I was recently talking with senior wonk in Washington DC about this very issue. Why was it for all the think tanks, all the white papers, all the fits and crying in the media about this issue and that, that policy on the big issues hardly ever changes to reflect the will of the American people?
My friend thought basically the same as the author interviewed in the attached article. There is a surface level government and then there is the “deep state,” a place where massive power is housed, and wielded by largely faceless and mostly unaccountable managers who have agendas which are often very different from what you and I might want.
This isn’t some conspiracy theory. This is just what happens when government becomes as large as it is in the United States. DOD has its world vision. The Federal Reserve has its vision. The State Department has its own. Same with the Navy, the Army, and the Air Force. Then there is the “intelligence community” which has sub agendas within it. And so on.
Rarely do the wishes of the people (generally) and the deep state coincide. This is particularly problematic because the people are the ones who pay for the deep state. That doesn’t seem right.
This is the main reason we make the case that the only real way to reduce crony capitalism is by reducing the size of government by a lot. There is no “reform.” There is cutting, with an ax if need be.
I am sorry my progressive friends but you’ve been sold a bill of goods for a very long time. Government is not your friend. It’s not there to help you. It’s not a matter of just getting “good people” into government. Government you see is at best, as we’ve said before, a necessary evil. Government is to be tamed and limited, weakened and reduced so that every day people can control more of their lives.
But so long as a large portion of the American people continue to buy that government is generally a good thing, the deep state will continue doing what it wants, when it wants, on your dime.
(From The Boston Globe)
Though it’s a bedrock American principle that citizens can steer their own government by electing new officials, Glennon suggests that in practice, much of our government no longer works that way. In a new book, “National Security and Double Government,” he catalogs the ways that the defense and national security apparatus is effectively self-governing, with virtually no accountability, transparency, or checks and balances of any kind. He uses the term “double government”: There’s the one we elect, and then there’s the one behind it, steering huge swaths of policy almost unchecked. Elected officials end up serving as mere cover for the real decisions made by the bureaucracy.