016 primary, a move that the Department of Justice found broke federal law . Despite this, no prosecution for the breach was ever attempted.

Though the purge was not explicitly found to have benefitted Clinton, the admission falls in line with allegations across the country that the Democratic primary was interfered with to the benefit of the former secretary of state. These claims were further bolstered by reports indicating that voting results from the 2016 Democratic primary showed evidence of fraud.

DNC Fraud Lawsuit

The proceedings of the DNC fraud lawsuit provide the most damning evidence of the failure of the U.S. election process, especially within the Democratic Party. DNC defense lawyers argued in open court for the party's right to appoint candidates at its own discretion, while simultaneously denying any "fiduciary duty" to represent the voters who donated to the Democratic Party under the impression that the DNC would act impartially towards the candidates involved.

In 2017, the Observer reported that the DNC's defense counsel argued against claims that the party defrauded Sanders' supporters by favoring Clinton, reasoning that Sanders' supporters knew the process was rigged. Again: instead of arguing that the primary was neutral and unbiased in accordance with its charter, the DNC's lawyers argued that it was the party's right to select candidates.

The Observer noted the sentiments of Jared Beck, the attorney representing the plaintiffs of the lawsuit:

"People paid money in reliance on the understanding that the primary elections for the Democratic nominee -- nominating process in 2016 were fair and impartial, and that's not just a bedrock assumption that we would assume just by virtue of the fact that we live in a democracy, and we assume that our elections are run in a fair and impartial manner. But that's what the Democratic National Committee's own charter says. It says it in black and white."

The DNC defense counsel's argument throughout the course of the DNC fraud lawsuit doubled down repeatedly in defense of the party's right to favor one candidate over another, at one point actually claiming that such favoritism was protected by the First Amendment . The DNC's lawyers wrote:

"To recognize any of the causes of action that Plaintiffs allege would run directly contrary to long-standing Supreme Court precedent recognizing the central and critical First Amendment rights enjoyed by political parties, especially when it comes to selecting the party's nominee for public office ." [Emphasis added]

The DNC's shameless defense of its own rigging disemboweled the most fundamental organs of the U.S. body politic. This no indication that the DNC will not resort to the same tactics in the 2020 primary race,

Tim Canova's Allegations

If Debbie Wasserman Schultz's role as disgraced chairwoman of the DNC and her forced 2016 resignation wasn't enough, serious interference was also alleged in the wake of two contests between Wasserman Schultz and professor Tim Canova in Florida's 23rd congressional district. Canova and Wasserman Schultz first faced off in a 2016 Democratic primary race, followed by a 2018 general congressional election in which Canova ran as an independent.

Debacles followed both contests, including improper vote counts, illegal ballot destruction , improper transportation of ballots, and generally shameless displays of cronyism. After the controversial results of the initial primary race against Wasserman Schultz, Canova sought to have ballots checked for irregularities, as the Sun-Sentinel reported at the time:

"[Canova] sought to look at the paper ballots in March 2017 and took Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes to court three months later when her office hadn't fulfilled his request. Snipes approved the destruction of the ballots in September, signing a certification that said no court cases involving the ballots were pending."

Ultimately, Canova was granted a summary judgment against Snipes, finding that she had committed what amounted to multiple felonies. Nonetheless, Snipes was not prosecuted and remained elections supervisor through to the 2018 midterms.

Republicans appear no more motivated to protect voting integrity than the Democrats, with The Nation reporting that the GOP-controlled Senate blocked a bill this week that would have "mandated paper-ballot backups in case of election machine malfunctions."

Study of Corporate Power

A 2014 study published by Princeton University found that corporate power had usurped the voting rights of the public: "Economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence."

In reviewing this sordid history, we see that the Democratic Party establishment has done everything in its power to disrespect voters and outright overrule them in the democratic primary process, defending their right to do so in the DNC fraud lawsuit. We've noted that interests transcending the DNC also represent escalating threats to election integrity as demonstrated in 2016.

Despite this, establishment Democrats and those who echo their views in the legacy press continue to deflect from their own wrongdoing and real threats to the election process by suggesting that mere discussion of it represents a campaign by Russia to attempt to malign the perception of the legitimacy of the U.S. democratic process.

Hillary Clinton's recent comments to the effect that Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is being "groomed" by Russia, and that the former Green Party Presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein is a "Russian asset", were soon echoed by DNC-friendly pundits. These sentiments externalize what Gabbard called the "rot" in the Democratic party outward onto domestic critics and a nation across the planet.

Newsweek provided a particularly glaring example of this phenomenon in a recent op-ed penned by columnist Naveed Jamali, a former FBI double agent whose book capitalizes on Russiagate. In an op-ed titled: " Hillary Clinton Is Right. Tulsi Gabbard Is A Perfect Russian Asset – And Would Be A Perfect Republican Agent," Jamali argued :

"Moscow will use its skillful propaganda machine to prop up Gabbard and use her as a tool to delegitimize the democratic process. " [Emphasis added]

Jamali surmises that Russia intends to "attack" our democracy by undermining the domestic perception of its legitimacy. This thesis is repeated later in the piece when Jamali opines : "They want to see a retreat of American influence. What better way to accomplish that than to attack our democracy by casting doubt on the legitimacy of our elections." [Emphasis added]

The only thing worth protecting, according to Jamali and those who amplify his work (including former Clinton aide and establishment Democrat Neera Tanden), is the perception of the democratic process, not the actual functioning vitality of it. Such deflective tactics ensure that Russia will continue to be used as a convenient international pretext for silencing domestic dissent as we move into 2020.

Given all this, how can one expect the outcome of a 2020 Democratic Primary -- or even the general election – to be any fairer or transparent than 2016?

* * *

Elizabeth Vos is a freelance reporter, co-host of CN Live! and regular contributor to Consortium News. If you value this original article, please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one.

[Nov 07, 2019] Rigged Again Dems, Russia, The Delegitimization Of America s Democratic Process by Elizabeth Vos

Images removed.
Notable quotes:
"... In 2017, the Observer reported that the DNC's defense counsel argued against claims that the party defrauded Sanders' supporters by favoring Clinton, reasoning that Sanders' supporters knew the process was rigged. Again: instead of arguing that the primary was neutral and unbiased in accordance with its charter, the DNC's lawyers argued that it was the party's right to select candidates. ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Elizabeth Vos via ConsortiumNews.com,

Establishment Democrats and those who amplify them continue to project blame for the public's doubt in the U.S. election process onto outside influence, despite the clear history of the party's subversion of election integrity. The total inability of the Democratic Party establishment's willingness to address even one of these critical failures does not give reason to hope that the nomination process in 2020 will be any less pre-ordained.

The Democratic Party's bias against Sen. Bernie Sanders during the 2016 presidential nomination, followed by the DNC defense counsel doubling down on its right to rig the race during the fraud lawsuit brought against the DNC , as well as the irregularities in the races between former DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Tim Canova, indicate a fatal breakdown of the U.S. democratic process spearheaded by the Democratic Party establishment. Influences transcending the DNC add to concerns regarding the integrity of the democratic process that have nothing to do with Russia, but which will also likely impact outcomes in 2020.

The content of the DNC and Podesta emails published by WikiLeaks demonstrated that the DNC acted in favor of Hillary Clinton in the lead up to the 2016 Democratic primary. The emails also revealed corporate media reporters acting as surrogates of the DNC and its pro-Clinton agenda, going so far as to promote Donald Trump during the GOP primary process as a preferred " pied-piper candidate ." One cannot assume that similar evidence will be presented to the public in 2020, making it more important than ever to take stock of the unique lessons handed down to us by the 2016 race.

Social Media Meddling

Election meddling via social media did take place in 2016, though in a different guise and for a different cause from that which are best remembered. Twitter would eventually admit to actively suppressing hashtags referencing the DNC and Podesta emails in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. Additional reports indicated that tech giant Google also showed measurable "pro-Hillary Clinton bias" in search results during 2016, resulting in the alleged swaying of between 2 and 10 millions voters in favor of Clinton.

On the Republican side, a recent episode of CNLive! featured discussion of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which undecided voters were micro-targeted with tailored advertising narrowed with the combined use of big data and artificial intelligence known collectively as "dark strategy." CNLive! Executive Producer Cathy Vogan noted that SCL, Cambridge Analytica's parent company, provides data, analytics and strategy to governments and military organizations "worldwide," specializing in behavior modification. Though Cambridge Analytica shut down in 2018, related companies remain.

The Clinton camp was hardly absent from social media during the 2016 race. The barely-legal activities of Clintonite David Brock were previously reported by this author to have included $2 million in funding for the creation of an online " troll army " under the name Shareblue. The LA Times described the project as meant to "to appear to be coming organically from people and their social media networks in a groundswell of activism, when in fact it is highly paid and highly tactical." In other words, the effort attempted to create a false sense of consensus in support for the Clinton campaign.

In terms of interference in the actual election process, the New York City Board of Elections was shown to have purged over one hundred thousand Democratic voters in Brooklyn from the rolls before the 2016 primary, a move that the Department of Justice found broke federal law . Despite this, no prosecution for the breach was ever attempted.

Though the purge was not explicitly found to have benefitted Clinton, the admission falls in line with allegations across the country that the Democratic primary was interfered with to the benefit of the former secretary of state. These claims were further bolstered by reports indicating that voting results from the 2016 Democratic primary showed evidence of fraud.

DNC Fraud Lawsuit

The proceedings of the DNC fraud lawsuit provide the most damning evidence of the failure of the U.S. election process, especially within the Democratic Party. DNC defense lawyers argued in open court for the party's right to appoint candidates at its own discretion, while simultaneously denying any "fiduciary duty" to represent the voters who donated to the Democratic Party under the impression that the DNC would act impartially towards the candidates involved.

In 2017, the Observer reported that the DNC's defense counsel argued against claims that the party defrauded Sanders' supporters by favoring Clinton, reasoning that Sanders' supporters knew the process was rigged. Again: instead of arguing that the primary was neutral and unbiased in accordance with its charter, the DNC's lawyers argued that it was the party's right to select candidates.

The Observer noted the sentiments of Jared Beck, the attorney representing the plaintiffs of the lawsuit:

"People paid money in reliance on the understanding that the primary elections for the Democratic nominee -- nominating process in 2016 were fair and impartial, and that's not just a bedrock assumption that we would assume just by virtue of the fact that we live in a democracy, and we assume that our elections are run in a fair and impartial manner. But that's what the Democratic National Committee's own charter says. It says it in black and white."

The DNC defense counsel's argument throughout the course of the DNC fraud lawsuit doubled down repeatedly in defense of the party's right to favor one candidate over another, at one point actually claiming that such favoritism was protected by the First Amendment . The DNC's lawyers wrote:

"To recognize any of the causes of action that Plaintiffs allege would run directly contrary to long-standing Supreme Court precedent recognizing the central and critical First Amendment rights enjoyed by political parties, especially when it comes to selecting the party's nominee for public office ." [Emphasis added]

The DNC's shameless defense of its own rigging disemboweled the most fundamental organs of the U.S. body politic. This no indication that the DNC will not resort to the same tactics in the 2020 primary race,

Tim Canova's Allegations

If Debbie Wasserman Schultz's role as disgraced chairwoman of the DNC and her forced 2016 resignation wasn't enough, serious interference was also alleged in the wake of two contests between Wasserman Schultz and professor Tim Canova in Florida's 23rd congressional district. Canova and Wasserman Schultz first faced off in a 2016 Democratic primary race, followed by a 2018 general congressional election in which Canova ran as an independent.

Tim Canova with supporters, April 2016. (CanovaForCongress, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

Debacles followed both contests, including improper vote counts, illegal ballot destruction , improper transportation of ballots, and generally shameless displays of cronyism. After the controversial results of the initial primary race against Wasserman Schultz, Canova sought to have ballots checked for irregularities, as the Sun-Sentinel reported at the time:

"[Canova] sought to look at the paper ballots in March 2017 and took Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes to court three months later when her office hadn't fulfilled his request. Snipes approved the destruction of the ballots in September, signing a certification that said no court cases involving the ballots were pending."

Ultimately, Canova was granted a summary judgment against Snipes, finding that she had committed what amounted to multiple felonies. Nonetheless, Snipes was not prosecuted and remained elections supervisor through to the 2018 midterms.

Republicans appear no more motivated to protect voting integrity than the Democrats, with The Nation reporting that the GOP-controlled Senate blocked a bill this week that would have "mandated paper-ballot backups in case of election machine malfunctions."

Study of Corporate Power

A 2014 study published by Princeton University found that corporate power had usurped the voting rights of the public: "Economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence."

In reviewing this sordid history, we see that the Democratic Party establishment has done everything in its power to disrespect voters and outright overrule them in the democratic primary process, defending their right to do so in the DNC fraud lawsuit. We've noted that interests transcending the DNC also represent escalating threats to election integrity as demonstrated in 2016.

Despite this, establishment Democrats and those who echo their views in the legacy press continue to deflect from their own wrongdoing and real threats to the election process by suggesting that mere discussion of it represents a campaign by Russia to attempt to malign the perception of the legitimacy of the U.S. democratic process.

Hillary Clinton's recent comments to the effect that Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is being "groomed" by Russia, and that the former Green Party Presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein is a "Russian asset", were soon echoed by DNC-friendly pundits. These sentiments externalize what Gabbard called the "rot" in the Democratic party outward onto domestic critics and a nation across the planet.

Newsweek provided a particularly glaring example of this phenomenon in a recent op-ed penned by columnist Naveed Jamali, a former FBI double agent whose book capitalizes on Russiagate. In an op-ed titled: " Hillary Clinton Is Right. Tulsi Gabbard Is A Perfect Russian Asset – And Would Be A Perfect Republican Agent," Jamali argued :

"Moscow will use its skillful propaganda machine to prop up Gabbard and use her as a tool to delegitimize the democratic process. " [Emphasis added]

Jamali surmises that Russia intends to "attack" our democracy by undermining the domestic perception of its legitimacy. This thesis is repeated later in the piece when Jamali opines : "They want to see a retreat of American influence. What better way to accomplish that than to attack our democracy by casting doubt on the legitimacy of our elections." [Emphasis added]

The only thing worth protecting, according to Jamali and those who amplify his work (including former Clinton aide and establishment Democrat Neera Tanden), is the perception of the democratic process, not the actual functioning vitality of it. Such deflective tactics ensure that Russia will continue to be used as a convenient international pretext for silencing domestic dissent as we move into 2020.

Given all this, how can one expect the outcome of a 2020 Democratic Primary -- or even the general election – to be any fairer or transparent than 2016?

* * *

Elizabeth Vos is a freelance reporter, co-host of CN Live! and regular contributor to Consortium News. If you value this original article, please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one.

[Nov 07, 2019] DNC Lawyers Argue Primary Rigging Is Protected by the First Amendment

Notable quotes:
"... They also failed to note the voice-modulated phone calls received by the law offices of the Becks which contained a caller-ID corresponding to the law offices of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a defendant in the case. In light of this context, the Becks hardly appear to be peddlers of conspiracy theory. ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | archive.is

The defense counsel also took issue with Jared Beck for what they termed as: " Repeatedly promoted patently false and deeply offensive conspiracy theories about the deaths of a former DNC staffer and Plaintiffs' process server in an attempt to bolster attention for this lawsuit." This author was shocked to find that despite the characterization of the Becks as peddlers of conspiracy theory, the defense counsel failed to mention the motion for protection filed by the Becks earlier in the litigation process.

They also failed to note the voice-modulated phone calls received by the law offices of the Becks which contained a caller-ID corresponding to the law offices of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a defendant in the case. In light of this context, the Becks hardly appear to be peddlers of conspiracy theory.

The DNC defense lawyers then argued:

" There is no legitimate basis for this litigation, which is, at its most basic, an improper attempt to forge the federal courts into a political weapon to be used by individuals who are unhappy with how a political party selected its candidate in a presidential campaign ."

The brief continued:

" To recognize any of the causes of action that Plaintiffs allege based on their animating theory would run directly contrary to long-standing Supreme Court precedent recognizing the central and critical First Amendment rights enjoyed by political parties, especially when it comes to selecting the party's nominee for public office."

It appears that the defendants in the DNC Fraud Lawsuit are attempting to argue that cheating a candidate in the primary process is protected under the first amendment. If all that weren't enough, DNC representatives argued that the Democratic National Committee had no established fiduciary duty "to the Plaintiffs or the classes of donors and registered voters they seek to represent." It seems here that the DNC is arguing for its right to appoint candidates at its own discretion while simultaneously denying any "fiduciary duty" to represent the voters who donated to the Democratic Party under the belief that the DNC would act impartially towards the candidates involved.

Adding to the latest news regarding the DNC Fraud Lawsuit was the recent finding by the UK Supreme Court, which stated that Wikileaks Cables were admissible as evidence in legal proceedings.

If Wikileaks' publication of DNC emails are found to be similarly admissible in a United States court of law, then the contents of the leaked emails could be used to argue that, contrary to the defendant's latest brief, the DNC did in favor the campaign of Hillary Clinton over Senator Sanders and that they acted to sabotage Sanders' campaign.

The outcome of the appeal of the DNC Fraud Lawsuit remains to be seen.

Elizabeth Vos is the Co-Founder and Editor in Chief at Disobedient Media .

[Nov 07, 2019] Note on the the degradation of the elite.

Notable quotes:
"... There is a collection of Democratic and Republican politicians and think tanks funded by various corporations and governments and bureaucrats in the government agencies mostly all devoted to the Empire, but also willing to stab each other in the back to obtain power. They don't necessarily agree on policy details. ..."
"... They don't oppose Trump because Trump is antiwar. Trump isn't antiwar. Or rather, he is antiwar for three minutes here and there and then he advocates for war crimes. ..."
"... He is a fairly major war criminal based on his policies in Yemen. But they don't oppose him for that either or they would have been upset by Obama. They oppose Trump because he is incompetent, unpredictable and easily manipulated. And worst of all, he doesn't play the game right, where we pretend we intervene out of noble humanitarian motives. This idiot actually say he wants to keep Syrian oil fields and Syria's oil fields aren't significant to anyone outside Syria. ..."
"... Our policies are influenced in rather negative ways by various foreign countries, but would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

Donald 11.07.19 at 4:37 am 64

" In a sense, the current NeoMcCartyism (Russophobia, Sinophobia) epidemic in the USA can partially be viewed as a yet another sign of the crisis of neoliberalism: a desperate attempt to patch the cracks in the neoliberal façade using scapegoating -- creation of an external enemy to project the problems of the neoliberal society.

I would add another, pretty subjective measure of failure: the degradation of the elite. When you look at Hillary, Trump, Biden, Warren, Harris, etc, you instantly understand what I am talking about. They all look like the second-rate, if not the third rate politicians. Also, the Epstein case was pretty symbolic."

I had decided to stay on the sidelines for the most part after making a few earlier comments, but I liked this summary, except I would give Warren more credit. She is flawed like most politicians, but she has made some of the right enemies within the Democratic Party.

On Trump and " the Deep State", there is no unified Deep State. There is a collection of Democratic and Republican politicians and think tanks funded by various corporations and governments and bureaucrats in the government agencies mostly all devoted to the Empire, but also willing to stab each other in the back to obtain power. They don't necessarily agree on policy details.

They don't oppose Trump because Trump is antiwar. Trump isn't antiwar. Or rather, he is antiwar for three minutes here and there and then he advocates for war crimes.

He is a fairly major war criminal based on his policies in Yemen. But they don't oppose him for that either or they would have been upset by Obama. They oppose Trump because he is incompetent, unpredictable and easily manipulated. And worst of all, he doesn't play the game right, where we pretend we intervene out of noble humanitarian motives. This idiot actually say he wants to keep Syrian oil fields and Syria's oil fields aren't significant to anyone outside Syria.

But yes, scapegoating is a big thing with liberals now. It's pathetic. Our policies are influenced in rather negative ways by various foreign countries, but would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence .

For the most part, if we have a horrible political culture nearly all the blame for that is homegrown.

Donald 11.07.19 at 4:40 am (no link)

Sigh. Various typos above. Here is one --

Our policies are influenced in rather negative ways by various foreign countries, but would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence.
--

I meant to say I would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence.

[Nov 06, 2019] Neoliberalism was not conceived as a self-serving racket [of the financial oligarchy], but it rapidly became one

Highly recommended!
Nov 06, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 11.06.19 at 4:07 am 47

Z 11.05.19 at 9:23 am @45

It seems to me an important tenet of the neoliberal ideology is the arbiter (or auctioneer) role it gives the state and other political institutions with respect to markets. Markets are the locus of justice and efficiency, but political institutions have the essential task of organizing them and the competitions that takes place within them, supposedly at least.

In practice, this translated in a central role of political power not only in privatizing and breaking state monopolies, but also in the creation, sometimes ex nihilo, of markets supervised by state or quasi-state agencies (shielded of electoral choices by regulatory or ideally constitutional provisions) whose role was to organize concurrence in domains classical liberal economic theory would consider natural monopolies or natural public properties (education, health service, energy distribution, infrastructure of transportation, telecommunication, postal and banking service etc.)

What an excellent and deep observation ! Thank you ! This is the essence of the compromises with financial oligarchy made by failing social democratic parties. Neoliberalism is kind of Trotskyism for the rich in which the political power is used to shape the society "from above". As Hayek remarked on his visit to Pinochet's Chile – "my personal preference leans toward a liberal dictatorship rather than toward a democratic government devoid of liberalism".

George Monblot observed that "Neoliberalism was not conceived as a self-serving racket [of the financial oligarchy], but it rapidly became one." ( The Guardian, Apr 15, 2016):

Neoliberalism sees competition as the defining characteristic of human relations. It redefines citizens as consumers, whose democratic choices are best exercised by buying and selling, a process that rewards merit and punishes inefficiency. It maintains that "the market" delivers benefits that could never be achieved by planning.

Attempts to limit competition are treated as inimical to liberty. Tax and regulation should be minimised, public services should be privatised. The organisation of labour and collective bargaining by trade unions are portrayed as market distortions that impede the formation of a natural hierarchy of winners and losers. Inequality is recast as virtuous: a reward for utility and a generator of wealth, which trickles down to enrich everyone. Efforts to create a more equal society are both counterproductive and morally corrosive. The market ensures that everyone gets what they deserve.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/apr/15/neoliberalism-ideology-problem-george-monbiot

The free (as in absence of regulation for FIRE) market produces a tiny cadre of winners and an enormous army of losers (10% vs 90%) – and the losers, looking for revenge, have turned to Trump. Now entrenched centers of "resistance" (and first of all CIA, the Justice Department, The Department of State and a part of Pentagon) are trying to reverse the situation. Failing to understand that they created Trump and each time will reproduce it in more and more dangerous variant.

Trumpism is the inevitable result of the gap between the utopian ideal of the free (for the FIRE sector only ) market and the dystopian reality for the majority of the population ("without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape" Pope Francis, "Evangelii Gaudium")

The situation in which the financial sector generates just 4% of employment, but accounts for more than 25% of corporate profits is unsustainable. It should be reversed and it will be reversed.

[Nov 06, 2019] Schlichter Trump Is Derailing The Elite's Gravy Train

Nov 06, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Kurt Schlichter, op-ed via Townhall.com,

Like the garbage French elite of long ago, our American garbage elite of today has learned nothing and forgotten nothing .

For four years, it has been focused entirely on deep-sixing Donald Trump for his unforgivable crime of demanding that our ruling caste be held accountable for its legacy of failure. Instead of focusing on not being terrible at their job of running America's institutions, our elitists have decided that the real problem is us Normals being angry about how they are terrible at their job of running America's institutions .

So, let's imagine that they finally vanquish Trump, though every time they come up against him they end up dragging themselves home like Ned Beatty after a particularly tough canoe trip.

What happens then?

What happens then is that it's back to business as usual, and for decades, business as usual for our garbage elite has not merely been running our institutions badly but pillaging and looting our country for power, prestige and cash.

The difference is that in the future they will be much more careful to ensure that no one who is not in on the scam will ever again come anywhere near the levers of power. You can already see it – the demands that we defer to the bureaucrats they own, the attacks on the idea of free expression, and the campaign to disarm us. Their objective is no more Trumps, just an endless line of progressive would-be Maduros with the march toward despair occasionally put on pause for a term by some Fredocon Republican who hates us Normals just as much as the Dems, but won't admit it until after he's out of office.

Our garbage elite talks a good game about its service and moral superiority, but if our betters were actually better than us, we would not be having this national conversation about how awful they are.

The fact is that what they want to do is go back to the way it was before Trump , back to 2015, aka the year 1 BT – Before Trump. Back then, progressive Democrats got their bizarre social pathologies normalized. Moderate Democrats got money, power and an open season on the local talent. Corporate types represented largely by squishy Republicans got globalism and the ability to ship our jobs out and import Third World serfs in. And the fake conservatives of Conservative, Inc., got to cash in without the necessity of actually conserving anything.

The only people that the old system didn't work for were the American people.

It's important to remember and to always remind yourself, that everything our elite says about its motives and morals is a lie and a scam. Take the whole #MeToo thing. This was supposed to be some sort of revolutionary rebellion against the sexual exploitation of the powerless by the powerful. It's not, and never was. Rather, it's simply an internal power struggle among and within the elites to reallocate power among snooty people who don't give a damn about you or me.

The fall of Harvey Weinstein or Matt Lauer or any of the other bigwigs means nothing to the conservative single mom being exploited by the Democrat donors who own Walmart. It was actually striving female members of the elite – actresses, models, media figures, executives – leveraging the monstrosity of the creeps at the top to increase their own power within the elite. Do you see any of these #MeToo heroines, now that they have taken their scalps, helping their non-elite sisters out in Gun-Jesusland? Yeah, right. They are lining up with the rest of their elite pals to shaft us.

What you do see is excuses. They excuse Bill Clinton and his enabler Felonia Milhous von Pantsuit. They excuse Gropey Joe. They are in the process of excusing Katie Hill, whose naked hairbrush photo has ensured that none of us will ever sit on a hotel room chair again. Why no outrage? Why no concern? Because taking out Stumbles McMyturn or Hoover's Dad or Congresswoman Every Man's Lesbian Fantasy Destroyer does not help the faction of the elite that benefited from #MeToo. That would help us , but not the elite. Throuple Gal was exposed by Townhall's peppery sister site Redstate, not the mainstream media, and the mainstream media is horrified – not by her furniture defilement but that word of it got through the gate they yearn to keep.

The simple fact is that they desperately want Trump out so they can return to the good old days of winks, nods, and payoffs.

Look at the Biden Family Crime Syndicate and the antics of the junior capo of the Cosa Nose Candy. In what universe is it A-OK that the crack-fueled Johnny Appleseed of paternity suits that is Joe's snortunate son was cashing in on $50K a month in sweet, sweet Ukrainian gas gold just weeks after Ensign Biden got booted because he tooted? And then there's riding on Air Force Two to the NBA's favorite dictatorship for some commie ducats. Now there are even some Romanian shenanigans too – is there a single country on earth that Totally-Not-Senile Joe didn't shake down for the benefit of his daughter-in-law's second hubby?

But our garbage elite's garbage media seems amazingly uninterested in all this – it's fascinated by the timing of a situation room snap after Trump unleashed the Army's Delta Force on al-Baghdadi and by dog medal memes, but the Veep's boy's bag-mannery is not merely of no interest but is something they close their fussy phalanx ranks around to protect. Keep in mind, the premise underlying the whole star chamber impeachment festival of onanism is that Donald Trump, America's chief law enforcement officer, was somehow wrong and bad and double-plus ungood because he allegedly asked the Ukrainians, "Hey, what's the dealio with the Columbia Kid's pay-offs?"

In a non-bizarro political universe, the proper reaction to the Prezzy demanding, "You best fork over the evidence on these manifestly corrupt antics involving the Vice-President of the United States or we're cutting you off from the American taxpayers' feeding trough," would be, "Hell to the yeah, four more years! Four more years!'

But it's not , because the elite likes its sexual abuse and its foreign cash and its total lack of accountability to us, the Normals, the people who are supposed to be the ones that our elite is working for. The elite has not learned its lesson. It has not admitted that it sucks and resolved to stop sucking.

Instead, it has doubled down. And if it gets power again, it will act to solve what it sees as the most urgent problem facing America – the fact that we the people have the ability to reject the elite's utter incompetence and surpassing greed and elect someone with a mandate to burn down the whole rotten edifice.

If the elitists get power again, they are never letting go of it, not without a fight. And now, doesn't the elite's obsessive fixation on shutting down conservative dissent, eliminating competing institutions (like religious entities), and disarming law-abiding Americans make a lot more sense?

* * *

Our garbage elite is outraged over the success of my action-packed yet hilarious novels of America torn apart by liberal malice, People's Republic , Indian Country and Wildfire . In a few weeks, Number IV, Collapse, will drop. They call these books "appalling." They don't want you to read them. That's better than any blurb!


Whodathunkit , 1 hour ago link

Today's ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.

THAT is what TRUMP said. And it ******* freaks THEM out.

Whodathunkit , 1 hour ago link

Today's ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.

THAT is what TRUMP said. And it ******* freaks THEM out.

Whodathunkit , 1 hour ago link

Today's ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.

THAT is what TRUMP said. And it ******* freaks THEM out.

Whodathunkit , 1 hour ago link

Today's ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.

THAT is what TRUMP said. And it ******* freaks THEM out.

Whodathunkit , 1 hour ago link

Today's ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.

THAT is what TRUMP said. And it ******* freaks THEM out.

Whodathunkit , 1 hour ago link

Today's ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.

THAT is what TRUMP said. And it ******* freaks THEM out.

The Palmetto Cynic , 1 hour ago link

1.1 trillion to the deficit in 2019, record tax receipts, little to show for wage and standard of living increases, so no....**** no.

ZIRPdiggler , 2 hours ago link

He never said the elite are the "super rich". Sorry about your trump derangement syndrome, comrade. Many wealthy in this country are good people. This author is referencing the "ruling elite" Washington-Hollywood-Media complex that comprises the child trafficking lefties in this country: they ARE the fascist elite who run the censorship platforms in silicon valley, the hypocrite millionaire socialists like Warren, or the deep state mouth pieces like Adam Schitt....

12Doberman , 2 hours ago link

Trump is the elite? Trump represents the elite? If that's so why are the elite trying to take him out? I don't think you understand who the elite are that the author is referring to. He's talking about the political elite...the DC power brokers...the political "establishment."

kudocast , 2 hours ago link

"For four years, it has been focused entirely on deep-sixing Donald Trump for his unforgivable crime of demanding that our ruling caste be held accountable for its legacy of failure."

Donald Trump is our savior? Look at all the elite lackeys he put in his Cabinet, the exact type of people Kurt Schlichter claims Trump is removing. Trump passed $1.5 trillion tax cut bill benefiting the rich, expanded military spending $700 billion.

Chief Economic Advisor - Daniel Cohn - Goldman Sachs

Secretary of State - Rex Tillerson - Exxon Mobil

Secretary of Treasury - Steve Mnuchin - Goldman Sachs

Commerce Secretary - Wilbur Ross - Rothschilds and more

Transportation Secretary - Elaine Chao - wife of Mitch McConnell, from Chinese family shipping magnate

Secretary of Labor - Andy Puzder - CEO CKE Restaurants

Education Secretary - Betsy DeVos - husband CEO of Amway

Senior Advisor - Jared Kushner - Trump son in law

motley331 , 2 hours ago link

NAILED IT !!!!

devnickle , 2 hours ago link

He is no savior, but he sure the **** has exposed the enemy.

[Nov 05, 2019] The Empire, Trump and Intra-Ruling Class Conflict Dissident Voice

Notable quotes:
"... On the other hand, as Targ explains, are the Trumpian, "America First" nationalist capitalists. This faction of the ruling class, while also supporting global dominance and a permanent war economy (military-related spending will consume 48 percent of the 2020 federal budget) favors trade restrictions, economic nationalism, building walls and anti-immigrant policies. Although Trump is inconsistent, bumbling and sometimes contradictory, he's departed from the neocon's agenda by making overtures to North Korea and Russia, voicing doubts about NATO as an expensive relic from the past that is being dangerously misused outside of Europe, not being afraid to speak bluntly to EU allies, frequently mentioning ending our "endless, ridiculous and costly wars," asserting that the U.S. is badly overextended and saying "The job of our military is not to police the world." ..."
"... This is a high stakes intra-ruling class struggle and neither side cares a fig about what's best for the American people or those beyond our borders. At this point it's impossible to know how it will play out but grasping the underlying dynamics explains much about current U.S. domestic and foreign policy. This understanding may, in turn, point toward how opponents of America's oligarchic elites can most expeditiously use their time and energy. ..."
"... Foremost is the fact that Trump's intra-elite enemies despise him not for being a neo-fascistic demagogue, a despicable human being devoid of a conscience, or for the brouhaha over Ukraine. Their animus is rooted in the conviction that Trump has been a foot dragging imperialist, an equivocal caretaker of empire, unreliable pull-the-trigger Commander-in-chief (e.g.Iran) and transparent truth-teller about the real motives behind U.S. foreign policy. These are his unforgivable sins and if he's impeached or denied the Oval Office by some other means, they will be real reasons. ..."
"... One of Trump's most traitorous acts is that he's been consistent, at least rhetorically, in being opposed to U.S. troops being killed in "endless wars." One need not agree with his reasons to find merit in this worthy objective. His motives probably include Nativism, racism, foreign investment stability, the wars causing more refugees to come here, his massive ego, appeals to his voting base, or simply because he believes both he and the "real America" would be better off. For him, the latter two are synonymous. ..."
"... For this treachery, those arrayed against Trump include at least, the Pentagon-CIA-armaments lobby, MSM editors like those at CNN, The New York Times ..."
"... The Washington Post ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
Nov 05, 2019 | dissidentvoice.org

Over the past few months President Trump has unilaterally by Tweet and telephone begun to dismantle the U.S. military's involvement in the Middle East. The irony is amazing, because in a general overarching narrative sense, this is what the marginalized antiwar movement has been trying to do for decades. 1

Prof. Harry Targ, in his important piece "United States foreign policy: yesterday, today, and tomorrow," (MR online, October 23, 2919), reminds us of the factional dispute among U.S. foreign policy elites over how to maintain the U.S. empire. On the one hand are the neoliberal global capitalists who favor military intervention, covert operations, regime change, strengthening NATO, thrusting China into the enemy vacuum and re-igniting the Cold War with Russia. All of this is concealed behind lofty rhetoric about humanitarianism, protecting human rights, promoting democracy, fighting terrorism and American exceptionalism. Their mantra is Madeleine Albright's description of the United States as the world's "one indispensable nation."

On the other hand, as Targ explains, are the Trumpian, "America First" nationalist capitalists. This faction of the ruling class, while also supporting global dominance and a permanent war economy (military-related spending will consume 48 percent of the 2020 federal budget) favors trade restrictions, economic nationalism, building walls and anti-immigrant policies. Although Trump is inconsistent, bumbling and sometimes contradictory, he's departed from the neocon's agenda by making overtures to North Korea and Russia, voicing doubts about NATO as an expensive relic from the past that is being dangerously misused outside of Europe, not being afraid to speak bluntly to EU allies, frequently mentioning ending our "endless, ridiculous and costly wars," asserting that the U.S. is badly overextended and saying "The job of our military is not to police the world."

I would add that Trump is also an "American exceptionalist" but ascribes a very different provincial meaning to the term, something closer to a crabbed provincialism, an insular "Shining City on a Hill," surrounded by a moat.

This is a high stakes intra-ruling class struggle and neither side cares a fig about what's best for the American people or those beyond our borders. At this point it's impossible to know how it will play out but grasping the underlying dynamics explains much about current U.S. domestic and foreign policy. This understanding may, in turn, point toward how opponents of America's oligarchic elites can most expeditiously use their time and energy.

Foremost is the fact that Trump's intra-elite enemies despise him not for being a neo-fascistic demagogue, a despicable human being devoid of a conscience, or for the brouhaha over Ukraine. Their animus is rooted in the conviction that Trump has been a foot dragging imperialist, an equivocal caretaker of empire, unreliable pull-the-trigger Commander-in-chief (e.g.Iran) and transparent truth-teller about the real motives behind U.S. foreign policy. These are his unforgivable sins and if he's impeached or denied the Oval Office by some other means, they will be real reasons.

One of Trump's most traitorous acts is that he's been consistent, at least rhetorically, in being opposed to U.S. troops being killed in "endless wars." One need not agree with his reasons to find merit in this worthy objective. His motives probably include Nativism, racism, foreign investment stability, the wars causing more refugees to come here, his massive ego, appeals to his voting base, or simply because he believes both he and the "real America" would be better off. For him, the latter two are synonymous.

For this treachery, those arrayed against Trump include at least, the Pentagon-CIA-armaments lobby, MSM editors like those at CNN, The New York Times and The Washington Post , NSA, Zionist neocons, the DNC, establishment Democrats, some hawkish Republican senators, many lifestyle liberals still harboring a sentimental faith in American goodness and even EU and NATO elites who've benefited from being faithful lackeys to Washington's global imperialism.

In a recent interview, Major Danny Sjursen, retired army officer and West Point instructor with tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, notes that "The last bipartisan issue in American politics today is warfare, forever warfare." In terms of the military, that means " even the hint of getting out of the establishment interventionist status quo is terrifying to these generals, terrifying to these former intelligence officers from the Obama administration who seem to live on MSNBC now." Sjursen adds that many of these generals (like Mattis) have already found lucrative work with the military industrial complex. 2

In response to Trump's announcement about removing some U.S. troops from the region, we find an op-ed in The New York Times by Admiral William McRaven where he states that Trump "should be out of office sooner than later. It's time for a new person in the Oval Office, Republican, Democrat or Independent. The fate of the nation depends on it." The unmistakeable whiff of support for a soft coup is chilling. If Trump can't be contained, he must be deposed one way or another.

And this is all entirely consistent with the fact that the national security state was totally caught off guard by Trump's victory in 2016. For them, Trump was a loose cannon, erratic and ultra-confrontational, someone they couldn't control. Their favored candidate was the ever reliable, Wall Street-friendly, war-mongering Hillary Clinton or even Jeb Bush. Today, barring a totally chastised Trump, the favorites include a fading Biden, Pence, a reprise of Clinton or someone in her mold but without the baggage.

For Trump's establishment enemies, another closely related failing is his habit of blurting out inconvenient truths. I'm not the first person to say that Trump is the most honest president in my lifetime. Yes, he lies most of the time but as left analyst Paul Street puts it, "Trump is too clumsily and childishly brazen in laying bare the moral nothingness and selfishness of the real material-historical bourgeois society that lives beneath the veils of 'Western civilization' and 'American democracy.'" 3

All his predecessors took pains or were coached to conceal their imperialist actions behind declarations of humanitarian interventionism but Trump has pulled the curtains back to reveal the ugly truths about U.S. foreign policy. As such, the carefully calibrated propaganda fed to the public in endless reiterations over a lifetime is jeopardized whenever Trump utters a transparent truth. This is intolerable.

Here are a few examples culled from speeches, interviews and press reports:

As noted earlier, the endgame is not in sight. Trump seems without a clear strategy for moving forward and from all reports he can't depend on his current coterie of White House advisors to produce one. Further, he may lack the necessary political in-fight skills or tenacity to see it through. When some of his Republican "allies" savaged his announcement to withdraw troops from Syria, he backtracked and made some, at least cosmetic concessions. However, the fact that Trump's position remains popular with his voter base and especially with veterans of these wars will give pause to Republicans. If some finally join the Democrats in voting for impeachment over Ukraine-gate they may minimize re-election risks by hiding their real motives behind pious claims -- as will most Democrats -- about "protecting the constitution and the rule of law".

Now, lest I be misunderstood, nothing I've written here should be construed as support for Donald Trump or that I believe he's antiwar. Trump is aberration only in that his brand of Western imperialism means that the victims remain foreigners while U.S. soldiers remain out of harm's way. He knows that boots on the ground can quickly descend into bodies in the ground and unlike his opponents, coffins returning to Dover Air Base are not worth risking his personal ambitions. This is clearly something to build upon. We don't know if Trump views drones, cyber warfare and proxies as substitutes but his intra-elite opponents remain extremely dubious. In any event, that's another dimension to expose and challenge.

Finally, we know the ruling class in a capitalist democracy -- an oxymoron -- expends enormous time and resources to obtain a faux "consent of the governed" through misinformation conveyed via massive, lifelong ideological indoctrination. For them, citizen's policing themselves is more efficient than coercion and precludes raising questions that might delegitimize the system. Obviously force and fear are hardly unknown -- witness the mass incarceration and police murder of black citizens -- but one only has to look around to see how successful this method of control has been.

Nevertheless, as social historian Margaret Jacoby wisely reminds us, "No institution is safe if people simply stop believing the assumptions that justify its existence." 4 Put another way, the system simply can't accommodate certain "dangerous ideas."

Today, we see promising political fissures developing, especially within the rising generation, and it's our responsibility to help deepen and widen these openings through whatever means at our disposal.

[Nov 03, 2019] The "Deep State" Has Been Redefined as Career Bureaucrats Doing Their Patriotic Duty by Edward Curtin

Notable quotes:
"... It gets funny, this shallow analysis of the deep state that is currently big news. There's something ghoulish about it, perfectly timed for Halloween and masked jokers. What was once ridiculed by the CIA and its attendant lackeys in the media as the paranoia of "conspiracy theorists" is now openly admitted in reverent tones of patriotic fervor. But with a twisted twist. ..."
"... The Council on Foreign Relations ..."
"... Foreign Affairs, ..."
"... Linguistic mind control is insidious like the slow drip of a water faucet. After a while you don't hear it and just go about your business, even as your mind, like a rotting rubber washer, keeps disintegrating under propaganda's endless reiterations. ..."
"... To think that the deep state is government employees just doing their patriotic duty is plain idiocy and plainer propaganda. ..."
Nov 01, 2019 | www.globalresearch.ca

By Edward Curtin Global Research, November 01, 2019 Region: USA Theme: Intelligence

It gets funny, this shallow analysis of the deep state that is currently big news. There's something ghoulish about it, perfectly timed for Halloween and masked jokers. What was once ridiculed by the CIA and its attendant lackeys in the media as the paranoia of "conspiracy theorists" is now openly admitted in reverent tones of patriotic fervor. But with a twisted twist.

The corporate mass-media has recently discovered a "deep state" that they claim to be not some evil group of assassins who work for the super-rich owners of the country and murder their own president (JFK) and other unpatriotic dissidents (Malcom X, MLK, RK, among others) and undermine democracy home and abroad, but are now said to be just fine upstanding American citizens who work within the government bureaucracies and are patriotic believers in democracy intent on doing the right thing.

This redefinition has been in the works for a few years, and it shouldn't be a surprise that this tricky treat was being prepared for our consumption a few years ago by The Council on Foreign Relations . In its September/October 2017 edition of its journal Foreign Affairs, Jon D. Michaels, in "Trump and the Deep State: The Government Strikes Back," writes:

Furious at what they consider treachery by internal saboteurs, the president and his surrogates have responded by borrowing a bit of political science jargon, claiming to be victims of the " deep state ," a conspiracy of powerful, unelected bureaucrats secretly pursuing their own agenda. The concept of a deep state is valuable in its original context, the study of developing countries such as Egypt, Pakistan, and Turkey, where shadowy elites in the military and government ministries have been known to countermand or simply defy democratic directives. Yet it has little relevance to the United States, where governmental power structures are almost entirely transparent, egalitarian, and rule-bound.

The White House is correct to perceive widespread resistance inside the government to many of its endeavors. But the same way the administration's media problems come not from "fake news" but simply from news, so its bureaucratic problems come not from an insidious, undemocratic "deep state" but simply from the state -- the large, complex hive of people and procedures that constitute the U.S. federal government.

Notice how in these comical passages about U.S. government transparency and egalitarianism, Michaels slyly and falsely attributes to Trump the very definition – "unelected bureaucrats" – that in the next paragraph he claims to be the real deep state, which is just the state power structures. Pseudo-innocence conquers all here as there is no mention of the Democratic party, Russiagate, etc., and all the machinations led by the intelligence services and Democratic forces to oust Trump from the day he was elected. State power structures just move so quickly, as anyone knows who has studied the speed with which bureaucracies operate. Ask Max Weber.

The Deep State Goes Shallow. "Reality-TV Coup d'etat in Prime Time"

Drip by drip over the past few years, this "state bureaucracy" meme has been introduced by the mainstream media propagandists as they have gradually revealed that the government deep-staters are just doing their patriotic duty in trying openly to oust an elected president.

Many writers have commented on the recent New York Times article, Trump's War on the 'Deep State' Turns Against Him" asserting that the Times has finally admitted to the existence of the deep state, which is true as far as it goes, which is not too far. But in this game of deceptive revelations – going shallower to go deeper – what is missing is a focus on the linguistic mind control involved in the changed definition.

In a recent article by Robert W. Merry, whose intentions I am not questioning – "New York Times Confirms: It's Trump Versus the Deep State" – originally published at The American Conservative and widely reprinted , the lead-in to the article proper reads: "Even the Gray Lady admits the president is up against a powerful bureaucracy that wants him sunk." So the "powerful bureaucracy" redefinition, this immovable force of government bureaucrats, is slipped into public consciousness as what the deep state supposedly is. Gone are CIA conspirators and evil doers. In their place we find career civil servants doing their patriotic duty.

Then there is The New York Times' columnist James Stewart who, appearing on the Today Show recently, where he was promoting his new book, told Savannah Guthrie that:

Well, you meet these characters in my book, and the fact is, in a sense, he's [Trump] right. There is a deep state there is a bureaucracy in our country who has pledged to respect the Constitution, respect the rule of law. They do not work for the President. They work for the American people. And, as Comey told me in my book, 'thank goodness for that,' because they are protecting the Constitution and the people when individuals – we don't have a monarch, we don't have a dictator – they restrain them from crossing the boundaries of law. What Trump calls the deep state in the United States is protecting the American people and protecting the Constitution. It's a positive thing in this sense.

So again we are told that the deep-state bureaucracy is defending the Constitution and protecting the American people, as James Comey told Stewart, "in my book, 'thank goodness for that,'" as he put it so eloquently. These guys talk in books, of course, not person to person, but that is the level not just of English grammar and general stupidity, but of the brazen bullshit these guys are capable of.

This new and shallow deep state definition has buried the old meaning of the deep state as evil conspirators carrying out coup d'états, assassinations, and massive media propaganda campaigns at home and abroad, and who, by implication and direct declaration, never existed in the good old U.S.A. but only in countries such as Egypt, Turkey, and Pakistan where shadowy elites killed and deposed leaders and opponents in an endless series of coup d'états. No mention in Foreign Affairs , of course, of the American support for the ruthless leaders of these countries who have always been our dear allies when they obey our every order and serve as our servile proxies in murder and mayhem.

Even Edward Snowden , the courageous whistleblower in exile in Russia, in a recent interview with Joe Rogan , repeats this nonsense when he says the deep state is just "career government officials" who want to keep their jobs and who outlast presidents. From his own experience, he should know better. Much better. Interestingly, he suggests that he does when he tells Rogan that "every president since Kennedy" has been successfully "feared up" by the intelligence agencies so they will do their bidding. He doesn't need to add that JFK, for fearlessly refusing the bait, was shot in the head in broad daylight to send a message to those who would follow.

Linguistic mind control is insidious like the slow drip of a water faucet. After a while you don't hear it and just go about your business, even as your mind, like a rotting rubber washer, keeps disintegrating under propaganda's endless reiterations.

To think that the deep state is government employees just doing their patriotic duty is plain idiocy and plainer propaganda.

It is a trick, not the treat it is made to seem.

*

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Distinguished author and sociologist Edward Curtin is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. Visit the author's website here .

[Nov 02, 2019] Neoliberalism Tells Us We're Selfish Souls How Can We Promote Other Identities naked capitalism

Notable quotes:
"... The architects of neoliberalism understood this process of identity creation. By treating people as selfish, rational utility maximisers, they actively encouraged them to become selfish, rational utility maximisers. As the opening article points out, this is not a side effect of neoliberal policy, but a central part of its intention. As Michael Sandel pointed out in his 2012 book 'What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets' , it squeezes out competing values that previously governed non-market spheres of life, such as ethics of public service in the public sector, or mutual care within local communities. But these values remain latent: neoliberalism does not have the power to erase them completely. This is where the hope for the left lies, the crack of light through the doorway that needs to be prised open. ..."
"... Perhaps a rational system is one that accepts selfishness but keeps it within limits. Movements like the Chicago school that pretend to reinvent the wheel with new thinking are by this view a scam. As J.K. Galbraith said: "the problem with their ideas is that they have been tried." ..."
Nov 02, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Lambert here: Not sure the soul is an identity, but authors don't write the headlines. Read on!

By Christine Berry, a freelance researcher and writer and was previously Director of Policy and Government for the New Economics Foundation. She has also worked at ShareAction and in the House of Commons. Originally published at Open Democracy .

"Economics is the method: the object is to change the soul." Understanding why Thatcher said this is central to understanding the neoliberal project, and how we might move beyond it. Carys Hughes and Jim Cranshaw's opening article poses a crucial challenge to the left in this respect. It is too easy to tell ourselves a story about the long reign of neoliberalism that is peopled solely with all-powerful elites imposing their will on the oppressed masses. It is much harder to confront seriously the ways in which neoliberalism has manufactured popular consent for its policies.

The left needs to acknowledge that aspects of the neoliberal agenda have been overwhelmingly popular: it has successfully tapped into people's instincts about the kind of life they want to lead, and wrapped these instincts up in a compelling narrative about how we should see ourselves and other people. We need a coherent strategy for replacing this narrative with one that actively reconstructs our collective self-image – turning us into empowered citizens participating in communities of mutual care, rather than selfish property-owning individuals competing in markets.

As the Gramscian theorists Chantal Mouffe and Ernesto Laclau observed, our political identities are not a 'given' – something that emerges directly from the objective facts of our situation. We all occupy a series of overlapping identities in our day-to-day lives – as workers or bosses, renters or home-owners, debtors or creditors. Which of these define our politics depends on political struggles for meaning and power.

Part of the job of politics – whether within political parties or social movements – is to show how our individual problems are rooted in systemic issues that can be confronted collectively if we organise around these identities. Thus, debt becomes not a source of shame but an injustice that debtors can organise against. Struggles with childcare are not a source of individual parental guilt but a shared societal problem that we have a shared responsibility to tackle. Podemos were deeply influenced by this thinking when they sought to redefine Spanish politics as 'La Casta' ('the elite') versus the people, cutting across many of the traditional boundaries between right and left.

The architects of neoliberalism understood this process of identity creation. By treating people as selfish, rational utility maximisers, they actively encouraged them to become selfish, rational utility maximisers. As the opening article points out, this is not a side effect of neoliberal policy, but a central part of its intention. As Michael Sandel pointed out in his 2012 book 'What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets' , it squeezes out competing values that previously governed non-market spheres of life, such as ethics of public service in the public sector, or mutual care within local communities. But these values remain latent: neoliberalism does not have the power to erase them completely. This is where the hope for the left lies, the crack of light through the doorway that needs to be prised open.

The Limits of Neoliberal Consciousness

In thinking about how we do this, it's instructive to look at the ways in which neoliberal attempts to reshape our identities have succeeded – and the ways they have failed. While Right to Buy might have been successful in identifying people as home-owners and stigmatising social housing, this has not bled through into wider support for private ownership. Although public ownership did become taboo among the political classes for a generation – far outside the political 'common sense' – polls consistently showed that this was not matched by a fall in public support for the idea. On some level – perhaps because of the poor performance of privatised entities – people continued to identify as citizens with a right to public services, rather than as consumers of privatised services. The continued overwhelming attachment to a public NHS is the epitome of this tendency. This is partly what made it possible for Corbyn's Labour to rehabilitate the concept of public ownership, as the 2017 Labour manifesto's proposals for public ownership of railways and water – dismissed as ludicrous by the political establishment – proved overwhelmingly popular.

More generally, there is some evidence that neoliberalism didn't really succeed in making us see ourselves as selfish rational maximisers – just in making us believe that everybody else was . For example, a 2016 survey found that UK citizens are on average more oriented towards compassionate values than selfish values, but that they perceive others to be significantly more selfish (both than themselves and the actual UK average). Strikingly, those with a high 'self-society gap' were found to be less likely to vote and engage in civic activity, and highly likely to experience feelings of cultural estrangement.

This finding points towards both the great conjuring trick of neoliberal subjectivity and its Achilles heel: it has successfully popularised an idea of what human beings are like that most of us don't actually identify with ourselves. This research suggests that our political crisis is caused not only by people's material conditions of disempowerment, but by four decades of being told that we can't trust our fellow citizens. But it also suggests that deep down, we know this pessimistic account of human nature just isn't who we really are – or who we aspire to be.

An example of how this plays out can be seen in academic studies showing that, in game scenarios presenting the opportunity to free-ride on the efforts of others, only economics students behaved as economic models predicted: all other groups were much more likely to pool their resources. Having been trained to believe that others are likely to be selfish, economists believe that their best course of action is to be selfish as well. The rest of us still have the instinct to cooperate. Perhaps this shouldn't be surprising: after all, as George Monbiot argues in 'Out of the Wreckage' , cooperation is our species' main survival strategy.

What's Our 'Right to Buy?'

The challenge for the left is to find policies and stories that tap into this latent sense of what makes us human – what Gramsci called 'good sense' – and use it to overturn the neoliberal 'common sense'. In doing so, we must be aware that we are competing not only with a neoliberal identity but also with a new far-right that seeks to promote a white British ethno-nationalist group identity, conflating 'elites' with outsiders. How we compete with this is the million dollar question, and it's one we have not yet answered.

Thatcher's use of flagship policies like the Right to Buy was a masterclass in this respect. Deceptively simple, tangible and easy to grasp, the Right to Buy also communicated a much deeper story about the kind of nation we wanted to be – one of private, property-owning individuals – cementing home-ownership as a cultural symbol of aspiration (the right to paint your own front door) whilst giving millions an immediate financial stake in her new order. So what might be the equivalent flagship policies for the left today?

Perhaps one of the strongest efforts to date has been the proposal for ' Inclusive Ownership Funds ', first developed by Mathew Lawrence in a report for the New Economics Foundation, and announced as Labour policy by John McDonnell in 2018. This would require companies to transfer shares into a fund giving their workers a collective stake that rises over time and pays out employee dividends. Like the Right to Buy, as well as shifting the material distribution of wealth and power, this aims to build our identity as part of a community of workers taking more collective control over our working lives.

But this idea only takes us so far. While it may tap into people's desire for more security and empowerment at work, more of a stake in what they do, it offers a fairly abstract benefit that only cashes out over time, as workers acquire enough of a stake to have a meaningful say over company strategy. It may not mean much to those at the sharpest end of our oppressive and precarious labour market, at least not unless we also tackle the more pressing concerns they face – such as the exploitative practices of behemoths like Amazon or the stress caused by zero-hours contracts. We have not yet hit on an idea that can compete with the transformative change to people's lives offered by the Right to Buy.

So what else is on the table? Perhaps, when it comes to the cutting edge of new left thinking on these issues, the workplace isn't really where the action is – at least not directly. Perhaps we need to be tapping into people's desire to escape the 'rat race' altogether and have more freedom to pursue the things that really make us happy – time with our families, access to nature, the space to look after ourselves, connection with our communities. The four day working week (crucially with no loss of pay) has real potential as a flagship policy in this respect. The Conservatives and the right-wing press may be laughing it down with jokes about Labour being lazy and feckless, but perhaps this is because they are rattled. Ultimately, they can't escape the fact that most people would like to spend less time at work.

Skilfully communicated, this has the potential to be a profoundly anti-neoliberal policy that conveys a new story about what we aspire to, individually and as a society. Where neoliberalism tapped into people's desire for more personal freedom and hooked this to the acquisition of wealth, property and consumer choice, we can refocus on the freedom to live the lives we truly want. Instead of offering freedom through the market, we can offer freedom from the market.

Proponents of Universal Basic Income often argue that it fulfils a similar function of liberating people from work and detaching our ability to provide for ourselves from the marketplace for labour. But in material terms, it's unlikely that a UBI could be set at a level that would genuinely offer people this freedom, at least in the short term. And in narrative terms, UBI is actually a highly malleable policy that is equally susceptible to being co-opted by a libertarian agenda. Even at its best, it is really a policy about redistribution of already existing wealth (albeit on a bigger scale than the welfare state as it stands). To truly overturn neoliberalism, we need to go beyond this and talk about collective ownership and creation of wealth.

Policies that focus on collective control of assets may do a better job of replacing a narrative about individual property ownership with one that highlights the actual concentration of property wealth in the hands of elites – and the need to reclaim these assets for the common good. As well as Inclusive Ownership Funds, another way of doing this is through Citizens' Wealth Funds, which socialise profitable assets (be it natural resources or intangible ones such as data) and use the proceeds to pay dividends to individuals or communities. Universal Basic Services – for instance, policies such as free publicly owned buses – may be another.

Finally, I'd like to make a plea for care work as a critical area that merits further attention to develop convincing flagship policies – be it on universal childcare, elderly care or support for unpaid carers. The instinctive attachment that many of us feel to a public NHS needs to be widened to promote a broader right to care and be cared for, whilst firmly resisting the marketisation of care. Although care is often marginalised in political debate, as a new mum, I'm acutely aware that it is fundamental to millions of people's ability to live the lives they want. In an ageing population, most people now have lived experience of the pressures of caring for someone – whether a parent or a child. By talking about these issues, we move the terrain of political contestation away from the work valued by the market and onto the work we all know really matters; away from the competition for scarce resources and onto our ability to look after each other. And surely, that's exactly where the left wants it to be.

This article forms part of the " Left governmentality" mini series for openDemocracy.

Carolinian , November 1, 2019 at 12:36 pm

The problem is that people are selfish–me included–and so what is needed is not better ideas about ourselves but better laws. And for that we will need a higher level of political engagement and a refusal to accept candidates who sell themselves as a "lesser evil." It's the decline of democracy that brought on the rise of Reagan and Thatcher and Neoliberalism and not some change in public consciousness (except insofar as the general public became wealthier and more complacent). In America incumbents are almost universally likely to be re-elected to Congress and so they have no reason to reject Neoliberal ideas.

So here's suggesting that a functioning political process is the key to reform and not some change in the PR.

Angie Neer , November 1, 2019 at 12:42 pm

Carolinian, like you, I try to include myself in statements about "the problem with people." I believe one of the things preventing progress is our tendency to believe it's only those people that are the problem.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , November 1, 2019 at 4:55 pm

Human nature people are selfish. It's like the Christian marriage vow – which I understand is a Medieval invention and not something from 2,000 years ago – for better or worse, meaning, we share (and are not to be selfish) the good and the bad.

"Not neoliberals, but all of us." "Not the right, but the left as well." "Not just Russia, but America," or "Not just America, but Russia too."

Carolinian , November 1, 2019 at 5:54 pm

Perhaps a rational system is one that accepts selfishness but keeps it within limits. Movements like the Chicago school that pretend to reinvent the wheel with new thinking are by this view a scam. As J.K. Galbraith said: "the problem with their ideas is that they have been tried."

The Rev Kev , November 1, 2019 at 8:06 pm

My small brain got stuck on your reference to a 'Christian marriage vow'. I was just sitting back and conceiving what a Neoliberal marriage vow would sound like. Probably a cross between a no-liabilities contract and an open-marriage agreement.

Carey , November 1, 2019 at 9:05 pm

"people are selfish"?; or "people can sometimes act selfishly"? I think the latter is the more accurate statement. Appeal to the better side, and more of it will be forthcoming.
Neolib propaganda appeals to trivial, bleak individualism..

Carolinian , November 2, 2019 at 9:14 am

I'm not sure historic left attempts to appeal to "the better angels of our nature" have really moved the ball much. It took the Great Depression to give us a New Deal and WW2 to give Britain the NHS and the India its freedom. I'd say events are in the saddle far more than ideas.

Mark Anderlik , November 2, 2019 at 10:58 am

I rather look at it as a "both and" rather than an "either or." If the political groundwork is not done beforehand and during, the opportunity events afford will more likely be squandered.

And borrowing from evolutionary science, this also holds with the "punctuated equilibrium" theory of social/political change. The strain of a changed environment (caused by both events and intentionally created political activity) for a long time creates no visible change to the system, and so appears to fail. But then some combination of events and conscious political work suddenly "punctuates the equilibrium" with the resulting significant if not radical changes.

Chile today can be seen as a great example of this: "Its not 30 Pesos, its 30 Years."

J4Zonian , November 2, 2019 at 4:40 pm

Carolinian, you provide a good illustration of the power of the dominant paradigm to make people believe exactly what the article said–something I've observed more than enough to confirm is true. People act in a wide variety of ways; but many people deny that altruism and compassion are equally "human nature". Both parts of the belief pointed out here–believing other people are selfish and that we're not–are explained by projection acting in concert with the other parts of this phenomenon. Even though it's flawed because it's only a political and not a psychological explanation, It's a good start toward understanding.

"You and I are so deeply acculturated to the idea of "self" and organization and species that it is hard to believe that man [sic] might view his [sic] relations with the environment in any other way than the way which I have rather unfairly blamed upon the nineteenth-century evolutionists."

Gregory Bateson, Steps to an Ecology of Mind, p 483-4
This is part of a longer quote that's been important to me my whole life. Worth looking up. Bateson called this a mistake in epistemology–also, informally, his definition of evil.
http://anomalogue.com/blog/category/systems-thinking/

"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."
― Frédéric Bastiat

Doesn't mean it's genetic. In fact, I'm pretty sure it means it's not.

Capital fn 4 , November 1, 2019 at 1:11 pm

The desire for justice is the constant.

The Iron Lady once proclaimed, slightly sinisterly: "Economics is the method. The object is to change the soul." She meant that British people had to rediscover the virtue of traditional values such as hard work and thrift. The "something for nothing" society was over.

But the idea that the Thatcher era re-established the link between virtuous effort and just reward has been effectively destroyed by the spectacle of bankers driving their institutions into bankruptcy while being rewarded with million-pound bonuses and munificent pensions.

The dual-truth approach of the Neoliberal Thought Collective (thanks, Mirowski) has been more adept at manipulating narratives so the masses are still outraged by individuals getting undeserved social benefits rather than elites vacuuming up common resources. Thanks to the Thatcher-Reagan revolution, we have ended up with socialism for the rich, and everyone else at the mercy of 'markets'.

Pretending that there are not problems with free riders is naive and it goes against people's concern with justice. Acknowledging free riders on all levels with institutions that can constantly pursue equity is the solution.

Anarcissie , November 2, 2019 at 10:09 am

At some points in life, everyone is a free rider. As for the hard workers, many of them are doing destructive things which the less hard-working people will have to suffer under and compensate for. (Neo)liberalism and capitalism are a coherent system of illusions of virtue which rest on domination, exploitation, extraction, and propaganda. Stoking of resentment (as of free riders, the poor, the losers, foreigners, and so on) is one of the ways those who enjoy it keep it going.

Capital fn. 4 , November 1, 2019 at 1:16 pm

The desire for justice is the constant.

The Iron Lady once proclaimed, slightly sinisterly: "Economics is the method. The object is to change the soul." She meant that British people had to rediscover the virtue of traditional values such as hard work and thrift. The "something for nothing" society was over.

But the idea that the Thatcher era re-established the link between virtuous effort and just reward has been effectively destroyed by the spectacle of bankers driving their institutions into bankruptcy while being rewarded with million-pound bonuses and munificent pensions.

The dual-truth approach of the Neoliberal Thought Collective (thanks, Mirowski) has been more adept at manipulating narratives so the masses are still outraged by individuals getting undeserved social benefits rather than elites vacuuming up common resources. Thanks to the Thatcher-Reagan revolution, we have ended up with socialism for the rich, and everyone else at the mercy of 'markets'.

Pretending that there are not problems with free riders is naive and it goes against people's concern with justice. Acknowledging free riders on all levels with institutions that can constantly pursue equity is the solution.

Synoia , November 2, 2019 at 12:58 pm

The Iron Lady had a agenda to break the labor movement in the UK.

What she did not understand is Management gets the Union (Behavior) it deserves. If there is strife in the workplace, as there was in abundance in the UK at that time, the problem is the Management, (and the UK class structure) not the workers.

As I found out when I left University.

Thatcher set out to break the solidarity of the Labor movement, and used the neo-liberal tool of selfishness to achieve success, unfortunately,

The UK's poor management practices, (The Working Class can kiss my arse) and complete inability to form teams of "Management and Workers" was, IMHO, is the foundation of today's Brexit nightmare, a foundation based on the British Class Structure.

And exploited, as it ever was, to achieve ends which do not benefit workers in any manner.

The Historian , November 1, 2019 at 1:43 pm

The left needs to acknowledge that aspects of the neoliberal agenda have been overwhelmingly popular: it has successfully tapped into people's instincts about the kind of life they want to lead, and wrapped these instincts up in a compelling narrative about how we should see ourselves and other people.

Sigh, no this is not true. This author is making the mistake that everyone is like the top 5% and that just is not so. Perhaps she should get out of her personal echo chamber and talk to common people.

In my travels I have been to every state and every major city, and I have worked with just about every class of people, except of course the ultra wealthy and ultra powerful – they have people to protect them from the great unwashed like me – and it didn't take me long to notice that the elite are different from the rest of us but I could never explain exactly why. After I retired, I started studying and I've examined everything from Adam Smith, to Hobbes, to Kant, to Durkheim, to Marx, to Ayn Rand, to tons of histories and anthropologies of various peoples, to you name it and I've come to the conclusion that most of us are not neoliberal and do not want what the top 5% want.

Most people are not overly competitive and most do not seek self-interest only. That is what allows us to live in cities, to drive on our roadways, to form groups that seek to improve conditions for the least of us. It is what allows soldiers to protect each other on the battlefield when it would be in their self interest to protect themselves. It is what allowed people in Europe to risk their own lives to save Jews. And it is also what allows people to live under the worst dictators without rebelling. Of course we all want more but we have limits on what we will do to get that more – the wealthy and powerful seem to have no limits. For instance, most of us won't screw over our co-workers to make ourselves look better, although some will. Most of us won't turn on our best friends even when it would be to our advantage to do so, although some will. Most of us won't abandon those we care about, even when it means severe financial damage to us, although some will.

For lack of a better description, I call what the 5% have the greed gene – a gene that allows them to give up empathy and compassion and basic morality – what some of us call fairness – in the search for personal gain. I don't think it is necessarily genetic but there is something in their makeup that cause them to have more than the average self interest. And because most humans are more cooperative than they are competitive, most humans just allow these people to go after what they want and don't stand in their way, even though by stopping them, they could make their own lives better.

Most history and economics are theories and stories told by the rich and powerful to justify their behavior. I think it is a big mistake to attribute that behavior to the mass of humanity. Archeology is beginning to look more at how average people lived instead of seeking out only the riches deposited by the elite, and historians are starting to look at the other side of history – average people – to see what life was really like for them, and I think we are seeing that what the rulers wanted was never what their people wanted. It is beginning to appear obvious that 95% of the people just wanted to live in their communities safely, to have about what everyone else around them had, and to enjoy the simple pleasures of shelter, enough food, and warm companionship.

I'm also wondering why the 5% think that all of us want exactly what they want. Do they really think that they are somehow being smarter or more competent got them there while 95% of the population – the rest of us – failed?

At this point, I know my theory is half-baked – I definitely need to do more research, but nothing I have found yet convinces me that there isn't some real basic difference between those who aspire to power and wealth and the rest of us.

Foy , November 1, 2019 at 5:09 pm

" ..and I've come to the conclusion that most of us are not neoliberal and do not want what the top 5% want. Most people are not overly competitive and most do not seek self-interest only. That is what allows us to live in cities, to drive on our roadways, to form groups that seek to improve conditions for the least of us. It is what allows soldiers to protect each other on the battlefield when it would be in their self interest to protect themselves. "

I really liked your comment Historian. Thanks for posting. That's what I've felt in my gut for a while, that the top 5% and the establishment are operating under a different mindset, that the majority of people don't want a competitive, dog eat dog, self interest world.

SKM , November 1, 2019 at 5:52 pm

me too, great observation and well put. Made me feel better too! Heartfelt thanks

Mo's Bike Shop , November 1, 2019 at 8:00 pm

I agree with Foy Johnson. I've been reading up on Ancient Greece and realizing all the time that 'teh Greeks' are maybe only about thirty percent of the people in Greece. Most of that history is how Greeks were taking advantage of each other with little mention of the majority of the population. Pelasgians? Yeah, they came from serpents teeth, the end.

I think this is a problem from the Bronze Age that we have not properly addressed.

Mystery Cycles are a nice reminder that people were having fun on their own.

Carey , November 1, 2019 at 5:15 pm

Thanks very much for this comment, Historian.

deplorado , November 1, 2019 at 5:22 pm

I have more or less the same view. I think the author's statement about neoliberalism tapping into what type of life people want to lead is untenable. Besides instinct (are we all 4-year olds?), what people want is also very much socially constructed. And what people do is also very much socially coerced.

One anecdote: years ago, during a volunteer drive at work, I worked side by side with the company's CEO (company was ~1200 headcount, ~.5bn revenue) sorting canned goods. The guy was doing it like he was in a competition. So much so that he often blocked me when I had to place something on the shelves, and took a lot of space in the lineup around himself while swinging his large-ish body and arms, and wouldn't stop talking. To me, this was very rude and inconsiderate, and showed a repulsive level of disregard to others. This kind of behavior at such an event, besides being unpleasant to be around, was likely also making work for the others in the lineup less efficient. Had I or anyone else behaved like him, we would have had a good amount of awkwardness or even a conflict.

What I don't get is, how does he and others get away with it? My guess is, people don't want a conflict. I didn't want a conflict and said nothing to that CEO. Not because I am not competitive, but because I didn't want an ugly social situation (we said 'excuse me' and 'sorry' enough, I just didn't think it would go over well to ask him to stop being obnoxious and dominant for no reason). He obviously didn't care or was unaware – or actually, I think he was behaving that way as a tactical habit. And I didn't feel I had the authority to impose a different order.

So, in the end, it's about power – power relations and knowing what to do about it.

Foy , November 1, 2019 at 7:43 pm

Yep, I think you've nailed it there deplorado, types like your CEO don't care at all and/or are socially unaware, and is a tactical habit that they have found has worked for them in the past and is now ingrained. It is a power relation and our current world unfortunately is now designed and made to suit people like that. And each day the world incrementally moves a little bit more in their direction with inertia like a glacier. Its going to take something big to turn it around

Jeremy Grimm , November 1, 2019 at 6:49 pm

I too believe "most of us are not neoliberal". But if so, how did we end up with the kind of Corporate Cartels, Government Agencies and Organizations that currently prey upon Humankind? This post greatly oversimplifies the mechanisms and dynamics of Neoliberalism, and other varieties of exploitation of the many by the few. This post risks a mocking tie to Identity Politics. What traits of Humankind give truth to Goebbels' claims?

There definitely is "some real basic difference between those who aspire to power and wealth and the rest of us" -- but the question you should ask next is why the rest of us Hobbits blindly follow and help the Saurons among us. Why do so many of us do exactly what we're told? How is it that constant repetition of the Neoliberal identity concepts over our media can so effectively ensnare the thinking of so many?

Foy , November 1, 2019 at 7:47 pm

Maybe it's something similar to Milgram's Experiment (the movie the Experimenter about Milgram was on last night – worth watching and good acting by Peter Sarsgaard, my kind of indie film), the outcome is just not what would normally be expected, people bow to authority, against their own beliefs and interests, and others interests, even though they have choice. The Hobbits followed blindly in that experiment, the exact opposite outcome as to what was predicted by the all the psychology experts beforehand.

Mo's Bike Shop , November 1, 2019 at 8:12 pm

people bow to authority , against their own beliefs and interests, and others interests, even though they have choice

'Don't Make Waves' is a fundamentally useful value that lets us all swim along. This can be manipulated. If everyone is worried about Reds Under the Beds or recycling, you go along to get along.

Some people somersault to Authority is how I'd put it.

Foy , November 1, 2019 at 11:17 pm

Yep, don't mind how you put that Mo, good word somersault.

One of the amusing tests Milgram did was to have people go into the lift but all face the back of the lift instead of the doors and see what happens when the next person got in. Sure enough, with the next person would get in, face the front, look around with some confusion at everyone else and then slowly turn and face the back. Don't Make Waves its instinctive to let us all swim along as you said.

And 'some people' is correct. It was actually the majority, 65%, who followed directions against their own will and preferred choice in his original experiment.

susan the Other , November 1, 2019 at 8:07 pm

thank you, historian

The Rev Kev , November 1, 2019 at 8:14 pm

That's a pretty damn good comment that, Historian. Lots to unpick. It reminded me too of something that John Wyndham once said. He wrote how about 95% of us wanted to live in peace and comfort but that the other 5% were always considering their chances if they started something. He went on to say that it was the introduction of nuclear weapons that made nobody's chances of looking good which explains why the lack of a new major war since WW2.

Mr grumpy , November 1, 2019 at 9:56 pm

Good comment. My view is that it all boils down to the sociopathic personality disorder. Sociopathy runs on a continuum, and we all exhibit some of its tendencies. At the highest end you get serial killers and titans of industry, like the guy sorting cans in another comment. I believe all religions and theories of ethical behavior began as attempts to reign in the sociopaths by those of us much lower on the continuum. Neoliberalism starts by saying the sociopaths are the norm, turning the usual moral and ethical universe upside down.

Janie , November 1, 2019 at 11:59 pm

Your theory is not half-baked; it's spot-on. If you're not the whatever it takes, end justifies the means type, you are not likely to rise to the top in the corporate world. The cream rises to the top happens only in the dairy.

Grebo , November 2, 2019 at 12:25 am

Your 5% would correspond to Altemeyer's "social dominators". Unfortunately only 75% want a simple, peaceful life. 20% are looking for a social dominator to follow. It's psychological.

Kristin Lee , November 2, 2019 at 5:21 am

Excellent comment. Take into consideration the probability that the majority of the top 5% have come from a privileged background, ensconced in a culture of entitlement. This "greed" gene is as natural to them as breathing. Consider also that many wealthy families have maintained their status through centuries of calculated loveless marriages, empathy and other human traits gene-pooled out of existence. The cruel paradox is that for the sake of riches, they have lost their richness in character.

Davenport , November 2, 2019 at 7:57 am

This really chimes with me. Thanks so much for putting it down in words.

I often encounter people insisting humans are selfish. It is quite frustrating that this more predominant side of our human nature seems to become invisible against the propaganda.

Henry Moon Pie , November 1, 2019 at 1:49 pm

I'm barely into Jeremy Lent's The Patterning Instinct: A Cultural History of Humanity's Search for Meaning , but he's already laid down his central thesis in fairly complete form. Humans are both competitive and cooperative, he says, which should surprise no one. What I found interesting is that the competitive side comes from primates who are more intensely competitive than humans. The cooperation developed after the human/primate split and was enabled by "mimetic culture," communication skills that importantly presuppose that the object(s) of communication are intentional creatures like oneself but with a somewhat different perspective. Example: Human #1 gestures to Human #2 to come take a closer look at whatever Human #1 is examining. This ability to cooperate even came with strategies to prevent a would-be dominant male from taking over a hunter-gatherer band:

[I]n virtually all hunter-gatherer societies, people join together to prevent powerful males from taking too much control, using collective behaviors such as ridicule, group disobedience, and, ultimately, extreme sanctions such as assassination [This kind of society is called] a "reverse dominant hierarchy because rather than being dominated, the rank and file manages to dominate.

SKM , November 1, 2019 at 6:02 pm

yes, this chimes in with what I`ve been thinking for years after puzzling about why society everywhere ends up as it does – ie the fact that in small groups as we evolved to live in, we would keep a check on extreme selfish behaviour of dominant individuals. In complex societies (modern) most of us become "the masses" visible in some way to the system but the top echelons are not visible to us and are able to amass power and wealth out of all control by the rest of us. And yes, you do have to have a very strange drive (relatively rare, ?pathological) to want power and wealth at everyone else`s expense – to live in a cruel world many of whose problems could be solved (or not arise in the first place) by redistributing some of your wealth to little palpable cost to you

Mo's Bike Shop , November 1, 2019 at 8:37 pm

Africa over a few million years of Ice Ages seems to have presented our ancestors with the possibility of reproducing only if you can get along in close proximity to other Hominids without killing each other. I find that a compelling explanation for our stupidly big brains; it's one thing to be a smart monkey, it's a whole different solution needed to model what is going on in the brain of another smart monkey.

And communications: How could spoken language have developed without levels of trust and interdependence that maybe we can not appreciate today? We have a word for 'Blue' nowadays, we take it for granted.

Anarcissie , November 2, 2019 at 10:18 am

There is a theory that language originated between mothers and their immediate progeny, between whom either trust and benevolence exist, or the weaker dies. The mother's chances for survival and reproduction are enhanced if she can get her progeny to, so to speak, help out around the house; how to do that is extended by symbolism and syntax as well as example.

chuck roast , November 1, 2019 at 2:00 pm

I recall the first day of Econ 102 when the Prof. (damned few adjuncts in those days) said, "Everything we discuss hereafter will be built on the concept of scarcity." Being a contrary buggah' I thought, "The air I'm breathing isn't scarce." I soon got with the program supply and demand upward sloping, downward sloping, horizontal, vertical and who could forget kinked. My personal favorite was the Giffen Good a high priced inferior product. Kind of like Micro Economics.

Maybe we could begin our new Neo-Economics 102 with the proviso, "Everything we discuss hereafter will be based on abundance." I'm gonna' like this class!

Off The Street , November 1, 2019 at 2:27 pm

Neo-lib Econ does a great job at framing issues so that people don't notice what is excluded. Think of them as proto-Dark Patternists.

If you are bored and slightly mischievous, ask an economist how theory addresses cooperation, then assume a can opener and crack open a twist-top beer.

jrs , November 1, 2019 at 3:11 pm

Isn't one of the problems that it's NOT really built on the concept of scarcity? Most natural resources run into scarcity eventually. I don't know about the air one breaths, certainly fish species are finding reduced oxygen in the oceans due to climate change.

shtove , November 2, 2019 at 3:45 am

Yes, I suppose people in cities in south-east Asia wearing soot-exclusion masks have a different take on the abundance of air.

Jeremy Grimm , November 1, 2019 at 6:57 pm

If you would like that class on abundance you would love the Church of Abundant Life which pushes Jesus as the way to Abundant Life and they mean that literally. Abundant as in Jesus wants you to have lots of stuff -- so believe.

I believe Neoliberalism is a much more complex animal than an economic theory. Mirowski builds a plausible argument that Neoliberalism is a theory of epistemology. The Market discovers Truth.

Mo's Bike Shop , November 1, 2019 at 8:53 pm

"The air I'm breathing isn't scarce."

Had a lovely Physics class where the first homework problem boiled down to "How often do you inhale a atom (O or N) from Julius Caesar's last breath". Great little introduction to the power and pratfalls of 'estimations by Physicists' that xkcd likes to poke at. Back then we used the CRC Handbook to figure it out.

Anyway, every second breath you can be sure you have shared an atom with Caesar.

Susan the Other , November 1, 2019 at 2:08 pm

I don't think Maggie T. or uncle Milty were thinking about the future at all. Neither one would have openly promoted turfing quadriplegic 70-year-olds out of the rest home. That's how short sighted they both were. And stupid. We really need to call a spade a spade here. Milty doesn't even qualify as an economist – unless economics is the study of the destruction of society. But neoliberalism had been in the wings already, by the 80s, for 40 years. Nobody took into account that utility-maximizing capitalism always kills the goose (except Lenin maybe) – because it's too expensive to feed her. The neoliberals were just plain dumb. The question really is why should we stand for another day of neoliberal nonsense? Albeit Macht Frei Light? No thanks. I think they've got the question backwards – it shouldn't be how should "we" reconstruct our image now – but what is the obligation of all the failed neoliberal extractors to right society now? I'd just as soon stand back and watch the dam burst as help the neolibs out with a little here and a little there. They'll just keep taking as long as we give. This isn't as annoying as Macron's "cake" comment, but it's close. I did like the last 2 paragraphs however.

Susan the Other , November 1, 2019 at 2:42 pm

Here's a sidebar. A universal one. There is an anomaly in the universe – there is not enough accumulated entropy. It screws up theoretical physics because the missing entropy needs to be accounted for for their theories to work to their satisfaction. It seems to be a phenomenon of evolution. Thus it was recently discovered by a physics grad student that entropy by heat dissipation is the "creator" of life. Life almost spontaneously erupts where it can take advantage of an energy source. And, we are assuming, life thereby slows entropy down. There has to be another similar process among the stars and the planets as well, an evolutionary conservation of energy. So evolution takes on more serious meaning. From the quantum to the infinite. And society – it's right in the middle. So it isn't too unreasonable to think that society is extremely adaptable, taking advantage of any energy input, and it seems true to think that. Which means that society can go long for its goal before it breaks down. But in the end it will be enervated by lack of "resources" unless it can self perpetuate in an evolving manner. That's one good reason to say goodbye to looney ideologies.

djrichard , November 1, 2019 at 3:05 pm

For a view of humanity that is not as selfish, recommend "The Gift" by Marcel Mauss. Basically an anthropological study of reciprocal gift giving in the oceanic potlatch societies. My take is that the idea was to re-visit relationships, as giving a gift basically forces a response in the receiver, "Am I going to respond in kind, perhaps even upping what is required? Or am I going to find that this relationship simply isn't worth it and walk away?"

Kind of like being in a marriage. The idea isn't to walk away, the idea is you constantly need to re-enforce it. Except with the potlatch it was like extending that concept to the clan at large, so that all the relationships within the clan were being re-enforced.

Amfortas the hippie , November 1, 2019 at 3:26 pm

"Kind of like being in a marriage. The idea isn't to walk away, the idea is you constantly need to re-enforce it. "
amen.
we, the people, abdicated.

as for humans being selfish by default i used to believe this, due to my own experiences as an outlaw and pariah.
until wife's cancer and the overwhelming response of this little town,in the "reddest" congressional district in texas.
locally, the most selfish people i know are the one's who own everything buying up their neighbor's businesses when things get tough.
they are also the most smug and pretentious(local dems, in their hillforts come a close second in this regard) and most likely to be gop true believers.
small town and all everybody literally knows everybody, and their extended family and those connections are intertwined beyond belief.
wife's related, in some way, to maybe half the town.
that matters and explains my experience as an outcast: i never belonged to anything like that and such fellowfeeling and support is hard for people to extend to a stranger.
That's what's gonna be the hard sell, here, in undoing the hyperindividualist, "there is no such thing as society" nonsense.

Mo's Bike Shop , November 1, 2019 at 9:23 pm

I grew up until Junior High in a fishing village on the Maine coast that had been around for well over a hundred years and had a population of under 1000. By the time I was 8 I realized there was no point in being extreme with anyone, because they were likely to be around for the rest of your life.

I fell in love with sun and warmth when we moved away and unfortunately it's all gentrified now, by the 90s even a tar paper shack could be sold for a few acres up in Lamoine.

djrichard , November 1, 2019 at 10:49 pm

Yep, small towns are about as close as we get to clans nowadays. And just like clans, you don't want to be on the outside. Still when you marry in, it would be nice if the town would make you feel more a member like a clan should / would. ;-)

But outside of the small town and extended families I think that's it. We've been atomized into our nuclear families. Except for the ruling class – I think they have this quid pro quo gift giving relationship building figured out quite nicely. Basically they've formed their own small town – at the top.

By the way, I understand Mauss was an influence on Baudrillard. I could almost imagine Baudrillard thinking how the reality of the potlatch societies was so different than the reality of western societies.

Anarcissie , November 2, 2019 at 10:29 am

That's the big problem I see in this discussion. We know, or at least think we know, what's wrong, and what would be better; but we can't get other people to want to do something about it, even those who nominally agree with us. And I sure don't have the answer.

David , November 1, 2019 at 3:07 pm

Neoliberalism, in its early guise at least, was popular because politicians like Thatcher effectively promised something for nothing. Low taxes but still decent public services. The right to buy your council house without putting your parents' council house house in jeopardy. Enjoying private medical care as a perk of your job whilst still finding the NHS there when you were old and sick. And so on. By the time the penny dropped it was too late.
If the Left is serious about challenging neoliberalism, it has to return to championing the virtues of community, which it abandoned decades ago in favour of extreme liberal individualism Unfortunately, community is an idea which has either been appropriated by various identity warriors (thus fracturing society further) or dismissed (as this author does) because it's been taken up by the Right. A Left which explained that when everybody cooperates everybody benefits, but that when everybody fights everybody loses, would sweep the board.

deplorado , November 1, 2019 at 8:30 pm

>>Neoliberalism, in its early guise at least, was popular because politicians like Thatcher effectively promised something for nothing.

This. That's it.

Thank you David, for always providing among the most grounded and illuminating comments here.

Mo's Bike Shop , November 1, 2019 at 9:54 pm

If the Left is serious about challenging neoliberalism, it has to return to championing the virtues of community

I agree. The tenuous suggestions offered by the article are top down. But top-down universal solutions can remove the impetus for local organization. Which enervates the power of communities. And then you can't do anything about austerity, because your Rep loves the PowerPoints and has so much money from the Real Estate community.

Before one experiences the virtue, or power, of a community, one has to go through the pain in the ass of contributing to a community. It has to be rewarding process or it won't happen.

No idea how to do that from the top.

Capital fn. 4 , November 1, 2019 at 3:12 pm

Jeez louise-
one more attempt to get past Skynet

PKMKII , November 1, 2019 at 4:05 pm

Anyone have a link to the studies mentioned about how Econ majors were the only ones to act selfishly in the game scenarios?

Rod , November 2, 2019 at 3:30 pm

this may not get the ECON majors specifically but this will raise your eyebrows

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2018/06/embark-essay-tragedy-of-the-commons-greed-common-good/

this is next gen coming up here

Summer , November 1, 2019 at 5:33 pm

"An example of how this plays out can be seen in academic studies showing that, in game scenarios presenting the opportunity to free-ride on the efforts of others, only economics students behaved as economic models predicted: all other groups were much more likely to pool their resources. Having been trained to believe that others are likely to be selfish, economists believe that their best course of action is to be selfish as well. The rest of us still have the instinct to cooperate. Perhaps this shouldn't be surprising: after all, as George Monbiot argues in 'Out of the Wreckage', cooperation is our species' main survival strategy."

Since so many people believe their job is their identity, would be interssting to know what the job training or jobs were of the "others."

Summer , November 1, 2019 at 5:35 pm

"Ultimately, they can't escape the fact that most people would like to spend less time at work."

And that is a key point!

Carey , November 1, 2019 at 7:39 pm

>so many people believe their job is their identity

Only because the social sphere, which in the medium and long term we *all depend
on* to survive, has been debased by 24/7/365 neolib talking points, and their purposeful economic constrictions..

Jeremy Grimm , November 1, 2019 at 7:13 pm

How many people have spent their lives working for the "greater good"? How many work building some transcendental edifice from which the only satisfaction they could take away was knowing they performed a part of its construction? The idea that Humankind is selfish and greedy is a projection promoted by the small part of Humankind that really is selfish and greedy.

Sound of the Suburbs , November 2, 2019 at 4:59 am

Let's work out the basics, this will help.

Where does wealth creation actually occur in the capitalist system?

Nations can do well with the trade, as we have seen with China and Germany, but this comes at other nation's expense.
In a successful global economy, trade should be balanced over the long term.
Keynes was aware of this in the past, and realised surplus nations were just as much of a problem as deficit nations in a successful global economy with a long term future.

Zimababwe has lots of money and it's not doing them any favours. Too much money causes hyper-inflation.
You can just print money, the real wealth in the economy lies somewhere else.
Alan Greenspan tells Paul Ryan the Government can create all the money it wants and there is no need to save for pensions.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNCZHAQnfGU
What matters is whether the goods and services are there for them to buy with that money. That's where the real wealth in the economy lies.
Money has no intrinsic value; its value comes from what it can buy.
Zimbabwe has too much money in the economy relative to the goods and services available in that economy. You need wheelbarrows full of money to buy anything.
It's that GDP thing that measures real wealth creation.

GDP does not include the transfer of existing assets like stocks and real estate.
Inflated asset prices are just inflated asset prices and this can disappear all too easily as we keep seeing in real estate.
1990s – UK, US (S&L), Canada (Toronto), Scandinavia, Japan
2000s – Iceland, Dubai, US (2008)
2010s – Ireland, Spain, Greece
Get ready to put Australia, Canada, Norway, Sweden and Hong Kong on the list.
They invented the GDP measure in the 1930s, to track real wealth creation in the economy after they had seen all that apparent wealth in the US stock market disappear in 1929.
There was nothing really there.

Now, we can move on further.

The UK's national income accountants can't work out how finance adds any value (creates wealth).
Banks create money from bank loans, not wealth.
https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/quarterly-bulletin/2014/money-creation-in-the-modern-economy.pdf
We have mistaken inflating asset prices for creating wealth.

How can banks create wealth with bank credit?
The UK used to know before 1980.
https://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/uploads/monthly_2018_02/Screen-Shot-2017-04-21-at-13_53_09.png.e32e8fee4ffd68b566ed5235dc1266c2.png
Before 1980 – banks lending into the right places that result in GDP growth (business and industry, creating new products and services in the economy)
After 1980 – banks lending into the wrong places that don't result in GDP growth (real estate and financial speculation)
What happened in 1979?
The UK eliminated corset controls on banking in 1979 and the banks invaded the mortgage market and this is where the problem starts.

Real estate does make the economy boom, but there is no real wealth creation in inflating asset prices.
What is really happening?
When you use bank credit to inflate asset prices, the debt rises much faster than GDP.
https://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/uploads/monthly_2018_02/Screen-Shot-2017-04-21-at-13_53_09.png.e32e8fee4ffd68b566ed5235dc1266c2.png
The bank credit of mortgages is bringing future spending power into today.
Bank loans create money and the repayment of debt to banks destroys money.
https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/quarterly-bulletin/2014/money-creation-in-the-modern-economy.pdf
In the real estate boom, new money pours into the economy from mortgage lending, fuelling a boom in the real economy, which feeds back into the real estate boom.
The Japanese real estate boom of the 1980s was so excessive the people even commented on the "excess money", and everyone enjoyed spending that excess money in the economy.
In the real estate bust, debt repayments to banks destroy money and push the economy towards debt deflation (a shrinking money supply).
Japan has been like this for thirty years as they pay back the debts from their 1980s excesses, it's called a balance sheet recession.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YTyJzmiHGk
Bank loans effectively take future spending and bring it in today.
Jam today, penury tomorrow.
Using future spending power to inflate asset prices today is a mistake that comes from thinking inflating asset prices creates real wealth.
GDP measures real wealth creation.

Sound of the Suburbs , November 2, 2019 at 5:37 am

Did you know capitalism works best with low housing costs and a low cost of living?
Probably not, you are in the parallel universe of neoliberalism.

William White (BIS, OECD) talks about how economics really changed over one hundred years ago as classical economics was replaced by neoclassical economics.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6iXBQ33pBo&t=2485s

He thinks we have been on the wrong path for one hundred years.

Some very important things got lost 100 years ago.

The Mont Pelerin society developed the parallel universe of neoliberalism from neoclassical economics.

The CBI (Confederation of British Industry) saw the light once they discovered my equation (Michael Hudson condensed)

Disposable income = wages – (taxes + the cost of living)

"Wait a minute, employees get their money from wages and businesses have to cover high housing costs in wages reducing profit" the CBI

It's all about the economy, and UK businesses will benefit from low housing costs.

High housing costs push up wages and reduce profits.

Off-shore to make more profit, you can pay lower wages where the cost of living is lower, e.g. China; the US and UK are rubbish.

Sound of the Suburbs , November 2, 2019 at 8:11 am

What was Keynes really doing?
Creating a low cost, internationally competitive economy.

Keynes's ideas were a solution to the problems of the Great Depression, but we forgot why he did, what he did.

They tried running an economy on debt in the 1920s.

The 1920s roared with debt based consumption and speculation until it all tipped over into the debt deflation of the Great Depression. No one realised the problems that were building up in the economy as they used an economics that doesn't look at private debt, neoclassical economics.

Keynes looked at the problems of the debt based economy and came up with redistribution through taxation to keep the system running in a sustainable way and he dealt with the inherent inequality capitalism produced.

The cost of living = housing costs + healthcare costs + student loan costs + food + other costs of living

Disposable income = wages – (taxes + the cost of living)

High progressive taxation funded a low cost economy with subsidised housing, healthcare, education and other services to give more disposable income on lower wages.

Employers and employees both win with a low cost of living.

Keynesian ideas went wrong in the 1970s and everyone had forgotten the problems of neoclassical economics that he originally solved.

Sound of the Suburbs , November 2, 2019 at 8:44 am

Economics, the time line:

Classical economics – observations and deductions from the world of small state, unregulated capitalism around them

Neoclassical economics – Where did that come from?

Keynesian economics – observations, deductions and fixes for the problems of neoclassical economics

Neoclassical economics – Why is that back?

We thought small state, unregulated capitalism was something that it wasn't as our ideas came from neoclassical economics, which has little connection with classical economics.

On bringing it back again, we had lost everything that had been learned in the 1930s, by which time it had already demonstrated its flaws.

Kristin Lee , November 2, 2019 at 5:54 am

Ultimately, neoliberalism is about privatization and ownership of everything. This is why it's so important to preserve the Common Good, the vital resources and services that support earthly existence. The past 40 years has shown what happens when this falls out of balance. Our value system turns upside down – the sick become more valuable than the healthy, a violent society provides for the prisons-for-profit system and so on. The biggest upset has been the privatization of money creation.

This latest secret bank bailout (not really secret as Dodd-Frank has allowed banks to siphon newly created money from the Fed without Congressional approval. No more public embarrassment that Hank Paulson had to endure.) They are now up to $690 billion PER WEEK while the media snoozes. PPPs enjoy the benefits of public money to seed projects for private gain. The rest of us have to rely on predatory lenders, sinking us to the point of Peak Debt, where private debt can never be paid off and must be cancelled, as it should be because it never should've happened in the first place.

"Neoliberalism, which has influenced so much of the conventional thinking about money, is adamant that the public sector must not create ('print') money, and so public expenditure must be limited to what the market can 'afford.' Money, in this view, is a limited resource that the market ensures will be used efficiently. Is public money, then, a pipe dream? No, for the financial crisis and the response to it undermined this neoliberal dogma. The financial sector mismanaged its role as a source of money so badly that the state had to step in and provide unlimited monetary backing to rescue it. The creation of money out of thin air by public authorities revealed the inherently political nature of money. But why, then, was the power to create money ceded to the private sector in the first place -- and with so little public accountability? And if money can be created to serve the banks, why not to benefit people and the environment? "

Paul Hirshman , November 2, 2019 at 3:33 pm

The Commons should have a shot at revival as the upcoming generation's desires are outstripped by their incomes and savings. The conflict between desires and reality may give a boost to alternate notions of what's desirable. Add to this the submersion of cities under the waves of our expanding oceans, and one gets yet another concrete reason to think that individual ownership isn't up to the job of inspiring young people. A Commons of some sort will be needed to undo the cost of generations of unpaid negative externalities. Fossil fuels, constant warfare, income inequality, stupendous idiocy of kleptocratic government these baked in qualities of neo-liberalism are creating a very large, dissatisfied, and educated population just about anywhere one looks. Suburbia will be on fire, as well as underwater. Farmlands will be parched, drenched, and exhausted. Where will Larry Summers dump the garbage?

[Nov 01, 2019] Orwell on corruption of the language

Nov 01, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

Hidari 11.01.19 at 11:42 am

'It will be seen that, as used, the word 'Fascism' is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, of course, it is used even more wildly than in print. I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley's broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else .

In certain kinds of writing it is normal to come across long passages which are almost completely lacking in meaning .. When one critic writes, 'The outstanding feature of Mr. X's work is its living quality', while another writes, 'The immediately striking thing about Mr. X's work is its peculiar deadness', the reader accepts this as a simple difference of opinion.

If words like black and white were involved, instead of the jargon words dead and living, he would see at once that language was being used in an improper way. Many political words are similarly abused.

The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies 'something not desirable' .Other words used in variable meanings, in most cases more or less dishonestly, are: class, totalitarian, science, progressive, reactionary .' (Orwell).

[Nov 01, 2019] Thank God For The Deep State Intel Agents Admit They Want To Take Out Trump

Nov 01, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

by Tyler Durden Fri, 11/01/2019 - 08:05 0 SHARES

Authored by Steve Watson via Summit News,

"These are people who are doing their duty or responding to a higher call."

Two former intelligence heads bragged about how the deep state is engaged in a coup to remove President Trump Thursday, with one even praising God for the existence of the deep state.

During an interview with Margaret Brennan of CSPAN, former CIA head John McLaughlin along with his successor John Brennan both basically admitted that there is a secretive cabal of people within US intelligence who are trying to 'take Trump out'.

"Thank God for the 'Deep State,'" McLaughlin crowed as liberals in the crowd cheered.

Tom Elliott ‏ @ tomselliott 15h 15 hours ago Follow Follow @ tomselliott Following Following @ tomselliott Unfollow Unfollow @ tomselliott Blocked Blocked @ tomselliott Unblock Unblock @ tomselliott Pending Pending follow request from @ tomselliott Cancel Cancel your follow request to @ tomselliott More

Former CIA director John McLaughlin on Trump's impeachment: "Thank God for the deep state"

Wakeup Bud ‏ @ spank419 13h 13 hours ago Replying to @ tomselliott

Mr. President it's time to completely clean out all of the Intel agencies from top to bottom. This is 40 years in the making if not more. It took a complete outsider to create this and thank God you'll be there for another five years @ realDonaldTrump

"I mean I think everyone has seen this progression of diplomats and intelligence officers and White House people trooping up to Capitol Hill right now and saying these are people who are doing their duty or responding to a higher call." he added.

"With all of the people who knew what was going on here, it took an intelligence officer to step forward and say something about it, which was the trigger that then unleashed everything else," McLaughlin said, referring to the unnamed 'whistleblower', who it seems worked for Obama, Biden And Brennan .

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BREAKING The White House "whistleblower" is Eric Ciaramella. - Registered Democrat - Worked for Obama - Worked with Joe Biden - Worked for CIA Director John Brennan - Vocal critic of Trump - Helped initiate the Russia "collusion" investigation hoax

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      Replying to @ bennyjohnson

      "Ciaramella worked on Ukrainian policy issues for Biden in 2015 and 2016, when the vice president was President Obama's "point man" for Ukraine. A Yale graduate, Ciaramella is said to speak Russian and Ukrainian, as well as Arabic. He had been assigned to the NSC by Brennan."

"This is the institution within the U.S. government -- that with all of its flaws, and it makes mistakes -- is institutionally committed to objectivity and telling the truth," McLaughlin claimed.

"It is one of the few institutions in Washington that is not in a chain of command that makes or implements policy. Its whole job is to speak the truth -- it's engraved in marble in the lobby." he continued to blather.

Brennan also expressed praise for the deep state and admitted that the goal is to remove the President.

"Thank goodness for the women and men who are in the intelligence community and the law enforcement community who are standing up and carrying out their responsibilities for their fellow citizens." he said.

Tom Elliott ‏ @ tomselliott 15h 15 hours ago Follow Follow @ tomselliott Following Following @ tomselliott Unfollow Unfollow @ tomselliott Blocked Blocked @ tomselliott Unblock Unblock @ tomselliott Pending Pending follow request from @ tomselliott Cancel Cancel your follow request to @ tomselliott More
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. @ JohnBrennan on the whistleblower coming from the intel community: They're "ighting in the trenches here and overseas I'm just pleased every day that my former colleagues in the intelligence community continue to do their duties."

There you have it. Two former CIA heads admitting that there is a plot to take out a duly-elected President.

Brennan lecturing anyone about telling the truth is also a complete joke, given that he publicly lied to Congress without any repercussions.

Americans reacted in droves to these intel slugs laughing about trying to remove Trump:

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Replying to @ tomselliott

I'm old enough to remember being told the Deep State was just a "right-wing conspiracy theory". Funny, because that's exactly what they call what's about to be reported by the IG and prosecuted by the DOJ.....


Omega_Man , 33 seconds ago link

CIA's largest mission is to protect their own corruption... enriching themselves and their dem friends... just close the CIA and start a new agency without all the ********...but get your own army to protect you first!! marines

Chupacabra-322 , 2 minutes ago link

No one in the Criminal government is following the law as everyone can see, new horror stories everyday and every second of the day emerge. The American government system is criminal, an organized crime syndicate of liars, thieves and murders. The lowest trailer park trash most people would try to avoid. That's the quality of the people working in the US government.

The Social Climate only reflects that Evil.

Whatever Trust, Loyalty & Respect you thought the American People had for you has been completely Squandered.

And, you Sick, Twisted, Treasonous, Seditious, Murdering ***** have absolutely NO ONE to Blame but yourselves.

The time to Eliminate & Defund these Criminal Treasonous Seditious Intelligence Agencies which have morphed into Crime Syndicate's has arrived.

**** THIS ****!!!

Until I see the Clintons rotting in jail along with the Bush family & the Obama's, Until I witness 3/4 of congress & the senate being purged & prosecuted, Until I witness the complete dismantle of the FED, Until I witness ALL military bases around the globe being closed & folks coming back home, Until I witness the MIC's budget cut down to 1/4 only for national protection, Until I witness the purge of all the CIA/FBI cartel, Until I witness manufacturing being restored in the Country, Until I witness the USA cutting all special interests & lobbying on behalf of Israel/Zionists & SA, Until I Witness the break of Wall Street & the Banks monopoly on the Economy & PM, Until I witness the full restoration of the rule of Law......................... Until then, to me.

It's absolute, complete, open, in your Faces Tyrannical Lawlessness.

Manthong , 2 minutes ago link

They don't care about the law, ethics and decency

THEY are morally superior

Interested_Observer , 3 minutes ago link

That moment when they are so confident that they admit the truth.

Is also the exact same moment when

conspiracy theory becomes

F A C T

Oldwood , 7 minutes ago link

Evidently "The Truth" is whatever is left after the rest has been silenced.

The intelligence community's (inclusive of the MSM) mission is to control information. They are the arbiters of what we see and hear while also monitoring it as a closed loop. CONTROL. Rather than call themselves "intelligence" they should instead adopt a more accurate title of "Information Control" given their intelligence is doubtful.

Given they are an outgrowth of what has kindly been called the fundamental transformation of America, we can only assume that they also are agents of change. Their control is designed to SHAPE America into the country or gulag they wish it to become. They are preserving nothing of the founder's intentions or even the constitution beyond what powers they can extrude from painful manipulation of language. This is about maintaining a course designed to specifically change America forever.

And many anticipate the change as something for the better. They bemoan the difficulty in existing opportunities convinced that this new improved America will finally reward them for their meager efforts. What they will discover in the end is that all opportunities will evaporate except for the few reserved for those most highly connected, an iron door closing to all others.

Trader-Scholar , 9 minutes ago link

Slightly off topic:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_G._Trump . President Trumps uncle was a world class electrical engineer, inventor, and physicist. Together with Robert J. Van de Graaff , he developed one of the first million-volt X-ray generators. When Tesla died in 1943 his papers were taken by military intelligence and given to John Trump for review and development. Trump also debriefed top German scientists after the war. Donald may be an "outsider" but his uncle had the highest military clearance.

CAPT DRAKE , 17 minutes ago link

I knew these CIA assholes when I was working in Africa. If they worked 4 hours a day it was a lot. It was basically a no-show job. Push papers, reports written by a specialist that did this for them. Useless work. Their contribution is worth maybe $10.00/hr. This is why they guard and fight so hard to maintain this lifestyle.

[Oct 29, 2019] Deplorables, 'Human Scum,' and a party without a future

Oct 29, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , October 26, 2019 at 06:05 AM

(It's great to have you back!)

Deplorables, 'Human Scum,' and a party without a future https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/10/25/deplorables-human-scum-and-party-without-future/ntpdTYnvwABCmYYiTvVlmO/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

Nestor Ramos - October 25

For the Furrowed Brow Society, things are finally looking up. Small in number and feeble in influence, so-called "Never Trumper" Republicans have spent three years now peeking out from behind the congressional drapes to express dismay over President Trump's antics.

Your John Kasiches, your Mitt Romneys, your Bens Sasse: They are among a handful of national Republican figures who all reliably emerge to criticize Trump on the occasion of his latest embarrassment. After every new indignity, the informal society assembles like an ineffectual version of the Avengers. Picture Captain America and Iron Man just sort of grunting ruefully and shaking their heads while they watch Fox News.

Has this resulted in any noticeable change in the president's policy or demeanor? Of course not. Will the Republican Party finally come to its senses and turn to this crew to lead it into the future? Also no.

. . . But!

The air of desperation surrounding the president these days has to be heartening. Even some Frequent Trumpers are starting to wonder whether it might be time to get off the train. Suddenly, the Never Trumpers are so ascendant that Trump is lashing out at them, pleading with his administration officials to stop giving them jobs (this would seem to be within his control, but whatever).

And so we've reached a remarkable moment in the discourse: Some of these people seem positively delighted to be called -- this is almost unbelievable, but I promise it's true -- "human scum."

"The Never Trumper Republicans, though on respirators with not many left, are in certain ways worse and more dangerous for our Country than the Do Nothing Democrats," Trump tweeted on Wednesday afternoon, amid a fairly standard-issue tirade and blizzard of bonkers retweets. "Watch out for them, they are human scum!"

Hey, at least he called them "human," which is more grace than he usually affords immigrants. But even in today's uniquely debased political culture, the phrase "human scum" would seem to rise below our very low bar. And yet . . .

"Apparently, I'm human scum," the conservative cybersecurity expert and former homeland security official Paul Rosenzweig wrote in The Atlantic, in a column headlined "I'm Proud to Be Called Human Scum."

(Proud to Be Called Human Scum - Paul Rosenzweig.
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/10/trumps-tweet-makes-me-proud-be-human-scum/600685/ )

If you're keeping score at home, the Republican Party is now overwhelmingly composed of people gleefully calling themselves "deplorable," and a separate, opposed group proudly self-identifying as "human scum."

Extremely normal, healthy stuff.

So I reached out to one of the few Republicans I could think of who does not seem to be in a hurry to brand himself as some sort of nightmare person -- who seems to genuinely want to rise above all this: America's Most Popular Governor™ Charlie Baker. Baker doesn't spend a lot of time firing back at the president's daily dumpster fire, which is probably wise.

"Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito did not support President Trump because he doesn't have the right temperament for the office," Baker's press secretary, Sarah Finlaw, said in an e-mail, "and the administration doesn't respond to sophomoric name-calling and will stay focused on working for the residents of Massachusetts. Washington, DC would be well served to follow suit."

So if he wasn't on the human scum list before, he probably is now. Sorry about that, Governor.

It's tempting to think that people like Baker, Bill Weld, and Romney (who must have thought everyone was telling him to "grow a Pierre" these last few years) will one day soon restore the Republican Party to some semblance of sanity. Even if you don't have much use for the small government/fiscal conservatism that supposedly drove the Republican Party before it abandoned even the pretense of responsibility, that ethos would be a lot less damaging than what we've got now.

(In praise of Pierre Delecto -- er, Mitt Romney
https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/10/23/praise-pierre/t2S0xe8ais1STWhoTDaaJO/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe)

But I'm not sure that kind of reversal is even possible anymore. Nobody who abetted this nonsense should be taken seriously ever again, but that category includes the vast majority of elected Republicans in Washington. ...

Plp -> Fred C. Dobbs... , October 26, 2019 at 06:38 AM
Reviewing the recent episodes of our continuing story " two party soap opera " with sardonic mirth

Like its just pretend boob tube stuff. Reflects a comfortable perch above the dismal job world 150 million of us revolve thru week by week

Oh well better then high school, or prison, or a tour in Afghanistan, or retirement on social security

[Oct 29, 2019] The New York Times itself is part of the Deep State it initially denied and now wholeheartedly supports

Notable quotes:
"... Not that this should surprise anyone who is familiar with Operation Mockingbird and The New York Times' part in co-operating with the CIA to plant CIA-origin reports with reporters who were either willing volunteers or unaware innocents or to practise self-censorship to appease the CIA. ..."
"... The Deep State has little to nothing to do with "rule of law." It is simply the law of the jungle: might makes right, exercised behind the scenes by the true power brokers and their minions. It is not partisan. It does use both parties to put on a show to distract the people while owning and using major parts of both ..."
"... It is they who have us in Syria now to steal Syria's oil. It is they who were enraged that Trump, an outsider, won the election contrary to all expectations and predictions. It is they who control most of the media. They are not the friends of the American people; in fact, they are our mortal enemies. ..."
"... They have hijacked our government and our foreign policy, which they operate largely for their own interests and not in the true interests of the American people. ..."
"... They use the media to sell us on what they are doing, appealing to our pride, our patriotism, the project of spreading peace, prosperity, democracy, and freedom to the world, the project of promoting human rights, the project of prosperity--whatever works to convince us that we should be in Iraq, and Afghanistan, and Syria, and Kosovo, and in hundreds of military bases around the world. They equally exploit left and right; thus dividing us, they conquer. ..."
Oct 29, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jen , Oct 28 2019 21:51 utc | 75

I'm sure I'm not the only person here who sees the headlines B has linked to and other NYT headlines (and some of the actual articles themselves, if I have the time and patience to read them) and realised that The New York Times itself is part of the Deep State it initially denied and now wholeheartedly supports. Not that this should surprise anyone who is familiar with Operation Mockingbird and The New York Times' part in co-operating with the CIA to plant CIA-origin reports with reporters who were either willing volunteers or unaware innocents or to practise self-censorship to appease the CIA.
Arthur , Oct 28 2019 17:22 utc | 14
The Deep State has little to nothing to do with "rule of law." It is simply the law of the jungle: might makes right, exercised behind the scenes by the true power brokers and their minions. It is not partisan. It does use both parties to put on a show to distract the people while owning and using major parts of both.

It is they who have us in Syria now to steal Syria's oil. It is they who were enraged that Trump, an outsider, won the election contrary to all expectations and predictions. It is they who control most of the media. They are not the friends of the American people; in fact, they are our mortal enemies.

They have hijacked our government and our foreign policy, which they operate largely for their own interests and not in the true interests of the American people.

They use the media to sell us on what they are doing, appealing to our pride, our patriotism, the project of spreading peace, prosperity, democracy, and freedom to the world, the project of promoting human rights, the project of prosperity--whatever works to convince us that we should be in Iraq, and Afghanistan, and Syria, and Kosovo, and in hundreds of military bases around the world. They equally exploit left and right; thus dividing us, they conquer.

[Oct 29, 2019] Do the Public and 'the Blob' Want the Same Things

Oct 29, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Dan Drezner jumps to a shaky conclusion on public opinion and foreign policy:

What is striking about arguments like these is the near-complete absence of any discussion of public opinion polling to buttress their argument. If the Blob's policy preferences are truly disconnected from those of the American public, that would be a powerful populist talking point. This has been made in the past with a heavy reliance on polling data. Both Trumpists and progressives should be trumpeting public opinion surveys from the rooftops that highlight the disconnect with the Blob.

They are not doing that, however, and I think I know why. It turns out that what the American people want in foreign policy looks an awful lot like what the Blob wants.

I am neither a Trumpist nor a progressive, but I do advocate for foreign policy restraint, so it may be worth noting that I have called attention to public opinion surveys that show that most Americans want a more restrained foreign policy. These surveys do not show that most Americans want "what the Blob wants." Quite the contrary. The disconnect with "the Blob" is hard to miss.

The findings of the Eurasia Group Foundation's survey point to the very "chasm" between the public and foreign policy experts that Drezner says doesn't really exist:

A new, national survey commissioned by the Eurasia Group Foundation (EGF) reveals the American public supports a more restrained approach to international relations and military interventions. However, this desire for a more focused foreign policy is at odds with the more expansive role generally favored by foreign policy experts.

A separate study commissioned by the Center for American Progress found a similar preference for what they call "restrained engagement":

The findings in this survey suggest that American voters are not isolationist. Rather, voters are more accurately described as supporting "restrained engagement" in international affairs -- a strategy that favors diplomatic, political, and economic actions over military action when advancing U.S. interests in the world. American voters want their political leaders to make more public investments in the American people in order to compete in the world and to strike the right balance abroad after more than a decade of what they see as military overextension.

In contrast to much of the debate among political leaders and foreign policy experts today, voters in this survey express little interest in the processes and tactics of foreign policy or the workings of international alliances and institutions. They generally support cooperation and engagement with allies, but these are not top-tier objectives on their own.

One example of the "chasm" between foreign policy experts and the public from the EGF survey concerned the appropriate response to atrocities committed by foreign governments:

While there is some support among the surveyed experts for a restrained approach or a U.N.-led response, a large majority of them favors U.S.-led intervention (61%). The public leans heavily in the opposite direction with 43% in favor of restraint and 34% that prefer a U.N.-led response. When it comes to deciding when to initiate interventions and attack other states, there clearly is a yawning gap between the public and the foreign policy establishment. The latter is much more open to unilateral or U.S.-led military action in this instance.

The EGF survey found a similar gap when they asked about the prospect of retaliation in the event of an attack on a NATO ally:

While there is a slight majority in favor of retaliation, the public is much more evenly divided. The foreign policy experts are almost unanimously in favor. The gap is real and it is huge. Using Bremmer's categories, we see that expressed again in preferences for the U.S. role in the world:

Roughly half of the experts prefer America as the "indispensable nation" compared with less than 10% of the public. The "independent" America that is most closely identified with foreign policy restraint has the backing of 44% of the public and just 9% of the experts. One can argue that the experts are right and the public is wrong, or vice versa, but one cannot say that they all want the same thing.

Drezner cites public opinion on Syria as evidence in favor of the proposition that the public and "the Blob" are much more closely aligned than critics of "the Blob" allow, but this is not as compelling as he thinks it is. He finds that opinion at the start of this year was evenly split between pro- and anti-withdrawal blocs. The Pew poll he cites breaks down the responses by political affiliation, and there is a clear partisan split with far more Republicans in favor of withdrawal and most Democrats opposed. Most of the respondents are reacting to the proposed withdrawal in a partisan fashion: Democrats opposed it because Trump supposedly wanted it, and Republicans supported it for the same reason. There is now apparently more opposition to withdrawal, but that is presumably informed by the arbitrary and incompetent way in which the quasi-withdrawal has been executed. It may also be influenced by the fact that Trump's so-called withdrawal isn't really a withdrawal, but just a chaotic redeployment that may end up leaving more U.S. troops in Syria than before . That is not surprising. The public tends to turn against policies that are being carried out ineptly, no matter what their other policy preferences might be. The association with the increasingly unpopular Trump is probably also causing more people to reject whatever it is they think the president favors.

To understand the gap between foreign policy establishment and the public on Syria, we need to look at Americans' views over many years. Most Americans have been strongly against U.S. involvement in Syria over the years. The popular backlash against the proposed attack on the Syrian government in 2013 was strong enough that it blocked the intervention from happening. Many people in the foreign policy establishment have been calling for a more activist and interventionist Syria policy from the earliest days of the war in Syria, and there has been tremendous resistance from the public for almost all of this time. Obama caught ten kinds of hell from "the Blob" for his entire second term because he would not commit the U.S. to the larger role in the Syrian war that so many of them were demanding. Support for fighting ISIS from the air is the only thing that has consistently commanded broad support . When it comes on whether to send U.S. forces into a conflict, the public has consistently been much more reluctant to support this than the foreign policy establishment, and that is especially true when there don't appear to be any vital U.S. interests at stake.

Drezner concludes:

None of this is to say that the Blob or the American people are right about any particular foreign policy issue. I am all for serious debates about the future of American foreign policy. But advocates of restraint need to stop claiming that the Blob is acting in an undemocratic manner. Because it just ain't so.

Our objection to Syria policy isn't so much that "the Blob" is behaving in an undemocratic way as it is that the U.S. government has illegally involved itself in a war in Syria for the last five years without Congressional authorization or any legal justification whatsoever . U.S. forces were sent into Syria without the consent of the American people and our representatives, and they have been kept there all this time without that consent. If that doesn't demonstrate that our foreign policy today has become far too undemocratic, I don't know what would. If most Americans now disapprove of the Trump administration's haphazard, clownish management of Syria policy, that does not mean that they agree with "the Blob" about the larger policy questions. The divide between the public and "the Blob" is quite large on some of the most important questions, and if there is occasional agreement on a specific issue that shouldn't cause us to forget how wide that divide is.

Sid Finster 4 days ago

Since when did the public or voters start to have any discernable influence on policy?

As befits an oligarchic republic, they have none.

ThaomasH 4 days ago
Trump's problem is that his "restraint" is quit selective -- Not Iran, Not Saudi Arabia, Not Israel -- and where exercised, exaggerated. One need not withhold military aid from Ukraine in order to avoid a shooting war with Russia over Crimea, or abandon the Kurds to draw down the commitment in Syria.

[Oct 29, 2019] Endorsing The Deep State Endangers Democracy

Notable quotes:
"... The concept of a "deep state" -- a shadowy network of agency or military officials who secretly conspire to influence government policy -- is more often used to describe countries like Egypt, Turkey and Pakistan, where authoritarian elements band together to undercut democratically elected leaders. But inside the West Wing, Mr. Trump and his inner circle, particularly his chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, see the influence of such forces at work within the United States, essentially arguing that their own government is being undermined from within. ..."
"... Though Mr. Trump has not publicly used the phrase , allies and sympathetic news media outlets have repurposed "deep state" from its formal meaning -- a network of civilian and military officials who control or undermine democratically elected governments -- to a pejorative meant to accuse civil servants of illegitimacy and political animus. ..."
"... Rather than look at it purely from a partisan point of view, one has to look at the deep state as a set range of priorities that are agreed or non-negotiable throughout a large part of the unelected civil service. ..."
"... Unfortunately I believe that in the US, the penchant for war, the worldview which has the US as a moral missionary, and the antipathy to socialist policies are central to this, no matter what the color of the ruling party is at the time. ..."
"... The Deep State has little to nothing to do with "rule of law." It is simply the law of the jungle: might makes right, exercised behind the scenes by the true power brokers and their minions. It is not partisan. It does use both parties to put on a show to distract the people while owning and using major parts of both ..."
"... It is they who have us in Syria now to steal Syria's oil. It is they who were enraged that Trump, an outsider, won the election contrary to all expectations and predictions. It is they who control most of the media. They are not the friends of the American people; in fact, they are our mortal enemies. ..."
"... They have hijacked our government and our foreign policy, which they operate largely for their own interests and not in the true interests of the American people. ..."
"... They use the media to sell us on what they are doing, appealing to our pride, our patriotism, the project of spreading peace, prosperity, democracy, and freedom to the world, the project of promoting human rights, the project of prosperity--whatever works to convince us that we should be in Iraq, and Afghanistan, and Syria, and Kosovo, and in hundreds of military bases around the world. They equally exploit left and right; thus dividing us, they conquer. ..."
"... "We" don't hold elections. The elections are required to buy the deep state legitimacy to do its thing. ..."
"... Yes, indeed, the 'Deep State' is there and of course the NYT is happy to write nice things about it, because it exists to support the same thing the NYT exists to support - 'government of the millionaires, by the millionaires, for the millionaires'!... ..."
"... The history of candidates is that they have not keep any of the campaign promises and there is little the electorate can do about it. Voting by Americans to fill jobs in the USA is a useless exercise in false excitement. . ..."
"... There are those who post here who would have you believe that the deep state installed Trump, then attacked Trump, then all as part of some elaborate scheme had Trump attack them back. That brings us directly to this point where the deep state is now at least partially exposed. ..."
"... This was to achieve what? Increased military spending? How does that logic work? They could have arranged such spending increases with Clinton instead of Trump. It isn't like Clinton ever even hinted that military spending should be curtailed. ..."
"... The deep state has gained nothing since the 2016 elections other than more of the public's eyeballs turned in their direction and a further erosion of the public's confidence in the corporate mass media upon which the deep state /establishment depends. ..."
"... The truth is that the deep state is staggering from failure to failure. You can celebrate that this is a symptom of the empire dying, but it is a dangerous period. ..."
"... The new term I would propose is Deep World to define the elite that are transnational/trans-state and have been behind/owning organizations like the BIS (Bureau of International Settlements - the central bank of Western central banks) that has been around since 1930 ..."
"... Examine closely the growth of the National Security edifice since WWII.(Importance of 9/11 as leverage for unrestrained expansion). Examine the expanding power of the Federal Reserve since the Great Recession of 2007-2008. ..."
"... Is it a fact that State structures are, indeed, no longer controlled by constitutionally controlled democratic institutions and elected representatives? ..."
"... Throughout the 19th century in the UK and the beginning of the same century in the US, elites worried about extending suffrage to the masses, initially just universal male suffrage, later on universal suffrage to all adults, male and female. They finally realized at the beginning of the 20th century that to continue to control political institutions they only needed to control the discourse through the media (initially just newspapers, magazines and broadsides, later extended to radio, movies/cinema and TV) and motivate people's choices through fear of anarchy (by creating/tolerating incidents, controlled chaos and criminality), the enemy/other and the unknown, through the use of falsified consensus (especially effective with women) and, as a last resort, through patriotism. They would then be able to channel popular opinion in the direction they wanted. ..."
"... The elite in the so-called democracies realized early on that there is actually no need to control everyone in a country. Since the elite's control is activated chiefly through political institutions and the media, it suffices to control key influencers, i.e., politicians and media players (journalists and TV and radio news reporters and presenters), who are subject to the same severe control as all the people living under dictatorial, communist and fascist regimes. ..."
"... Politicians and journalists deviating from the Consensus (also known as the Deep State) - whatever the elite wants at a particular time - would be initially mocked as proponents of some conspiracy theory if the steps they had taken were known by the public, and if they persist in their deviance from the Consensus and are respected by the public, they are silenced. ..."
"... The deep state /establishment is not all-powerful. They can influence, not control, and they can influence only so long as the public is unaware of that influence. This is why the so-called deep state blowing its cover is a huge deal. ..."
"... But as expensive and unwieldy as the "Democracy Show" might seem to be, it is still cheaper than that option. Cheaper = more profits and more wealth and more power for the elites. They don't want to pay for a full blown police state if they don't have to. ..."
"... Because of this when the plans of the deep state /establishment fall apart they must deal with it and try to patch things up on the fly, at least so long as the cost-benefit analysis still favors the "Democracy Show" . ..."
"... But why Clinton? Because the empire has many plates spinning at the moment. Many regime change operations around the world at different levels of maturity. Many delicate moves in the works that have been planned for literally decades. The Pivot to Asia , fracturing Russia, fleecing the remains of public wealth from the former Soviet states, gaining control of China, breaking up the BRICS, reversing the move to socialism in Latin America, etc.. The Clintons have been in the thick of all of that and are fully up to speed on all of the dirty deeds being done in the dark to build the empire. At this delicate stage, more than anything else, the empire needs internal stability (chaos outside is OK, though). One wrong tweet can wreck years of work. ..."
"... Trump, on the other hand, has no clue about any of that. He still even thinks that ISIS is America's enemy rather than a mercenary army for the empire. ..."
"... If Clinton had won as expected, on the other hand, the operations in Syria and Ukraine and Venezuela and so on could have proceeded without missing a beat. While the efforts of the Syrian military, Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah have been truly remarkable in containing the head choppers, a fair portion of the credit for the demise of ISIS lies with severe disruption of their logistics and command structures due to Clinton not getting installed in the White House. ..."
"... In 2016 the deep state was "conspiracy theory" ... crazy talk. That is entirely the point of the article b composed above. Everybody didn't already know about it. It was the conflict between the deep state and the President that stripped the cover from the deep state and forced the New York Langley Times to partially admit that it exists. This conflict between the deep state and the President would not have occurred had Clinton won the election as planned. ..."
"... The neoconservatives originally were a small American Trotskyites who developed an overall anti-government stance and an elitist disgust for NCL "pluralism" (vital center). It is from the neoconservatives that came the designation of the term "liberal" as anyone left-wing in the USA. They later spread to dominate the common sense of American society after the 1970s and, after the oil crisis of 1974-5 and the rise of neoliberalism as a practical political doctrine, definitely became the dominant political stance in the USA - a position it enjoys until the present times. ..."
"... But when it comes to say the CIA's attempt to control global communications, long ago testified to by John Stockwell, and more recently disclosed and broadened by Udo Ulfkotte, there are definite linkages between CIA and Intelligence Agencies and high finance, but who is in control? And how effective is the attempt? ..."
"... Is the Central Intelligence Agency a state within a state? ..."
"... Evidently the elite slowly accepted the fact and stopped complaining. They learned to stop worrying and love the bomb! ..."
"... By pure coincidence, I found out this article today which perfectly exemplifies the degeneration of the "vital center" ( American Dream is Sunk ): ..."
"... Deep State is a loose term but it always had 2 halves that are now clearly coming together as one. ..."
"... The bipartisan-pro-business (i.e. neoliberal) wing. They won their total victory under Reagan, and have simply been maintaining it. ..."
"... The US national power wing - hawks / MIC / team-usa world-police. They experienced confusion after the cold war suddenly ended, but under Bush II they had a final victory of sorts, upon 9/11. The total unconditional surrender of the Dem party to the neocon principles made this wing also clearly bipartisan ..."
"... Trump does 95% exactly what the militarists and the big business guys want, yet manages to be pretty darn convincing in playing the victim, since the outrage against him is genuine. He is also in his personality a grotesquely cartoonish distillation of exactly these qualities - greed, corruption, bellegligence. ..."
"... Not that this should surprise anyone who is familiar with Operation Mockingbird and The New York Times' part in co-operating with the CIA to plant CIA-origin reports with reporters who were either willing volunteers or unaware innocents or to practise self-censorship to appease the CIA. ..."
"... Carl Bernstein "The CIA and the Media" http://www.carlbernstein.com/magazine_cia_and_media.php ..."
"... The British term for the "Deep State", coined I believe by the historian AJP Taylor, is The Establishment. It includes but goes far beyond the Civil Service and military hierarchy. Haute Finance is central to it, so are the educational system and the media. Its role is to act as a gyroscope ensuring, through whatever means are necessary, that the course pursued by society is that determined by the ruling class. ..."
"... Indeed, but there is another side to my point as well. The New York Times and Washington Post must simply love the fact that Trump and his supporters (of which I can be said to be one on a very limited number of issues) have re-defined "deep state" as a much shallower and easy to root out (in theory) subset of unelected government functionaries who have allegiances to Obama and his political opponents in general. ..."
"... The over-simplification allows them to treat it as just another Trumpist conspiracy gambit designed to discredit legitimate media outlets, which themselves are all owned - to some degree - by the very interests that constitute the non-governmental elements/persons of the deep state which can and do re-enter government via the revolving door. ..."
"... You're spot-on with respect to The Donald, but I think one of the intended goals of the NYT etc. finally admitting the reality of the deep state was to discredit the notion in the minds of most "liberals" by playing it off as only a small number of "patriotic public servants" instead of the deeply rooted rot and control mechanism that it really is. ..."
"... Tulsi Gabbard is in effect saying: we have repeatedly been conned into killing and being killed. That's crazy and evil. Let's get real and get good. She's reminiscent of the truth telling child in the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale: that drooling wacko empress is butt naked! ..."
Oct 29, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Endorsing The Deep State Endangers Democracy

Since Donald Trump was elected president the New York Times' understanding of the 'Deep State' evolved from a total denial of its existence towards a full endorsement of its anti-democratic operations.

February 16, 2017 - As Leaks Multiply, Fears of a 'Deep State' in America

A wave of leaks from government officials has hobbled the Trump administration, leading some to draw comparisons to countries like Egypt, Turkey and Pakistan, where shadowy networks within government bureaucracies, often referred to as "deep states," undermine and coerce elected governments.

So is the United States seeing the rise of its own deep state?

Not quite, experts say, but the echoes are real -- and disturbing.

March 6, 2017 - Rumblings of a 'Deep State' Undermining Trump? It Was Once a Foreign Concept

The concept of a "deep state" -- a shadowy network of agency or military officials who secretly conspire to influence government policy -- is more often used to describe countries like Egypt, Turkey and Pakistan, where authoritarian elements band together to undercut democratically elected leaders. But inside the West Wing, Mr. Trump and his inner circle, particularly his chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, see the influence of such forces at work within the United States, essentially arguing that their own government is being undermined from within.

It is an extraordinary contention for a sitting president to make.

March 10, 2017 - What Happens When You Fight a 'Deep State' That Doesn't Exist

American institutions do not resemble the powerful deep states of countries like Egypt or Pakistan, experts say. Nor do individual leaks, a number of which have come from President Trump's own team, amount to a conspiracy.

The diagnosis of a "deep state," those experts say, has the problem backward. ... Though Mr. Trump has not publicly used the phrase , allies and sympathetic news media outlets have repurposed "deep state" from its formal meaning -- a network of civilian and military officials who control or undermine democratically elected governments -- to a pejorative meant to accuse civil servants of illegitimacy and political animus.

September 5, 2018 - I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration

On Russia, for instance, the president was reluctant to expel so many of Mr. Putin's spies as punishment for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain. He complained for weeks about senior staff members letting him get boxed into further confrontation with Russia, and he expressed frustration that the United States continued to impose sanctions on the country for its malign behavior. But his national security team knew better -- such actions had to be taken, to hold Moscow accountable.

This isn't the work of the so-called deep state. It's the work of the steady state.

December 18, 2018 - Blaming the Deep State: Officials Accused of Wrongdoing Adopt Trump's Response

President Trump has long tried to explain away his legal troubles as the work of a "deep state" of Obama supporters entrenched in the law-enforcement and national-security bureaucracies who are just out to get him. Now junior officials and others accused of wrongdoing are making the case that the same purported forces are illegitimately targeting them, too.

October 6, 2019 - Italy's Connection to the Russia Investigation, Explained

President Trump and some of his allies have asserted without evidence that a cabal of American officials -- the so-called deep state -- embarked on a broad operation to thwart Mr. Trump's campaign. The conspiracy theory remains unsubstantiated , ...

October 20, 2019 - They Are Not the Resistance. They Are Not a Cabal. They Are Public Servants.

President Trump is right: The deep state is alive and well. But it is not the sinister, antidemocratic cabal of his fever dreams. It is, rather, a collection of patriotic public servants -- career diplomats, scientists, intelligence officers and others -- who, from within the bowels of this corrupt and corrupting administration, have somehow remembered that their duty is to protect the interests, not of a particular leader, but of the American people.

October 23, 2019 - Trump's War on the 'Deep State' Turns Against Him

[O]ver the last three weeks, the deep state has emerged from the shadows in the form of real live government officials, past and present, who have defied a White House attempt to block cooperation with House impeachment investigators and provided evidence that largely backs up the still-anonymous whistle-blower.

October 26, 2019 - The 'Deep State' Exists to Battle People Like Trump

The president and his allies have responded with fury. Those damning testimonials are part of a political vendetta by "Never Trumper" bureaucrats, members of a "deep state" bent on undermining the will of the people, they assert.

But what is this "deep state"? Far from being a tool of political corruption, the Civil Service was created to be an antidote to the very kind of corruption and self-dealing that seems to plague this administration.

This development is disconcerting. If the deep state is allowed to make its own policies against the will of the elected officials why should we bother with holding elections?

The Democrats are stupid to applaud this and to even further these schemes. They are likely to regain the presidency in 2024. What will they do when all the Civil Service functionaries Trump will have installed by then will organize to ruin their policies? This post assumes that the Deep State is partisan. IMO they are not. They use the duopoly and media to effect a "managed democracy". I also believe that the Deep State is remarkably united on promoting commercial interests (their version of "progressive") and the empire (slyly referred to as "world order" or "stability").


Jackrabbit , Oct 28 2019 16:13 utc | 1

This post is also accepting of what Caitlin Johnstone calls the "establishment narrative matrix" which divides us (along partisan political lines) while promoting acceptance/support for the national security state.

Welcome to the rabbit hole.

Jackrabbit !!

Josh , Oct 28 2019 16:40 utc | 4
We shouldn't forget that also during the Kerry years, there were times when he or the President was countered publicly by 'the deep state'. I believe there was such a time during the initial adoption of the Iran accord.

Rather than look at it purely from a partisan point of view, one has to look at the deep state as a set range of priorities that are agreed or non-negotiable throughout a large part of the unelected civil service.

Unfortunately I believe that in the US, the penchant for war, the worldview which has the US as a moral missionary, and the antipathy to socialist policies are central to this, no matter what the color of the ruling party is at the time.

Brendan , Oct 28 2019 16:43 utc | 5
The reason the NYT is acknowledging it now is that the Deep State's existence is being exposed and proven by the investigations into Russiagate. Because it's gradually becoming undeniable, the NYT feels it has no choice but to put out the message: 'Well, the Deep State isn't that bad anyway, even when it plots to overthrow the President of the USA'.
Sally Snyder , Oct 28 2019 16:48 utc | 6
Here are some fascinating comments about the state of democracy in the United States from an interview with Vladimir Putin in July 2019:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2019/07/vladimir-putins-observations-on.html

American democracy is pretty much a non-entity but Washington is perfectly content with the way that things exist because it works in their favor.

Lorenz , Oct 28 2019 16:52 utc | 7
Jackrabbit - I don't know where you are from, but you seem to be lacking a fundamental understanding how democracy works. b' summed it up brilliantly in one sentence: 'If the deep state is allowed to make its own policies against the will of the elected officials, why should we bother with holding elections?'

Whether we like it or not, Trump was elected as president. The American election system has established that beyond any doubt.

His policies are not uniformly accepted, but he is within his legal rights to make policy decisions. Do I like what he does? Mostly not. But I do accept that's the way democracy works, and if the majority of US voters does not like it either, January 2021 we will have a new US president.

That is how the US democracy works. That is the law of the land - or constitution as its often referred to. The deep state is an abomination and needs to be castrated.

bolasete , Oct 28 2019 16:58 utc | 8
kudos for your cogent, compelling presentation to pin blame where it belongs. It's hard to like Trump but his enemies are so wacky and dishonest, he may survive these death throes of empire.
james , Oct 28 2019 16:59 utc | 9
thanks b... it seems that the nyt would like to define what the deep state is = civil service.. talking about this is helpful as i see it, although the nyt is trying to cover its ass as i see it..

I mostly think of the deep state as the cia.. If members within the cia become partisan it is no longer fulfilling the role of the civil service... If the nyt wants to claim it is just doing it's job, how do they explain the Mueller investigation then? they can't have it both ways...

GMJ , Oct 28 2019 17:03 utc | 10
Since the 1990s the US Intelligence Services (NATO also) went liberal in outlook and recruitment drives. They opened their doors wide for those considered undesirable in the past. The best men and women left, the mediocre gained command and this is the result. However, they are not to be underestimated. At smearing an elected president they are quite good. Sadly so, GMJ
Likklemore , Oct 28 2019 17:09 utc | 11
Thanks b.

You asked:[.] "why should we bother holding elections?"

In "western democracies" SElections are the great pretend events held every 4-5 years. Take the day off and forget the trip to the 'Voting' Booth.

See the EU-UK Brexit saga. In 2014 GEAB.eu had forecast that in 2016 the U.S. would become ungovernable.

Russiagate, Ukrainegate are distractions as the USD$ is by-passed added to the imploding debt.

Jackrabbit , Oct 28 2019 17:10 utc | 12
Lorenz @9

I'm not a political partisan. I'm interested in democracy/governance, history, international affairs.

I agree with b's comment: "... why should we bother with holding elections?" But IMO the rot is deeper than he believes.

Jackrabbit !!

Joshua , Oct 28 2019 17:22 utc | 13
To the money people and the power people behind the institution that we refer to as our government, the entire govermental structure is a bit like a piece of property. They let it slip out when they say things like, 'our democracy', or 'our society'. They say it like they would say 'our chevy', or 'our ford'.
Arthur , Oct 28 2019 17:22 utc | 14
The Deep State has little to nothing to do with "rule of law." It is simply the law of the jungle: might makes right, exercised behind the scenes by the true power brokers and their minions. It is not partisan. It does use both parties to put on a show to distract the people while owning and using major parts of both.

It is they who have us in Syria now to steal Syria's oil. It is they who were enraged that Trump, an outsider, won the election contrary to all expectations and predictions. It is they who control most of the media. They are not the friends of the American people; in fact, they are our mortal enemies.

They have hijacked our government and our foreign policy, which they operate largely for their own interests and not in the true interests of the American people.

They use the media to sell us on what they are doing, appealing to our pride, our patriotism, the project of spreading peace, prosperity, democracy, and freedom to the world, the project of promoting human rights, the project of prosperity--whatever works to convince us that we should be in Iraq, and Afghanistan, and Syria, and Kosovo, and in hundreds of military bases around the world. They equally exploit left and right; thus dividing us, they conquer.

Norwegian , Oct 28 2019 17:23 utc | 15
If the deep state is allowed to make its own policies against the will of the elected officials why should we bother with holding elections?
"We" don't hold elections. The elections are required to buy the deep state legitimacy to do its thing.
dan of steele , Oct 28 2019 17:24 utc | 16
not sure why I still watch Bill Maher's show but this last weekend's Real Time had an absolutely jaw dropping moment for me. It started out with him having a former CIA agent as one of his guests (he even gushed over Brennan a few months back) and he then made a few stupid remarks about the Russians done it but the cherry on the whipped cream was when he referred to "the deep state heroes".

WTF?

foolisholdman , Oct 28 2019 17:25 utc | 17
Richard | Oct 28 2019 16:30 utc | 4
Yes, indeed, the 'Deep State' is there and of course the NYT is happy to write nice things about it, because it exists to support the same thing the NYT exists to support - 'government of the millionaires, by the millionaires, for the millionaires'!...

https://richardhennerley.com/2019/10/27/a-government-of-the-millionaires-by-the-millionaires-for-the-millionaires/

I think you are undoubtedly right!

My understanding for the last 70 years has been (more or less) that the Privy Council in the UK and a similar shadowy body in the US, for which I had no name until recently, was running the country's affairs practically independently of any elected representatives or bodies. Yes, PMs and Presidents had some influence, but not anything like as much as we, the hoi poloi, were led to believe.

snake , Oct 28 2019 17:43 utc | 18

https://friendsforsyria.com/2019/10/28/u-s-is-looting-syrian-oil-fields-to-fund-mercenaries-and-intelligence-operations

'If the deep state is allowed to make its own policies against the will of the elected officials, why should we bother with holding elections?'

Whether we like it or not, Trump was elected as president. .., and if the majority of US voters does not like it either, January 2021 we will have a new US president. That is how the US democracy works. That is the law of the land - or constitution as its often referred to. The deep state is an abomination and needs to be castrated. by: Lorenz @ 9

Lorenz suggest you read Article II of the Constitution you quote.. American voters c/n vote for the President or the Vice President. Americans qualified to vote in general elections cannot vote for the persons to occupy either of the two Article II places in the USA (President and VP).

The P and VP areappointed not elected by the ordinary governed qualified to vote Americans (those Americans are allowed each only three votes: 2 votes out of 100 jobs for a Senator from their state, and 1 vote for 1 job about 425 jobs in the House? Read it. The two persons are elected by the electoral college, so there is no voice of the governed people in the presidential election, now, last year, or ever.

More over even if there were, the people have no reasonable input because of road blocks the republic has established as to who is allowed to be a candidate for such an election, and because of the mass amount of money the establishment charges for the ticket to be a viable candidate so as far as the non able to vote for President-voters are concerned, its select the candidate in the top coat or the one with blue suede shoes.. might as well be select Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck.

The history of candidates is that they have not keep any of the campaign promises and there is little the electorate can do about it. Voting by Americans to fill jobs in the USA is a useless exercise in false excitement. .

America is a democracy, but the USA is a republic.

vk , Oct 28 2019 17:53 utc | 20
NYT's position over the deep state is perfectly in tune with the doctrine of the "vital center". Published in 1947, Schlesinger Jr.'s magnus opus is valid until our times, and serves as essentially the centrist/moderate manifesto.

The theory of the "vital center" states that what differentiates liberal democracy from "totalitarianism" is the fact that it enjoys a pulsating political core, made of many different ideologies that go from Left to Right (the "political spectrum") and which dispute the power of the government through periodical elections in a peaceful manner. This way, the ideology that is not in vogue today can emerge victorious tomorrow, given that it brings the answers to new problems the incumbent ideology couldn't solve. This "non-extermination" pact, where the victorious ideology spares the defeated ideologies, would give the liberal democracies - Schlesinger assumed - an internal dynamism the USSR didn't have.

The existence of a society with a political spectrum characterized the existence of "freedom". Indeed, that's the practical definition of freedom most people in the First World countries use nowadays. Other times, the old French Revolution (bourgeois) mean of "freedom to do business" (freedom of enterprise) is used - but that's more of a neoconservative usage.

The "vital center" doctrine is also the root of what we nowadays call "pluralism", and what the "far-right" defines today, perjoratively, as "multiculturalism" and/or "Cultural Marxism". The conservatives, it's good to note, never lost sight of the origins of the Western modern "center-left": most of them were ex-communists. They never accepted the people who commanded the CIA in the cultural front as legitimate liberals and always considered even the center-left another form of communism.

But there's a catch to Schlesinger Jr.'s doctrine. He stated the political spectrum should never be representative of all the ideologies possible, but of all the ideologies acceptable . And what was "acceptable"? Only the non-totalitarian ideologies. What are those "non-totalitarian ideologies"? The ideologies that promote/respect freedom. But "freedom" is the existence of the political spectrum, it's a circular argument: in practice, he's using a rhetoric that promotes the liberal ideologies as natural and the "totalitarian" ideologies as "unnatural". Indeed, that's the terminology he uses: "totalitarianism" is a "disease".

Here's the part that is related to this blog's post : what if the people, democratically (i.e. under a free society), elects (freely), a "totalitarian" government?

Schlesinger Jr. doesn't answer this question, although he raises it in his book. The only thing he states is that economic prosperity is key: as long as there's good economy, an society of abundance, the people will "naturally" vote for pro-freedom governments. If that didn't happen, then he stated the elite should feel free to use whatever means necessary to crush the elected "totalitarian" government and all the popular uprising that appeared.

According to him, this was legitimate, since the elite was enlightened and knew better what was the best for the people; and/or that it was fruit of Soviet covert operations . This is where the sophistication of his argument becomes apparent: liberal democracies are not perfect, they are not 100% free (but they are free to some extent), they are fragile -- but they were better than Soviet communism (where there was 0% freedom) and thus should be protected at any cost. If we think about it, this is literally the concept of deep state.

If we analyze Schlesinger Jr.'s doctrine, we can clearly see that the newer generations which succeeded his are perfectly following the guidelines as established in the post-war. The millenials are not degenerate, as the remaining boomers and gen. X people are stating: they are carrying the post-war torch with care and zeal. The deep state has always existed in liberal democracies: they were just hidden in plain sight, in the form of a collection of powerful public servants, experts, rich people, and parallel institutions that have always influenced whoever was the POTUS. They influence the POTUS one way or the other, since the USG is simply too big and too complex for just one person to manage.

Let's just remember: there was a plan to assassinate FDR in 1934 (botched because one of the general who was supposed to lead the militia invasion refused to be coopted and blew the whistle) and Kennedy was assassinated under Lyndon B. Johnson's orders. It's not a matter of the existence or not of a deep state, but at what degree the POTUS will obey it, and what price he is willing to pay.

William Gruff , Oct 28 2019 18:03 utc | 22
There are those who post here who would have you believe that the deep state installed Trump, then attacked Trump, then all as part of some elaborate scheme had Trump attack them back. That brings us directly to this point where the deep state is now at least partially exposed.

This was to achieve what? Increased military spending? How does that logic work? They could have arranged such spending increases with Clinton instead of Trump. It isn't like Clinton ever even hinted that military spending should be curtailed.

But no, the imperial FUDster wants you to believe that deep state /establishment/CIA deliberately blew a big chunk of their cover for what boils down to no reason whatsoever. The deep state has gained nothing since the 2016 elections other than more of the public's eyeballs turned in their direction and a further erosion of the public's confidence in the corporate mass media upon which the deep state /establishment depends.

Nonsense.

The truth is that the deep state is staggering from failure to failure. You can celebrate that this is a symptom of the empire dying, but it is a dangerous period.

psychohistorian , Oct 28 2019 18:05 utc | 23
If Deep State is defined as the career bureaucrats/military of a specific nation then let me define a new term that maybe Trump represents (because it sure as hell is not the masses/global commons).

The new term I would propose is Deep World to define the elite that are transnational/trans-state and have been behind/owning organizations like the BIS (Bureau of International Settlements - the central bank of Western central banks) that has been around since 1930

And I would agree with Richard | Oct 28 2019 16:30 utc | 4 and foolisholdman | Oct 28 2019 17:25 utc | 17 about this but would say that instead of millionaires, the Deep World folks are trillionaires....and they are in the process of culling the rabble millionaires.

I would conclude by noting that to the extent the Deep World have the masses focusing on the Deep State, they continue to succeed in maintaining their control of the levers of Western governments behind the curtain.

Robert Snefjella , Oct 28 2019 18:10 utc | 24
The word democracy means the sovereignty of the many; a fairly common historical circumstance when it comes to small matters and small places, but rare on the larger level. Classical Athens came close for a while; occasional national referendums that are retrospectively actually respected are occasional forays into democratic political procedure. Also on occasion, people rebel en masse, with popular support, and overthrow the regime in power, and thus in effect exercise an active temporary democratic procedure. People can also en masse refuse to cooperate - passive resistance. This too if effective and broadly supported is a democratic procedure.

In general terms the democratic idea rests largely on the belief that the broad public interest is best served by broad public sovereignty. And the constant references to democracy by oligarchic or narrow political power are indications that such power seeks to gain the appearance of legitimacy by cloaking themselves in the terminology of democracy.

A voting procedure in which honest and full discourse based on good information underlies the political choosing, and with fair play broadly predominating, can be described as a democratic process. But this is a rare accomplishment. But even in such a case, the result has for long typically been a so-called representative government which will be contaminated by, a secret servant to, or overtly predominantly representative of, oligarchic interests, corporate interests, transnational financial power, military related interests, and secretive networks and organizations.

The 'deep state' meme has been of benefit in serving as shorthand for and drawing more public attention to the fact of hidden sovereign or decisive power, or hidden power that attempts to exercise in effect sovereign power.

But it also becomes a 'lazy man's load', by loading up two words with too much baggage.

So, for example, pertaining to the United States, there is the Bilderberger and associated transnational power and influence wielding network; there is the military complex and empire and its associated corporate network; there is the federal bureaucracy; there are the many secret 'police' agencies; there is the propaganda/mind control system complex; there is the private internationally influential financial system; there are the bought or blackmailed/compromised politicians. This is a partial list and all these systems intersect, with stresses and strains, and together form a System of of in effect sovereign power.

It is the case that in every direction in the incomplete list just given, there is at best illegitimate power being wielded, and at worst the most horrific of crimes: wars of aggression. Somewhere in between are indigenous outrages like 9/11 or Oklahoma City or the JFK coup d'etat.

One hallmark of the hidden power is its 'above the law' status; its basic impulse is totalitarian.

Trump to some extent represents a hail Mary impulse in the American people to throw a monkey wrench into this deeply pathological trajectory that the United States has gone on. When he speaks at the UN about the future as belonging to patriots not globalists, or when he refers to draining the swamp, whatever level of sincerity or insincerity his words represent, they more or less represent the wishes of millions of Americans who know they've lost their country and want it back.

James Kulk , Oct 28 2019 18:13 utc | 25
A few important things to consider when discussing and doing an analysis of Deep State politics:

(1) The State is never a single actor with a unitary interest, rationale or capacity (factions must be identified as well as the policy stance of these same factions).

(2) All State functions have evolved historically (analyze closely the evolution of Central Banks, Intelligence Agencies and their relationships with private sector power-for example linkages between Silicon Valley and intelligence, the Federal Reserve and private banking and finance).

(3)Look closely at the supposed oversight capacities of elected officials. Are there really checks and balances presently in place? (Select committees of intelligence etc.)

(4) Study in detail how the different factions of the State structure are actually financed. Does the present National Security State have any funding constraints? Do elements of the bureaucracy in co-ordination with Congress simply budget expenditures and then go ahead and spend the money?

(5) Examine closely the growth of the National Security edifice since WWII.(Importance of 9/11 as leverage for unrestrained expansion). Examine the expanding power of the Federal Reserve since the Great Recession of 2007-2008.

(6) Is it a fact that State structures are, indeed, no longer controlled by constitutionally controlled democratic institutions and elected representatives?

arby , Oct 28 2019 18:17 utc | 26
Frank Zappa around 1986-- "Government is the Entertainment Division of the military-industrial complex."

Elections fit right into that entertainment division./

vk , Oct 28 2019 18:19 utc | 27
@ Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Oct 28 2019 18:10 utc | 24

Athens wasn't democratic in the sense we have today. In Athens, only the people could vote, but the people were only the adult men citizens (the rest were slaves, women and non-citizen residents).

And, according to the post-war liberal doctrine, the deep state isn't "totalitarian", because "totalitarianism" presupposes the acceptance of only one ideology. According to the fathers of the post-war West, the deep state is there to protect a confederation of ideologies, which make the entire "political spectrum" of a liberal society. It would be legitimate for the deep state to try to topple Trump because they deem him as outside this political spectrum - in this case, the "far-right" (i.e. he went so far to the right end of the spectrum he "fell out" of it). But it wouldn't be legitimate for them to topple, e.g. Obama and W. Bush.

That's why censorship in the Western Democracies happen under the form of the "politically correct culture" ("PC Culture"). Western democracy is still authoritarian, the only difference being they are, allegedly (they propagandize as such), more flexible and tolerant with the exercise of their authority.

Tannenhouser , Oct 28 2019 18:22 utc | 28
@Gruff. So the 'deep state' just ignored the reality of the Electoral College? Seems to me the best way to install the candidate of choice would be to control this. IMO Trump is not from outside of the deep state but their preferred candidate, otherwise the EC would not have installed him. The rest is just smoke and mirrors and matters not as you either see it for what it is or hate Trump because......Trump. Anything that gets accomplished these days benefits they anyways. It matters not if the Deep state is being exposed as you say because Everybody knows already and because Polarisation. TDS is real. There are the most social minded caring people who would murder thousands just to see him burn......because..... Trump. It's a truly VIRAL MEME.
ADKC , Oct 28 2019 18:23 utc | 29
A few months ago Trump talked about 're-opening the old mental health institutions. Now Barr introduces
ben , Oct 28 2019 18:27 utc | 30
This isn't rocket science folks. The so-called "deep state" is nothing more than it ever was, a cabal of very wealthy individuals with enough $ to purchase enough "elected" individuals to change the rules of the game in their favor.

This has been going on throughout human history, and the goal is to subvert democracy so the wealthy can control the game of life, which we're all involved in.

In this day and age, here in America, it is reaching it's Zenith, behind a new corporate capitalism, fostered by monopolies, and moving around the globe.

Buy enough politicians, change the rules, win the game.

BM , Oct 28 2019 18:34 utc | 32
I'm not a political partisan. I'm interested in democracy/governance, history, international affairs. Posted by: jrabbit-troll/donkey-troll | Oct 28 2019 17:10 utc | 14

So claims an operator who is clearly paid by Deep State interests to confuse and obfuscate and waste precious MoA space with their repetitive and verbose idiocy. Is this the best you can find, Deep State? Pay is too stingy, probably.

ben , Oct 28 2019 18:37 utc | 33
P.S. IMO, these "deep staters" aren't undermining DJT they're assisting him. They've never had a more willing servant than DJT, by him devolving govt., it takes away the only force powerful enough to challenge the anti-democratic forces at work today in the U$A.

DJT is all theater, all the time. "Distracter in Chief", is his real title.

PavewayIV , Oct 28 2019 18:41 utc | 34
Since Donald Trump was elected president the New York Times' understanding of the 'Deep State' evolved from a total denial of its existence towards a full endorsement of its anti-democratic operations.

NYT discovers Deep State. Precious...

If your treasonous machinations against the will of the people are exposed, then 1) point the finger at someone (or something) else, 2) demonize that 'common' enemy, 3) proclaim your honorable and heroic fight against this threat, and 4) recruit the little people - they work for YOU. That's why they exist.

Once the little people identify with your side, they are unlikely to reconsider the enemy you pointed out. You're off the hook no matter how damning the evidence against you or preposterous the evidence is against the enemy.

It's also necessary to keep it simple for the little people's tiny simian brains. Make sure you shout the loudest and repeat the most frequently about your preferred 'enemy' to overcome the voice of anyone pointing back at you (especially) or pointing at some other enemy (dilutes your intended narrative). Remember, all the other psychopaths will be doing the same thing at the same time. Amplification through the MSM is most helpful.

Anyone that tells you there is one common identifiable US Deep State is your real enemy.

Robert Snefjella , Oct 28 2019 19:05 utc | 41
@ vk | Oct 28 2019 18:19 utc | 27

The word totalitarian can be quibbled over; I used it with in mind not just the global ambitions/impulses that lie behind say "full spectrum domination" as American military policy, or Professor Quigley's disclosure of international private banking's ambition to set up an in effect system of hidden global control above politics, or the extreme effort that has been made to set up a global surveillance capacity that seems to have the ambition of capturing say the private moments of 'dignataries' and dissidents around the planet, or Google's ambitions/reach, or the the Rockefeller 'competition is a sin' approach.

I'm also thinking of phenomenon such as say the 'deep state' murder of Sweden's Prime Minister Olaf Palme in 1986, or the killing of RFK by not Sirhan Sirhan, and the capacity and staying power of "the System' to maintain a public facade/false 'official' narrative pertaining to those and countless other criminal 'events' over generations.

If not precisely totalitarian, maybe 'extremely arrogant control freaks'?

Bobzibub , Oct 28 2019 19:09 utc | 42
Deep state or ordinary bureaucratic sclerosis, aka rule by committee?

For example, the awkward outcome wrt troops hijacking Syrian oil. It is not a practical solution for any US party--if there's a deep state, they're unhappy about it too. But there are also a slew of other vested interests to take into account with any decision process. Too many cooks does not imply a common unified entity. It is typically a lack of a clearly elucidated and fleshed out vision/agenda allowing wiggle room for all sorts of things. I could imagine that "getting out of Syria" or "getting out of Iraq" would fit.

Perhaps we need to simply lower our expectations.

Don Bacon , Oct 28 2019 19:23 utc | 44
Deep state derives from a natural human tendency. Those that have it (assets) believe that they have a right to keep it and get more of it, and so they do whatever is in their power (which is a lot) to exercise that "right." The US government is a good model for it, with its world "rules-based" malignancy, so people can draw from that example. And then add to that that the US has its caste system which is seldom mentioned, sort of like India.
Albertde , Oct 28 2019 19:43 utc | 46
The Elite and the Consensus

Throughout the 19th century in the UK and the beginning of the same century in the US, elites worried about extending suffrage to the masses, initially just universal male suffrage, later on universal suffrage to all adults, male and female. They finally realized at the beginning of the 20th century that to continue to control political institutions they only needed to control the discourse through the media (initially just newspapers, magazines and broadsides, later extended to radio, movies/cinema and TV) and motivate people's choices through fear of anarchy (by creating/tolerating incidents, controlled chaos and criminality), the enemy/other and the unknown, through the use of falsified consensus (especially effective with women) and, as a last resort, through patriotism. They would then be able to channel popular opinion in the direction they wanted.

Under dictatorial, communist and fascist regimes, the opinion of all residents is tightly controlled and no deviations are tolerated, either publicly or in a family setting (children being encouraged to report on parents). People expressing deviant opinions are silenced by imprisonment or if they are considered dangerous enough, accused of some "crime" and killed ("executed"). The result is that when the disparity between the reality people witness and the reports they see in the controlled media becomes too great, these regimes would weaken since the only tool for control would be visible fear and people would be prone to apathy.

The elite in the so-called democracies realized early on that there is actually no need to control everyone in a country. Since the elite's control is activated chiefly through political institutions and the media, it suffices to control key influencers, i.e., politicians and media players (journalists and TV and radio news reporters and presenters), who are subject to the same severe control as all the people living under dictatorial, communist and fascist regimes.

Politicians and journalists deviating from the Consensus (also known as the Deep State) - whatever the elite wants at a particular time - would be initially mocked as proponents of some conspiracy theory if the steps they had taken were known by the public, and if they persist in their deviance from the Consensus and are respected by the public, they are silenced.

The means of silencing depends on what the elite need in a given situation. If they feel the need to convey a message ("don't deviate"), the target is publicly assassinated. If they want to eliminate someone who appears to be lovable such as a famous woman, then a discrete plane accident or poison administered after some otherwise non-lethal accident does the trick.

If the influencer appears to be someone of questionable health, a fatal heart attack or cancer could be induced. In some situations, especially after a number of assassinations, "accidents", cancers or heart attacks had already occurred to remove deviant influencers, the elite may decide it might be too dangerous and too suspicious to continue to physically eliminate deviant influencers so, as a last resort, they only place these deviant influencers in situations where they are forced to resign/abandon the position that bestowed influence and thus removed from the public eye.

William Gruff , Oct 28 2019 19:48 utc | 47
Tannenhouser @28

The deep state /establishment is not all-powerful. They can influence, not control, and they can influence only so long as the public is unaware of that influence. This is why the so-called deep state blowing its cover is a huge deal.

The so-called deep state exists to protect and represent the interests of big business and the rich and powerful. It makes sure that the rest of the state continues to look out for the wealthy. This layer of society can most certainly just dispense with the whole "Democracy Show" and install a CEO for the country instead of going through the election motions. But as expensive and unwieldy as the "Democracy Show" might seem to be, it is still cheaper than that option. Cheaper = more profits and more wealth and more power for the elites. They don't want to pay for a full blown police state if they don't have to.

Because of this when the plans of the deep state /establishment fall apart they must deal with it and try to patch things up on the fly, at least so long as the cost-benefit analysis still favors the "Democracy Show" .

Trump was certainly part of the plans of the deep state /establishment, but only as a foil to help make Clinton look good in comparison. Unfortunately for them, the deep state /establishment is so far out of touch with the concerns of common Americans that they don't know how to make Clinton look good to them.

But why Clinton? Because the empire has many plates spinning at the moment. Many regime change operations around the world at different levels of maturity. Many delicate moves in the works that have been planned for literally decades. The Pivot to Asia , fracturing Russia, fleecing the remains of public wealth from the former Soviet states, gaining control of China, breaking up the BRICS, reversing the move to socialism in Latin America, etc.. The Clintons have been in the thick of all of that and are fully up to speed on all of the dirty deeds being done in the dark to build the empire. At this delicate stage, more than anything else, the empire needs internal stability (chaos outside is OK, though). One wrong tweet can wreck years of work.

Trump, on the other hand, has no clue about any of that. He still even thinks that ISIS is America's enemy rather than a mercenary army for the empire. This means that the CIA has not, even to this day, bothered to brief Trump on what they are really up to. That appears to be the consequence of some organizational pettiness and petulance within the CIA, blaming Trump personally for their plan's failure.

If Clinton had won as expected, on the other hand, the operations in Syria and Ukraine and Venezuela and so on could have proceeded without missing a beat. While the efforts of the Syrian military, Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah have been truly remarkable in containing the head choppers, a fair portion of the credit for the demise of ISIS lies with severe disruption of their logistics and command structures due to Clinton not getting installed in the White House.

In 2016 the deep state was "conspiracy theory" ... crazy talk. That is entirely the point of the article b composed above. Everybody didn't already know about it. It was the conflict between the deep state and the President that stripped the cover from the deep state and forced the New York Langley Times to partially admit that it exists. This conflict between the deep state and the President would not have occurred had Clinton won the election as planned.

jayc , Oct 28 2019 19:50 utc | 48
A few weeks ago one of the regular CounterPunch scribes posted a direct plea to the US alphabet agencies to use any method, fair or foul, to ensure the rapid removal of Trump as President. The author went on to claim that anyone who does not support this effort, or who might depict Trump's administration as anything less than a full blown crisis demanding immediate measures, was deserving complete excommunication from American civil life.

The author did note the alphabet agencies had a pockmarked record when it came to respecting democratic institutions, but claimed that "the left" would keep them in check following Trump's removal and that there would be no long-term consequence to such a approved precedence.

That is bat-shit crazy talk, but the left/liberal wing has become so completely unhinged by Trump's victory that they will endorse anything should it mean his immediate exit from their consciousness. That their absolutist logic - Trump is a national emergency which requires immediate measures - doesn't hold up, and is fanned by emotive exaggeration, cannot be explained to them. They insist on their position.

psychohistorian , Oct 28 2019 19:54 utc | 49
Why all this focus on Deep State?

Let me pose a question. Do any of the Deep State folks own organizations like the BIS (Bureau of International Settlements - the central bank of Western central banks) that has been around since 1930?

If not, then why all the hysteria?

If so, then who are they?

lysias , Oct 28 2019 20:01 utc | 50
The people who own the Bank of International Settlements also own the Deep State.
uncle tungsten , Oct 28 2019 20:04 utc | 51
lysius #37

Thank you, Alexander Daniluk is the man. Standing over the Ukranian Presidents shoulder dripping poison in his ear. I will be interested to see his future career unfold.

Now Daniluk is a true deep stater and has now been Gulianied if I can use that term. Schiff has worked so hard to exploit him and now hide him from the Trump juggernaught and failed again.

Don Bacon #44

Your reference to the broken caste system is perfect.

lysias , Oct 28 2019 20:05 utc | 52
Who are they? Lord Rothschild is one obvious candidate.
psychohistorian , Oct 28 2019 20:07 utc | 53
@ lysias who wrote " The people who own the Bank of International Settlements also own the Deep State. " I agree and continue to be frustrated by the misdirected energy and ongoing obfuscation of the structural problem of the Western social contract.....those that control finance, control the social narrative.

Left and Right are Pluto's Cave Display creations....there is only Top and Bottom.

lysias , Oct 28 2019 20:11 utc | 55
The Cold War Western so-called democracies allowed a much broader range of thought then than they do now. If they weren't totalitarian then, they are well on the road to becoming it now.
vk , Oct 28 2019 20:15 utc | 56
@ Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Oct 28 2019 19:05 utc | 41

The origin of the term "totalitarianism" (adjective: "totalitarian") is uncertain, but it is almost certain it was popularized through a magazine called "The New Leader", which begun circulating in the USA (East Coast, mainly New York) in the 1920s and continued to be so until the 1950s. This magazine was created mainly by Menshevik refugees (the losers of the 1917 Revolution). It was edited, at its apex, by the infamous Sol Levitas (a OSS/CIA asset).

The magazine claimed to publish articles portraying the cruel realities of the Soviet Union and it is now known that its contents are pure propaganda. Those refugees told incredible stories a la those told nowadays by those North Korean refugees (see the posts in this blog about North Korea's famous "ressurections").

But this, in itself, is irrelevant, because the definition of the term people use nowadays is the one publicized by the CIA crew, that is, Hannah Arendt and co.

According to their definition, totalitarianism is a society which accepts only one ideology. In their minds, that's what the USSR was. But, in reality, what they did was to refurbish the term to try to create a narrative where - in the context of the bipolarity globe of the Cold War - the Western elites could paint the picture not as "red vs blue" or "the pot calling the kettle black", but as good vs evil, natural vs unnatural, freedom vs slavery.

Keep in mind that this operation happened essentially in a time span of three years (1947-1951), and that they were operating in a context of creation of a center-left (Non-Communist Left, NCL in the CIA designation). They were not conservatives, but identified themselves as moderates, some even as socialists (democratic socialists, from where Bernie Sanders borrowed the definition). They lived in a world without the threat of the far-right, in the world of the "keynesian consensus".

But the problem the NCL immediately faced with their "anti-totalitarian" propaganda was that Stalin unexpectedly died in 1953. After his death, Krushchev begun the process of "De-stalinization": well, if the USSR really was "totalitarian", that shouldn't happen. To make things even worse, Krushchev made a speech at the UN calling for "peaceful competition" and, some years later (1969), broke ties with another communist nation, China. Those events eroded the NCL's totalitarism thesis, since there was clearly a "vital center" in the USSR.

Not by coincidence, the end of the 1950s and, specially, the second half of the 1960s, marked the era of the rise of the so-called "neoconservatives" and the decline of the NCL. The neoconservatives originally were a small American Trotskyites who developed an overall anti-government stance and an elitist disgust for NCL "pluralism" (vital center). It is from the neoconservatives that came the designation of the term "liberal" as anyone left-wing in the USA. They later spread to dominate the common sense of American society after the 1970s and, after the oil crisis of 1974-5 and the rise of neoliberalism as a practical political doctrine, definitely became the dominant political stance in the USA - a position it enjoys until the present times.

winston2 , Oct 28 2019 20:19 utc | 57
The deep state is much more than the civil service, and was inherited from the British along with common law. It has its own schools and colleges, not quite as obvious as in Britain, but there anyway. We were taught the real history of events, not the pablum fed to the serfs at my school, a perfect example of that system,in the UK.

Prime ministers, ministers, MPs.Bankers, Lord Mayors of London,Judges and the top echelon of the civil service graduated its doors over the last seven centuries, nine really but with a century off while the Black Death ravaged the population. In the words of George Carlin:Its a big club and you are not in it.

You gravely underestimate its power, it is the Establishment, not part, all of it. It has factions, but it is united in keeping control, and its damn good at that.

uncle tungsten , Oct 28 2019 20:27 utc | 58
ADKC #31

That is seriously bad news from Whitney Webb. With the CLOUD Act the USA 'law enforcement' will exercise global circumvention of all civil rights in any court. I would like to see all State Department staff tested to see if their support for regime change is potentially a violent intention.

karlof1 , Oct 28 2019 20:28 utc | 59
All regular barflies know I term the "Deep State" as the Current Oligarchy, and I've presented my reasoning why that's so; and I don't intend to reiterate. Instead, I'll provide some links to previous actions taken by the contemporaneous Current Oligarchy. First and most recent is Escobar's sarcastic pessimism over what he describes as a Netflix coming attraction and--as I nod my head in agreement--concludes:

"The 'died as a dog' movie can also be interpreted as the liquidation of a formerly useful asset that was a valued component of the gift that keeps on giving, the never-ending Global War on Terror. Other scarecrows, and other movies, await."

Next the overall scope of the situation must be enlarged to the entire planet, which has provided the actual stage for Current Oligarchy action since its rise to modern prominence during WW2 and significantly at its end as it worked hard to define the post-war world and mold it to its benefit. The next two pieces are by the same writer, the first describing the great importance of what I pointed to last week--the initial Russia-Africa Summit--and providing the following essential background:

"It is no secret that just as China began outpacing the Americans in African investment in 2007. Rather than acting intelligently to increase genuine infrastructure funding as the Chinese had done, the US Deep State not only continued its outdated debt-slavery practices, but created AFRICOM as a military arm across the continent. Ironically AFRICOM's presence coincided with a doubling of militant Islamist activities since 2010 with 24 groups now identified (up from only 5 in 2010) and a 960% increase in violent attacks from 2009-2018. Just as western lending has caused a pandemic of slavery, so too has western security forces only spread mass insecurity.

"The fact is that the neo cons infesting the Military Industrial Complex have openly identified both countries as co-equal enemies to the USA and understand that this alliance represents an existential threat to their hegemony. Speaking at the Heritage Foundation last year, former National Security Advisor John Bolton said (without blushing): ' The predatory practices pursued by China and Russia stunt economic growth in Africa; threaten the financial independence of African Nations; inhibit opportunities for US investment and pose a threat to US national security interests .'" [Emphasis Original]

Two paragraphs prior, the author referenced a previous essay of his to provide the background to why events have gone in a particular direction since 1945. To do so, most readers would get their first introduction to FDR's Veep, Henry Wallace whose role during much of WW2 was to continually enunciate on FDR's 4 Freedoms and how they'd produce the Century of the Common Man at the war's conclusion, which was diametrically opposed to the Current Oligarchy's vision embodied in Henry Luce's Amercian Century :

"While some commentators are trying to spin this emerging re-orientation in global affairs as a mere 'trick to get re-elected', the reality goes much deeper than many realize, as Trump is merely tapping into an American strategy which was firmly established during the 1941-1944 presidential term of America's President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his loyal collaborator Henry A. Wallace who had planned a grand design for a US-Russia-China New world order founded upon principles enshrined in the Atlantic Charter and enunciated in his 1942 'Century of the Common Man' speech [Link at Original]."

I could cite much more from that essay, but I encourage barflies to read it. I often allude to the path not taken and cite the internal coup that denied Wallace becoming FDR's Veep in the 1944 election, which would have made him POTUS in late April 1945, and have made that turn one of history's most important What Ifs? For those following closely, there are many parallels of today's events with those of 70-75 years ago that demonstrate the circular and linear nature of history. That brings us to our fourth item wherein we see a member of the Current Oligarchy revive those long hidden skeletons that now form the major focal point of its attempt to remain relevant:

"This bipartisan Russophobia can be traced back decades to the Red Scare paranoia of the Cold War and McCarthyite persecution during the 1950s of suspected Soviet sympathizers in Washington and Hollywood. But for the past three years, since the 2016 election, the Cold War has been crazily enlivened with the 'Russiagate scandal' of alleged interference in American political affairs by Moscow. It was the Clinton campaign, establishment media and her intelligence agency supporters that launched that canard against Trump."

Current holistic thinking and observing combined with enough prior knowledge not only proves the past and present existence of the Current Oligarchy; it shows us how it's relying on its previous success to bail itself out of its present predicament--Trump's policies have destabilized it thanks to its own internal factionalism while it's again threaten by the specter of what I'll call the Revenge of the Common Man, having been deprived of the fruits of its labors and sacrifices that began 80+ years ago through the vehicle of Sanders humanism and Gabbard's patriotic revelations of truth.

lysias , Oct 28 2019 20:29 utc | 60
Wasn't neoliberalism thoroughly discredited by the economic crisis of 2007-9?
DannyC , Oct 28 2019 20:33 utc | 61
you'd be assuming that they're partisan. The Deep State couldn't care less what party is in power, as long as the business of never ending wars, resource plundering and insane budgets stay in place.
Robert Snefjella , Oct 28 2019 20:35 utc | 62
Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 28 2019 20:07 utc | 53.

"those that control finance, control the social narrative."

Zero Hedge recently featured a piece in which a 'luminary' declared "These central bankers are clueless..." Maybe it's now more like riding a whale, rather than controlling it?

And the control of the social narrative has certainly been attempted. And until the Internet, considerable influence and some extremely effective taboos were in place for generations. But not long ago the 'faith' of the US public in their mass media was shown to have plummeted from roughly half a generation ago to roughly a quarter now. Now whether the collapse of US adoration of mass media is a global phenomenon I don't know. But "control" of the social narrative by financial controllers is more problematic today.

But when it comes to say the CIA's attempt to control global communications, long ago testified to by John Stockwell, and more recently disclosed and broadened by Udo Ulfkotte, there are definite linkages between CIA and Intelligence Agencies and high finance, but who is in control? And how effective is the attempt?

Or when the US military and British Military for example devote large resources to 'the right message', or when massive corporations hire professional slick liars - Public Relations - to spin their message, is this high finance in control? To some extent there is interlinkage, but again: is there a financial supreme Wizard of Oz or is it much more complex?

Seth_Rich , Oct 28 2019 20:40 utc | 63
Surprised nobody has mentioned this. The Trump crowd has skewed the original meaning of "deep state" to their advantage. The functionaries described by "b" in today's post don't really scratch the surface of the deep state.

At the same time, the NYT and establishment media are taking advantage of this re-definition to hide the real one, as b's article should state.

Seth_Rich , Oct 28 2019 20:45 utc | 64
The money-shot from the above linked article:
For Lofgren, "Deep State" was an apt phrase to describe what he wrote was "the big story of our time": a largely open confluence of entrenched interests that helped explain everything from the war on terror to income inequality.

The essay resonated, so much so that Lofgren turned it into the 2016 book.

Naturally, a book proposing a unified theory of overreach by the military, intelligence, government contractors, big banks, and big tech received a warm reception in left-wing outlets like Salon and CounterPunch. So too, though, did The Deep State get positive notice in the far-right finance blog Zero Hedge, and in the far-right Taki's Magazine from Steve Sailer, an influential and highly controversial writer who New York magazine called "The Man Who Invented Identity Politics for the New Right."

Indeed, in the months after Lofgren wrote his original deep state essay, Cambridge Analytica and its then–vice president Steve Bannon were busy discovering -- at least according to the whistleblower Christopher Wylie -- that the phrase was catnip to conservative voters.

Lofgren began to realize that the idea had become something else in the popular imagination when right-wing commentators blamed the deep state for leaks that led to former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's resignation. And as a flood of similar leaks threatened to sink the Trump administration in its early months, reports emerged that the president himself blamed them on the deep state, and allies from Steve King to Newt Gingrich said so publicly.

Of course, Trump's supporters blamed only one group within the network of interests described by Lofgren's deep state -- career bureaucrats or Obama-era holdovers who were appalled by the anti–administrative state president and wanted to damage him to preserve the status quo. These were an entrenched interest to be sure, but, Lofgren said, not as important as the revolving door between industry, Wall Street, and government that made sure special interests dictated a consistent policy from administration to administration.

Today, posts about the deep state appear multiple times a day in pro-Trump communities like Reddit's /r/The_Donald, where its hidden hand is seen manipulating events as disparate as the death of child star Corey Haim and a DDoS attack against conservative conspiracy site the Gateway Pundit. Wednesday morning, a Daily Caller explainer video about the deep state was the top post on /r/The_Donald.

In response to what he saw as abuse of the term, Lofgren last year wrote a column for LobeLog, "Yes, There Is a Deep State -- But Not the Right Wing's Caricature."

ben , Oct 28 2019 20:57 utc | 65
WG @ 47; Excellent synopsis WG, absolutely right on point.
karlof1 , Oct 28 2019 20:59 utc | 66
lysias @60--

Yes, but it wasn't destroyed as its main players were rescued by Obama and saved from life in prison. That enabled the Current Oligarchy to double-down, take even greater risks and blow an even bigger financial bubble depicted by figure 3 here . Trump's related to the Current Oligarchy by the fact that he's riding/ridden the same bubble(s) and thus has connections to one of its factions as Pepe Escobar revealed during his coverage of the 2016 election. Since he's tangentially related, Trump's policies have fed them as they've also fed Trump, which has acted as a form of insurance for him. Trump shares a portion of Luce's American Century vision but not its entirety, which has exacerbated a longstanding disagreement between Current Oligarchy factions that goes back to the 1960s of which Senator Fulbright was the leading example.

Albertde , Oct 28 2019 21:02 utc | 67
Rest of Comment @46

This only works in so-called democracies as long as the reality people witness corresponds to the reports in the media. Once a disparity arises and the economic situation degenerates, the same apathy that arises in dictatorial, communist and fascist regimes, arises in so-called democracies.

Today, after the assassinations of JFK and RFK and the forced resignation of Nixon, every president since then until Trump has towed the line. (In fact, Obama enjoyed it.) Trump, being the narcistic fool he is and having the bloated ego he has, is taking on the Consensus, the chief enforcers being the CIA and FBI. That's why he was elected. If he doesn't continue to take on the Consensus, he won't be re-elected.

Zedd , Oct 28 2019 21:02 utc | 68
@Psychohistorian #49

Who are they? [the Deep State]

I suggest you follow the link below. To this day certain British parliamentarians refer to themselves as 'Venetians.' The tradition of the Globalizing elite and the Intelligence networks which guide it harken back to Venice.

There are no individual trillionaires per se, for example the 'Rothschilds' are merely one of many families who together participate and own shares in a grounp 'Fondo,' or Fund. When an individual from within this group dies without an heir his shares are returned to the Family. One group of individuals has been demonstrated to hold or otherwise control between 40 and 80% of all assets in existence - that's right, roughly half of everything - by a Swiss study tracing cross ownership of Corporate entities worldwide. It is sometimes refered to as the Octopus of Global Control. It is very real, controlling not just finance, but much more importantly controls English speaking Global culture, and therefore what people think and believe is reality, via a sophisticated and secretive elite based mainly in the UK.

This is the Deep State and it is very real. It's core ideology is Supremacist and Mathusian. Zionism is it's most obvious manifestation. As with everything else the Octopus manages the choices we lower caste individuals can make by managing dialectics. It matters not who you vote for since all your choices are predetermined by this group, to keep the hyper elite entrenched in their positions and the rest of us chasing our tails.

https://www.academia.edu/34954495/The_Spy_Chiefs_of_Renaissance_Venice_Intelligence_Leadership_in_the_Early_Modern_World

Petri Krohn , Oct 28 2019 21:09 utc | 69
The United States is a National Security State, where the institutions of imperial and state security override any elected government.

Warnings of a deep state filled the pages of The New York Times before and after the Kennedy assassination. People understood that the extraordinary powers given to the CIA and the US intelligence community as a result of the Cold War were incompatible with the ideals of a democratic republic that had exited previously.

State Within a State? - The New York Times , October 6, 1963 ( archive )

Is the Central Intelligence Agency a state within a state?

Evidently the elite slowly accepted the fact and stopped complaining. They learned to stop worrying and love the bomb!

***

I spent several years slowly collecting sources for a Wikipedia article on the US deep state. There was a general article on a state within a state , listing several countries where the phrase (or the equivalent Deep State ) was used. The United States was not listed before I added the entry.

After Trump's election someone finally started the article on the US Deep State . I moved my reliable sources over to that article. But in a few months the article degraded into an article about some "Trumpist" conspiracy theory.

vk , Oct 28 2019 21:26 utc | 70
By pure coincidence, I found out this article today which perfectly exemplifies the degeneration of the "vital center" (American Dream is Sunk ):
The dynamic, far-left versus far-right will end up ripping the U.S.A. to shreds. And the problem is not what either side gets wrong – it's what they get right.

[...]

Like everything else Washington and Wall Street churn out, it's all meant to calm the Titanic's passengers. The ship's orchestra is still playing soothing classics, as the chilly waters of the North Atlantic sting at the ladies Victorian dress hems. Our Captain has long since drowned down under at his station on Titanic's bridge, even as the boilers still turn the screws of our once mighty ship.

A few of us are looking on from the few lifeboats or life preservers. America, like R.M.S. Titanic, still illuminates the night sky. But for how long? For this writer, it is all just that sad. We sped across the waves of history like Titanic, unsinkable, unshakeable, and beautiful – only to hit the iceberg of reality. America, given the course and speed she took, was doomed from the moment the rudder turning in this direction. And the Russians were not steering or stoking the fires.

ptb , Oct 28 2019 21:36 utc | 72
@seth-r 63 ... good link to the 2014 bill moyers article.

Deep State is a loose term but it always had 2 halves that are now clearly coming together as one.

1. The bipartisan-pro-business (i.e. neoliberal) wing. They won their total victory under Reagan, and have simply been maintaining it.

2. The US national power wing - hawks / MIC / team-usa world-police. They experienced confusion after the cold war suddenly ended, but under Bush II they had a final victory of sorts, upon 9/11. The total unconditional surrender of the Dem party to the neocon principles made this wing also clearly bipartisan.

2016 was messy because both wings found their core beliefs discredited, and simultaneously they had to support an uninspiring figurehead in Clinton.

Trump, being the reality-show magician he is, not only benefited from this, but also reunited his allies/enemies with the electorates who were about to leave them. We again have strong partisan loyalty in the US. Trump does 95% exactly what the militarists and the big business guys want, yet manages to be pretty darn convincing in playing the victim, since the outrage against him is genuine. He is also in his personality a grotesquely cartoonish distillation of exactly these qualities - greed, corruption, bellegligence.

his best and most threatening quality is that it finally forces some honesty on observers of the system.

Jen , Oct 28 2019 21:51 utc | 75
I'm sure I'm not the only person here who sees the headlines B has linked to and other NYT headlines (and some of the actual articles themselves, if I have the time and patience to read them) and realised that The New York Times itself is part of the Deep State it initially denied and now wholeheartedly supports. Not that this should surprise anyone who is familiar with Operation Mockingbird and The New York Times' part in co-operating with the CIA to plant CIA-origin reports with reporters who were either willing volunteers or unaware innocents or to practise self-censorship to appease the CIA.

Carl Bernstein "The CIA and the Media" http://www.carlbernstein.com/magazine_cia_and_media.php

Spartacus Educational "Operation Mockingbird" https://spartacus-educational.com/JFKmockingbird.htm

paul , Oct 28 2019 21:51 utc | 76
the deep state is basically the one per cent, so called, which has many levers, within 'the state', but also within the private economy, the world of media and culture, the academic world, etc..
Theophrastus , Oct 28 2019 22:09 utc | 77
There is no democracy anywhere on earth. Elections are not democratic; sortition is.

Here, for instance, is Aristotle on the subject:

"It is accepted as democratic when public offices are allocated by lot; and as oligarchic when they are filled by election." -- Aristotle, Politics

It was Cleisthenes who in 508 BC had the genius insight that it is elections themselves that are the problem, because those who are elected are always the ones most eager to seize a position of power, and they always use it for their own benefit and not for the common good. More than a century later, Plato would agree, stating that the worst that can happen to a society is that its offices are held by those who crave them most.

This deserves repeating: only those with an ambition for power seek election to public office.

The French philosopher Alain (original name: Emile Chartier) famously said that what characterises an honest man is not wanting to rule over others, which implies that it will be the least generous among us who will take advantage.

Elections are thus not at all democratic, and in agreement ---besides Cleisthenes himself, Plato, Aristotle, and Alain--- are also Montesquieu, Rousseau, Voltaire, Thucydides, Herodotus, and many others.

Thus, in this discussion about the Deep State (which was officially birthed in 1947, but had been gestating since the very beginning of the USA), we forget that all democracies for the last 250 years have used the term "democracy" as a smokescreen to hide the fact that they are, in fact, oligarchies, and the Deep State is their muscle.

As George Carlin said so well: "There's an Owners' Club folks, and you and I are not in it. They want more for themselves and less for all the rest of us, and they don't give a f**k about you, at all."

uncle tungsten , Oct 28 2019 22:10 utc | 78
Albertde #46
Under dictatorial, communist and fascist regimes, the opinion of all residents is tightly controlled and no deviations are tolerated, either publicly or in a family setting (children being encouraged to report on parents). People expressing deviant opinions are silenced by imprisonment or if they are considered dangerous enough, accused of some "crime" and killed ("executed"). The result is that when the disparity between the reality people witness and the reports they see in the controlled media becomes too great, these regimes would weaken since the only tool for control would be visible fear and people would be prone to apathy.
So the USA is in the early or late stage of fascism? ADKC at 31 references the Whitney Webb article here .

The deep state will have arrived on your doorstep and across the globe through the CLOUD Act in the USA and with the collaboration of the Five Eyes.

pogohere , Oct 28 2019 22:19 utc | 79
I suggest the following will take inquiring minds much deeper into the subject:

THE DEEP STATE: A Brief Bibliographical Sketch

In his book The Secret Team: The CIA and Its Allies in Control of the United States and the World , Col. Fletcher Prouty, who was the briefing officer to the President of the US from 1955-1963, writes about "an inner sanctum of a new religious order." By the phrase Secret Team he means a group of "security-cleared individuals in and out of government who receive secret intelligence data gathered by the CIA and the National Security Agency (NSA) and who react to those data." He states: "The power of the Team derives from its vast intra-governmental undercover infrastructure and its direct relationship with great private industries, mutual funds and investment houses, universities, and the news media, including foreign and domestic publishing houses." He further adds: "All true members of the Team remain in the power centre whether in office with the incumbent administration or out of office with the hard-core set. They simply rotate to and from official jobs and the business world or the pleasant haven of academe."

I have adopted the view outlined by Joseph Farrell in his Nazi International, The Reich of the Black Sun and The Third Way, by Alfred W. McCoy in his The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade and by William Engdahl in A Century of War, Anglo-American Oil Politics And The New World Order. See also Peter Dale Scott´s writings. Essentially I am referring to a consortium of intelligence agencies, their bankers and the drug cartels who finance themselves off money laundering and resource expropriation.

Post WW2 theft of Axis booty was used to finance intelligence agencies (see Seagrave: Gold Warriors: America's Secret Recovery of Yamashita's Gold" and the transfer of control over the Asian heroin trade (see: McCoy: "The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade") has been used to finance off-budget operations of intelligence agencies worldwide. The western deep state's object is to capture the resources of eurasia and prevent a geopolitical alignment of Russia and Germany, formulated by MacKinder: The Geographical Pivot of History" and the modern exponents of western hegemony, such as George Friedman and Brzezinski, of course. With regard to Russia , didn't we seen a version of this movie in 1918?

In pertinent point:

London is now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Gomorrah author Roberto Saviano says 'the British treat it as not their problem'

"The City of London is the money-laundering centre of the world's drug trade, according to an internationally acclaimed crime expert."

In my view, any attempt to analyse geopolitical machinations that doesn't recognize the everyday efforts of the multiple entities alluded to above will lack depth. I'm not referring to the holdover, identifiable bureaucrats who survive from one political administration to the next. I'm referring to those who administer the funds laundered by the too-big-to-fail-too-big-to jail banks as well as the funds disappearing into the black holes of the defense department: see:

Pentagon Claims That It Has "Lost" Over $18 Trillion, Which Probably Paid Foreign Army Payrolls

Rumsfeld says $2.3 TRILLION Missing from Pentagon

9/10/2001:

Cynthia Mckinney questions Rumsfeld and Myers about 9/11 War Games [and accounting]

MSU SCHOLARS FIND $21 TRILLION IN UNAUTHORIZED GOVERNMENT SPENDING; DEFENSE DEPARTMENT TO CONDUCT FIRST-EVER AUDIT

12-11-17

Earlier this year, a Michigan State University economist, working with graduate students and a former government official, found $21 trillion in unauthorized spending in the departments of Defense and Housing and Urban Development for the years 1998-2015.

The work of Mark Skidmore and his team, which included digging into government websites and repeated queries to U.S. agencies that went unanswered, coincided with the Office of Inspector General, at one point, disabling the links to all key documents showing the unsupported spending. (Luckily, the researchers downloaded and stored the documents.)

Now, the Department of Defense has announced it will conduct the first department-wide, independent financial audit in its history (read the Dec. 7 announcement here).

The Defense Department did not say specifically what led to the audit. But the announcement came four days after Skidmore discussed his team's findings on USAWatchdog, a news outlet run by former CNN and ABC News correspondent Greg Hunter.

"While we can't know for sure what role our efforts to compile original government documents and share them with the public has played, we believe it may have made a difference," said Skidmore, the Morris Chair in State and Local Government Finance and Policy at MSU.

Skidmore got involved last spring when he heard Catherine Austin Fitts, former assistant secretary of Housing and Urban Development, refer to a report which indicated the Army had $6.5 trillion in unsupported adjustments, or spending, in fiscal 2015. Given the Army's $122 billion budget, that meant unsupported adjustments were 54 times spending authorized by Congress. Typically, such adjustments in public budgets are only a small fraction of authorized spending. Skidmore thought Fitts had made a mistake. "Maybe she meant $6.5 billion and not $6.5 trillion," he said. "So I found the report myself and sure enough it was $6.5 trillion."

Skidmore and Fitts agreed to work together to investigate the issue further. Over the summer, two MSU graduate students searched government websites, especially the website of the Office of Inspector General, looking for similar documents dating to 1998. They found documents indicating a total $21 trillion in undocumented adjustments over the 1998-2015 period. (The original government documents and a report describing the issue can be found here.)

In a Dec. 8 Forbes column he co-authored with Laurence Kotlikoff, Skidmore said the "gargantuan nature" of the undocumented federal spending "should be a great concern to all taxpayers."

"Taken together these reports point to a failure to comply with basic constitutional and legislative requirements for spending and disclosure," the column concludes. "We urge the House and Senate Budget Committee to initiate immediate investigations of unaccounted federal expenditures as well as the source of their payment."

As they say, follow the money.

Paul Damascene , Oct 28 2019 22:27 utc | 80
Insofar as my fellow barflies might accept a bridge from Deep State to MIC as not taking us too far off topic, I was struck by the belligerence of US SecDef (for Raytheon) Mark Esper's tweet to the effect that "we will respond with overwhelming military force against any group that threatens the safety of our forces" controlling the Syrian oil fields. Apparently, when specifically asked, if this included Russia, he apparently said yes, without equivocation or hesitation.

Does this new policy then, to deny Syria of 200,000 bbl / day, entail a commitment to an full out attack on the forces of a nuclear armed country?

Is this intended to be a warning? (The US / Russkie generals have a deconfliction hotline for that.) Is this representative of not caring sufficiently to think through a position, or an inability to imagine its consequences? is this the product of a delusion that, barring an effort, surely manifold greater than that during the run up to the Iraq, the US is able to respond to Russia with overwhelming force, quite near Russia's borders, after all.

Is this bluster, or are the exponents of US military violence so accustomed to bullying small and medium countries that they are simply unable to process what even a regional, conventional conflict with Russia might entail? Even taking Saker's point that if Russia limits itself to playing defence, its forces in Syria can eventually be overwhelmed, given what Martyanov refers to as the 900-lb gorilla of Russia's stand off capacity, Russia has escalation dominance. All of America's bases in the ME and all of its carrier groups could be destroyed within hours.

What on earth possesses these characters?

james , Oct 28 2019 22:29 utc | 81
@47 wg.. i maintain the reason it is happening now, is the usa empire is in an accelerating state of decline..

@59 karlof1 quote - "But for the past three years, since the 2016 election, the Cold War has been crazily enlivened with the 'Russiagate scandal' of alleged interference in American political affairs by Moscow. It was the Clinton campaign, establishment media and her intelligence agency supporters that launched that canard against Trump." i agree with this viewpoint, alongside the one i just made to william g..

james , Oct 28 2019 22:31 utc | 82
@80 paul d... maybe it has to do with mark espers gig as joe boy for rayatheon prior to accepting the usa sec of defense position? maybe he uses the lingo of a tough talking capitalist more readily then a diplomat - something in real short supply in the usa at present... it fits the tough guy john wayne persona the usa likes to project...
bevin , Oct 28 2019 22:31 utc | 83
The British term for the "Deep State", coined I believe by the historian AJP Taylor, is The Establishment. It includes but goes far beyond the Civil Service and military hierarchy. Haute Finance is central to it, so are the educational system and the media. Its role is to act as a gyroscope ensuring, through whatever means are necessary, that the course pursued by society is that determined by the ruling class.

That course, neoliberalism, requires the subordination of 'democratic' mechanisms to the imperatives of the market. The Monthly Review has a very good article this month, of which this is a small sample.

"... Today there is once again a structural crisis of capital, most evident in the Great Financial Crisis of 2008–10, but actually going much deeper and extending back to the 1970s, which marked the beginning of the long slowdown of the advanced capitalist economies. Stagnation, characterized by the overaccumulation of capital, is all the more significant in our time since it has been accompanied by the greatest inequality in history. The world has also seen the emergence of a new phase of imperialism, best characterized as late imperialism, in which international exploitation/expropriation has been intensified in the context of the globalization of production and the prevalence of global value chains. International conflicts and racism are on the rise. Both the United States and Europe are experiencing declines in their respective positions within the international economic hierarchy, symbolized by the rise of China. On top of all this is a planetary ecological crisis on a scale that has no precedent in history, and which threatens the very future of humanity, not in some distant period, but already in the present century.

"Neoliberalism, which seeks to subordinate the state to the market while also using the state apparatus to enforce market relations, is systematically dissolving all bases of community relations, transforming them into mere commodity relations. This has served to delegitimize the state, the unintended effect of which has been to encourage the development of radical right or neofascist movements opposed to liberal/neoliberal political elites along with the working poor. Xenophobic racism is being directed at immigrants and populations emanating from the Global South. At the same time, perpetual war and imperialist-based coups have generated millions of refugees. Overall, the conditions of our time are those of epochal economic, social, and ecological crises, accompanied by intensified imperialism and war...." https://monthlyreview.org/2019/10/01/the-rise-of-the-right/

The interesting question is why The Establishment feels so threatened that, as Gruff points out above, it has torn off its mask and discredited itself over what is nothing more than a minor spat within the ruling class. Trump is not a threat to the system in any way. And yet large parts of the CIA and the classes that support the ruling class have gone mad in their determination to rid themselves of him. It seems to me that this is simply a symptom of an hierarchy collapsing- as they tend to do- from the accumulated weight of its hubris. It long ago lost any sense of proportion and moderation-hence the decades of stupid wars pursued without discernible political cost, and the neglect of the social base, in the slow but steady immiseration of the working (aka 'Middle') class. This process continues as we speak, notably in the auto-discrediting of the UAW in the GM strike just (shockingly) called off. The Establishment worked because it was grounded in broad social acceptance, a contract which included some social mobility, rising living standards for the majority and all the accoutrements of an ideology of progress. For a variety of reasons that is all over now and the only real barrier between the capitalist class and the unsatisfied appetites of the masses is force, the sort of force being employed in Chile, which is, after all, neo-liberalism's Show House. All of which is making the Deep State's directors very nervous, and unbalanced. Which is why they are acting so irrationally that they seem to have convinced themselves that Trump(almost indistinguishable though he is from themselves) is a threat. A threat that they no longer dare to assassinate, which is what they would normally do. Thanks pogo for the link...!!!!

Seth_Rich , Oct 28 2019 22:32 utc | 84
ptb@72 -

Indeed, but there is another side to my point as well. The New York Times and Washington Post must simply love the fact that Trump and his supporters (of which I can be said to be one on a very limited number of issues) have re-defined "deep state" as a much shallower and easy to root out (in theory) subset of unelected government functionaries who have allegiances to Obama and his political opponents in general.

This gives cover to the actual deep state for which the NYT and WaPo (MSNBC, NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, etc.) are the PR arm, or at least mouthpieces.

The over-simplification allows them to treat it as just another Trumpist conspiracy gambit designed to discredit legitimate media outlets, which themselves are all owned - to some degree - by the very interests that constitute the non-governmental elements/persons of the deep state which can and do re-enter government via the revolving door.

You're spot-on with respect to The Donald, but I think one of the intended goals of the NYT etc. finally admitting the reality of the deep state was to discredit the notion in the minds of most "liberals" by playing it off as only a small number of "patriotic public servants" instead of the deeply rooted rot and control mechanism that it really is.

It's really quite insidious reverse psychology propaganda they've got going with it, and I was hoping b would have gone into a little more depth, but I suppose that is the purpose of linking the Moyers re-post of Lofgren, and the second article I linked does a decent job of exposing one side of the issue - and Lofgren's dissatisfaction with it - without totally playing NYT's game of "damning by faint praise" the idea that there is actually such a thing.

Cheers.

uncle tungsten , Oct 28 2019 22:34 utc | 85
pogohere #79

Great post and many thanks. That explains why the air is thick with absurd red herrings and has been so since the Skidmore/MSU report was made public.

Paul Damascene , Oct 28 2019 22:36 utc | 86
Re post #80, Apologies for the solecisms: I meant a military effort many times greater than that leading up the Iraq war ... and obviously with much greater consequences, given the ability of this adversary to punch back. Hard.
h , Oct 28 2019 22:39 utc | 87
In the not so distant past folks used the term 'puppet masters' to describe the unseen hands influencing elections and policies here in the U.S. This term has evolved under Trump's WH to a 'cabal' of 'entrenched interests' or a 'deep state.' Whatever the term of the day may be, people intuitively know a hidden power greater than the electorate is controlling all things in DC.

When reading several articles and watching interviews a couple of weeks ago related to Ukraine, the coup and the current Burisma sunlight, I was struck by how similar their color revolution is paralleling with what we are bearing witness to here in the United States.

Whatever this hidden hand is the U.S. is ground zero for regime change.

And Lefties and Righties and all of those in the middle would be wise to inform themselves of what is heading our way. The sooner the better b/c Party identity won't matter one iota. You're either an American who wants the country to remain governed under the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution OR you're not. Remaining neutral will not be an option.

I'd also add that this regime change is being driven by the fact that those behind the mechanics of nurturing the Liberal World Order (LWO) along are in Trump's crosshairs. Many here write about the death of the American empire but I take issue with the global sense of such a suggestion. What is dying is the Liberal World Order NOT American empire. If folks here write about the death of the American empire also encompasses the body politic of the LWO then I fully agree. But words have meaning. The body politic that birthed the likes of BIS, the Tri-Lateral Commission and the IMF are by those whose family business, generation-after-generation, gave us what is known as the Liberal World Order most of the West has lived under since the early 1900's.

Someone mentioned up thread the Rothschild clan as being a silent partner, which I fully concur, but there are many more I'd add including Soros himself. Digging in and learning the mechanics behind the money laundering scheme at Burisma pretty much tells one all they need to know about how this LWO "deep state" secures the funds to pay off their enablers/useful idiots and to invest the remaining funds into keeping their morbid theater chugging along.

Whatever happens here in the U.S. in the coming years, beware to ALL who live elsewhere. This LWO is parasitic and those who are adherents will move onto another country and start all over again. Havoc is how they make their money. It's a family business.

psychohistorian , Oct 28 2019 22:51 utc | 88
Thanks to all commenters for raising the level of discussion as go off to read the link that Zedd and others provided

All this brings me back to my structural change drum that I continue to beat here. Humanity needs to change the social contract to exclude private finance of any kind. I say this because I believe that killing all the Jews won't work, nor putting in prison Clinton, Obama, Trump, Pelosi, etc. We simply need to focus on pushing forward sovereign public finance and collaboration between civilization states to replace the BIS and other inter-state coordination.......it is the structure (private finance/property and ongoing inheritance), not the individuals at any one time that needs to be changed

Off to read some of all the links provided by great commenters here.

Zedd , Oct 28 2019 22:52 utc | 89
@lysias

A lot of the people posting comments at unz.com may be racists...

The content at UNZ provokes the response. Some say this is accidental but I doubt this is true. I'm afraid all websites are directly or indirectly controlled by Intelligence, no different from Facebook. Keep that always at the top of your mind and you will possess the key to understanding the nature of the informational matrix in which we live.

Guilt by association is a practiced tradition. In the case of Unz it used to associate important ideas and debates with incoherent racism, thus causing dissonance with those possessing an excessive normalcy bias.

When you are accused of engaging in ad hominem it is often because you have pointed to an important connection an opponent may have. The term works both ways as any thoughtful person needs to acknowledge. I think the term was invented to discourage thinking and encourage confusion about broader issues, the same way pejorative use of the word 'conspiracy' was created to hide uncomfortable facts - but also highlight less relevant details - about those who rule over us and how they accomplish their goals.

As ever things are more complicated so I take no strictly ideological view of highlighting associations. Ad hominem attacks can be used to distract an audience or it can be used to highlight the contradictions of an opponents position, for example, I seriously wonder what the word 'McCarthyite' would mean today if the politician in question had claimed not a communist but a Jewish plot against the USA. I suspect the term would never be used had McCarthy been more specific about who he was targetting. I also suspect if he was sincere about outing genuinely dangerous people there would have been no Soviet style show trials of America's most beloved Menschen.

Paul Damascene , Oct 28 2019 23:16 utc | 90
Although there are different formulations for the deep state, I'm not sure my understanding of oligarchy is sufficiently broad that it can stand in as a synonym, as I believe Karlof1 proposes. In its international dimension, psychohistorian's coinage of "Deep World" is appealing.

According to one theory of the Deep State, there are 2 wings in the US. The East-coast globalist financial elites, Jewish and Anglo-Brahmin, and the CIA; and the more southern-based, Christian, military wing. It would appear that this might run parallel to the Trump era split between patriots and globalists if projected internationally, but I'm not sure that split holds outside of the US.

VietnamVet , Oct 28 2019 23:30 utc | 91
The handy handles for the West's actual rulers are "The 0.1%", "Neo-aristocracy", or "The Elite". Larry Summers's "Insiders" are the top 1%. Technocrats like Elizabeth Warren are the top 10% which includes the Spooks, Officers and Executives climbing through the revolving doors of the Deep State.

The remaining 90% are riffraff. Western governments are purposefully non-functional with remnants of democracy that the Plutocrat Donald Trump used to befuddle incompetent Democrat Insiders and won a Presidency that he never expected. True to form, he's seized Syria's Oil which is a war crime. Corporate Democrats to keep the donor's money coming continue to scapegoat Russia. The current conflict in the West is between nationalist and globalist oligarchs and their paid servants, the 10%.

Tulsi Gabbard is the only presidential candidate mentioning the unmentionable - End the forever wars and restore government by and for the people.

evilempire , Oct 28 2019 23:49 utc | 92

I am not as erudite or eloquent as Zedd or RS but I can attempt to give my take on some of the excellent insights they have. I see the deep state as those most enthralled(imps) or those who are the direct paid agents or minions in the mind control matrix of a demonic empire of "reality creators". The matrix they have created is not true reality but a viciously malign, malignantly evil, satanically deceptive simulation that is totally divorced from objective truth and therefore totally in thrall to satan and divorced from god. In other words, the imps are the fanatical believers in the cult of Lucifer-reality while the paid agents know the simulation is false but are conscienceless psychopaths, what I term the soulless machines or material automatons of the Luciferian Imperium. So the deep state in essence is a violent, deranged cult of true believers in a false reality and therefore psychotic and extremely dangerous. It is not recognized as a cult because it is mainstream and counts among it followers the majority of the population. Look at the rabidly deranged beliefs they fanatically hold: the skripal hoax, the russia collusion hoax, the ukraine hoax, and all the other hoaxes not mentioned like the syria chemical and barrel bomb hoax, the mh17 hoax, the isis hoax. There are so many hoaxes one can't even keep track of them any longer. Any countervailing narrative is denounced as the blashemy of conspiracy theory which is a hallmark of a cult.

Posted by: evilempire | Oct 28 2019 23:49 utc | 92

juliania , Oct 29 2019 0:26 utc | 93
I haven't yet read all the comments here (must be a Deep State stretcher at work) but I would like to bring a partial comment initiated by one of b's extra links on the weekend thread that I don't think got comments there - the Atlantic piece about the Nixon/Kissinger attempts to elect someone other than Allende, and then to do an 'Allende must go' on said elected President after he had been democratically elected.

I have only read this long article partway but it strikes me the contrast is stark. There, the US government, or its executive at least, was the Deep State in the sense of being the power hidden behind its own democratic coming to be, performing illegal acts of subversion against another sovereign state. Was this what Nixon was elected to do?

It seems a horrible thing for an elected President to be engaged in, and yet do we have something even more horrible when the State itself is conspiring with media help to overturn its own elected head? Where do we go from here? It's as if the United States is now bound and determined that this country experience what it has inflicted on so many other countries north and south - a color revolution, coup d'etat of major proportions.

Well, they've been practising long and hard, but always the people fight back; and the people seem to be good at having the last say. And why not? Leaders come and go, even corporations come and go. The people are always here.

Jackrabbit , Oct 29 2019 0:36 utc | 94
Some definitions of "Deep State" given above are essentially a collection of power centers (defense department, financial industry, etc.) or a large network(s) of personal connections ("oligarchs", the "one percent", etc.). Others give great weight to state bureaucracy.

These conceptions of the Deep State are amorphous and imply collections that too unwieldy to operate effectively.

IMO the Deep State is a SMALL collection of powerful, smart people that are highly respected and virtually untouchable. They work across party lines but behind closed doors. People like McCain (while he was alive), Hillary, Bush Sr. (while he was alive), Brennan, Mueller.

Jackrabbit !!

Robert Snefjella , Oct 29 2019 0:46 utc | 95
There is no reason that I can see why the Athenian political system would not work with a less restricted citizen body.

Posted by: lysias | Oct 28 2019 19:39 utc | 45

Notice that the Yellow Vests in France emphasized direct democracy. The subject of Classical Athens regarding its 'amazing adventures' with democracy is a big one, and in my many discussions over the years on this subject, it is not unusual to be faced with the knee jerk condemnation and thus dismissal - clinching argument I win! - of Athenian democracy as irrelevant because well there were all those slaves and women who couldn't vote. Sigh.

But I would transmute your comment a bit to say that we could both learn from them, and, experiment and perhaps make some improvements. Some aspects of modern technology combined with the good old paper ballot anchor could be quite the team on behalf of direct democracy.

One aspect of their approach has been mentioned: drawing of lots to pick people for certain positions. One of the effects would be say to basically shut down contemporary lawyerly machinations re jury selection; it also dignifies the average person. Hey, anyone with any common sense can take on this task. There's lots more. Their mass juries were pretty well immune from being bought or intimidated. So, roughly speaking, I endorse your comment.

Posted by: evilempire | Oct 28 2019 23:49 utc | 92

I'm largely in sympathy with the thrust of your comments, apart from having some reservations about the comment - 'erudite and eloquent' re some RS character. Many of these very powerful people are really really sick and dangerous.

When liars and con artists successfully fool someone, the victim is taken 'out of touch with reality'; can be conned into acting on the basis of a false reality.

The layman's definition of insanity: being so out of touch with reality, and so invested in hallucination say, that one acts on the basis of that hallucination: the non-existent tiger scares the hell out of you, etc.

The average decent person can be conned into doing crazy monstrous things. It can become like you indicate group madness.

Truth is the great disinfectant.

Tulsi Gabbard is in effect saying: we have repeatedly been conned into killing and being killed. That's crazy and evil. Let's get real and get good. She's reminiscent of the truth telling child in the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale: that drooling wacko empress is butt naked!

Walter , Oct 29 2019 0:52 utc | 97
"Conversations With History - Peter Dale Scott"

Peter defined deep state and so forth.

lookit youtube

psychohistorian , Oct 29 2019 1:07 utc | 99
I got a lot out of the link from Zedd in comment #68 about the early Venice methods of social control "for the common good".

It reads like it was very effective and had aspects that are probably still in use today by the cabal that is at the top of the Western social order that use the BIS, IMF and World Bank as their payolla mechanism when needed.

It details how secrecy was a state virtue and how it used the "professional" or government folks, the "mercantile" or business folks and the "amateur" or public to feed information to the controlling top of the organization effectively....just like now, only contextually evolved.

I keep calling what we have today the God of Mammon religion and that is probably not too far off in description of the belief system at the core of today's version of the controlling order. The issue that is so stark today is that "for the common good" is no longer the center point of the religion. From what I read and understand, the system that China has evolved comes closest to what makes sense if humanity is to continue and prosper as a viably structured society.

Paul Damascene , Oct 29 2019 1:11 utc | 100
Juliana @ 93 -- Perceptive post. You seem to be getting a lot from your reading. Bonne lecture.

[Oct 27, 2019] There is a probably valid school of thought that the deep establishment has a faction that is pro-Trump and behind the general idea of disengaging from wasteful overseas adventures, since it is becoming clear that this is a ruinous path that the US cannot really afford anymore...

Oct 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

juliania , Oct 26 2019 15:24 utc | 105

My thought about Barr holding fire on Epstein is that he may have known that was a red herring, false flag, or whatever you want to call it. That whole Epstein affair sounded like a juicy distraction to me, in the manner of "if it bleeds it leads". When someone actually dies who is the center of contraversial activity, you may be sure, unfortunately, that someone, he or another, is getting close to truths that ought not see the light of day. Somewhat in the nature of the baiting of Putin as Ukraine was beginning its time of troubles. The old revolutionary dictum "Hold your fire until you see the whites of their eyes" may have been in Barr's mind at the time of Epstein's demise.

Certainly such investigations as the one he is involved in take much time to sort out the who-what-where in terms sufficiently damaging to become a credible enterprise. We have seen such attempts fail in the past. I hope he takes his time and gets all his ducks in a row before the hammer falls as fall it must. It is so vital to this country that this attempt succeed; for if it fails only the shambles of Kiev style fisticuffs in Congress can be the result. Not pretty.

In b's post we are reminded of the power of the press to misinform. I would suggest we badly need divestiture of our media from the huge corporations now more wealthy than some countries. The latter are too powerful in this country now, and they do need to be whittled down to size. We not only need fact finders, we need eloquent voices to present those facts to the public. We need free speech!


flankerbandit , Oct 26 2019 17:12 utc | 111

Juliania...about Barr...

He is a deep state creature...his father Donald Barr was an OSS guy and original CIA [which morphed from the wartime OSS]...

Barr senior was also Epstein's mentor and got him his start at the deeply establishment Dalton School [and probably Epstein's handler as an asset or 'agent' as they are called]...

So things go a bit deeper than the surface when it comes to Barr junior...and what he is doing here...

There is a probably valid school of thought that the deep establishment has a faction that is pro-Trump and behind the general idea of disengaging from wasteful overseas adventures, since it is becoming clear that this is a ruinous path that the US cannot really afford anymore...

I would also agree with the theory that says that these two 'deep' factions ['nationalist' vs 'globalist'] are at war...with the 'DNC-Hillary-MSM-interventionist faction' possibly on the decline, but still powerful enough to blow up a lot of the plans that Trump and his deep backers would like to get done...

Epstein is a whole 'nuther can of worms here and I would not be surprised if he was not actually dead...Trump himself is deeply entangled with many of the prime players in the Epstein web...it all depends if he is more useful alive than dead...

Btw...pulling off a deception like a fake death is kindergarten level for these kinds of operators and the unlimited resources they possess to shape so-called 'reality' as brought to us on our little screens...

So really I find it kind of silly that the right wingers are looking at Barr as some kind of White Knight...there really are none of those in these circles...as much as the sheeple would like to believe that...

chu teh , Oct 26 2019 19:08 utc | 112
karlof1 | Oct 25 2019 22:15 utc | 54

re: source of "God has an infinite sense of humor"...

Was told that in 1994[?] conversation w Jerry, a fellow worker, abt the baffling condition of Mankind. Never heard it before or since. At the time it was one of most incisive and impinging viewpoints; it still is.

It was said to me dryly, not coy and no smile, almost plaintively as tho it would be ignored and pass thru unrecognized. I never met a more rational or sharper mind.

Once, I remarked I was looking for an obscure book that was mentioned in another book, as "1 of the 3 best autobios ever written in English" by someone I never heard of. J:"Who and what?" Me:"Kropotkin and Revolutionist".
J:"Oh, sure! I think my wife still has a copy" and he brought it in next day.[An awesome read, too!]

karlof1 , Oct 26 2019 19:56 utc | 113
chu the @112--

Thanks for your reply! I was also thinking that perhaps it was a cynical observation made by a stoic son of a Baptist or Methodist Minister, like the retort in M*A*S*H about how someone like that (Hawkeye, IIRC) got into the Army--"He got drafted," which caused the audience to erupt in laughter (definitely a context-dependent joke).

Peter AU 1 , Oct 26 2019 20:43 utc | 114
flankerbandit 111
"There is a probably valid school of thought that the deep establishment has a faction that is pro-Trump and behind the general idea of disengaging from wasteful overseas adventures, since it is becoming clear that this is a ruinous path that the US cannot really afford anymore..."

I think this what is occuring. And when Trump says swamp, I think it is the section of the swamp that this faction believe set the US on a ruinous path.

pogohere , Oct 26 2019 20:46 utc | 115
chu teh @44 & 112

God is a comedian whose audience refuses to laugh.

uncle tungsten , Oct 26 2019 20:52 utc | 116
Bemildred #66

Good post my friend, no wonder the demoncrazies went berserk over Trump dipping in to their honeypot. I could never definitively find a reason for those spectacular ammunition storage bonfires in Ukraine. I figured it was either to disable their sale or cover up theft.

ERing46Z , Oct 26 2019 22:55 utc | 117
W. Gruff, thanks for the process insight.
I was long-aware the removal of the Smith-Mundt Act was loaded into the 2012 NDAA. No attempt on Trump's watch has been made to bring a needed, modern form of it back. I didn't vote for Trump, and until the damn looney media is reeled back into factual, in-context reporting, it will remain obvious Trump is only expanding a variety of nefarious things on the absence of legislation such as the S-M Act.

[Oct 27, 2019] What can we conclude about Trump?

Notable quotes:
"... If Obama was CIA, and GW Bush was CIA (via daddy Bush), and Clinton was CIA (via Arkansas drug-running and the Presidency), and Bush Sr was CIA ... then what can we conclude about Trump? 1) he's also CIA, or 2) he's a willing stooge. ..."
"... There is a third possibility. What if Trump wasn't supposed to become President, according to the CIA's plans? This seems plausible to me, because during the 2016 election, it seemed to me at least that almost nobody in the US political and media establishments took Trump's candidacy seriously. Clinton was so sure she could easily beat Trump that she used her influence with the media to get Trump media coverage, in order to weaken the "serious" Republicans, one of whom everyone thought would get the nomination, like Jeb Bush. ..."
Oct 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Oct 26 2019 23:51 utc | 41

jadan @32:
As we know from Wayne Madsen's little book, "The Manufacturing of a President", Obama has been a CIA asset since he was a suckling babe.
If Obama was CIA, and GW Bush was CIA (via daddy Bush), and Clinton was CIA (via Arkansas drug-running and the Presidency), and Bush Sr was CIA ... then what can we conclude about Trump? 1) he's also CIA, or 2) he's a willing stooge.
Glenn Brown , Oct 27 2019 0:32 utc | 46
Jackabbit @ 41

There is a third possibility. What if Trump wasn't supposed to become President, according to the CIA's plans? This seems plausible to me, because during the 2016 election, it seemed to me at least that almost nobody in the US political and media establishments took Trump's candidacy seriously. Clinton was so sure she could easily beat Trump that she used her influence with the media to get Trump media coverage, in order to weaken the "serious" Republicans, one of whom everyone thought would get the nomination, like Jeb Bush.

I know you believe that Trump was somehow exactly what the US deep state needed. I don't agree, but even if you are right, are you really sure that the CIA and the rest of the deep state were smart enough to understand and agree that they needed someone like Trump?

[Oct 26, 2019] The Blob Strikes Back by Hunter DeRensis

The State Department is a neoliberal Trojan horse in the USA government, with strong globalist ethos. They will sabotage any change of foreign policy. and they intend to kick the neoliberal can down the road as long as possible. They are the same type of neoliberals as Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton. Probably less corrupt them those two, but still.
They are imperial soldiers par excellence; these whole life concentrated on serving the imperial interests, and strive for the strengthening and expansion of neoliberal empire via opening new markets for the expansions of US based multinationals, staging wars and color revolutions to overthrows the governments which resists Washington Consensus, etc.
They probably can't be reformed, only fired, or forced into retirement. 72 years old neocon stooge Taylor is just the tip of the iceberg.
From Wikipedia: He directed a Defense Department think tank at Fort Lesley J. McNair . Following that assignment, he went to Brussels for a five year assignment as the Special Deputy Defense Advisor to the U.S. Ambassador to NATO From 1992 until 2002 Taylor served with the rank of ambassador coordinating assistance to Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union , followed by an assignment in Kabul coordinating U.S. and international assistance to Afghanistan . In 2004 he was transferred to Baghdad as Director of the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office
Taylor was nominated by President George W. Bush to be United States ambassador to Ukraine while he was serving as Senior Consultant to the Coordinator of Reconstruction and Stabilization at the Department of State. [10] He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on May 26, 2006, and was sworn in on June 5, 2006. At the time Taylor assumed responsibilities at the embassy it was, with over 650 employees from nine U.S. government departments and agencies, the fifth-largest bilateral mission in Europe
Notable quotes:
"... As William Taylor's testimony about Ukraine creates shock waves in Washington, a self-anointed mandarin class or, if you prefer, deep state, that has largely operated unmolested until the advent of Trump now appears to believe that it can foil, or even subvert, the policies of a president it deems unfit for office, a development that should worry Democrats and Republicans alike. ..."
"... One reason is that those who seek to repair the damage caused by a thirty-year deterioration in trust and cooperation face an uphill battle against what recently has been given the colloquial name, "the Blob." The term, coined by Obama White House staffer Ben Rhodes, refers to the foreign-policy establishment, mostly located in Washington, DC and constantly focused on the putative decline of American influence abroad. It has been distinguished by its unwillingness, or inability, to reconsider or reprioritize national interests that were first defined after World War II, and then continued, by and large, on auto-pilot after the end of the Cold War. ..."
"... Another reason is that Trump himself has been largely indifferent to who assumes positions in his administration, calculating that by sheer force of will he, and he alone, can be the decider. In September, Trump referred to his search for a fresh national security adviser in the following terms: "It's great because it's a lot of fun to work with Donald Trump, and it's very easy, actually, to work with me. You know why it's easy? Because I make all the decisions. They don't have to work." This insouciant approach has now boomeranged on Trump. ..."
"... Taylor, as his testimony made clear, was able to observe first-hand many of the Trump administration's ham-fisted moves to extract, in one form another, concessions from Ukraine. But however clumsy and counterproductive Trump's moves may have been, Taylor offered an overly simplistic survey of events in the region. Indeed, his Manichean introductory and concluding remarks suggested that he views Russia as an inveterate enemy of America and Ukraine as a white knight. ..."
"... Foreign policy is rarely a morality play and the fairy-tale that Taylor presented was more redolent of a post–Cold War cold warrior who, like too many of his colleagues at the foreign desk, are committed to retrograde thinking, than of an official offering an incisive look at a complex and troubled region. It is not as though Ukraine, where Taylor served as ambassador during the George W. Bush administration, has ever been free from the plague of corruption or murky machinations by local competing factions. Reflexively taking the side of Ukraine does not serve American interests any more than trying to pummel it for political favors. The testimony of Taylor and other State Department witnesses before the House Intelligence Committee is a case in point. ..."
"... ow that the fight between Trump and the permanent bureaucracy is now in the open? ..."
"... Vice President Mike Pence told Laura Ingraham , host of Fox's The Ingraham Angle , "There is no question when President Trump said we were going to drain the swamp, but an awful lot of the swamp has been caught up in the State Department bureaucracy and we're just going to keep fighting it. And we are going to fight it with the truth." For his part, Evans thinks that there is a modicum of hope for improved relations with Moscow. "Taylor will have to resign now," he says. "We might even see a moderation of the uncritical support for Ukraine, as some of the ugly underside starts to emerge, although anti-Russian sentiment is the mother's milk of Congress." ..."
Oct 23, 2019 | nationalinterest.org

As William Taylor's testimony about Ukraine creates shock waves in Washington, a self-anointed mandarin class or, if you prefer, deep state, that has largely operated unmolested until the advent of Trump now appears to believe that it can foil, or even subvert, the policies of a president it deems unfit for office, a development that should worry Democrats and Republicans alike.

President Donald Trump campaigned and was elected on a platform of improved relations with Russia. Yet, three years after his election, no real improvement has materialized and, if anything, they have deteriorated. Why?

One reason is that those who seek to repair the damage caused by a thirty-year deterioration in trust and cooperation face an uphill battle against what recently has been given the colloquial name, "the Blob." The term, coined by Obama White House staffer Ben Rhodes, refers to the foreign-policy establishment, mostly located in Washington, DC and constantly focused on the putative decline of American influence abroad. It has been distinguished by its unwillingness, or inability, to reconsider or reprioritize national interests that were first defined after World War II, and then continued, by and large, on auto-pilot after the end of the Cold War. Now Trump is taking a wrecking ball to this world order. But a self-anointed mandarin class or, if you prefer, deep state, that has largely operated unmolested until the advent of Trump now appears to believe that it can foil, or even subvert, the policies of a president it deems unfit for office, a development that should worry Democrats and Republicans alike.

Another reason is that Trump himself has been largely indifferent to who assumes positions in his administration, calculating that by sheer force of will he, and he alone, can be the decider. In September, Trump referred to his search for a fresh national security adviser in the following terms: "It's great because it's a lot of fun to work with Donald Trump, and it's very easy, actually, to work with me. You know why it's easy? Because I make all the decisions. They don't have to work." This insouciant approach has now boomeranged on Trump.

Enter William B. Taylor, Jr. Taylor has been the U.S. Chargé d 'Affaires Ukraine since June of this year (having previously held the position of ambassador 2006–2009), and yesterday he testified behind-closed-doors as part of the House impeachment inquiry into Trump. Taylor, as his testimony made clear, was able to observe first-hand many of the Trump administration's ham-fisted moves to extract, in one form another, concessions from Ukraine. But however clumsy and counterproductive Trump's moves may have been, Taylor offered an overly simplistic survey of events in the region. Indeed, his Manichean introductory and concluding remarks suggested that he views Russia as an inveterate enemy of America and Ukraine as a white knight.

In his opening statement, Taylor emphasized that Ukraine is a strategic partner of the United States that is "important for the security of our country as well as Europe," as well as a country that is "under armed attack from Russia." Well, yes. But this sweeping description occludes more than it reveals. Foreign policy is rarely a morality play and the fairy-tale that Taylor presented was more redolent of a post–Cold War cold warrior who, like too many of his colleagues at the foreign desk, are committed to retrograde thinking, than of an official offering an incisive look at a complex and troubled region. It is not as though Ukraine, where Taylor served as ambassador during the George W. Bush administration, has ever been free from the plague of corruption or murky machinations by local competing factions. Reflexively taking the side of Ukraine does not serve American interests any more than trying to pummel it for political favors. The testimony of Taylor and other State Department witnesses before the House Intelligence Committee is a case in point.

Will anything change n ow that the fight between Trump and the permanent bureaucracy is now in the open? On Tuesday night, Vice President Mike Pence told Laura Ingraham , host of Fox's The Ingraham Angle , "There is no question when President Trump said we were going to drain the swamp, but an awful lot of the swamp has been caught up in the State Department bureaucracy and we're just going to keep fighting it. And we are going to fight it with the truth." For his part, Evans thinks that there is a modicum of hope for improved relations with Moscow. "Taylor will have to resign now," he says. "We might even see a moderation of the uncritical support for Ukraine, as some of the ugly underside starts to emerge, although anti-Russian sentiment is the mother's milk of Congress."

Hunter DeRensis is a reporter at the National Interest .

[Oct 26, 2019] The globalist criminal elites will not be held responsible for any of these crimes. They're bound together by ties of blackmail forged by guys like Epstein, mutually assured incrimination in serial swindles which cross Left and Right political boundaries and literal murder in the case of guys like Seth Rich

Oct 26, 2019 | www.unz.com

Exile , says: October 25, 2019 at 6:42 pm GMT

The globalist criminal elites will not be held responsible for any of these crimes. They're bound together by ties of blackmail forged by guys like Epstein, mutually assured incrimination in serial swindles which cross Left and Right political boundaries and literal murder in the case of guys like Seth Rich.

The cozy proximity of recently-murdered Epstein himself to crypto-converso AG Barr's family only makes me more certain that they will get away with this heist like they've done with dozens of other billion-dollar swindles.

If they were only stealing money it would be bad enough, but the fact that these same grifters are our "diplomats" and warmakers is positively Orwellian. Watching these petty hoodlums play nuclear chicken with Russia so they can squeeze more shekels from the supine Ukraine would be laughable if I could get the first-strike nightmares of my Cold War childhood out of my head long enough to laugh.

[Oct 25, 2019] Trump-Haters, Not Trump, Are The Ones Wrecking America s Institutions, WSJ s Strassel Says

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "I've always felt that the media leaned left. That wasn't a surprise to anyone. "But what we've seen over the past three years is something entirely different. This is the media actively engaging on one side of a partisan warfare. It's overt." ..."
"... "We had a media cheerleading the FBI for meddling in American politics. Can you ever imagine a time in American history where the media would have played such a role? ..."
"... "I keep warning my friends on the other side of the aisle: Think about the precedent you are setting here," Strassel said. ..."
Oct 24, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Trump-Haters, Not Trump, Are The Ones Wrecking America's Institutions, WSJ's Strassel Says by Tyler Durden Thu, 10/24/2019 - 17:15 0 SHARES

Authored by Irene Luo and Jan Jekielek via The Epoch Times,

The anti- Trump "Resistance" has devastated core American institutions and broken longstanding political norms in seeking to defeat and now oust from office President Donald Trump, said Kimberley Strassel, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal and member of the Journal's editorial board.

"And this, to me, is the irony, right? We've been told for three years that Donald Trump is wrecking institutions," Strassel said in an interview with The Epoch Times for the "American Thought Leaders" program.

" But in terms of real wreckage to institutions, it's not on Donald Trump that public faith in the FBI and the Department of Justice has precipitously fallen. That's because of Jim Comey and Andy McCabe. It's not on Donald Trump that the Senate confirmation process for the Supreme Court is in ashes after what happened to Brett Kavanaugh. It's not on Donald Trump that we are turning impeachment into a partisan political tool."

The damage inflicted by the anti-Trump Resistance is the subject of Strassel's new book, "Resistance (At All Costs): How Trump Haters Are Breaking America."

Strassel uses the term "haters" deliberately, to differentiate this demographic from Trump's "critics."

In Strassel's view, all thoughtful critics of Trump - and she counts herself among them - would look at Trump the same way that they have examined past presidents - namely, to call him out when he does something wrong, but also laud him when he does something right.

" The 'haters' can't abide nuance. To the Resistance, any praise - no matter how qualified - of Trump is tantamount to American betrayal, " Strassel writes in "Resistance (At All Costs)."

She told The Epoch Times: "Up until the point at which Donald Trump was elected, what happened when political parties lost is that they would retreat, regroup, lick their wounds, talk about what they did wrong.

"That's not what happened this time around. Instead, you had people who essentially said we should have won."

From the moment Trump was elected, this group believed Trump to be an illegitimate president and therefore felt they could use whatever means necessary to remove him from office , Strassel said.

'Unprecedented Acts'

"One thing I try really hard to do in this book is enunciate what rules and regulations and standards were broken, what political boundaries were crossed, because I think that that's where we're seeing the damage," Strassel said.

The "unprecedented acts" of the Resistance have caused the public to lose trust in longstanding institutions such as the FBI, the CIA, and the Department of Justice, and cheapened important political processes like impeachment, she said.

The Resistance fabricated and pushed the theory that it was Trump's collusion with Russia that won him the presidency, not the support of the American people, and lied about the origins of the so-called evidence -- the Steele dossier -- that was used by the FBI to justify a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign, Strassel said.

"We have never, in the history of this country, had a counterintelligence investigation into a political campaign," she said.

In an anecdote that Strassel recounts in her book, she asked former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) if there was anything in America's laws that could have prohibited this situation.

Nunes, who had helped write or update many laws concerning the powers of the intelligence community, replied, "I would never have conceived of the FBI using our counterintelligence capabilities to target a political campaign.

"If it had crossed any of our minds, I can guarantee we'd have specifically written: 'Don't do that.'"

In Strassel's view, the Resistance is partially fueled by deep-seated anger, or what others have termed "Trump derangement syndrome" -- an inability to look rationally at a man so far outside of Washington norms.

But at the same time, in Strassel's view, much of the Resistance is motivated by a desire to amass political power using whatever means necessary.

"That involves removing the president who won. That involves some of these other things that you hear them talking about now: packing the Supreme Court, getting rid of the electoral college, letting 16-year-olds vote," she said.

"These are not reforms. Reforms are things that the country broadly agrees are going to help improve stuff. This is changing the rules so that you get power, and you stay in power."

The impeachment inquiry into the president, based on his phone call with Ukraine's president, is just another example of how the Resistance is violating political norms and relying on flimsy evidence to try to remove him from office, she said.

Testimony in the inquiry has taken place behind closed doors, led by three House committees, and Democrats have so far refused to release transcripts from the depositions of former and current State Department employees.

"[Impeachment] is one of the most serious and huge powers in the Constitution. It was meant always by the founders to be reserved for truly unusual circumstances. They debated not even putting it in because they were concerned that this is what would happen," Strassel said.

In the impeachment inquiries against Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, Strassel said, American leaders "understood the great importance of convincing the American public that their decision to use this tool was just and legitimate.

"So if you look back at Watergate, they had hundreds of hours of testimony broadcast over TV that people tuned into and watched. It's one of the reasons that Richard Nixon resigned before the House ever held a final impeachment vote on him, because the public had been convinced. He knew he had to go," she said.

But now, instead of access to the testimonies, the public is receiving only leaked snippets and dueling narratives.

"You have Democrats saying, 'Oh, this is very bad.' And Republicans saying, 'Oh, it's not so bad at all.' What are Americans supposed to think?" Strassel said.

Bureaucratic Resistance

Within the federal bureaucracy, there is a "vast swath of unelected officials" who have "a great deal of power to slow things down, mess things up, file the whistleblower complaints, leak information, actively engage against the president's policies," Strassel said.

"It's their job to implement his agenda. And yet a lot of them are part of the Resistance, too," she said.

Data shows that in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election, government bureaucrats overwhelmingly contributed toward the Clinton campaign over the Trump campaign.

Ninety-five percent, or about $1.9 million, of bureaucrats' donations went to Clinton, according to The Hill's analysis of donations from federal workers up until September 2016. In particular, employees at the Department of Justice gave 97 percent of their donations to Clinton. For the State Department, it was even higher -- 99 percent.

"Imagine being a CEO and showing up and knowing that 95 percent of your workforce despises you and doesn't want you to be there," Strassel said.

Strassel pointed to when former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, a holdover from the Obama administration, publicly questioned the constitutionality of Trump's immigration ban and directed Justice Department employees to disobey the order.

"It was basically a call to arms," Strassel said. "What she should've done is honorably resigned if she felt that she could not in any way enforce this duly issued executive order.

"It really kicked off what we have seen ever since then: The nearly daily leaks from the administration, the whistleblower complaints," as well as "all kind of internal foot-dragging and outright obstruction to the president's agenda."

According to a report by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, in Trump's first 126 days in office, his administration "faced 125 leaked stories -- one leak a day -- containing information that is potentially damaging to national security under the standards laid out in a 2009 Executive Order signed by President Barack Obama."

Activist Media

Strassel says the media has played a critical role in bolstering the anti-Trump Resistance.

"I've been a reporter for 25 years," Strassel said.

"I've always felt that the media leaned left. That wasn't a surprise to anyone. "But what we've seen over the past three years is something entirely different. This is the media actively engaging on one side of a partisan warfare. It's overt."

Along the way, the media have largely abandoned journalistic standards, "whether it be the use of anonymous sources, whether it be putting uncorroborated accusations into the paper, whether it's using biased sources for information and cloaking them as neutral observers," she said.

Among the many examples of media misinformation cited in Strassel's book is a December 2017 CNN piece that claimed to have evidence that then-candidate Trump and his son Donald Trump Jr. had been offered early access to hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee. But it turned out the date was wrong . Trump Jr. had received an email about the WikiLeaks release one day after WikiLeaks had made the documents public.

"If it hurts Donald Trump, they're on board," Strassel said. And in many cases, the attacks on Trump have been contradictory.

"He's either the dunce you claim he is every day or he's the most sophisticated Manchurian candidate that the world has ever seen. You can't have it both ways.

"He's either a dictator and an autocrat who is consolidating power around himself to rule with an iron fist, or he's the evil conservative who's cutting regulations."

Contrary to claims of authoritarianism, Trump has significantly decreased the size of the federal government. Notably, he reduced the Federal Register, a collection of all the national government's rules and regulations, to the lowest it's been since Bill Clinton's first year in office.

"You can't be a libertarian dictator," Strassel said.

In addition to the barrage of attacks on Trump, the media has actively sought to "de-legitimize anybody who has a different viewpoint than they do, or who is reporting the facts and the story in a way other than they would like them to be presented."

"They would love to make it sound as though none of us are worthy of writing about this story," she said.

"The media is supposed to be our guardrails, right? When a political party transgresses a political boundary, they're supposed to say 'No, that's beyond the pale.'"

Instead, "they indulged this behavior," Strassel said.

"We had a media cheerleading the FBI for meddling in American politics. Can you ever imagine a time in American history where the media would have played such a role?

"In a way, I blame that for so much else that has gone wrong."

Long-Term Consequences

Strassel says the actions taken by the Resistance will have long-term consequences for America.

"I keep warning my friends on the other side of the aisle: Think about the precedent you are setting here," Strassel said.

For example, if Joe Biden wins the presidency in 2020 but Republicans take back the House, would the Republican-dominated House immediately launch impeachment proceedings against Biden for alleged corruption in Ukraine?

"I wouldn't necessarily use the word [corruption], but there's a lot of Republicans who happily would. And if they thought they'd get another shot at the White House, why not?" Strassel said.

It's short-term thinking, she said, just like Sen. Harry Reid's decision in 2013 to drop the number of votes needed to overcome a filibuster for lower-court judges.

"Did he really stop to think about the fact that it paved the way for Republicans to get rid of the filibuster for Supreme Court judges?" Strassel said.

If there's any rule in Washington, "it's that when you set the b