Jeffrey Tucker – Is the Deep State Really Awesome?

Jeffrey Tucker – Is the Deep State Really Awesome?

This post by Jeffrey Tucker is a timely and succinct summary of the nation-threatening phenomenon called the Deep State.

The bottom line:

The deep state is not awesome. It is the enemy of freedom and human rights and the biggest threat to progress that we face.


Is the Deep State Really Awesome?


For years, corporate media made fun of people (like me) who wrote about the existence of the deep state. This is just wild paranoia, they said. There is no such thing!

Oh really? Yep, that’s what they said. And when Donald Trump said he would drain the swamp, the same people said there is no swamp and therefore nothing to drain. We are all just imagining this.

As the years have passed, denying the existence of the deep state has become implausible. This is especially true following lockdowns. No one voted to close your church or business. There was no democratically based decision to force you to get a shot. No one asked your lawmaker if government should work with social media to censor your posts.

All these things happened for a reason. We are now sitting on tens of thousands of pages of evidence, including email communications and reports of meetings and phone calls, in which all of this was coordinated without public attention. The bureaucrats took charge in ways that made denying their existence impossible.

What to do in this case?

Why Would Corporate Media Favor Censorship?
The Coming of the Police State in America

Someone at The New York Times decided to flat-out admit the reality. But the method by which they did this is the sort of thing that scrambles the brain. Instead of saying, oh yes there is such a thing, they went the full way. In a headline for the ages, the NY Times announced: “It Turns Out the ‘Deep State’ Is Actually Kind of Awesome.”

What follows is a video that variously proclaims that the deep state is making America great. Sure, there is some waste and overreach, but, by and large, we should all bow down and thank the wonderful public servants who are keeping our water clean, exploring outer space, and maintaining the economy.

It’s pretty amusing. Or nefarious. The video profiles a series of bureaucrats who work in seemingly innocuous agencies such as the EPA or NASA or the Department of Labor. They all talk about how wonderful their work is. But there is a problem. President Trump says they are lousy and need to go. That’s really demoralizing.

Let’s take apart this language at a fundamental level.

In the U.S. Constitution, there are three branches of government: the executive, which is headed by the president; the Congress, which was originally bicameral but changed by amendment in 1913; and the court system with a Supreme Court. That’s it.

For the past hundred years, the United States has been vexed by something that doesn’t fit into any of these slots. It is a slew of public sector employees in agencies that grew in number, swelling in crisis and then not dialing itself back. There are hundreds of such agencies and millions of employees in them. Thanks to union rules that intensified over the decades, they cannot be fired by the president. They cannot be controlled by the president either, as the years of the Trump presidency demonstrated.

These millions of bureaucrats possess the institutional knowledge to run the system. To do what? To perpetuate itself. It’s not about serving the public. It’s about entrenching the power of the institution and those they serve, which are usually powerful interests in the private sector.

This gigantic machinery is called the administrative state. Rather than adding to the Constitution by sticking in a new branch of government, this beast was added to the organizational chart of the U.S. government under the category of the executive branch.

The tiny line that connects the office of the presidency to the rest is mostly an illusion. Sure, there are agency heads, but if they ever say or do anything threatening to the bureaucracy, they are instantly hounded, hated, trashed, and driven out. They are figureheads and not real. Everyone knows this. They are gone in a couple of years, whereas the actual employees of the agencies are there in permanent spots that no one can take away.

You will not find anything about the administrative state in the U.S. Constitution. It is utterly foreign to the Founders’ design. It didn’t even exist at all until 1883 even in the smallest form. Before then, every new president cleaned house completely and started fresh. That kept government from permanent overreach and assured voters control over their own government.

Once that was taken away, and it was completely by the end of the Second World War, the whole idea of democracy became wildly compromised. Sure, we elect a president, but he quickly discovers that his powers over the bureaucracy are tiny and can be taken away with any wrong move. He is captive, a slave to the state he supposedly heads.

There have been no truly honest presidential autobiographies. They all brag about their amazing deeds and accomplishments. None admit the truth that their main role is to ratify the decisions made by others. They are there to provide cover to the administrative state. Anyone who decides otherwise will be chewed up and spat out. Look no further than Richard Nixon or Donald Trump for proof.

So an honest presidential autobiography would say: I thought I was going to be the chief executive in government only to find that I was forced to serve the administrative state. Why won’t they say this? Maybe because it is too embarrassing. Or maybe it works like any major and deeply corrupt institution: No way is a person allowed into the position of leadership without the real powers behind the scenes having something on the person. This is how it worked in the Politburo, for example.

OK, now that we understand the administrative state, what is this thing called the deep state? That is a sublayer within the bureaucratic machinery. It mostly consists of agencies that operate under the cover of night, within what is called “classified” or is otherwise deemed too crucial and clandestine to be subject to public disclosure. The whole of the deep state lives by redaction.

The suite of institutions that constitute the deep state includes the CIA, but it is not limited to that. It also adds the National Security Agency and its many offshoots within the Department of Homeland Security, plus the FBI and the National Security Council. In this sense, the NY Times article and video is nothing but a limited hangout. It chronicles the life of various civilian agencies, and that’s fine, but it says nothing about what is properly defined as the deep state.

We have found in recent years that the real deep state has awesome powers. Once they pertained mostly to U.S. relations with other countries. But after President Trump was elected, it came after the American people whom the deep state blamed for electing the wrong president. What followed was a long series of hoaxes and interventions, from the claim that Russia had elected the president to a wildly exaggerated pandemic.

As part of this, we’ve seen the rounding up of political enemies and massive censorship, surveillance, and harassment, not to mention an amazing and unrelenting hate campaign against the former president. The underlying message of all of this is that the deep state, not the American people, runs the United States. They want this made absolutely clear.

As the NY Times article points out, President Trump has every intention of reviving his Schedule F executive order, probably on day one. This will allow the U.S. president to control the administrative state at least to some small degree.

This is the real reason they hate him. Everything else is just silly theater. The whole battle in the United States today is about whether we will continue to allow the deep state to subvert the people’s will and abuse the population or will enter on the long road back to freedom and a government under the control of the people. All the rest is an illusion.

The deep state is not awesome. It is the enemy of freedom and human rights and the biggest threat to progress that we face.