I recently had some discussions with a friend on the Deep State in America. And since this topic has been making the rounds, I think a primer may be helpful. I spent time, some years ago, among these people: commuting on their roads and trains, sleeping in their leafy suburbs, and strolling the very fine streets of the capitol. I think I can make a fair enough job of this.
The first thing to know about the Deep State (which I’ll abbreviate as DS) is that it’s not a single thing, but rather like a big stew, with all sorts of pieces floating around in it. The Deep State is not a well-oiled machine in which each member plays his or her role as instructed. (And DS members are very commonly hers these days, for whatever that’s worth.)
The second thing to remember is that the DS is not really an evil cabal. The problem with the DS is not that it’s directly evil, it’s that it provides a frictionless environment for sociopaths. The DS is, in fact, composed of our relatives. I doubt that many people in the United States are more than three degrees of separation from a member of the DS, and likely more than one. After all, when we discuss the DS, we’re talking about a large number of people.
A high percentage of DS people feel righteous about what they do. Many of them enjoy the feeling of being the smart class, keeping the country on track in spite of itself. To grasp this, you can refer to a Time article from February 4, 2021. What you’ll see is DS associates telling the world that they righteously saved America from itself. That’s the attitude.
All sorts of sociopaths and near-sociopaths swim through the DS stew, courting congressmen, staffs and department heads: seducing them, bribing them, blackmailing them, and so on. A political capital, after all, is where the production of a hundred million people can be skimmed at once. And where the money is, there will thieves be gathered. But a mid-level DS clerk may not be directly involved with any of this.
Complicated stews like the DS don’t just coalesce and act in a unified way. In fact, they’re unlikely to act in a unified way unless some outside force aligns them. And that requires a good deal of voltage. In the old days (the DS being much smaller), a strong personality could get large sections of them to act coherently. For example, a man named Robert Blakey, who worked at the US Attorney General’s office under Bobby Kennedy, had this to say:
You can’t know how inefficient and corrupt and inept the government is unless it’s held together by the force of somebody’s personality. Robert Kennedy had that and did that.
I’m not sure that has happened since.
The other way to get the DS to act coherently is with an object of hate, or at least a figure of overwhelming disgust. That, of course, is precisely the role played by Donald Trump; he was used as a Devil figure: a designated target for outrage.
Lots of people have maintained that the DS is owned and/or controlled by leftists. I don’t think that’s quite correct, even though it can appear so.
That appearance follows from the fact that American institutions are overwhelmingly influenced by the political left. This was made very clear by the spectacle of nearly every university, union, medical system and sports league leaping into line behind the Woke banner.
The DS is a large set of interlocking institutions… of very large and powerful institutions. And so small entities are almost invisible to them: People within the DS see mega-corps, media conglomerates and powerful foundations; they don’t see plumbers, farmers and truck drivers.
Michael Crichton (who was 6’ 10”) used to say that when he went to large meetings, he’d end up in a cluster with the other tall guys. They weren’t trying to exclude everyone else; they just felt more comfortable together. The DS and its closeness to institutions is due more to this than a corrupt plan. Productive individuals and their beliefs just don’t enter their field of view.
So, I hope that helps to clear things up for you. The Deep State is assuredly a major problem, and particularly so for productive Americans. And yes, it will end badly in one way or another. But please don’t believe that the Deep State is a unified machine, operated by people dedicated to evil.
A man who investigated the East German secret police, after the Berlin wall fell, reported this:
If only I had met, on this search, a single person who was clearly evil. But they were all just weak, shaped by circumstances and self-deceiving. Yet the sum of their actions was a great evil.
That’s much closer to the true nature of the DS. The people at the myriad agencies are going along with power and enjoying a gilded (or at least silvered) life from it. For most of them, their sins are more of omission than commission. However harmful the DS may be, it is peopled by our relatives.