I’M TRYING TO RESTRICT MY DAILY READING LIST. IT IS A NEAR IMPOSSIBLE TASK.
MY MOST RECENT MAJOR ADDITION IS MEDIUM.COM—A WEBSITE FOR THE SENTIENT READER
Medium.com is a rather clean and elegant text oriented longer-form reading environment (though it handles graphics with some style as well) which you can either write in, or read in—as befits your fancy. Add some keywords, and you will be sent a small selection of articles every day—as determined by those keywords.
You don’t hit a gem or two every day—but, overall, I have been rather pleased. It really is proving to be a valuable resource.
The following is an extract from a much longer piece. Yes, this kind of stuff does interest me—though I have not descended into paranoia-land (where all too many people seem to lurk). But, I am both intrigued and concerned by the manifest contrast between how we seem to like to pretend we are governed—because it is easier than doing anything about it—and actually are.
Several things are fairly clear to me.
- Democracy, as currently constructed, is not an adequately effective form of governance. It might be, with a great deal of modification, but it is grossly inadequate as matters stand. There is not particular reason why it should not, and could not, be improved—except inertia and vested interests. But my point is that a superior system could be devised. It says a great deal about the human condition that we don’t seem to be trying very hard—if at all.
- The U.S. is not, currently a representative democracy because its representatives plainly do not represent the voters. They represent the interests of those who fund them—no more (and, of course, their own interests).
- Corporate power—as embodied by major corporations as opposed to small businesses—has got completely out of hand to the point where it has both suborned the U.S. political system and substantially undermined the bargaining power of workers.
- Financialization—as implemented by the major financial corporations—is the most dangerous threat to our general economic well being since communism (as practiced) and fascism.
I haven’t really got to grips with the Deep State as yet, though I love the term, and have read Mike Lofgren’s excellent essay. Lofgren is someone every thinking person should read.
I’ll return to this theme when I know more—and have thought things through a little better.
Surplus Repression and the Self-Defeating Deep State
I have been studying the Deep State for 40 years, before it had gained the nifty name “deep state.”
Former congressional staff member Mike Lofgren described the Deep State in his recent essay Anatomy of the Deep State:There is another, more shadowy, more indefinable government that is not explained in Civics 101 or observable to tourists at the White House or the Capitol. The subsurface part of the iceberg I shall call the Deep State, which operates according to its own compass heading regardless of who is formally in power.The term “Deep State” was coined in Turkey and is said to be a system composed of high-level elements within the intelligence services, military, security, judiciary and organized crime.I use the term to mean a hybrid association of elements of government and parts of top-level finance and industry that is effectively able to govern the United States without reference to the consent of the governed as expressed through the formal political process.
The Deep State is generally assumed to be monolithic: of one mind, so to speak, unified in worldview, strategy and goals.
In my view, this is an over-simplification of a constantly shifting battleground of paradigms and power between a number of factions and alliances within the Deep State. Disagreements are not publicized, of course, but they become apparent years or decades after the conflict was resolved, usually by one faction consolidating the Deep State’s group-think around their worldview and strategy.
History suggests that this low-intensity conflict within the ruling Elite is generally a healthy characteristic of leadership in good times. As times grow more troubled, however, the unity of the ruling Elite fractures into irreconcilable political disunity, which becomes a proximate cause of political dissolution if it continues.