Summary: I recommend reading a new article about the origins of RussiaGate. This post puts RussiaGate in a larger historical context, as just another step on a path to a dark future for America.
I recommend reading this: “The Importance of Understanding Political Surveillance In The Era of President Obama” by anonymous at The Last Refuge. It is somewhat incoherent in organization, but marshalls a powerful collection of evidence (with links). The author writes in the dominant genre of American politics: bad guys corrupting our system – attacking the good guys, while the virtuous Americans helplessly watch.
Expect to see more of these, and better versions, as people review the tide of newly released documents and assemble the pieces. But even now, after 3+ years of intense coverage of Russiagate (much of which we now know was disinformation designed to cripple Trump’s administration), few see the significance of it. The Deep State, in the full flower of their power (after the anthrax incident helped pass the Patriot Act), broke with its past and allied with one political faction (including the Democratic Party, most of the press and academia, etc.). Slowly documents are emerging that reveal what was done by who – but not why or on whose orders.
So far as I can tell (i.e., not much) the GOP has not come to grips with this. Or decided how to respond. Perhaps they are frightened. If so, it shows that they’re smart. Our political machinery (broadly defined) isn’t able to handle this level of … whatever we call it. “Corruption” does not adequately describe it.
Why does this surprise us? I have read about the growing power of the security state since the late 1960s. In 1975, the Church Committee ripped the veil of secrecy for all to see who wished to look. This power combined with our growing love of propaganda (i.e., allegiance to pleasing tribal truths) made it inevitable that the Deep State would eventually “cross the Rubicon” and seek greater power. Once they realized that the Constitution was dead in our hearts, its strictures became little more than chalk lines on the sidewalks. The limits to their influence were only the extent of their power. By themselves they were vulnerable to an alliance of the major political parties. Allying with one faction gives them and their allies power seldom seen in America except during wars.
The anthrax incident and the Patriot Act were the first steps, tentative steps, to reach for more power. RussiaGate was the next step. There will be a third step, unless the perpetrators of RussiaGate are stopped. I will bet that no senior officials will suffer the least inconvenience from their participation.
Much depends on what happens in the next few months. Elements of the security state and judicial system might oppose this grab for power. The GOP might awaken and see their peril, and stand strong and together against the Deep State – which has for long been an ally. Above all, how will the US public react? Will react as tribes, everybody either apathetic or loyal to their faction? Or will we see this as the next step in the death of the Republic?
Ultimately, we will determine how this plays out. The responsibility is as it should be in a Republic: in our hands. That is the good news. The bad news is that we have come a long way on a path leading to the death of the Republic and a new form of government for America. My guess is that historians will see RussiaGate as just another step on that road. For more about this, see America jumps to a new future. It is the most radical thing you will read this year.
I will send a copy of Rome’s Last Citizen (see below) to those who post the best comments to this series of posts. I have ten copies. Only one book per winner. Decisions are purely subjective by the judges, based on the originality and quality of insights, plus supporting facts and analysis, of the comment.
For More Information
I highly recommend Martin van Creveld’s new book, Seeing into the Future: A Short History of Prediction. “From the ancients watching the flight of birds to the murky activities of Google and Facebook today, Seeing into the Future provides vital insight into the past, present, and – of course – future of prediction.” Our media overflow with predictions. This will help you sort the useful ones from the chaff, and so better see our futures.
- A 4th of July reminder that America is ours to keep – or to lose!
- The danger facing America, the names of the guilty, and our best hope for reform.
- Our institutions are hollow because we don’t love them.
- Rome’s last citizen warns America: don’t repeat our mistakes.
- After Independence Day, look to America after the Republic.
- We have become cowards. We can become brave again.
- We gave our rulers the greatest gift that we can give.
- The Founders’ error dooms our Republic, but not the next.
See the past to foresee our future
The Founders looked to the Roman Republic for ideas and inspiration. In this time of peril, we too can do so. See two books about the people who were the poles of the forces that could have saved the Republic, but instead destroyed it.
Rome’s Last Citizen by Rob Goodman and Jimmy Soni – The life and legacy of Cato, the mortal enemy of Caesar.