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Nederlog

Aug 29, 2016

Crisis: On The Deep State in the USA, TTIP Has 'De Facto Failed'
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Introduction

1. On the Deep State in the USA
    
A. The hypotheses I made in 2012 and 2014
     B.
The Deep State in the USA
     C.
On corporate fascism aka neofascism
    D. On the Anatomy of the US Deep State
2. TTIP Has 'De Facto Failed,' Says German Economic
     Minister

Introduction:

This is a Nederlog of Monday, August 29, 2016.

This is a crisis log. There are 2 items with 7 dotted links: Item 1 is about the Deep State in the USA and is an important item. It expands on an earlier item in Nederlog and also solves a problem I had, and item 2 is also important but in another way: Germany's economic minister said the TTIP has 'de facto failed'.

I did find some more items, but I will (probably) treat them tomorrow, because both items today are quite important, the first theoretically, for understanding the crisis, and the second practically, because the TTIP is a very major step by which the American rich, and the American Deep State, try to provide a worldwide foundation for their complete dominance.

But the main thing today is the first section, which contains my own hypotheses on the causes of the crisis that I formulated in 2012, and that are extended by two more subsections by Chuck Spinney (<-Wikipedia) and one by Mike Lofgren (<-Wikipedia). I find it interesting that the former worked many years for the Pentagon, and the latter worked many years as a long-term respected Republican civil servant.

I will return to them in a later Nederlog. The present Nederlog is mostly about theories to account for the crisis, especially in the USA.

1. On the Deep State in the USA

The first item today is based on the following two items of Nederlog, that are respectively from
January 2014 and from February 2016:

I will start with the first, which are most of the hypotheses that I thought up in 2012 to account for what I had then learned about the crisis that started in 2008, but that has roots that go back to Reagan's governments and to Lewis Powell's 1971 incitements to the rich:

A. The hypotheses I made in 2012 and 2014:

These are seven hypotheses I came up with in October-November of 2012, and first wrote out in a Nederlog on December 25, 2012, and in a somewhat better formatted version on January 31, 2014. They were all original with me, but I should add that they were much supported by Snowden's Revelations, that started for me on June 10, 2013.

I am linking the originals above, because there is more in them than in the present Nederlog. What is left out in the present version are (i) some hypotheses and (ii) all notes. These are not given in this Nederlog in order to save space.

To start with, here are a terminological introduction plus seven theses that were originally formulated by me in October-November of 2012 and published in Nederlog in December of 2012.

What follows is the version of 2014, but this is mostly the same as 2012, except that it was better formatted:

----

Terminological Intro:

As to the corporations: Corporations are groups of persons that seek to acquire and retain property (goods, commodities, and powers that help acquire these) by taking property from others.

One must distinguish corporations as social institutions, and keep apart the corporate élites, the corporate executives, the corporate staff, and the corporate employees, since each of these are different
groups.

As to states, in the sense of governments: States are groups of persons that seek to acquire and retain power over others (influence, renown, force, military might, weapons) by taking power and possibilities from others.

In the present text, "state" is used as "government", that in addition to the above may be characterized as almost invariably being recruited from some existing social or economical élite, in order to run the daily doings of the most powerful organization on some territory, through a staff of bureaucrats and (semi-)military personnel.

Both corporations and states work mostly by propaganda (including advertisements, popular spokespersons, special publications) in times of peace, that also is directed at their own staffs, if perhaps not in the form this reaches the masses that do not belong to the staff or personnel.

Hypothesis 1:

In principle, corporate fascism - defined as: the state is de facto owned and run by and for the major international corporations, that are multinationals and beyond state or judicial control - in combination with the surveillance state - defined as: the state's surveillance and recording of the activities, interests, concerns, ideas and values, of its population - means effective absolute power for small corporate élites plus their executives, and effective slavery for the rest.

Hypothesis 2 (plus sub-hypotheses):

Everything ordinary citizens do, desire, think, write, mail - their internet activities, their phones, their bankaccounts, their interests, their identities, their pictures, their fingerprints, their families, their friends, their opinions, their education, the things they bought and sold, and more - has been thoroughly recorded and filed, whenever and wherever possible, since 9/11/2001, namely for the eventual use, by unknown anonymous persons, possibly acting, for unknown ends, for obscure or secret organizations, or for mostly secretively acting corporations, all possibly at unknown locations, for much or all that has been collected in one country gets - explicitly or deviously - shared with the US and with  the police or security forces in other countries.

This "sharing of information" happens both by political agreements, where governments agree with US state organs like the FBI or CIA that they will share data on what are claimed to be (potential) "terrrorism suspects", and by brute force: Whatever happens on the internet may be tracked, traced and stored.

In this "We the people" have been systematically betrayed by politicians of all stripes: Their rights not to be spied upon, except perhaps after a court order, issued by an independent judge, have been completely destroyed.

Likewise, and apart from that, the internet activities of everyone have been secretively tracked, traced, datamined, and stored for the benefit of corporations, not only for targeted advertizing, but to get all possible information on anyone who either may eventually become a customer, an employee or an opponent.

Hypothesis 3 (plus sub-hypotheses):

The corporations have taken over the states by propagandizing and/or by buying the states' bureaucrats and politicians.

This has been going on for a long time - decades, and certainly since Eisenhower mentioned the dangers of the military-industrial complex - and has mostly succeeded since 9/11/01: The majorities of those who should control the states (politicians and bureaucrats) now are controlled by people working for the big corporations.

This was and is not merely a matter of corruption and buying: Part was effected through propaganda.

This also holds for European states in EU, and explains why prominent politicians in diverse parties sound as if they are singing from a GOP hymn sheet, and use GOP tactics, such as nominally taking over the moral stances of those they oppose. 

Hypothesis 4 (plus sub-hypothesis):
The states of Western Europe and the US have been turned into surveillance states where anonymous state bureaucrats in principle know all there is to know about all ordinary citizens.

This has been going on since before 9/11/01, that much increased it, and is not only done by state organizations but also by corporations, and in both cases was possible because there are hardly any rational laws that can be (or are) effectively applied to the internet.
Hypothesis 5 (plus sub-hypotheses):
Most of what ordinary people - the badly educated "democratic majority" - get offered in the public media, and especially TV, is middle of the road propaganda, that stonewalls, avoids or lampoons all that is not middle of the road trivialities, and that systematically avoids (almost) any really intelligent and informed discussion of the themes that matter to a free society inhabited by free citizens who are not controlled and spied upon and propagandized by both state organs and corporations.

Education has been systematically simplified, stupefied and leveled, and teaches hardly any real intellectual skills.

High culture and high civilization and high art of all kinds: science, art, independent media, music, in so far as these existed, have been cut or replaced by middle brow or low brow stuff that nominally does the same, and is more effective as propaganda for the masses.

Additional reasons may be that strangling high art and civilization, that often need subsidies to exist, now cost less and help preventing that intelligent persons get ideas or find a public for spreading their ideas.
Hypothesis 6:
The primary end of the CF+SS I am talking about:

Power to the corporations, over the state and over the ordinary population, by buying, taking over, and/or turning into commercial markets what once were the states' powers and institutions, and to manage the majority of the ordinary citizens by propaganda, control, surveillance, and force.
Extra hypothesis 11:
Whoever controls the internet controls the world, at least implicitly.

Namely in four ways, at least:
    1. Governments and corporations need the internet as information processors: Whoever gains some control over some aspects of this - as do Google and Facebook, for example - controls part of the content and the data mining that is possible through that.
    2. The internet is based on physical computers, cables and broadcasters: Whoever can control these, as can the state organs on whose territory these items exist, has control of the functioning of them.
    3. The internet, in so far as it is controlled, is controlled by states and their organs: Whoever controls the parliamentarians, ministers or chief bureaucrats can shape legislation.
    4. Whatever runs on any computer can be taken over by whoever can get control over the computer: corporate or state secret spies, or state representatives such as the police.
----

The part between the two "----"s is by me and from 2012/2014, and "CF+SS" = "Corporate Fascism plus the Surveillance State". All of this was originated by myself. (I changed nothing, except that I corrected spelling mistakes and added some boldings.)

Here is the first extension of similar ideas, that I found in February 2016.


B. The Deep State in the USA

This is the first real extension of the above ideas that I found. It is by Chuck Spinney (<-Wikipedia) and was reviewed here:
This is the review I wrote in February 2016 (and you can read the whole original article here, which is recommended because it is very good):

----

This starts as follows, and is a quite interesting article you should read in full:

Just about everyone knows something is dangerously wrong with our nation’s political system. There is a growing awareness that the United States is drifting blindly into a state of greater inequality, stagnation, oligarchy and perpetual war, with a ruling establishment that neither responds to the will of the people nor to the problems our nation faces.

For evidence of this pervasive sense of unease, look no further than the 2016 presidential election, where a bombastic celebrity billionaire and a crusty grandfatherly democratic socialist are claiming the political system is rigged and are driving the scions of the status quo into the rubber room — at least for now.

This was just the introduction. Here is some about the author of "The Deep State":

Mike Lofgren has written a timely exegesis of that status quo and its staying power. He makes it easier for any concerned citizen to understand the realities of the political and constitutional crises now facing the United States — and perhaps even improve the reader’s sense for the madness and anger that now characterizes 2016 presidential election.

Chuck Spinney also warns his readers that Lofgren is "a long-time colleague and a close friend" and gives this background:

It grew out of a stunning essay – “Anatomy of the Deep State” (February 2014) — that Lofgren produced at the request of journalist Bill Moyers. Lofgren has written a tour de force that takes the reader on a wild ride through a swamp of confusion and disorder that reeks of corruption. His writing is at once witty and particular, but also general and prescriptive.

Before I go on, something about the deep state (<- Wikipedia). This is from the last linked lemma: The concept originated in Turkey, and has since been broadened, and amounts to the following (according to Wikipedia):

The notion of deep state is similar to that of a "state within the state". For those who believe in its existence, the political agenda of the deep state involves an allegiance to nationalism, corporatism, and state interests. Violence and other means of pressure have historically been employed in a largely covert manner to manipulate political and economic elites and ensure specific interests are met within the seemingly democratic framework of the political landscape. 

I am one of "those who believe in its existence", were it only because

(i) extremely much about the doings of any national state I know anything about (including the USA, Great Britain, Holland and Norway) is kept secret;
(ii) there are quite a few decisions taken in these and other nations that cannot be accounted for by known politics and known economics; and also
(iii) one would assume anyway (and I know this is a fact) that very strong interest groups would try to get into government (and especially the big bankers, the "military-industrial complex", and "big oil" have gotten into the American governments, indeed by "revolving doors" and as if this were a matter of course).

Then again, simply because this is - in part, at least - a government behind the
elected government, which itself has not been elected, and which is mostly not talked about, it is not clear what "the deep state" is or may be for any specific country.

But here is a considerable amount of clarity:

Lofgren’s analysis centers on how the looting operations of three mutually reinforcing “pillars” (my word) of the contemporary American Deep State evolved over time. These “pillars” are themselves self-organizing groupings of coincident interests that work to insensibly co-opt and exploit the fissures in the mechanistic distribution of power designed into the Constitution by James Madison.

These emergent groupings form what some essayists have called an “iron triangle” of capitalists in the private sector and professional bureaucrats as well as elected officials in the legislative and executive branches of government, as well as in the menageries inhabited by hangers on, wannabees, journalists, and parasites feeding off the triangular host.

These triangles are energized by money flows and influence peddling, and their operations are lubricated by a maze of revolving doors that enable the individual players to climb the greasy pole to power and riches by moving freely back and forth from one corner to another — all the while pumping the money and propaganda needed by the triangle to survive and grow — on its own terms!

This helps some, while the following figure adds a lot:

Figure 1 is my simplified schematic outlining the basic features of an iron triangle.


clicking the image goes to the source

There is this in additional explanation:

Lofgren’s analysis takes us around three triangles by examining the maze of living relationships making up (1) the triangular money pumping operations of the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex, as well as the more subtle looting and power grabbing operations of (2) the de-regulating scams of Big Finance and (3) the big-brother spying operations of the pseudo-libertarian hyper-capitalists of Silicon Valley.

To be sure, there are many other iron triangles that Lofgren does not discuss in great detail (e.g., Big Pharma, Big AG and the food supply, etc.), but his story is clear enough and sufficiently broad enough to make the larger argument.

Yes, indeed: What you see is just one iron triangle out of many more, though the above one is central.

Here is a precisification by Chuck Spinney:

While Lofgren does not say so, I would argue there are growing signs that the emerging American political economy combines many elements of classical fascism and corporatism with neoliberal laissez-faire economics into something that is new and peculiarly American — a political economy that exhibits fascist tendencies, but unlike classical fascism, subordinates the state to neoliberal corporatist interests, while it exploits many of fascism’s authoritarian organizing principles to stabilize the emerging status quo.

I quite agree. There is considerably more in the article, including another very
clear graphic, but I leave that to your interests, after saying again that this is a quite interesting article that you ought to read in full.

----

But this is not all Chuck Sperry did in that essay. Here is more:

C. On corporate fascism aka neofascism

I think you will agree that  Chuck Spinney (<-Wikipedia) in the last quotation I cited in the previous subsection did get it quite like I did in 2012, that was thought up without any help, except from my reading a lot about politics, and having documented the crisis since September 1, 2008.

But he also originated the following schema, that I have given several times before in Nederlog, but couldn't find the source of, until I traced it to him in the article I reviewed in February, that is in the previous subsection:


clicking the image goes to the source

As my title indicates, I think "corporate fascism aka neofascism" is a better title than "Winner-Take-All", though indeed the corporate rich are trying to take all, and have progressed a lot since 1970/1980 in doing so, and also in creating the legal deregulations
that allowed them to do so. (But I don't know yet whether I will use that name or yet another for the "Emerging American Deep State".)

I will pay more attention to this schema and also to Sperry's essay later. This is here, originally:

And also I like to mention that there is considerably more by Chuck Sperry here, for this is his blogspot:
To end this item 1, I now move to another person who developed many of the ideas that Chuck Sperry encoded in the above schema:

D. On the anatomy of the American Deep State

This is by Mike Lofgren (<-Wikipedia) on the Deep State:
Again, I will not review this here and now, but I list it because it is important, and in fact is the source of Mike Lofgren's book from the beginning of 2016, The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government that I will try to get.

For the moment here is just one bit quoted from the above linked Essay: A completely non-spectacular sum-up of the American Deep State, according to Mike Lofgren:

The Deep State does not consist of the entire government. It is a hybrid of national security and law enforcement agencies: the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Justice Department. I also include the Department of the Treasury because of its jurisdiction over financial flows, its enforcement of international sanctions and its organic symbiosis with Wall Street. All these agencies are coordinated by the Executive Office of the President via the National Security Council. Certain key areas of the judiciary belong to the Deep State, such as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, whose actions are mysterious even to most members of Congress. Also included are a handful of vital federal trial courts, such as the Eastern District of Virginia and the Southern District of Manhattan, where sensitive proceedings in national security cases are conducted. The final government component (and possibly last in precedence among the formal branches of government established by the Constitution) is a kind of rump Congress consisting of the congressional leadership and some (but not all) of the members of the defense and intelligence committees.
The point of the sum-up is: It is people in these institutions who have the real power in the present USA, and that real power is not democratic, and is not democratically elected, and also does not work for "the people": it works for the rich and for itself.

Also - I think - there are more institutions and persons involved than governmental institutions: There are people from Wall Street, from the oil companies, from Silicon Valley, and from the defense industries who also somehow are involved, though indeed quite a few of these end up for a while in some governmental institution, where they generally arrive "through the revolving door", whence they usually also leave, normally to return to their previous job, that pays them a lot more than the government does, but does not give them the power to alter and deregulate laws, which they have in the government.

But this is mostly to inform you and to have some background for later Nederlogs: This is not a review of the last dotted link.

More is to follow on the Deep State in later Nederlogs, but now I turn to today's other item:


2. TTIP Has 'De Facto Failed,' Says German Economic Minister

The second item is by Nika Knight on Common Dreams, and is rather amazing:

This starts as follows:

Germany's Vice Chancellor and Economic Minister said that the controversial Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) has "de facto failed," admitting that negotiations between the U.S. and E.U. have completely stalled.

"Negotiations with the U.S. have de facto failed, because of course as Europeans we couldn't allow ourselves to submit to American demands," Sigmar Gabriel told the German news station ZDF in an interview that will air at 7pm German time Sunday, according to Der Spiegel.

"Everything has stalled," Gabriel said.

I say!! I certainly did not know this nor predict it, and I also did not see the interview with Gabriel, but I did read several sources that said the same, and even heard this mentioned on Dutch radio news.

Before I comment on this development, here is some more from the article:

"Nobody is really admitting it," Gabriel added, according to the Independent.

The Independent reports on the context to Gabriel's remarks:

The 14th round of [TTIP] negotiations between American and E.U. officials took place in Brussels in July and was the third round in six months.

[...] He said that during the talks neither side had agreed on a single common chapter out of the 27 being deliberated.

I say, again. What do I think of this? I agree with Gabriel's "because of course as Europeans we couldn't allow ourselves to submit to American demands" and I think
that the present development is more hopeful than I had imagined.

Then again, while I enjoy this, I am only satisfied if I learn that the TTIP is definitely not going to be accepted by Europe nor to be implemented in Europe.

So while this is a considerable step forward, it is not yet the end I desire.

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