States

This will be, and I admit this, one of my more tangential pieces of writing. BUT, in fairness, I do some of my best thinking this way.

I decided once again to read what is possibly one of my favorite books, namely Red Road From Stalingrad by Mansur Abdulin. It’s a great historical memoir from the great patriotic war, written by one of the Soviet Union’s most accomplished war heroes. Inside the book, we don’t just learn about war, but also about people. Especially the many people who are for the first time exploring secular ideas that were illegal in the Russian Empire.

Mansur was a member of the communist party, and lived in Siberia as a Tatar. As such, he would often debate scientific ideas and philosophy with the Islamic scholars. Contrary to today’s climate of antagonism, atheists and religious people in the Soviet Union often found these debates amusing and interesting. Since everyone was united by the same class, religious sectarianism quickly bled away.

Religious people, when confronted by ideas of Darwinian evolutionary theory, or how God didn’t exist, would usually either think about it with some curiosity, or laugh it off as something quaint and peculiar. No one really felt threatened by these new ideas since if they so wanted to, they could still go to Mosque and pray to Allah.

The Orthodox church in Moscow on the other hand, accustomed to a lot of political power, reacted differently from the humble people of the steppes. They had more privileges to protect than those afforded by village elders, who, secular or not, still maintained their qualifications by being seen as wise and accomplished. You did not become an elder just by believing in Allah, but rather by the accomplishments that such a faith inspired. Atheists or not, these accomplishments were still recognised and valued.

During the war, a lot of soldiers liked to talk about big and philosophical ideas as to keep their minds distracted from the misery of life in the trenches, and one common topic was the origin of man. Often the discussions were divided between young and old. The old, who had grown up during the tsarist empire, were not given educations and were often kept illiterate. The young on the other hand had schools, universities and academies.

So often they would share their perspective of formal education, and try to explain things such as Darwinian evolutionary theory to the older soldiers. And eventually a common question would come to air: “If men came from monkeys, then why are there still monkeys?”

And I find this question amusing, because even though this was almost a hundred years ago, my own mother asked me the same question once. I spent the first part of my childhood in a Lutheran monarchy, where state churches and mandatory religious education was still prevalent even in modern times.

We didn’t have history classes, instead we had “history and religion” classes. We were taught all manner of things that people from republics would find quite backwards. They taught us that freedoms and civil rights came from benevolent kings, and that protestants were the inventors of education and literacy.

I once asked my teacher why they never actually taught us history in these classes, why it was always about the church and the monarchy, and his response was that this was what they had in the curriculum.

As a result, people would make very uncivilised remarks about Arabs and Muslims, and say things about how the real villain of the great patriotic war was Josef Stalin, and that he was worse than Adolf Hitler. Politicians would sometimes make speeches about how Jews were foreigners who couldn’t assimilate, things like that.

The Muslim students would often take it in very good stride, when the teachers would read from genesis, they would listen carefully, since the Islamic faith teaches people to value all wisdom, not just their own. As I grew older, I was quite impressed by this stoicism, having seen it from my classmates who were no older than seven or eight years of age.

In my youth, there was a great scandal during which a series of declassified documents came to light in the papers. They revealed how the government, like a lot of Baltic nations, had secretly been allies with the Nazis. Giving them military and civil aid, as well as thousands of volunteers to the war efforts. Several of which ended up serving in the Waffen SS, and as concentration camp guards at Treblinka.

That’s why such sympathies for Hitler remained alive among older people. Because they were never denazified. The allied forces would educate people about the crimes of fascism, but that never happened in this case. Thousands of veterans came back from the war having fought for Hitler, and their undisputed stories about the war would influence the thinking of the baby boomer generation.

Since my father was a Marxist, he was often very cautious about this, and went through great lengths to keep me from being influenced by these sympathies. Casual racism and hostile remarks towards foreigners and immigrants were common, and they were considered so normal that you’d often seem strange or irrational if you spoke against them.

In my early childhood, I would sometimes hear other children and even adults say racist things, and while I knew it was wrong, I was never quite sure how to express this. Because if I did, they could just point to the newspapers as there was usually some headline about violence or crime by immigrants.

“Statistics don’t lie.” they’d say. And since I was too young to know how to question sources, having only some vague understanding of how reading makes you informed, I felt demoralised.

As I lived in a working class neighbourhood, I knew for a fact that foreigners weren’t bad people. I would meet them every day, and my father would often take me shopping in the Arab quarter. I remember being confused since the part of town where the Arabs lived was always in the newspapers, and was portrayed as some kind of lawless gangland.

Full of burning cars, riots, gunfights and drug dealers. But when I went there for myself, the streets looked clean, and the people were content, and the shops always had fine imports and good quality wares from just about every corner of the world.

You’d find all manner of eastern nick knacks, prayer mats, engraved metalworks, strange and exotic hats and shirts, and even curious sultanate objects such as decorative swords with engraved scabbards and red ribbons. The swords themselves however were not very impressive, often having cheap blades reminiscent of an oversized kitchen knife. Hardly the stuff of Saracen warriors, but they looked nice in the living room.

I later learned of course that my own family lived in diaspora, and while I knew that I was born in Sweden, just like my parents, I also knew that we were from somewhere else. We didn’t act like the other people did.

None of the other parents practiced eastern religions, or wore kilts to formal occasions. Our family was also quite fond of guns, something which was quite stigmatised among Scandinavian liberals.

I recall being confused by this since I was never quite sure if I was a foreigner or not. Especially since, just like the refugee kids from the Balkans, I was also bilingual prior to English classes.

The local kids only ever spoke one language, and even when they learned English it was often a strange mishmash of British spelling and American pronunciation. I on the other hand knew how to say things properly.

On top of that, the way I saw things, as was taught to me by my parents, made me into an outsider among my classmates. At least the ones who were locals. Frequently I’d get into debates about what the outside world was like, and about what things meant.

I’d sometimes be divided eight to one, with everyone insisting I was wrong. But then the teacher would show up and explain that I was in fact right, and the crowd would quietly disperse.

Similarly when I went to church I would always stand out. My parents had very different religious views from the local protestants. My mother was a gypsy spiritualist, who believed in ghosts, angels, phantoms and omens. She’d burn incense and use tarots and divination, and yet in spite of this believe in the Abrahamic God. My father of course, with his more grounded and materialist world view and being from a Scottish background, was a deist, having religious views similar to that of Thomas Paine.

As a result, they were both quite hostile to the church. I remember I would only ever go to church during government mandated school events. My father would tell me that even though he believed in God, this didn’t change how the church was responsible for the deaths of millions of people, and how it wasn’t a good place to be. My mother likewise held the opinion that organised religion was contradictory to real faith, and how religion should be a source of good, not of evil.

This lead me to some strange and awkward conversations with the local clergy. But eventually I learned how to blend in, and that when a priest said something strange about how Israel was going to bring world peace when defeating Palestine, or how Muslims were slowly taking over the government, I’d just smile and nod and say something like “I understand why you’d say that.”

They would think that I was conceding how the facts were on their side, but in truth, I was referring to how I was familiar with their doctrines.

I do think the Catholic priests had a curious reverence for Islam though. The way they described Islam it wasn’t like they were talking about an inferior, what made them dislike Islam was the opposite, that Muslims were very formidable. That they were also good scholars and influential preachers, that they could actually compete with the influences of Catholicism, which was also a minority religion in the area. With all the refugees it meant that Mosques would crop up in all kinds of places, and the Catholic priests got quite competitive.

Later on in my life during my teen years I am sad to say however that I did begin to feel like an outsider, and would often try to emulate the nationalist sentiment that was common at the time. But even then, the people who taught me how to do this were second generation Polish, Russian and Bulgarian immigrant kids with similar insecurities. I grew out of it around the time I turned 18.

I am happy to say I was never as fond of Hitler as some of the locals were, but I did buy into some of the things the newspapers wrote after 9/11. Our city had a lot of violent crime, and even though it turns out that most of it were not done by Islamic terrorists, the newspapers would still blame these imaginary Al Qaeda sleeper cells.

I think that’s one of the reasons I never trust the newspapers. From early on I knew that media and even education was full of lies. On top of that, having learned more about my father’s career after he died, I also knew that the way things happened, and the way they were portrayed in the media, were often very different. To this day I still know some things that, as far as the general public is concerned, are state secrets.

Most of them are somewhat inconsequential. Although two of them were of some critical significance. One involving a terrible crime covered up by the military, and another one involving higher level corruption.

Because of this, people often call me a conspiracy theorist when I try to explain how the government works. The idea of deep states, while a little bit dramatised, actually holds some kernel of truth. I would define a deep state not so much as a shadowy secret government as rather a series of institutions that are beyond legal and democratic scrutiny.

Every government has a selection of officials who are, often in some clandestine capacity, immune to legal prosecution. On paper, they may be subject to the same laws as anyone else, but in practice, it is impossible to enforce those laws. This bubble of administrative government is what I would call a deep state.

Generally speaking, if you’ll forgive the pun, these individuals work in some kind of military capacity. But they can also be found in certain high level law enforcement agencies and state security apparatuses.

The relationship that this inner state has to the greater state mechanism in terms of power is a trilateral one. To understand this, one must first understand the difference between policy and law. Policy is always more powerful than law. This is why governments do things that are illegal or unconstitutional. When police for instance, commit searches that are a violation of privacy rights, this is because policy overrides the law. That is precisely why they are called police.

It is this use of policy that often puts the deep state above the law, since, at most, should they conduct themselves illegally through the use of policy, the only recourse they would face is an overrule of such a policy. At which point, they can just issue another policy and start over.

Policies themselves often take many different forms. But are generally quite innocuous, things such as orders or memos. Most clandestine government officials have a veritable laundry list of criminal activity sitting around in their email accounts, detailing assignments, protocols and orders that contradict the law.

And the origins of these policies are generally from the second part of this trilateral relationship, namely the government. Politicians and elected parties will issue a primary policy in the form of some request or assignment of varying degrees of significance. Perhaps they want to see more action taken against drugs or terrorism or some other political matter.

What becomes important in those situations is not to actually do anything about it, so much as it is to produce headlines for the newspapers. Suddenly petty street dealers with little to no formal association become framed as a “criminal network.” Or maybe some fanatical loner who buys into fringe politics becomes a “sleeper agent” as to suggest he is part of a larger organisation. In such a way you can manufacture very ominous threats out of thin air.

The third part of this trilateral relationship comes from the people who give orders to the politicians, which are of course political lobbyists. In some countries, lobbying is legal, in others, it is seen as corruption. But for as long as private media and political funding can influence the electoral performance of a party, you will have lobbyists.

Even in some situation where all the laws are respected to some immaculate degree, and there are no secret agreements between donors and politicians, then you still have a politician that is beholden to private institutions, and the profits of said institutions.

And these private institutions represent any number of pressures. Some may be opposed to the trade unionists, as to be able to lower wages for their workers. Some may be media companies who need stories in order to sell more papers. Others might even be foreign influences, often working at the behest of NATO.

And even these things have self-fulfilling consequences. As a result of mad loners who killed people in the name of Neo-Nazism, you now have books such as Siege by James Mason. A book that is for the most part a jarring mix of Nazi rhetoric and hippie new age ramblings. Serving as a manifesto for “leaderless resistance” that appeals to nihilistic lunatics with lots of guns and chip on their shoulder.

The book was written in 1980, and was for the most part obscure to Neo-Nazis who, at that time, were more interested in organising themselves as hooligan gangs and skinheads. It wasn’t until the 90s, when a new wave of xenophobia resulted in random attacks against immigrants, that Siege came in vogue.

Because a lot of governments found it politically useful to convince the general public that there were terrorists around every corner, and since panic about Muslim terrorists resulted in a reaction of Neo-Nazi terrorism, it was like a gift that keeps on giving. A cycle of violence where idiotic white supremacists were going around chasing ghosts, thinking every Mosque and community centre had a backroom full grizzly bearded men dressed in rifle bandoliers and Bedouin robes, polishing their rifles and waiting for the phone call from the Ayatollah.

Suddenly “stochastic terrorism” became all the latest, as now not only did we have a bunch of mad Al Qaeda sleeper cells, but also a series of safehouses full of Nazis, getting ready to invade us at any moment.

This did not exactly cause detriment to the Neo-Nazis, as it gave them an air of notoriety. One tactic that fascism has always been fond of is to manufacture a majority. What they call “the silent majority.” A series of imaginary people who are too afraid to say what they are saying. Thanks to the political opportunism of the deep state, every Neo-Nazi took on the appearance of ten Neo-Nazis.

And from this, came the alt-right.

These tragic figures believed the media just as much as anyone else, and did genuinely believe that everyone was on their side. That is why they came about as fast as they went. Finding themselves vastly outnumbered by a very hostile general public that was comprised of people from just about every corner of society. They weren’t Mussolini marching on Rome, they were Oswald Mosley marching on cable street. Expecting cheers and salutations, but instead finding themselves on the bitter end of a mob of angry cockneys.

Point is, this whole debacle was for the most part invented. It only existed in newspapers. We know this for a fact, since otherwise it would’ve taken a lot more than a bunch of vegan college students from Berkley to stop them.

And one reason for how the alt-right were so politically weak is because they never had any real backing. The original brownshirts had support from industrialists, and not to mention insiders within the police. Not so different from how the second wave of the Ku Klux Klan, which numbered in the millions during the great depression, also had very wealthy backers.

This is often mythologised by some academics as a kind of mysterious populism. That the fleets of cars, the millions of Hugo Boss uniforms, the big budget films such as Triumph of The Will, and the private army arsenal was really the products of depression era working class people who just passed the hat around and found themselves to be successfully funding one of the world’s largest private armies which spanned across 3 different nations.

And that is of course because in academia you have a board of trustees, which is often comprised of the same private sector interests that can also influence politicians. So it would make sense that they’d omit their involvement from the history books.

But it doesn’t change the fact that Mein Kampf makes a personal acknowledgement to Henry Ford for his great campaign contributions.

So here we see some of the strange consequences that the deep state has, how there is in fact a part of the government that brokers the interests of many different influences in order to subvert democracy and real popular will from the people.

Another thing I learned about the deep state was their frequent use of blackmail. Due to their ties with the media, more often than not, they can influence politics through the use of character assassination. One famous example of this is of course how the FBI tried to convince the world that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr was a sexual predator. And even to this day you have people who believe it even though there is no evidence.

And the reason why of course is because the more stigmatised and outrageous the accusation is, the more difficult it is to question it. After all, who wants to stick up for a sexual predator? That’s one of the worst crimes a person can commit. It’s very easy to silence skepticism, even when it is a reasonable demand for evidence or further investigation into the matter.

And when you read FBI’s blackmail note, you see clear examples of the fabrications. They use very vile and forceful language, going beyond a mere accusation. They try to emphasise their convictions as strongly as possible, as to lend the idea that their influence and authority alone can make fiction into fact.

During real blackmail scenarios that involve actual evidence, most people just hint at the evidence, letting the other person’s memory of the events do the rest. It is only when you’re using fabrications that it becomes important to actually explain what the blackmailed party supposedly did.

And then of course you have the contrast of this, which would be the Epstein scandal. One amusing thing about Epstein being in custody was just how many famous people on social media started saying things like “Wow, it’s crazy that people can do with deepfakes these days, huh?” And you also saw a lot of news outlets reporting on the phenomenon on deep fakes. How they were used for jokes, and trolling, and tricking people. How it was a great novelty, but also a potential danger.

Needless to say, a lot of very powerful people were doing damage control for what they anticipated to be a very damning testimony from one of the world’s most infamous degenerates.

One moment there was an investigation, with evidence pointing in all manner of directions. From Hollywood celebrities, to high ranking politicians, all the way to the British royal family.

And then poof. Epstein dies under what was an alleged suicide, and all the evidence vanishes from public view.

And the reason why is simple. Epstein’s business wasn’t actually human trafficking. That was his business model, but it wasn’t his business. Epstein brokered in something far more valuable. If he wanted to be a human trafficker, then he’d just go to some third world country where no one would notice or care. Instead he immersed himself with people of influence, power and high profile. This is because his real business was blackmail.

There have been some testimonies about just how he went about it, and I will spare you the horrific details, but he would sometimes provide his horrible services without soliciting them. Generally if you are a human trafficker, you put a lot of risk and expenses into things, so it’s rare that you forget the part where you’re supposed to ask people for money first.

And that’s of course because the real value was not in human trade, but in what is likely a giant archive full of incriminating footage.

And that footage is likely worth trillions in favours, influence, negotiation leverage and extortion. But the moment it becomes public, it loses its value. So, when Epstein dies and the whole scandal is buried, then it’s probably because someone else now has access to this footage, and by extension, the influence of the people in that footage. Whomever has that archive is sitting on the soft power equivalent of a nuclear weapon.

And while I have some suspicions of which institution that may be, I do not wish to speculate.

So I hope these examples may shed some light on the strange forces that work against democracy, and what sort of things they might get up to.

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Vince

Vince

Scholar, minister, musician, engineer, technician, reformed criminal