The Deep State & War
Jul 22, 2017Posted by on
This week on Facebook: I returned to the subject of the Deep State, prompted by three posts on The Burning Platform. It’s difficult not to become a conspiracy theorist when reading articles on the internet, to the point at which I no longer know if I am one or not. I know that I tend to focus on those articles that support my particular views, whether or not they lead me to support a conspiratorial view is something that I’m unsure about. I post those articles that I think have at least some truth to them, and the notion of a Deep State is one of them. The problem comes in discerning the truth, which means usually widening a search of the internet, but searching for the truth on the internet is akin to searching for the holy grail.
It’s interesting that on deciding to edit the piece on the Deep State & War an article by Bill Mitchell arrived in my mail. I (mostly) enjoy reading Mitchell’s articles despite him being a Modern Money Theorist. I say despite, as I would like to think that my advancing years have turned me into a Shavian cynic rather than one of the Oscar Wilde school of thought. I think Mitchell belongs to the latter school and perhaps there’s a reason to be grateful that someone does. My age has led me to a cynicism that no longer thinks the world is capable of being made nicer but who nevertheless enjoys (mostly) the writings of those building castles in the air.
The article by Bill Mitchell introduced me to the American philosopher Elizabeth Anderson and her two Tanner Lectures on Human Values with the title Liberty, Equality, and Private Government¹. It’s interesting that the nub of MMT (so it seems to me) is the theory of full employment and that Anderson should philosophise (or so it also seems to me) about the servitude of employment. I’m left wondering about what would be nice in this Utopian world that the theorists wish to create. Will the economics of an MMT and the philosophies of an anarchist agree on the society that they are going to replace the deep state and its military industrial complex with and having built these castles in the air will they be any more democratic?
I was a very small pawn in the military industrial complex during the cold war and remember it very well (I was in Germany at the time, and yes the image below is taken from the film Dr Strangelove). The cold war undoubtably contributed to full employment but at the cost of a heavily subsidised military industrial complex that also contributed to the parlous state of government debt. A debt added to by government social welfare spending², all of which are economic factors that only economic growth can resolve.
The use of other peoples money, particularly that of the taxpayer is nothing new. To paraphrase Peter F. Drucker it could he said that: ‘The first responsibility of government is to cover the costs for the future. If this social responsibility is not met, no other social responsibility can be met.’ My innate cynicism tells me that in a global scramble for economic growth there must be winners and losers. That if Anderson is advocating the philosophical notions of liberté, égalité, fraternité, they are incompatible with the impossible economic trinity of the trilemma that Mitchell seeks an answer to.
Monday 15/5/2017 What is the Deep State? If you do a search on a scholarly database, like Jstor, for the term, you’ll get lots of returns having to do with hypnosis, psychology, and spiritualism. This, in a way, is appropriate, since these activities have to do with the “obscure” interior life of individuals—that is, the opposite of collective categories such as the “public” and the “social,” realms that are presumed in modern democracies to be subject to procedural scrutiny and “freedom of information.”
Tuesday 16/5/2017 The Horror! The Horror! I: With a majority confused, distracted, malleable, wilfully ignorant, and easily manipulated by false narratives, heart wrenching images, and fake news, the Deep State henchmen have been able to control the masses with relative ease.
Wednesday 17/5/2017 The Horror! The Horror! II: The use of graphic images, electronically transmitted across the world in an instant, along with a consistent false narrative promoted by the captured corporate media, is the preferred means of appealing to the emotions of those who want to believe atrocity propaganda.
Thursday 18/5/2017 The Horror! The Horror! III: When war or a financial crisis is necessary to keep the profits flowing, events will be steered to such an outcome. With the latest financial plundering operation running out of steam, the Deep State is pushing the world toward global conflict.
Friday 19/5/2017 The Economics Of War: The spirit of conquest does not acknowledge restraints other than those imposed by a power which resists successfully. The principle of empire building is to expand the sphere of supremacy as far as possible. The great Asiatic conquerors and the Roman Imperators were stopped only when they could not march further. Then they postponed aggression for later days. They did not abandon their ambitious plans and did not consider independent foreign states as anything else than targets for later onslaughts.
¹Liberty, Equality, and Private Government (pdf): I refer to egalitarian thinkers and participants in egalitarian social movements.
²Does Military Spending Crowd Out Social Welfare Expenditures (pdf)? The main finding of this article suggests a positive trade-off between military spending and two types of social welfare expenditures (i.e. education and health spending).