If you're like most, you've probably wondered what to make of America's dysfunctional, gridlocked government. Mike Lofgren offers a disturbing explanation of the apparent madness in a terrific essay entitled, "Anatomy of the Deep State." What he maintains is that what we're witnessing is simply a concluding step in the transfer of power to a parallel state, a plutocracy that now both runs the country and controls the destiny of the American people.
Lofgren is not some conspiracy theorist. With the facts and conclusions he presents, there's really no need for theories. The Deep State is shadow government, operating independently of the ballot box in a world where political and corporate power merge seamlessly.
The Deep State is the big story of our time. It is the red thread that runs through the war on terrorism, the financialization and deindustrialization of the American economy, the rise of a plutocratic social structure and political dysfunction. Washington is the headquarters of the Deep State, and its time in the sun as a rival to Rome, Constantinople or London may be term-limited by its overweening sense of self-importance and its habit, as Winwood Reade said of Rome, to “live upon its principal till ruin stared it in the face.” “Living upon its principal,” in this case, means that the Deep State has been extracting value from the American people in vampire-like fashion.
We are faced with two disagreeable implications. First, that the Deep State is so heavily entrenched, so well protected by surveillance, firepower, money and its ability to co-opt resistance that it is almost impervious to change. Second, that just as in so many previous empires, the Deep State is populated with those whose instinctive reaction to the failure of their policies is to double down on those very policies in the future.
To the extent that America