With the realignment that’s happened since neoconservatives defected towards the Democratic Party in response to candidate Trump’s relative isolationism, there are now two main factions of ruling class politics. One is the arch-nationalistic strain that’s taken over the Republican Party. The other is the class of traditional neocons and neoliberals that make up the Democratic Party, “moderate” Republicans, the military and intelligence establishments, and their media branches in networks like MSNBC. The latter is more established and coherent in its goals, which makes it the more dangerous one.
This faction-loosely called the deep state-is naturally ignored by the media it controls, so those in the alternative media need to constantly remind people of it. I’ve already done several deep analyses of it and its workings. But its actions in recent months have been unprecedented, and frightening on an urgent level. There are hundreds of pages’ worth of working parts to this subject. But here’s the best analysis I can do of it at the moment, starting with the nature of its intentions.
The deep state, for which the Democratic Party is just the current main extension of, has been reaching its present form for decades. It’s existed in some form since the U.S. government began, because “deep state” is simply the definition of an unelected power structure. But since the middle of the twentieth century, it’s been setting up massive circles of control over society.
There’s been the creation of the CIA, an organization that’s unaccountable to congress and has helped the U.S. carry out global psyops, spying, and coups; the reign of the IMF, the World Bank, and the WTO, which have imposed brutal pro-corporate reforms on much of the world; the rise of neoliberalism, which has made it so that Jeff Bezos and the other eight richest men in the world now have as much wealth as the bottom half of the global population. And the changes that have correlated with it are Orwellian without hyperbole.
It’s no longer enough for the NSA to be processing all of Americans’ digital information, or for American police to be more militarized than ever, or for intelligence agencies and large corporations to be in direct partnership through the Domestic Security Alliance Council. Per the censorship rules of the last year from online companies, anyone who challenges the establishment must become a target for state retribution. The apparently all-encompassing threats of Russian “subversion” have made it clear: if you think outside the CNN mainstream, you’re posing risk of undermining American society.
Restrictions to posting on Facebook, suppressed search results for dissenting websites, and systematic reductions of Twitter followers are just the mildest weapons the deep state is using to correct thoughtcrime. A step up from that is when Google starts de-ranking RT and Sputnik, as it did in November. Up from that is the Justice Department’s forcing RT America’s leadership last year, under threat of arrest, to register as foreign agents.
Up from that is law enforcement prosecuting any disfavored people as Russian agents, which is already being done in its early stages with the federal investigations into Jill Stein’s nonexistent Russia ties. When the state can define you as a traitor, as Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange have learned, they can torture or even kill you. The latter penalties are exceptional, but they have already been used on some dissidents. And the advanced police/surveillance state that’s emerging will soon make dissent easier to crush in these ways.
The direction of public discourse is also helping in this crackdown against free thought. For the last year or so, a habit has been seen from many liberals of quickly accusing anyone who disagrees with them of being a “Russian troll” or a “Russian bot.” The fact that the corporate media would condition this McCarthyite view into its followers is vastly ominous. When Americans see their fellow citizens as traitors for opposing the establishment narratives, the government will eagerly fulfill Americans’ demands to have those dissenters punished.
The two ruling class factions share many of the same goals, and promote many of the same lies-just look at how Democrats have made the crucial number of votes in passing President Trump’s repeal of Dodd-Frank, expansions of presidential spying powers, 2017 NDAA bill, and budget bill that will destroy DACA. But at least Trump’s lies are regularly exposed by the mainstream media. When establishment politics produces lies, the lies are propagated without scrutiny, passing quietly into the mainstream consciousness.
Joy Ann Reid can tweet last August that “All candidates raise money from corporate donors,” despite that being demonstrably untrue; corporate Democrats can base their campaign against the Sanders insurgency around claims that most Americans oppose universal health care and free college, even though polling shows that to be false; Democratic pundits can uniformly try to bury the evidence that the 2016 Democratic primary was rigged. Then there’s the salacious campaign from many Democratic propagandists to portray Bernie Sanders as a Russian agent, a tax cheat, and a closet sexist. These revisions go virtually unchallenged, orienting discourse towards a worldview that makes the ruling class impervious to opposition.
All this is expected though. Deception is inevitable from despotic power centers. What’s unprecedented are the technological tools this oligarchy has to manipulate the population. Since January, for instance, Facebook has been making its search algorithms promote “reliable” news sources like The New York Times, while Facebook’s numerous pro-establishment censorship measures, including ones based in artificial intelligence, marginalize dissenting voices.
This is also happening in different forms with what the journalist Daniel Herman has described as Google’s “algorithmic fake news” regarding search results for subjects like Russian hacking. And the media outlets these actions help are themselves becoming even more establishment-oriented; many former intelligence officials have been getting positions in networks like MSNBC in the last year, which chillingly correlates with the dozens of 2018 Democratic candidates who have backgrounds in the CIA. Appropriately, the intelligence agencies have become newly trusted by Democrats after the media’s intensive anti-Russia propaganda campaign, which stems from those agencies.
In his latest column, Chris Hedges has described this purge of dissent as “building the Iron Wall.” “Before the algorithms were put in place last April, searches for terms such as ‘imperialism’ or ‘inequality’ directed internet users mostly to left-wing, progressive and anti-war sites,” writes Hedges. “Now they are directed primarily to mainstream sites such as The Washington Post. If you type in ‘World Socialist Web Site,’ which has been hit especially hard by the algorithms, you will be directed to the site — but you have to ask for it by name. Searches for associated words such as ‘socialist’ or ‘socialism’ are unlikely to bring up a list in which the World Socialist Web Site appears near the top.”
What the political establishment is doing with these reality revision powers is truly terrifying.
The consequences of these propaganda and censorship expansions hasn’t just been a dangerous liberal faith in intelligence agencies, or the new McCarthyite dynamics mentioned. Partly because of the embrace of Russia-related fearmongering from the Democratic Party and its allies, we are closer than ever to World War III. The international zeal to attack Russia for the recent UK spy poisoning, for which there’s still no evidence Russia is behind, shows just how perilous things have gotten.
NATO has troops, tanks, and nuclear bases surrounding Russia, amounting to an armed mob threatening this country that’s been such a nuisance to the western empire. The media’s two-year war campaign against Russia has no doubt acclimated much of the American public to any potential armed conflict, as is true in many of the other NATO countries. Stephen Cohen statedlast month that we’re in a new cold war, one that’s more dangerous than the last because of the new players in Syria, Ukraine, and China.
The neocons, meanwhile, are doing everything possible to exacerbate the situation by escalating in Syria; if recent statements from Russian officials are true, the U.S. and its ally Al-Nusra are about to stage false flag chemical attacks so that Syria can be struck again. The Trump administration’s relative unwillingness to escalate with Russia and Syria have made “Russiagate” necessary, working as a tool to pressure Trump to take more hawkish actions lest he be labeled a “Russian agent.”
This is apparent with the complains from many establishment Democrats that Trump’s Syria strikes last year didn’t go far enough. Along with the outrage from establishment liberals last month that Trump didn’t respond to Putin’s nuclear posturing aggressively enough. Then there are the objections from pundits like Rachel Maddow to Trump’s agreeing to peace talks with North Korea. Somehow, Democrats are now more militaristic than their opponents.
The supporters of the new cold war effort, meanwhile, can rarely be persuaded to see the baselesness of all of the deep state’s charges against Russia. I’ve found this from talking with them. They always insist, almost reluctantly, that Putin’s corruption and abhorrent human rights policies must mean that the intelligence agencies are telling the truth this time, Iraqi WMDs disregarded. What other response could one get after so much abusive Russiaphobic fear-drillings from media and government? What might follow, despite the good intentions of these Americans, is the thermonuclear destruction of all life on earth.
“The US-centralized empire is rapidly approaching post-primacy and needs to act fast to move some major chess pieces into place so it can prevent the rise of a multipolar world,” wrote Caitlin Johnstone today. “The goal is to quickly manufacture a global coalition to cut Russia out of the global stage, and this new dance with the UK and the EU is just the latest step toward that direction. Not even the most psychopathic imperialists want a hot conflict with Russia if they can avoid it, but they will gamble with all our lives very close to the edge in an extremely dangerous cold war, because that’s what the empire needs to do to survive.”
I urge Trump supporters, Libertarians, and others who acknowledge the deep state’s existence to work with me towards its defeat. Despite the ideological differences I have with these groups, our most urgent task is to disable the propaganda and authority systems of this force for potentially omnicidal war. Our first step in this task will be to counter the deep state’s deceptions through alternative media; from there we can mobilize Americans towards dismantling the power structure.