RussiaGate is another step along the road for America

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.

Road in Darkness.
By Vitaly Krivosheev. AdobeStock_173887631.

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.

Contest

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

Ideas! See my recommended books and films at Amazon. For something different, see “The Swallow – a story of the WWII Night Witches.”

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.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more information about this vital issue see my posts about fear, about the Constitution, and especially these posts …

  1. A 4th of July reminder that America is ours to keep – or to lose!
  2. The danger facing America, the names of the guilty, and our best hope for reform.
  3. Our institutions are hollow because we don’t love them.
  4. Rome’s last citizen warns America: don’t repeat our mistakes.
  5. After Independence Day, look to America after the Republic.
  6. We have become cowards. We can become brave again.
  7. We gave our rulers the greatest gift that we can give.
  8. 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.

Caesar – a biography by Christian Meier.,

Rome’s Last Citizen by Rob Goodman and Jimmy Soni – The life and legacy of Cato, the mortal enemy of Caesar.

"Caesar" by Christian Meier
Available at Amazon.
Rome's Last Citizen
Available at Amazon.

 

 

25 thoughts on “RussiaGate is another step along the road for America”

  1. Unfortunately. I believe, your use of the terms “the crazy years,” and “clown world” have served to mislead many of your readers as to the seriousness of the mechanisms which have been created over the past 50 or 60 years to advance an agenda that stays largely the same despite moving from one presidential administration to another.

    This unelected power structure, as it has evolved, tends more and more to influence America’s official elected government.

    You are, I believe, correct that much will depend on what happens over the next few months. As you also state “our political machinery isn’t capable of handling…” this level of concentrated power that is willing to act so ruthlessly to defend its interests.

    You also must recognize that the average American citizen, has simultaneously been a victim of this structure of power as well as having the potential to change that same structure of power if it collectively decides to stop being pleasant peasants within accepted tribal channels.

    1. Worm Wood,

      “to mislead many of your readers as to the seriousness of the mechanisms ”

      I say this will likely lead to the fall of the Republic and a new regime that governs in their own interest with us as peasants. If I understand you correctly, you believe that the likely outcome is worse. what do you expect, the 1% to nuke our cities?

      “This unelected power structure, as it has evolved, tends more and more to influence America’s official elected government”

      I must not have been clear. If we won’t make the effort necessary to govern America, others will. This is the great circle of life. What you are describing as “evolution” is a natural and inevitable result of changes in us. When we accept that responsibility – rather than whining about baddd people taking advantage of us victims – then we will have taken the first step to reform.

      “You also must recognize that the average American citizen, has simultaneously been a victim of this structure of power as well as having the potential to change that same structure of power”

      Totally absurd. Future generations probably will laugh at our claims of being “victims”. As this and scores of other posts explain, if we won’t govern ourselves – others will do so. And in their own interest. If we’re not willing to act, at least let’s not whine about the result.

      1. These mechanisms and the individuals who run them have already destroyed the Republic.

        This is not whining–it is taking responsibility for trying to describe as accurately as possible the present reality of what we are up against and formulate political strategies for dealing with it.

        For example, a key structural component of our contemporary mechanism of tyranny is a jointly run data base operated by the FBI’s Data Intercept Technology Unit and run through the NSA with the help of companies like AT&T, Sprint and Verizon. (See Snowden description of PRISM)/
        Such an instrument was used (via thousands of inquiries) in the attempt to take down Trump (in Russia, Russia, Russia), through being able to gain access to everything and anything about him and his doings.

        I think it is fair to say that Trump was a victim of this surveillance mechanism as could any other American citizen or group of citizens.

        Your diagnosis is inadequate to the existence of such a data base.. Our electoral machinery no longer has the leverage to throw the rascals out because the rascals now have a data base capable of blackmailing any of us at any time for almost any reason.

        This will now become a fight of a totally different nature.
        You strategic thinking is as outmoded as the Sanders campaign.

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  4. To get to a view of what may lie ahead maybe look at possible interactions between the state of America now and the outside world? With the caveat that I am a lousy forecaster of most things (though like most I have had occasional flashes of prescience) here is an attempt.

    The most important thing about America is the isolation from reality and from the population of its ruling elite. Its been enabled by the concentration of wealth in the hands of a small proportion of the citizenry. Its given them the illusion of limitless power. Its insulated them from seeing the changes in the country and its position in the world.

    This has coincided with the death of rationality under the influence of post-modernism, moral and epistemological relativism. You cannot teach generation after generation that good is what I like, you may not, and that truth is how it looks to me as member of a class, sex and ethnic group, without depriving the educated of any sense of how to reason connectedly about policy choices. This has happened.

    At the same time the international scene has changed drastically in the last 50 years due to the rise of China and other countries. Look at steel production, electricity generation. The US no longer occupies the preeminent position it did. But it does not sound as if the ruling elite have any idea of that. Internally the country has changed also, its become fragmented and lost its sense of exceptionalism and commitment. The national ethos has turned to personal plunder. Its doubtful the elite realize that, either.

    Larry once said that American reminds him of Athens before the Sicilian Expedition. Yes, there is a hint of that.

    So what may happen? A blunder into a disastrous war, hyperinflation, and the withering of the institutions of democracy, though perhaps their forms remain. Carriers are sunk in the Pacific, after the trauma the forms of democracy remain, but the reality is rule by decree. America becomes just another country, run by an oligarchy. The bases are mostly closed. Its a multi-power world with no real superpower except China. Its retrenchment, oligarchy, tariff wall, and defend the coast.

    I don’t know, its a very pessimistic scenario, no idea how likely it is. I will try to write one in which things work out much better. In the end this is a matter of fitting together a narrative, testing it for coherence and plausibility and key dependencies. I really hope this one doesn’t happen.

    1. henrik,

      I don’t know where you get these wild ideas.

      “The most important thing about America is the isolation from reality and from the population of its ruling elite.”

      Quite absurd. Our elite are not isolated from reality. They’re doing quite fine, thank you. All elites of large states are somewhat isolated from the population, but America’s elites are not especially so.

      “A blunder into a disastrous war, hyperinflation, …Carriers are sunk in the Pacific”

      I’ve been reading these fantasies for 30 years. I guess people find them entertaining. This just in: you are not vastly more intelligent and informed than the people running America, as you appear to believe. Mistakes are always possible, but dreaming up stuff isn’t “forecasting.” I suggest that you read Martin van Creveld’s new book.

      1. Quite absurd. Our elite are not isolated from reality. They’re doing quite fine, thank you.

        Isolated may be the wrong word, oblivious would be better. They are out of touch both with America’s changing position in the world and the lives of the mass of the population.

        …you are not vastly more intelligent and informed than the people running America, as you appear to believe…

        Well, appearances are deceptive, I don’t believe that. But the question that gives me pause is whether, even being less well informed and perhaps less smart, a different point of view and some distance from events as they unfold may give a legitimately different perspective.

        After all, you yourself no stranger to predictions and conjectures.

        But I would mention an historical parallel. The world, despite expert opinion that it was out of the question, ended up in 1914 in a war of a kind that no expert opinion or smart governments had anticipated. In fact much expert opinion had concluded that globalisation had made any such thing impossible. And expert opinion then proceeded to fight it in a way which, to any lay observer, the first battles showed was not going to work.

        I worry that our present system is unstable, and that it can lurch into very bad scenarios without anyone having either planned them or thought them at all likely.

        I don’t know how likely my scenario is. I think its possible. But one can also imagine much better ones.

        I shall get and read Creveld. I mostly do follow up your reading suggestions and, agree with them or not, am always stimulated and made to think by them.

  5. Roland Bruno

    The long defeat continues.

    The narrative is dominated by the left and no matter what truth comes out of an investigation of the origins of RussiaGate, it will be ignored, minimized and treated as exaggeration and obfuscation.
    Sides have been chosen. The majority have chosen their gods and conversions are few and far between. Will forced conversions happen in the future? My guess is no and let’s hope not.

    1. Roland,

      “The narrative is dominated by the left “

      While true, that results as much from the passivity of the GOP as the activity of the Democrats.

      Republicans in Congress have supported Trump in key votes but otherwise been quite passive. They control the Senate, and could have long ago blown apart RussiaGate.

      Instead much of the counter-investigation has been done by others, such as Andrew McCarthy. While commendable, it has had little effect outside conservative circles who already supported Trump.

      When we know why the Senate GOP has been so passive, then we will better understand RussiaGate.

  6. “When we know why the Senate GOP has been so passive, then we will better understand RussiaGate.”

    Most likely because they’re also deeply linked to the “deep state”, and don’t want to burn their bridges to it, many of them built during the Reagan/GHWB, and GWB years.

    1. Rkka,

      That is a dark and cynical answer, even for me. Sadly, I agree. It is the most plausible answer I can think of.

      Plus, of course, some fear of the Deep State. Remember how J E Hoover was a power in Washington? Their power has grown greatly since then.

  7. Perhaps the thing missing from Larry’s approach is that it is so very focused on America itself and excludes external events and shocks as if they were simply not going to be material to the next stage, as if all we had to think about was developments internal to the country, as if it were free to develop in accordance with its own conflicts and resolutions unhindered by external events..

    This has been true for most of American history, but I would suggest it is no longer true. It may be that the next phase may arise because of the interaction between internal developments and external forces and actors.

    Larry says

    Our elite are not isolated from reality. They’re doing quite fine, thank you.

    “Doing fine” is perfectly compatible with being isolated from reality, or a better way to put it, being oblivious to some aspects of it.

    They are doing fine, financially and in terms of local influence and authority, and are wealthy by global standards. But the question is, the state of the crew, the state of the hull, and the rising wind. And what is that group of ships headed towards us, looking bigger and better armed as they come nearer into view?

    1. Henrik,

      ““Doing fine” is perfectly compatible with being isolated from reality”

      Absurdly false. Blindfold yourself and walk around for day.

      “Perhaps the thing missing from Larry’s approach is that it is so very focused on America itself and excludes external events and shocks as if they were simply not going to be material to the next stage”

      Bizarrely false making stuff up. I’ve written hundreds of posts about our external challenges. IMO they are insignificant compared to the internal decay now well underway.

      1. IMO they are insignificant compared to the internal decay now well underway.

        Yes, this is where we are differing. I think it quite likely that the internal and the growing external challenges may interact in a way that is very different from the past.

        I’m not quite sure to have understood what the other disagreement is. What I’m suggesting is that the elite are so cushioned from the lives of the mass of the population that they really don’t understand the situation.

        That they are ‘doing fine’ financially, and that within their own circle everything looks fine. But that neither the country nor the world is, any longer, the way they assume it was and is. I would give an example, the endless wars continue as if the world was still in 1990. But its not, and they have very different costs and implications now. But one sees little sign the American leadership understands that.

        My view is that this insulation will, as it has in other histories, damage their ability to manage the developing internal crisis well.

        Well, I look forward to the next pieces in this series. I am quiite aware that I may be mistaken and am open to changing my mind. Right or wrong, the series is valuable food for thought. And the reading suggestions I’ve obtained here have informed me a lot.

        Creveld’s book seems not to be available yet unfortunately, pre-order only. I shall get it when its published. Perhaps you will write a review?

      2. @HENRIK

        Enjoy your posts.

        Help me understand the elite can be successful (elite?) and isolated/out of touch at the same time?

      3. Peasant –

        The two are unrelated. The elite live in a different country. Its one where there are no queues, no Walmarts or Dollar stores, no traffic jams. Where no-one applies for unemployment. Where the best medical care, education etc is instantly there for them and comes with no price tag. Where rent and mortgages are not something anyone needs to think about. Where you don’t look at price stickers, they are irrelevant.

        In this sense they are doing fine, compared to people who live from paycheck to paycheck. They have everything they want.

        But, they are isolated (unaware or oblivious are better words) in the sense that they have little idea, no experience, of what daily life is like for the rest, living in the other country. And they also have no idea, at a visceral level, how much America’s relative position in the world has changed. How often has Zuckerberg gone into a Walmart in the last five years? And stood in a checkout line? How many people in his circle have been laid off? Got medicare treatment?

        David Halberstam, in ‘The Reckoning’, has a vivid line about a similar phenomenon. The executives at GM couldn’t understand all the complaints about auto quality, because they drove their cars every day, and they were just fine. But they weren’t fine. It was because unknown to them an army of peons went over every inch of them every day when they arrived in the executive parking.

        Now, imagine what sort of decisions you make, if that is your impression of the cars. Imagine next how you approach policy if you have no experience of how the rest of the country is living, and if your experience of a sense of power leaves you in a dream world where American is still as pre-eminent, as it was in 1985.

        Larry may persuade me otherwise, but until he does, I think this is very dangerous, and that all the historical parallels point to danger. Which the country may avoid, certainly. But the danger is there.

  8. “I will bet no senior officials will suffer the least inconvenience from their participation.”

    Looking at the past, I wouldn’t take that bet. Besides, you stated earlier in your post exactly why. We don’t know who gave the orders.

    Good to see you back! Ian too!

  9. Gaius Gracchus

    Marc Bloch was a French historian who witnessed first hand the defeat of the French in WWII and wrote a book on it during the war, The Strange Defeat. He also spent time during the war being tortured by the Gestapo for helping the resistance.

    He documented the overwhelming dominance of France versus Nazi Germany in terms of arms, tanks, supplies, men, etc., all while defending their own country, which, should have made defense easier. Bloch compared it to the response in WWI, where the country mobilized to stop the German invasion, including all manner of civilians.

    I haven’t read the book in almost 30 years, but I saw my copy recently in an old box and it refreshed my recollections of my graduate seminar discussing the defeat of France. He ultimately blamed the leadership of the country and the morale of the country in the interwar period. The leadership was stuck in the past disconnected to the new reality.

    Our leadership class took the wrong lessons from the Cold War and has spent 30 years hurting the country and empowering themselves. I greatly fear for my children.

  10. Larry, if you need help of any kind with the site, I am sure your readers will be ready to give a hand. I would be. Anything that will help, including stuff that is just basic chores. If there is any of that.

  11. Maybe research? If you want background, or just facts and references on some topic for some upcoming post?

  12. Hunter Rhodes

    Hi, I love your articles, they fill me with hope (and bi-partisan truth) and I found you through reference material by a one Gregory Whitestone (I think I spelled the last name wrong). In one of his books and articles he claimed that the extinction rate was ironically going down, compared to what media says it is. He provided links to your articles about the decline of insects as well and I was wondering what is the sites scientific thoughts on these claims? Am I too hopeful? Or is my joy for the environment misplaced?

    I even went out of my way to calculate the real numbers of animal and plant extinctions (a difficult task due to extremely conflicting results) and what I found was not good, but at the same time, not a sign of any sort of mass extinctions in the near future, even if things remain the same.

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