I have given further thought to this topic, first explored here. I will first offer a few points from the earlier post:
Codevilla: We have stepped over the threshold of a revolution. It is difficult to imagine how we might step back, and futile to speculate where it will end.
Zman: If what it takes to break the stranglehold this cult has on society is a dictator willing to toss a few judges from a helicopter, then sign me up for dictatorship.
Bionic: It would be nice to have a Gorbachev.
My reference to Gorbachev is in reference to a political leader who led through a relatively peaceful dissolution of empire; it would be nice if the US had such an individual.
I wrote and published the above on Saturday the 11th. Since then, events have transpired that bring much more clarity…and make evident the level of risk. Let’s just say a Gorbachev isn’t enough.
Trump was already facing a congress in which all the democrats and half or more of the republicans were seething that he won, were seething at what he represents, and were seething at many of the policies for which he advocated – and high on that list was rapprochement with Russia.
Now we have this:
President Donald Trump asked his national security adviser to resign after White House lawyers reviewed a warning from the Justice Department that Michael Flynn had misled officials about his conversations with a Russian envoy and could be vulnerable to blackmail.
Flynn, bad on many things, was reasonably good on the issue of peaceful relations with Russia and on reforming the many three letter covert agencies.
The White House counsel, Don McGahn, "determined that there was not a legal issue but a trust issue," Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, told reporters on Tuesday.
Whatever the truth and however this is spun by the White House, it is blood in the water for the sharks circling Trump.
The Saker says it better than I could (emphasis in original):
THIS IS ABOUT POWER. As in, who is boss? Who is number one? Who is the alpha dog? The President or the ‘deep state’? That is what this is all about – showing everybody who is in charge.
FLYNN’S DOWNFALL IS A MESSAGE. A message to all those who hate Trump and what Trump represents. And that message is simple: we are back in control and the party is on!
It does not matter what the reasons were behind Flynn’s departure; all that matters is how the opposition views this event – and how it will embolden the opposition. For example, ask Dan Rather (from Zero Hedge):
This Russia scandal is…cascading in intensity seemingly by the hour. And we may look back and see, in the end, that it is at least as big as Watergate. It may become the measure by which all future scandals are judged.
We need an independent investigation. Damn the lies, full throttle forward on the truth.
So…where are we headed?
There is blood in the water. Trump has turned over a key staff member in record time. It may be too late to do anything to repair the damage, let alone take the offensive (as I have suggested before; making a long story short, with Trump coming clean on JFK as a start).
Those opposed to Trump (in congress pretty much all democrats and probably most republicans; large swaths of the deep state; the mainstream media; academicians; actors and musicians; rioters like those at Berkeley – in other words, most anyone with power or supporting Power) will not stop until either a) Trump is out, or b) Trump cuts them off at the knees.
I won’t pretend to understand the possible steps through this minefield as well as I assume Trump does. He has done plenty of swimming with sharks; maybe not this many sharks and not all this deadly all at the same time, but he has experience in this game.
My one thought: playing mean may not win, but playing nice is certain to lose. Change the rules of the game and put them on the defensive – this is the most likely path to victory.
The phenomenon that is Trump is the first opportunity since the maturity of the deep state to call into question the deep state. There is and will be nothing peaceful about this.
So what happens to the rest of us while this drama plays itself out?
I don’t know.
If Trump is forced out of office using such means (or even if the pestering never ends), will his supporters stand still and take it? If riots such as at Berkeley continue and expand, will the shotguns (whether held by law enforcement or civilian) stay in the closet?
Whatever happens (and much of it will be very bad), there are two absolute goods that will come from all of this:
First, the battle lines are becoming ever clearer. The deep state is exposing itself as never before; the media has already been fully exposed as the deep state’s Pravda; most democrats and republicans are on the same team – and opposed to humanity.
Second, the international standing of the US government is becoming ever weaker. It is one thing to be political during an election; what happened before this election it was laughable – in our era, new lows were set in so many ways. Globally, the standing of US politics took as big a hit as imaginable…
…or so most people thought. Most people believed that come election night, the drama would be over. Hahahahahahaha; the joke is on them.
This is about as third-world-banana-republic as it gets.
"First, the battle lines are becoming ever clearer. The deep state is exposing itself as never before; the media has already been fully exposed as the deep state’s Pravda; most democrats and republicans are on the same team – and opposed to humanity."
I am not so sure the main stream public realizes that yet?
You would think so?
Too much cognitive dissidence ,to see the whole picture yet.
They can't stare at the sun too long.
Will they have to go back down to the cave and feel that security?
I am not suggesting that the broader public holds a world view similar to yours or mine. I am thinking of the reaction, during the election for example, of large portions of the population against the mainstream media whenever they attempted to smear Trump.Delete
I think that the more this insanity continues - from the mainstream media, politicians, and deep state as well as from the crazy rioters - the more people will rebel against them - even people of goodwill on the left.
I will venture a guess: 80% of the mainstream media, deep state, etc., are truly madmen; this label applies to less than 20% of the general population.
They may not be libertarian, but everyday they will find more reason to reject the mainstream narrative.
What is, in your view, the universe of the deep state?Delete
Would you include all, or a substantial percentage, of the drug warriors at the ATF, DEA, and FBI?
Would you include all, or a substantial percentage, of the TSA agents who grope and grab us at the airports?
Would you include all, or a substantial percentage, of the FBI, ATF, and IRS agents who are investigating domestic terrorist organizations, particularly those that are considered to constitutionalist, anti-government types?
Would you consider border agents, ICE cops, and other federal goons, chasing down Pedro and Juan who are here without the consent of the immigration central planners?
What I think that too many people sympathetic to, or supportive of, Trump fail to realize is that is not some kind of independent player.
Trump supports the warfare / welfare state. Too many alt-right think that Trump represents something different - that somehow - Trump is the very embodiment of free enterprise, limited government, and decency.
He is a carnival barking, big government loving, eminent domain loving, military worshipping, crony capitalist serial prevaricator.
He does not represent some kind of opening or opportunity for a more peaceful, more decentralized world and I am flummoxed at why so many smart people think the contrary.
"Too many alt-right think that Trump represents something different - that somehow - Trump is the very embodiment of free enterprise, limited government, and decency."Delete
Nice try, but you won't bait me into your false "either / or" box.
There was no false "either / or box" offered.
There were a number of questions and opinions, none of which amounts to an attempt to bait you into a false paradigm.
Your response would not be well received by the likes of Tom DiLorenzo, Tom Woods, Jack Perry, Butler Shaffer, or William Norman Grigg.
Oh, you scare me soooo much by throwing those names at me.Delete
Yet it isn't either / or; and this is what you attempted.
I have noticed that when you are challenged, you have a way of eliding by projection.Delete
Rather than address issues and thoughts presented that, for some reason, rankle you, you attribute some iniquitous motive to the person who expressed the thoughts and then you dodge.
It is transparent.
You have shamed me into responding….Delete
“What is, in your view, the universe of the deep state? Would you include all, or a substantial percentage, of….”
I make no statement on percentage. What matters is the leaders of the important agencies and departments; what matters is the number (and it only need be a handful) of underlings who aspire to leadership and are willing to do the immoral and unethical and unconstitutional things required to get there.
“What I think that too many people sympathetic to, or supportive of, Trump fail to realize is that is not some kind of independent player.”
No one is, and certainly not anyone who becomes POTUS.
“Too many alt-right think that Trump represents something different - that somehow - Trump is the very embodiment of free enterprise, limited government, and decency.”
Yeah, alt-righters who believe this are simpletons. Of course, if he actually succeeds at reducing regulation – as he has stated several times – this isn’t all bad for free enterprise and limited government.
“He is a carnival barking, big government loving, eminent domain loving, military worshipping, crony capitalist serial prevaricator.”
He is no Ron Paul, I agree.
“He does not represent some kind of opening or opportunity for a more peaceful, more decentralized world…”
Oh, here you are wrong my anonymous friend. He at least remains consistent on not wanting nuclear war with Russia; this buys us time if nothing else. He puts risk and doubt in believers of NATO and multi-national trade agreements; tell me what other candidate for president in the last 70 years not named Ron Paul has been focused on such decentralizing ideas such as these? He is adding to the list the number of people disillusioned with government (for varying reasons) as it currently functions; what better outcome in a presidential race is there for those who want liberty (other than a Ron Paul victory) than a growing population of such disillusioned citizens.
There. Your turn.
Thank you for your reply.Delete
Upon leaving work Friday, I did not look at a computer until this morning.
Yes, I am heartened by some of his statements, eh, tweets, regarding rapprochement with Russia. This, in and of itself, and limited to itself, is a good thing. We have no quarrel on this point.
However, I am troubled by his apparent cognitive dissonance regarding decentralization and peace, to wit:
(1) His promises to dramatically increase military spending.
(2) His willingness to engage in Obama type drone warfare in which children are murdered and more martyrs created thereby increasing the chances of more blowback.
(3) The view he has expressed of Edward Snowden. If the president regards him as a traitor who should be apprehended by the deep state and returned for a show trial, what does this say about the president's commitment to peace and decentralization?
(4) His support of tariffs and special taxes regarding trade. Those that support tariffs, by definition, can not accurately be described as a proponent of decentralization as tariffs constitute a kind of centrally managed and centrally planned trade policy.
Keep in mind, his problem with NAFTA and the like is that he perceives the USSA as the loser, i.e., "we are losing"; its not some principled defense of decentralization.
Of course, you could be right in that the Trump era will witness more peace and decentralization. I hope so.
As for your question regarding other presidential candidates who were focused on decentralization?
Harry Browne, Andre Marrou, and Ed Clark come to mind.
I agree with your points of Trump's actions; my point is not his actions, nor his intent. My point is the result. Trump is accomplishing several things:Delete
1) Raising questions about centralizing institutions like NATO, WTO / multi-lateral trade agreements and enforcement mechanisms, etc. Even the New York Times writes about the Deep State!!! We are now allowed to talk about these.
2) Many Americans viscerally hate him. They are making it easy for more and more people to no longer respect the office in the future.
3) Many Americans who support him are seeing the true color of the enemy – it isn’t the other party (as the enemy includes the likes of McCain and Graham); it is the connected class against the servants.
4) Many governments and individuals overseas are seeing the American government for the looney bin that it is. The American state is discrediting itself daily, with nonsense about Russians in the election and the like.
All of this happens because Trump won. None of this happens if Clinton won. And there was no other candidate who was going to win.
You and I can write a list 100 items long of all of the non-libertarian actions of Trump. We could write a comparable list (and longer) for Clinton. In the big picture, *this is irrelevant* – we were going to be jammed by one or the other candidate no matter what.
There are libertarians getting so upset, “why aren’t you complaining about Trump’s negative stuff?” That’s like shooting fish in a barrel. Only a handful of libertarians see his positives – some of which, I admit, require more than surface level thought.
My point is to focus on the differences between the two candidates – the differences in outcome and result.
“Harry Browne, Andre Marrou, and Ed Clark come to mind.”
I didn’t realize that they ran in 2016. What did I miss?
Strong concurrence on points 2,3, and 4. I do regard the substance of those points as the basis for hope that there will be more peace and decentralization.Delete
You did not miss anything with regard to the presidential candidates I listed. I was responding to your invitation to name another presidential candidate in the last 70 years not named Ron Paul who has focused upon and raised the decentralization issues.
Of course, Harry, Andre, and Ed were not within the realm of the mainstream Overton Window.
BTW, I just read Daniel McAdams' article, published yesterday, at LewRockwell.com regarding Trump's NSC pick to succeed General Flynn.Delete
According to a speech given by Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, Trump's pick, at a conference last May, what the US should do vis-à-vis the Russians is "forward deterrence. To be able to ratchet up the cost at the frontier."
Yes, I read the McAdams post. Bad news.Delete
We're in Terra Incognita fer sher.
How's this: a "soft coup" ala Watergate, followed by a hard coup by the Trumpista military.
How Argentinian. Pass a banana.
Come join me in the islands. At least we see a banana for a banana.
One interesting thing is that the term "deep state" is no longer something known only to the community of "conspiracy theorists". It's now been used openly in the MSM.The general public is now getting the idea that some powerful forces have been working below their level of awareness, which is a good thing even if they don't yet realize the complexity of the situation.ReplyDelete
Brett, the same thought struck me. Thank you for pointing this out.Delete
So, a sign of the death throes of the empire when they feel the need to unmask themselves?Delete
I think Flynn took one for the team. It would be impossible to start truly investigating the deep state without a cabinet member being involved in a psuedoscandal. I will watch where the Trump admin begins dismanteling looking for spooks.ReplyDelete
For another point of view start at 15:44 on the podcast for 2/16/2017 http://www.trunews.com/listenDelete
We agree to agree.ReplyDelete
The deep state is certainly a turd in the punch bowl. However, the rabbit hole is much deeper. This is about the monetary system. A system of paper. An illusion. Trump is threatening a firmly entrenched system of fraud and deceit. The rot goes clear down to dog catcher. It is a system in which we have been reduced to mere fictions, things on paper only. The NAME, your name, so you think, spelled in all caps and representing a cestui que trust. It is this entity that is taxed, fined, licensed, and subject to fees and such. It is the NAME that gets the ticket. They can't deal with flesh and blood except through contract. We are the creators of government and they know that. When you present a driver license to the pig in a black blanket, you have pledged yourself as surety for the entity being charged. Something they fail to mention. Look up Mandell House's diatribe to Woodrow Wilson on the ancient Babylonian system of pledges and check out Anna Von Rietz for further explanation of this beast.ReplyDelete
Now this may sound like poppycock if you are reading about this for the first time, but look at it this way, if it makes it easier to swallow. Globalism is world wide mercantilism under the jurisdiction of admiralty and maritime law. This is nothing new.
I am not even sure this thing can be dislodged. If Trump is indeed threatening THAT system he will take the big dirt nap. No one survives if they threaten the monetary system. The entire government benefits from this system of extortion. He sure has his work cut out.
"Is the NSA the real president of the United States?":ReplyDelete
".........The US intelligence community continues its war to kick Donald Trump to the curb and destroy his presidency.
Obviously, the NSA, the CIA, and their silent partners want to continue to run this country.
So they spy and leak, spy and leak..........."
"...........We think we know how scandals are exposed by the press, but actually we don’t. Tips are given to people who give them to other people. Usually, the first clue that starts the ball rolling comes from a source who remains in the shadows........"
"..........This is what we are dealing with. This is the way,for example, governments and administrations can be brought down.
It all depends on whom the NSA wants to support and whom it wants to get rid of.
The NSA is not only the swamp that needs to be drained, it is the agency looking at and probing the swamp and extracting crucial information for itself and its close friends.
To accumulate more power.
To forward its agenda of…security? Yes, if by security we mean endless conquest and Empire and control.
Ah, there they are. The NSA, the obsessed technocrats who believe they are masters of all they survey. And spy on."
Trump is not the "opposition" if the opposition consists of those who want a more peaceful, less centralized, and freer society.ReplyDelete
The fact is that Donald Trump represents bigger, fatter, and more intrusive government. He is a guy who frequently lauds the state's privileged purveyors of violence - the guys who form the uniform caste donning guns, tasers, and tanks.
Donald Trump does not act or talk like a man who is much interested in decentralization. Let's start with immigration. He supports more centralization; not less. He wants the federal government to exert more force and play an even bigger role in deciding who can travel to and from the USSA and who can import and export goods and at what prices.
Does that sound like a guy who is committed to decentralization?
How about drugs? He has been outspoken in his support for re-injecting the war on drugs with giving cops, be they of the local, state, or federal variety, more power to bust, disrupt, and terrorize the voluntary and peaceful transactions that constitute 99.99 % of all narcotic activities.
Peace? Is he proposing to reduce the Pentagon's budget? Is he proposing to close any of the 1,000 or so overseas military installations the Empire has around the world? Is he proposing to eliminate the CIA?
What about Israel? If Trump really represented an opportunity for peace, does it not stand to reason that he would insist that the Israelis build no more settlements? Would he not be proposing to reduce, if not eliminate, all of the aid given to the Jewish state?
Yes, he has said some sensible things about relations with Russia, but even there, there has been some backsliding and inconsistency (witness Nicky Haley's warmongering).
There are none as blind as those who will not see.
Who said Trump was in favor of decentralization?Delete
Who said Trump was in favor of legalizing drugs?
Who said Trump was after peace (other than with Russia)?
My questions and comments are for the alt-right movement, writ large.Delete
Note, I did not claim that you said Trump was in favor of legalizing drugs or decentralization.
However, I do perceive that you think that Trump presents some kind of unique opening for the forces of decentralization to strike a body blow to Leviathan. Note, I am not claiming that you think that the Trump moment will prove to be the Empire's Waterloo.
As for peace with Russia, have you not consistently opined that Trump has, all along, been a better bet for peace than Hillary Clinton or any other hand picked neocon friendly candidate? Accordingly, I did not attribute to you anything to the contrary regarding Trump and peace with Russia.
However, notwithstanding some general statements he has made, Trump has not exactly made any bold public moves with regard to matters with Russian. Making dramatic moves like announcing that the US would be withdrawing all US forces from eastern and central Europe or would be taking the steps necessary to withdraw from NATO.
How would the Russians react? I don't know, but, at a minimum, there would be what the Russians call a "lessening of international tension".
How about Trump publicly acknowledging America's role in the Ukrainian regime change? How about apologizing to the Russians and to the Ukrainians for our fomenting of strife and bloodshed?
As for the prospects of decentralization? I see Trump and the Trump moment as a trap for the unwary.
I see the alt-right being all too happy with taking refuge in throwing people off helicopters notwithstanding the fact that the brownshirts doing the throwing have to be paid. The alt-right would be okay with Watertown style martial law with goons on the street with snipers pointed at windows - as long as they were hunting down an illegal alien or Ahmed and Mustafa.
Sure, one can make the argument that even though Trump himself is not in favor of, or predisposed to, decentralization, his ascendance may trigger intra-ruling class conflict, chaos, and bloodshed such that the state's grip upon us all must necessarily weaken.
The alt-right appears to be on board with much of the Trump bigger government agenda and yet think that this is going to redound to their benefit and return them to the thrilling days of yesteryear when their romanticized vision of what they consider their culture was, thrived.
"My questions and comments are for the alt-right movement, writ large."Delete
So, your questions were not meant for me?
The alt right will not permit the destruction of European man, and concurrently, the destruction of Western Civilization. All else flows from there.Delete
If your argument is that we have to sacrifice Western Civilization on the altar of some sort of right of foreign nationals to migrate into the West (via the NAP), then you would be wise to consider the alt right your enemy because it is you that they plan to throw from the helicopter, not Muhammad, Tyrone, or Jose.
Matt, to the contrary, the alt-right, consisting as it does of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of white men who do not want to see an end to their progressive gravy train goodies such as social security, Medicare, public sector pensions and fringe benefits, veteran's goodies, agricultural subsidies, and the like, and who have given us the income tax, the estate tax, social security, the war on drugs, asset forfeiture, and the national surveillance state, have already inflicted a mortal wound upon Western Civilization.Delete
"I do perceive that you think that Trump presents some kind of unique opening for the forces of decentralization"ReplyDelete
If the focus of government shifts from a direction of global gov to national gov, that's decentralization. Not a perfect world
I think most important, with Trump there are cultural psychological effects. Especially in regards to the media. Who knows where this leads, but ppl are at least entertaining all kinds of alternative thoughts(some maybe dangerous). Christ..I think they may have accidentally red-pilled millions of kids with this PewDiePie fiasco. So people are opening up!!! opportunity for change, this could be good or bad, but how else can it play out!
So Anonymous, this would go for all old right wingers including many libertarians. What is the more optimal situation we should be in right now? ill give u your best argument; Paul is right(barring singularity) the bills will come due. Economic downturn is likely. Who is to blame? Trump? Why? Worried about public perception? No one knows. This is another topic.
Also, why is it so important what somebody else thinks of Trump. Do you care that many of us think he's hilarious?
Maybe some ppl can't stand him, Slavoj Zizek pop Marxist philo talks of Trumps disintegrative affect and chance of reintegration
U really have nothing to say unless u provide an alternative path from Nov2016
"I think most important, with Trump there are cultural psychological effects. Especially in regards to the media. Who knows where this leads, but ppl are at least entertaining all kinds of alternative thoughts(some maybe dangerous)."Delete
I agree fully. Thank you.
Let's assume for a moment that Trump openly took the decentralized libertarian position on matters of central banking, the welfare / warfare state, trade, the war on drugs, taxes, regulations, etc. Let's also assume that he staffed his administration with the likes of Ron Paul and Andrew Napolitano. Much of the public would cheer him on, but he would be treading painfully on many powerful deep state toes. Much unearned power, wealth and prestige would disappear. And puppet string pullers would be facing jail time. How long would President Trump last if he made such overt moves toward a decentralized libertarian society? How should a libertarian president deal with the lethal deep state?ReplyDelete
The deep state took hold by stealth over generations. It may take, if not generations, at least many years of stealth to uproot the deep state from our lives. If Trump has any libertarian inclinations, then he must be aware of the powerful interests determined to thwart any moves toward decentralization. The best strategy against the deep state is probably to appear to retreat and cooperate while fighting a guerrilla war. This would produce better results than attempting to wage a frontal assault.
This should be the strategy of any libertarian president. How much of this, if any, is Trump's strategy is too early in the game to know. At least Trump will be a transitional president. The American people have woken up. It has now become respectable to challenge established authority. It seems that the deep state's grip on people's minds has been broken. That's a big step in the direction of liberty.
" At least Trump will be a transitional president. The American people have woken up. It has now become respectable to challenge established authority. It seems that the deep state's grip on people's minds has been broken. That's a big step in the direction of liberty."Delete
Wonderfully and succinctly well-said.
It has little or nothing to do with Trump being "libertarian" or advocating libertarian policies; it is what he has done to the dialogue regarding the MSM, deep state, etc. It has to do with the ever-growing awareness in people that their enemy isn't the other political party; it is something much bigger.
Trump is the closest thing we have had to the "red pill" as POTUS in our lifetimes, if ever.
Trump and the red pill. May make for a good post!
We should keep in mind that it was Ron Paul who first crashed onto the political scene in 2008 and then again more strongly in 2012 to promote the libertarian agenda especially the anti war and anti Fed narratives. Because of the nature of American political dynamics, Ron Paul accomplished much more for liberty as a libertarian in Republican clothing than he ever did or could as a libertarian in Libertarian clothing. It's Ron Paul who got millions of young activists to take the red pill to see the state for what it really is.Delete
Unfortunately Ron Paul had neither the temperament nor the demeanor for a slug fest with the deep state. He was too much of a nice guy to do what is necessary and that is to call people and institutions "crooks", "liars" and "criminals." Trump may not be a libertarian, but he has no inhibition when it comes to name calling and demeaning those who richly deserve such public outing and shaming.
Trump is the bull in the deep state china shop who Ron Paul could never be. The deep state's china must be smashed to bits before nice libertarian china can replace it. At this moment in history, Trump has emerged as the force to play this vital role. After Trump neither Americans nor much of the rest of the world will be intimidated into handling with respect and care the wares of the deep state and its visible institutions. We will now be in a question and laugh at everything mood. And that's a huuuge accomplishment!