Friday, August 31, 2018

The Snores Are In The Details

     I know how to concentrate. I know that concentration is the key to comprehension, especially when the subject is riddled with byways. I know how to isolate the distractions and wall them off. And I’ve tried, as manfully as I know how, to stay awake over the doings of, and connections among, the Deep State players in the anti-Trump forces slowly being unearthed. I can’t do it.

     The Conservative Treehouse / Last Refuge has done valiant work at following this slowly developing story. Other sites have contributed as well. But how many people are paying attention? And what’s likely to follow the conclusion of the investigation?

     I’d imagine that most Americans have tuned out by now. The operation is too broadly distributed. There are too many dots to be connected. No one involved in the scheme lacks some prospect of exculpation. Perhaps worst of all, despite the dogged efforts of those who are slowly assembling the story, it’s unlikely that any of them will ever be sent up the river.

     Even keeping all the names straight has become impossible. Forget about keeping it all in sequence. Who did what to whom, and on what date? Who got paid, and where did the money come from? Were higher-ups involved? Were they “higher up” at the time, or did their elevations come afterward?

     You can conceal anything from others’ eyes, yet keep it nominally “in the open,” by scattering its components among a sufficient number of collaborators.

     This is the “Deep” aspect of the Deep State: its web of innumerable bureaudrones, widely scattered and deeply deployed in the bowels of the “permanent government.” It’s the most frustrating – to an investigator – variety of operational security: the operation was buried in so many details, each one seemingly inconsequential until it’s connected to the rest, that most Americans will fall asleep before the whole picture can be seen and judged.

     And it is among the best arguments I know for the complete elimination of the federal bureaucracy.

     My admiration for Co-Contributor Linda Fox knows no bounds. She too has done her best to follow the interweaving of the threads...and it’s worn her down. Perversely, that makes me feel a trifle better. Not a lot, but some: the sort of “better” that comes of knowing that one is not alone.

     The thesis of the burn-it-down / start-from-scratch camp has much to recommend it. How else does one untangle a Gordian knot? How else does one clear a square mile thicket of poisoned thorns? What other course would, after completion, leave a patriot feeling that life is worth living?

     I keep looking for that planetoid, and it stubbornly refuses to appear.

     The common wish for a champion, an Alexander who can and will slice all the way through the tangles the Deep State has wound around us, is the reason for the elevation of Donald Trump to the presidency. Certainly no one nurtured by the political Establishment would have sufficed. Neither would anyone soft-spoken enough to be regarded by the “better sort” as harmless, easily defeasible. We needed a brawler, and whether or not we were conscious of the need, that’s what we elected.

     Trouble is, the Deep State, like any other colony organism, has a will to survive. From the instant Trump passed 270 electoral college votes, they who hold its tiller went to work on their plan for nullifying his presidency. Today, a little short of two years from that event, they’re still at it, even as dedicated sleuths strive to puzzle out each of the threads in their web.

     Yes, the Deep State has the support of many whose names we do know. Yes, should the webs woven around President Trump cause him to stagger and fall, they will applaud and tell us that “we told you so.” And yes, there’s nothing the political Establishment would like better than for the whole thing to blow over, so that we can return to the nice, quiet, utterly manageable status quo ante.

     But the operators that matter aren’t the ones whose names we know. Granted that the NeverTrumpers with bylines and talking-head gigs will benefit should the collaborators succeed. Still, the thrust of the thing isn’t to confer a benefit upon any particular person or group, but to keep the structure intact:

     Winston was struck, as he had been struck before, by the tiredness of O’Brien’s face. It was strong and fleshy and brutal, it was full of intelligence and a sort of controlled passion before which he felt himself helpless; but it was tired. There were pouches under the eyes, the skin sagged from the cheekbones. O’Brien leaned over him, deliberately bringing the worn face nearer.
     ‘You are thinking,’ he said, ‘that my face is old and tired. You are thinking that I talk of power, and yet I am not even able to prevent the decay of my own body. Can you not understand, Winston, that the individual is only a cell? The weariness of the cell is the vigour of the organism. Do you die when you cut your fingernails?’

     The structure is the enemy.

     Some time ago, I wrote:

     Whose decisions about you and yours are essentially unchallengeable? That is: what category of persons can override your preferences about your life, liberty, and property, and be practically certain of having the last word and not facing any cost nor penalty for having done so?

     Sorry! No credit for any answer but "government bureaucrats." All other arrogant and overbearing life forms are subject to some form of correction, discipline, or reprisal. The bureaucrat -- the faceless source of innumerable rules and decisions, most of which are made in secret and without either Constitutional or statutory foundation -- is so well insulated from our wrath that he can almost never be identified and can never be fired, no matter how extreme his abuses.

     Without the bureaucracies, this would still be a largely free country, de facto if not de jure.

     And in another essay:

     Bureaucracies are what they are -- faceless instruments of coercion beyond redress by any lawful mechanism -- by design. They function as they do because their scam serves both the interests of the political class, the interests of the bureaucrats themselves, and the interests of the many nominally private institutions that profit from the existence and function of the bureaucracy. Consider as a trivial example the symbiosis between the Internal Revenue Service and the legions of tax lawyers, tax accountants, and tax return preparation specialists; were the IRS to fall, it would drive some 200,000 of those parasites into penury.

     The most useful analogy available is that of an organism that has optimized itself for a particular habitat. A habitat is ideal for some organism because it copiously provides what the organism needs while disadvantaging any species inclined to prey upon it.

     Five years ago, when I wrote those essays, I hadn’t yet grasped the implications of my own reasoning. Today I think I do. What about you, Gentle Reader?

1 comment:

Linda Fox said...

Interesting about that symbiotic relationship between those preying on you, and their co-predators, who "help" you escape the worst of the predation. I don't want a complete re-boot of the entire society, but I do want the interconnected parts of it severed.

There are a couple of ways that you can fight off predation:
- Hide - quite a common strategy in nature, and reasonably effective, as long as you are willing to trade your more visible neighbors/family for your own personal safety
- Direct confrontation - usually, in fact, almost always, fatal. The needed skill set is just not present.
- Alliances - unless your allies have a strong reason to hang in with you (family relations, fear of consequences), this is vulnerable to divide & conquer strategies
- Long-term guerrilla warfare - it drags the participants down. They become exhausted, just trying to keep alive and carry the battle forward. Often have no time or resources left to reproduce.

There is a variant of the Guerrilla strategy - Insurgency. Living within the parameters of the predatory society, but chipping away at it, little by little, every day. Essentially, the Long Strategy - wearing down a predator by tedious actions, endlessly repeated. It works best when:
- That predator has options - he can leave that community, and seek sustenance elsewhere. Encouraging him to leave is easier than killing him.
- Their exit leaves a power vacuum, that others will see as an opportunity (the criminals in the former Soviet Union, for example). The biggest problem here is that you have to be prepared to defend against the New Overlord's take-over.

To encourage the Deep State to leave is probably the best option. Trump, being a businessman, will realize that if he both makes it uncomfortable, and provides a little financial encouragement, most will leave quietly. The Carrot & Stick method is tried and true.

That leaves the average citizen dissatisfied. The perps will not, generally, face retributions for their many actions against the Republic. It is profoundly unfair that they not do so.

However, the advantages of getting rid of them probably exceed the costs of making them pay.