Our Constitution Vs. the Deep State Run by Intelligence Agencies and the Pentagon — Only One Will Survive
Western civilization itself is under attack.
By Dan Sisson and Thom Hartmann
May 1 2017
It is virtually impossible to read a newspaper or a blog analyzing the politics of America in 2017 without thinking “disaster.” Since Donald Trump became president not just the United States, but the world, has become unstable and liberal democracies in general are under assault by antidemocratic authoritarian forces. In fact, a growing number of heretofore optimistic writers are worrying out loud about not only the end of America but the entire product of the Enlightenment: western civilization as a whole.
This dire commentary cannot be the result of one man. And, in fact, there is an accompanying system of organizations, individuals, traditions and practices over a long period that have worked together to bring us to this point. This “administrative state” is what is often referred to as the Deep State: all the permanent institutions of government, once augmented but now in most cases captured (or at least powerfully influenced) by private, for-profit corporations, from defense to intelligence to science.
Still the chief executive, or president, has historically been our symbol of national unity, and Americans have been accustomed for over two hundred years to placing enormous trust in his judgment.
It was not always so, particularly at the founding of our nation. In the late 18thcentury the dominant concerns of most citizens were about faction and party and whether they would destroy liberty and a democratic republican government. They knew a constitution was written to limit, divide, separate and check political power but they were under no illusions that ‘parchment barriers’ would be sufficient to protect their rights.
They realized how complex society had become based on their historical understanding of human nature going back to the Greeks and Romans. This was how they studied politics.
They read Lord Bolingbroke, an English statesman, who claimed a “party is a political evil and faction is the worst of all parties.” He demonstrated how party leaders pretended to have the public in mind but when they began to “influence men’s conduct” the party became a faction. “In all cases,” he said, “there were revealed reasons” and “reserved motive[s].” The latter were “THE THIRST FOR POWER,” and “the lust of dominion….which flows in fact from avarice, self-interest [and] resentment….”
James Madison, the ‘Father of the Constitution,’ was perhaps more explicit than Bolingbroke: “the violence of faction is the MORTAL disease under which popular governments have everywhere perished.” The English language cannot be more clear. Washington, John and John Quincy Adams, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe – all presidents – made statements descrying party and faction, even calling for their elimination.
Jefferson had a special reason for criticizing party and faction. He believed members of parties abandoned the principles of a free society and he realized, more than most people in his generation, that no republic, no democracy, could endure if the constitution which embodied its principles was ignored or neglected on the altar of party or faction. Jefferson believed strongly that members of parties and factions were so corrupt (forever engaged in conspiracies to seize political power) that he once said if there were political parties in heaven he would not want to go there at all. Jefferson was willing to burn for eternity than be associated with anything having to do with party corrupted by faction.
Unfortunately we’ve forgotten those hard-earned lessons of the 18thcentury. After World War II, we created factions that would ultimately culminate in the Deep State whose components comprise every branch of government and the sub-divisions within it: Departments of State, Homeland Security, Justice, Treasury, NSA, CIA, FBI and all agencies supervised by the executive Branch, among others. In addition, both Houses of Congress and recently the Supreme Court must be considered part of the Deep State.
This Deep State trespassed almost invisibly on the boundaries of the Constitution for a half century, particularly when it came to the military-industrial complex (that Eisenhower warned us about), secrecy and surveillance, the regulation of the economy (markedly during the Great Recession of 2007-8), and the continuation of our Middle East wars to control world oil prices.