What is the Deep State and how many of them are there?
How I escaped into the subdomain
Merry Christmas, May the new year treat you kindly.
Recently, I shared Substack stories on a moderate political website. Two people told me I am posting to make money and one person told me I am a terrible writer because I am too obtuse, one announced that he would not read the story because he couldn’t understand its introduction, another said he hadn’t read the post but the introduction sounded like it was written by AI, one could not understand the objective of the post and asked me to explain it, and a few liked my story and some loved it.
I left the group as the discussion was targeted at me rather than responding to the subject that I was writing about creating a hostile atmosphere. Some may have had some points to make but started the conversation with a personal insult. It was a bad experiment to share something I authored in that group.
Groups more accepting of individual authorship are not found where one might expect. Another group with an apparently far-right identity never makes an issue over the fact that I am the author of a story that I post. There are the usual insults associated with being tagged as one of “them”- the other side, but barely a blip of personal criticism about myself as the author.
I regularly engage with a few true believers of the stolen election narrative. As much as we disagree there is a personable aspect to these exchanges that humanizes them. One true believer read my story and commented on my choice of words, highlighting the word “overlord”. He said he likes to use “oligarchy”. He was recognizing a common ground and revealing something about his attraction to Trump.
My true-believer friend frequently uses the term “deep state” but it is not defined. I should ask him what it means. I use the term “public-private-for-profit non-profit wealth concentration and redistribution industrial complex”. It may be long but it is a face value description of what it is. There is a shadow government within that configuration. Shadow governments are the deep state.
Meriam Webster identifies “deep state” as making its first appearance in 1997 with this definition:
an alleged secret network of especially nonelected government officials and sometimes private entities (as in the financial services and defense industries) operating extralegally to influence and enact government policy. The power of the deep state comes from experience, knowledge, relationships, insight, craft, special skills, traditions, and shared values. Together, these purported attributes make nameless bureaucrats into a supergovernment that is accountable to no one. That is a scary prospect.— David Rothkopf
Here is the introduction that garnered an intense reaction from a moderate political group:
Horizontal shareholders as another contributing class to the public-private for-profit nonprofit wealth concentration and redistribution hegemony that begs to be taken down. New Light on Political Options to Start the New Year
The use of the term “horizontal shareholders” may have triggered the moderate group if they did not understand its meaning- and “hegemony”, a word well-entrenched into common use, yet I have been accused of pretentiously using big words because of using the word "hegemony".
There are worse sins than pretentiously using big words, one is inventing one's own phraseology, especially if it involves more than one word and requires the ability to add two and two to arrive at four. The requirement to apply such mathematical skill to understanding a string of words must explain why some readers think the above introduction sounds like it was written by AI, which relies on mathematical language, not ordinary language. I wonder how the group might have reacted if I substituted a short term for “the public-private for-profit nonprofit wealth concentration and redistribution hegemony”? What if I just called it the deep state? Then I might have been auto-pegged as a true believer in the big lie. Trump has confiscated that term. What I said "the empire"?
Language unites, divides, and brands us.
“The public-private for-profit nonprofit wealth concentration and redistribution hegemony” is a deep state, but it is not the deep state that is exclusively bent against Trump and his followers.
More realistically, Trump has always been a rogue actor in the deep state, He plays every channel that he can to drive the distribution of wealth into his own pocket. He uses all of the channels in my term and more than that, he uses political organizations.
There is not a one and only one singular deep state. If there is one singular deep state, powers within it are competing for dominance, but one thing all deep states have in common is the intent to keep everyone else in their places, easily controlled by the deep state, and as an end to that means the deep state encourages low self-esteem among the masses, and that engenders resistance.
The Medium is the Message
One reason the group could not understand my story is because they expected a message in a nutshell. A newsletter is a continuing series. The complete story is not told in a single post, as in the conventional concept of a news story that conveys a readily definable objective quickly and succinctly.
Mackenzie Andersen’s The Individual vs The Empire! is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
However, clear and simple is not the way of the world for most people. We live in a dynamic environment of many layers. Any one of the moving parts can become the center of attention at any moment. How do the streams relate? Who tells the story? Who delimits it? Substack’s distinction is that the individual is in charge, not the grid, not AI, anyone can publish a newsletter. It takes a commitment, but we define the territory and the form.
The protagonist in my Newsletter is an individual living in the contemporary moment, an ordinary person in the sense of being one of the masses and not a member of the power elite. We are the ones whom the elite believe that they manage and for whom the elite do the talking.
In the early days of blogging, bloggers were portrayed as people who write in their pajamas. Some refused to read my blog citing that one cannot be a writer unless one has an editor as I wondered how is an unpaid writer to afford an editor?
Now there is Grammarly and when I write for Newsbreak, editors check it, and yet still one Newsbreak article received the reader response that proclaimed that I need to check my work for typos and spelling and grammar.
I am certainly prone to make typing mistakes, but I am also familiar with the class of comments that proclaims but does not identify misdeeds and then acts like one is stepping over the line by asking for a specific error in an article already thoroughly checked by myself, Grammarly, and Newsbreak. People say such things, publicly, because it is a way to put the author down and put forth that the author really has no business writing. I have never encountered one such critic who would identify an error, and so I am inclined to believe the error is merely a fictional construct of a frustrated author. Nothing is said about the content of the story to convince anyone that the critic clicked or read the article. One day I explained to such a critic that being a writer is not synonymous with being a typist, and off in a huff she went. Can you imagine if Einstein’s Theory of Relativity were rejected because of a misplaced comma?-not to compare myself with Einstein but he makes for a useful construct for the value of content above and beyond typing skills.
Early on I de-coded the meaning of the message as a reaction to the fact that I was not subject to an authority granting permission, or not, to say what I say. At that time a critical mass of humanity appeared to have accepted the order imposed by the centrally managed grid and did not take kindly to anyone acting independently.
Once when dealing with a local community organization, I was told that I should not contact the local joint economic development council, directly. Instead, I should attend their meetings silently for a year to show my respect. Keep your head low, bow down to authority, and do not speak unless granted permission.
When one grows up in a business in a home run by the philosophy that everyone has talent, one misses out on that critical indoctrination. It was foreign to me but I become aware of its prevalence.
The comment was appalling on multiple levels and eye-opening on the community culture in which it is acceptable for a person representing a public service organization to be giving such advice to anyone, let alone to business entrepreneurs with a long history of actual economic development achievements, unrivaled by the JEDC, a mere spending organization. At the point that one is told that one should attend meetings conducted by the JECD in silence for a year to show “respect”, the curtain falls away and in one’s mind’s eye, one can see the board to which the public faces of community organizations must answer. It did not feel like the United States of America anymore. It felt like a deep state. What you see is not what you get.
Then Covid happened and things changed.
Today, everybody is wearing their pajamas, with a top thrown over for the Zoom meetings and the YouTube videos to give the appearance that identifies a thinking person.
Typical contemporary political dialogue is structured into preformatted, easy to peg packages. A person has only to make a case for or against any particular issue for the common Facebook participant to assume knowledge about every vote one has ever cast since one was old enough to vote, along with every political opinion that one holds.
A newsletter does not have to be like a newspaper story, which is what is usually posted on Facebook political pages and what the participants expected to see.
I thanked those who said I am writing only for the money for the opportunity to promote my free newsletter with its optional paid subscription and for giving me my sixty minutes of promo time and made sure to include my Orcid researchers ID, segueing into a story exemplifying the phrase “public-private for-profit non-profit wealth concentration and redistribution industrial complex”.
This Orchid researchers Id is what I got paid for doing reviews of papers for Humanities and Social Sciences Communications. HSSC is a peer-reviewed website for academic publishing but the organization does not pay its reviewers. They approached me in the manner of a non-profit, and I took them at face value to be a nonprofit until I did the research.
Nature Portfolio is part of Springer Nature. The main shareholders of Springer Nature are Holtzbrinck Publishing Group and BC Partners and details about corporate governance and board memberships can be found here.(as in broken link- comment added by author)
Who Is BC Partners?
Founded in 1986, BC Partners is a leading alternative investment manager focused on private equity, credit, and real estate, with deep networks across Europe and North America.
Who is Holtzbrinck Publishing Group?
Holtzbrinck Publishing Group , a decentralised family holding, is committed to providing first-class service to authors, researchers, academics, educators, librarians and readers across the globe. We are inspired by the privilege of enabling authors and readers in their endeavours to create great works and networks. With quality media and global reach, we strive to deliver both oversight and insight in a fast changing environment.
Neither the author nor the reviewer of the peer-reviewed paper platform is paid for their work while the platform collects a $1160.00 fee from the author. If the author can not afford the fee, he or she can apply through the international university system for a grant to fund the fee paid to HSSC. Most Universities receive abundant funding from non-profit sources.
Springer Nature is organized as a German partnership. I do not know how German law works in for-profit non-profit relationships. Are the shareholders profit-based or are they more on the order of a foundation? Today it is beyond the scope of my research to delve into German law.
It is easy to not pay writers in online forums as there is a slippery line between writing as freedom of speech and writing as a commodity. The platform is clearly the commodity that shareholders can own. I believe a company owned by such global shareholders can afford to pay its essential workers. Reviewers are essential workers for a peer-review platform. The reviews are not published online. The review is solely for the use of the platform in determining which papers to publish.
And yet I just agreed to do another review. Why? Because the subject of the paper intrigued me. It is about how pollution considerations intersecting with economic considerations affect migration to other cities in Hanoi. My curiosity got the better of me.
As the Great Resignation progresses content provider platforms are a draw for people looking for an independent means to break free of the grind of the grid. Medium has become inundated with articles about how to make money and develop a strategy for succeeding as a content provider. This is a valuable service at the cost of the codification of speech and dialogue. It is understandable, to a degree, why some assume that any content provider is motivated solely by monetary goals, that is the attitude in which the majority of Medium advise articles are written, but in that context, even the style of content writing has become formulaic. In the words of one of the most successful content providers- a content provider cannot write in long paragraphs (like this one).
And so I escaped to Substack, fortunate to have an email list from my family business, Andersen Design, which famously took a path less traveled. It made sense to take the independent road following in the tradition of my heritage, and as it worked out it is the right choice. I still make my income mainly from our ceramic business, despite no longer having a production facility, while my substack blog is gaining readership momentum. The post that caused all the negative feedback has the greatest number of reads to date, as has every story for the last couple of months. Writers on Medium often write about how they built up a viable income and then the algorithm changes and their views dropped to the ground along with their income. Since growth on Substack is not determined by an algorithm, it is likely more stable.
Nationally the media and political situation are entwined in a precarious relationship. Facts are ineffective against false narratives. I know because I have tried to argue with facts. It doesn’t work and so we need new methods to engage across the divide. Social media exacerbated the divide but social media is not a static institution. It, too, is evolving into the future.