tv The Idea of Deep State in American History CSPAN August 25, 2019 2:00pm-3:46pm EDT
political debate, generally are going is not a new idea. topics range from recent books about an alleged deep state to president eisenhower in the program is part of the society for historians of american foreign relations annual conference. >> good morning, everybody. and welcome to the society for historians of american foreign relations 2019 conference on this, the longest day of the year. hopefully this panel will not be the longest panel of the year. historyu.s. military and foreign policy the university of texas at austin. i'm pleased to be chairing this panel today on the deep state. joining me here to talk about i think this quite important topic are three fantastic historians, all of whom study politics and power in american history. professor beverly of young university. professor dirk of duke
university. and professor michael j allen of northwestern university. i'm going to set the stage for with four or five minutes of introductory remarks and will introduce each panelist visually before they speak. just 15, 20 minutes apiece and then we will open the floor to discussion in this roundtable. so we are here today to talk about the origins and the effects of this thing we call the deep state. thes important to say at outset what historians always like to say. this is not really new. today, we call it the deep state. in earlier eras, activists talked about the washington establishment, the power elite, the system, and even the military-industrial complex. even though those terms have varied throughout the ages, they usually share a lot in common. so the arguments that typically accompany these terms about the deep state or the washington
system, they are almost always conspiratorial. they almost always talk about a cabal within the government that is working in secret to drive policy towards their own ends, the cabal's own end, not the good. the people in the deep state seem to range all over the map, depending on the politics of whomever is talking. they can be the intelligence agencies, the cia, the fbi, the military, the national security council, the bankers, and the globalists, the fossil fuel companies, or unspecified elites. have or almost always are pursuing some sort of effort that undermines the government. the message over and over again is that this cabal is either illegitimate itself, it is making the government illegitimate, or it is in cahoots with illegitimate unelected forces, and those bad
actors must be opposed and uncovered for the nation to return to its two course. one of the things i always found interesting about it is the arguments really span the political divide in this red and blue state america. you can find common usage of the deep state on both sides. , today we hear -- today, we are mostly about it from president trump and his allies in the republican party who want to cast out some motivations on the law enforcement agency, the fbi, judges, at times the cia. but it was not too long ago when left-wing critics were alleging there was a deep state alliance between, say, halliburton and the oil companies and the white house that was ostensibly driving policy in iraq and even afghanistan. so where did these terms come from? what were the earlier analogues? did they come from the united states? where they imported from outside
the united states? perhaps the most important question by my light, even more important than asking where they came from is where they are going and what deeper coach will commence our empowering and propelling these arguments forward, giving them force? historians usually like to look for underlying structure, for specific events or key arguments. what persistent or common conditions exist over time that produce a common response? even if it has different names and in different places. basically what we are going to do with our introductory remarks here today. we have three historians here who will speak for about 15 minutes each, and then we will open the floor to the audience and have a roundtable discussion on the deep state. so our first panelist is michael j allen. he is associate professor of history at northwestern university, where he researches the history, memory, and politics of american empire in the 20th century.
he is the author of "until the last man came home: pows, mias, and the unending vietnam war," which export the legacies of american defeat in the vietnam war in u.s. politics and diplomacy. and i just want to add after teaching it this past semester for the first time, it taught me an enormous amount about the strange legacies of the p.o.w. flags icy in every cemetery and parade i go two. i learned a lot about john mccain and ross perot, too. thank you for that book. michael is currently working on a book called new politics, the imperial presidency. the pragmatic leftm and the problem of democratic powe, 1933 to 1981, which offers the first in-depth study of how debates sparked by involvement in vietnam altered the very structure and terms of the post-world war ii u.s. politics and foreign policy. so michael is going to start us off with some remarks on how the legacies of distrust from the cold war era actually shape the conversation on the deep state today.
michael? michael: thank you. i would just like to start by thanking aaron for stepping in. our original chair and commentator, robert dean, is unable to be here due to a family emergency that call him away. aaron was generous enough to join us today. and i'm sure he will have many valuable insights to our conversation later. let me get started so we have plenty of time to have that conversation. my task here i think is in part to lay out the current conversation about the deep state in the united states and to talk a little bit about american thinking on this problem of state power, particularly in the post-world war ii era, and how it led us to our present moment. in his recent book "the deep state: how would army of bureaucrats protected barack obama and is working to destroy the trump agenda," former chairman of the house mitty on oversight and government reform retired congressman the
the subject as a permitted class of democrats, republicans, federal bureaucrats, and entrenched washington, d.c., and corridor insiders trying to weaponize everything in their power to destroy president trump. endorsementck's over twitter, his ex debuted at number seven on the new york times best seller list where enjoyed another book, the hoax, which debuted at number one on the list and has spent 10 weeks there. and janine. 's "liars, leakers, and liberals: the case against the antitrust conspiracy," which also debut number one and spent 13 weeks on the list. the many just three of many books that have been published by trump insiders, supporters, fox news analysts, and the like over the past 18 months or so.
these three titles, which were all on the new york times vessel or list at the same time in the fall of 2018 improved upon the general course he's improving the deep state, the fight to save president from, which spent three weeks on the new york times list earlier in 2018. but like other trump operatives and supporters who produced such books over the past year, it had the distention of battling the deep state be on the page, having been called before a grand jury to testify to his role in coordinating the trump campaign dealings with wikileaks about his plans to push russian inked email from dnc servers the public in the 2016 election. having argued already in print that the russia election was "a deep state plan engineered by democratic operatives to put the president under an investigation with unlimited scope," could not have been surprised when fbi agent stopped on his door with subpoenas to testify, which he called forced line testimony, if
that is what it takes to achieve deep state political objectives. after all, special counsel robert mueller was according to corsi "a deep state operative who served both the bush and obama administrations as the attorney general from 2001 to 2013." in fact, mueller was director of the fbi during those 12 years, not attorney general. that makes little difference, given the expensive conspiracy that he conjures in andwork, which included, his pages on the handout, you may want to take a look at it because it is fairly amazing, "the cia and other intelligence agencies that maintain a commitment to a global list new world order in cooperation with the federal reserve, the comptroller of the currency, as well as federal law enforcement agencies, including the fbi and doj, to allow clandestine
operations, including illicit drug dealing and supplying weapons to terrorist groups that further the new world order goals of the global elite who also control the united nations, the international monetary fund, and the european union." i could not get that all out in a single breath. lest we dismiss this long cast of characters as simply a circus sideshow with little relevance to matters of state and diplomacy, it must be emphasized how central these ideas of a deep state conspiracy are to national politics, foreign policy, and international relations at the current moment. they are taken seriously by the president. , his top advisers, and most avid supporters, and motivated such actions as the 2017 firing of fbi james comey, attorney general william barr's investigation of russian meddling in the 2016 election, suchell as recent news
as placing malware inside the russian per good without notifying the president for fear he might countermand the operation or disclose it to russian officials given his distrust of national security agency's, particularly on issues pertaining to russia and cybersecurity. these examples are only the tip of the iceberg. it is only the sign of a deeper problem. the deep state has allowed trump and those around him to describe a broader system of often invisible and unaccountable power that they see as concentrated in washington, but extended to new york, paris, berlin, with offices in london. it includes the key elements of military and financial might in the united states and europe. it also includes leading media and intelligentsia that dominates the global economy and geopolitics. as jason put it, u.s. presidents come and go. political parties win one election and lose the next, but the deep state goes on. it is the state within a state.
what from calls, the swamp, or at other times, simply the elite. these ideas are broadly understood. the march 2018 poll showed just 37% of americans had heard of the deep state or were familiar with that nomenclature. however, it also showed that three quarters of americans believe there was "a group of unelected government and military officials with equally manipulate or direct national policy." of suchd distrust people helps make trump president. it is fundamental to all he does. from his hatred of the press to his disdain for traditional allies and security and trade agreements to his embrace of rogue regimes to his open contempt for diplomacy or even civility. in trump's estimation, the powers that be have bullied, bankrupted, and belittled him and his people for too long. his presidency represents their comeuppance. however reductive, this is a
systemic view of power in its operation in the world and america. trump has upended politics. republik and supported themselves on their close ties to the nation's armed forces and it's national security agency's since the nixon election while blasting mcnatt as weak on defense. democrats have tried to disprove such things. both bill clinton and barack obama have at times conceded the case to their republican opponents by regularly appointing republicans as secretary of defense and naming republican holdovers to head the fbi and cia. the cia which corsi locates as the center of an extraconstitutional deep state that controls both parties." this tendency to follow in republican footsteps on display in obama's decision to keep robert gates as the secretary of defense despite his services as george bush senior's cia
director and his oversight of george bush junior's ira wars in iraq and afghanistan. along with keeping robert mueller on the bip report it was possible for the idea of a private security establishment in the present moment. former republican congressional staffer put it in his 2016 book "the deep state," did hope change anything? it is a question that sarah palin famously said after, how did the whole hope and change thing work out for you? it is a surprise to see a republican president embroiled in such conflict with the national security bureaucracy, including fbi director james comey, who trump fired soon after taking office, secretary mattis, andretar former cia director john brennan, who trump threatened to strip of his secret clearance after he repeatedly accused trump of treason along with the
aforementioned mueller and his witchhunt of the administration. hostility towards these men surprised officials washington more than anyone. when president took to twitter to needle brennan for an intelligence briefing on the "o-called russian hacking suggesting more time was needed to build a case, chuck schumer took to msnbc to warn him. "let me tell you, you take on the intelligence committee, they have six ways from sunday of getting back at you." 2.5 years later and two months after the mueller report, trump remains unbound by washington's rules and democrats have no plan to bring him to heal be on hoping that mueller will testify on capitol hill. haveality, ways they proved incapable of doing themselves, which only underscores the question of who really rules washington, elected officials or washington bureaucrats? trump's battle with the
bureaucracy have also called into question pieties that have sustained u.s. policy since woodrow wilson. on super bowl sunday, 2017, for instance, trump into critics who accuse them of that accused him of close ties to vladimir putin by saying "you think of a country is so innocent? "ur countr it caused adam schiff to say "this is it makes with the we bizarre as it is untrue. does he not see the damage he does with comments like that?" most assuredly, trump does. but he caplets the damage done is mainly to washington insiders who accrue and keep power by denying their own dirty secrets in order to better deceive his people. professor berkeley defens wrote in "the deep state," which is a scholarly work on the subject although we may want to debate how scholarly it is, deep
state deceptions are "not designed to deceive america's enemies, but first and foremost to deceive americans, conditioning them to accept security measures at home and warmaking abroad." trump and his in-house intellectuals, steve bannon, sean hannity, jerome corsi, whose works always include the fact that he has a phd, are teaching voters to think in these terms, which ones were reserved for graduate seminars via his own reality show theatrics. but these ideas predate trump. they exist independently of him. they exploit his rise more than his rise explains them. the deep state makes sense to trump voters for obvious reasons. first and foremost, it accounts for the pronounced and growing economic inequality in the united states and the world and help six plane how and why the privilege that powerful profited so handsomely in recent decades despite their failures of 9/11, the iraq work, and the global financial crisis. even as everyone else suffered.
second, it's makes went structure of power in the united states where the federal government is capable of sustaining wars and bailing out banks but is unable to address basic needs of ordinary americans. finally, explains why insurgent political movements and the politicians they sent to washington to affect change have found themselves stymied at every turn, defined as a legitimate, and un-american, by government insiders whom insurgents don't respect but cannot depict for power. before they fueled the rage at trump rallies, they were during the obama years. while frustrations have become more acute over the last 20 years, all were present "at the creation, if you will, of the national security state and have existed along the state of the current state of war the united states entered into in 1991." they defined conservative responses to franklin
roosevelt's managerial liberalism in the 1930's and 1940's, including opposition to an enlarged military establishment that he and his successor harry truman helps to create, which conservatives likened to robert taft and put a nation on a slippery slope to a garrison state. made peaceuccessors with the security state, left liberals came to suspect the cold war consensus it required had substituted the pursuit of profit and power for the promise of social democracy offered in the new deal. powerly"book "the target american power had expanded in the 1940's and 1950's and had become concentrated among a small copper of executive decision-makers, who were called the ones who decide. they operated according to a military definition of reality that was formed and reinforced through what he called administrative routines in small closed intimate groups. that were accessible to the public.
he emphasized the "interlocking and overlapping nature of corporate and state power." in washington as well as on wall street. at west point. he argued a small group of men gain power through appointments rather than elections. with the unified authority unchallenged by politicians and set the, where he differences between the two parties so far as national issues are concerned are very narrow and very mixed up. his contemporaries soon coined establishment" astonishmen to describe the elite. william f buckley claimed to have been the first to use the word "the establishment" in a speech to the national war college in 1956, admitting his audience was confused by its meaning. frome borrowed the term british generalist henry fairley, used it in 1955 to refer to "the whole matrix of
official nations in which power is exercised." a web of associations so dense and deep that they don't need to be articulated. he himself referred in his work to what he variously called the establishment, the military astonishment, the permanent war establishment, and the national establishment throughout his book. the establishment is a general term for those who hold dependable measure of power and influence in this country irrespective of what administration occupies the white house. the perfect estoppel schmidt figure, agreed a harvard economist, was "the republican call to service in a democratic and ministration or the vice versa." they were, equipped, the pivotal figures who made possible the cold war consensus. contemporary
revisionist historians who were busy redefining u.s. diplomatic history in the late 1950's and early 1960's to emphasize continuity and consensus rather than conflict and rupture, there was something inherently suspect about such shape shifters who want power not by winning arguments and consistent elections but by forming consensus behind closed doors. these men raised a generation of new scholars and activists who learned to scrutinize washington's best and brightest in order to explain how and why u.s. leaders embarked on duplicitous disasters in cuba, vietnam, iran, chile, and the watergate complex in the 1960's and 1970's. stimson,lican, henry dean turned phd who led two democratic presidents to disaster in vietnam and a national security disaster. henry kissinger worked in the kennedy white house while
joining the nixon administration. new right activists called convergence between the republican and democratic parties so as to eliminate foreign policy from campaigns. they agreed the only way to fix the broken system of missed governance and "establish greater democracy in america" was to abolish the political party stalemate in favor of what was called two genuine parties centered around issues and essential values. as it put it in a statement. both sides set out to do just that. the liberal reformers who stripped cold war conservative democrats of power through reforms while conservatives purged rockefeller republicans from their ranks. by this was backed up
congressional liberals who launched a decade-long session of inquiries beginning in 1966 and ending with the hearings in 1975, which dragged deep state dirty laundry into the harsh light of public scrutiny. in its wake, the establishment found itself under siege and adrift. a lost tribe of neocons wandering in the wilderness of electoral politics that was heavily dominated by insurgents is at -- such as jimmy carter and ronald reagan. but it sheltered in place within the security place it helped to build, going down to build what we call the deep state. only to reemerge with new power after 9/11, but perhaps with no greater public legitimacy. to conclude, my takeaways for this history as we puzzle over the place of the deep state in our current politics and what discourse about it teaching people medical historians about how we should approach the
relations, i would like to offer three thoughts i will keep brief hope to elaborate on in q&a. first, public distrust of the national security state is not new. nor is limited to the political fringe. second, the persistence of public debate about the proper role and authority of the foreign policy establishment highlights the establishment of revisionist reproaches is first and foremost to internal dynamics and conditions to explain u.s. data actions to the world. third and finally, this demonstrates the danger empire poses to democracy. trump's rise to power feeds on the same fears of undemocratic, unchangeable power that motivated revisionist histories of u.s. foreign relations in the 1960's, 1970's, and beyond. however unlikely it is that trump will address the conditions that give rise to those fears, their persistence on both ends of the political spectrum indicate the broader loss of faith in the american democracy.
let me conclude with this bit from william appleman williamson's 1980 essay "empire of a way of life" in which he wrote imperialism has a meaning, the loss of sovereignty, control, over essential issues and decisions." enough in a mental sense, he continued "the cost of empires is not properly tabulated in dead and maimed or wasted resources, but rather in the loss of our vitality as citizens. they have increasingly seized to participate in the process of self-governance, granting sovereignty to the establishment. those in and out of government ordered the priorities and relationships in america and the world." in a democracy, williams continued "we the citizens are supposed to be the establishment." but by describing our governance to what he called vague shape hunting the corridors of power, we limit ourselves to choosing between generally minor variations of one theme and
fostering an illusion that electing or appointing different people will produce change that never comes. his analysis as much about where we are and how we got here. it offers no easy solutions as to how to get out. thank you. [applause] michael.ank you, our second speaker is dirk from duke university. ofk researches the histories militarism, empire, and warfare in germany and the united states in the long 20th century. he is the author of militarism in a global age, naval ambitions in germany and the united states before world war i, which demonstrated the existence of a transnational culture of professional naval officers and elites all sharing similar habits and minds on both sides of the atlantic ocean in years before world war i. he is currently working on a book about the history of militarism as a concept and america, andodern in a way that is perhaps
connected to his first book, his remarks today are going to give us a bit of background on the transnational elements of this notion of the deep state and shows it is not necessarily an all-american phenomenon. dirk? dirk: thank you, karen. conceptencountered the when publishing a book in germany in 2012 about the republic. it is also another who made a case for the persistence of a secret state committed to preparing for the military defense of the nation. using the concept of the deep state as an analytic, referenced as. debates in general and mentor to a chicago-based historian. it is perhaps only appropriate to encounter it as an analytic when we consider the origins of the concept by scott, the scholar usually coded for entering the term "the deep state" and arguing its most
prolific and imaginative analyst. we can trace the notion of the deep state in the underlying idea of a dual state with a series of references to the work of germans. that is to the writing in a 1955 article published and then republished in "the purpose of american politics." naziamous book on the state published in 1941. the link between scott and these germans is the work of critical security studies, whom scott credited for shaping his thinking about state duality and the deep state, including the coining of the term itself. but it is not my intention to make an argument about the alleged centrality. it is too obvious that the deep state has various origins and developed in multiple countries. academically, the concept of a
deep state has developed its greatest power and scholarship in modern turkey and egypt. in the united states, the term deep state has attained great prominence in contemporary political discourse things to president trump and his political allies. while implement of the term remarry rare and academic writings and in our field. it did not come out of nowhere. the specter of seemingly hidden and unaccountable forces capturing control of the state or scheming against the duly elected representatives of the people -- i want to do two things. second, i will focus on what i consider one of the most important previous iterations of -- idea of some sort of
notion of military and industrial complex. we can place the current talk of the deep state within the continuous making and remaking of three broader and partially overlapping ways of thinking and arguing, each with their own conspiratorial assumptions. there's a history of conspiracy theories in general of paranoid thinking. conspiracy theorists have always been an entirely legitimate form of thought and knowledge, shared by both elite and ordinary people and central to political discourse, whether they involve the british crown, the mason three -- masonry, slave power and keep putting subjects, just to name the more prominent ones in the 19th and 20th centuries. were conspiracy theories never confined to the margins. -- asident is as much
presence as much as the political center as at the periphery. and they continue into the 20th century, despite efforts undertaken by sector of the nations little class, including -- to stigmatize them. is a specific history of particular mode of thinking and arguing about politics, which sets the virtuous people against the interests or elites. the history of what michael has dubbed the populist persuasion has always exceeded the history of late 19th and early 20th century capitalized populism. and is distinct party political expressions.
in the modern united states, populist politics is to much avail and, placing itself in a different and ever-changing particle spectrum. in response to current crisis of representation within the u.s. form of representative democracy. and third, there is the emergence of the diffuse language of some force of stage reality, involving the public constitutional state and another entity beside it. coming interview that into view, view,ever --coming into this never -- talking about the dual state, in
its aforementioned study of the state department --a dual state composes of the regular state hierarchy and a more or less hidden security hierarchy, which would act in parallel to the former -- to the former >> orkin -- the former. it just think between the visible conventional government and invisible shadow government. interlocking machinery power, individuals and agencies drawn from government, but also individuals and agencies relating to the sphere of business and nongovernmental organizations. but the most prominent and consequential form of a nation duality built into the national security state, one that purposely set the key organs of free government against a new quasi-atomic center of power
from within was framed in different terms. referring to the notion of the military industrial complex that eisenhower ash that president eisenhower addressed -- that president eisenhower addressed. everyone in the room will be familiar with the setting and context of this presidential act of speech. the culmination point of eisenhower's long-standing frustration, his inability to impose his priorities in terms of budget and military needs, critique of the delivered hyping of military stress and vested interest. broadly speaking, what we have is a member of the policymaking leader --
finally, eisenhower talked about what he calls the conjunction of an immense military establishment and claims of power by "a scientific technological elite registered the realities as a political economy of america's defense sector and it's fully developed fashion lavishly funded networks of military agencies, think tanks and universities, and military economy on the verge of privatization, de-regularization, and demilitarization, to use mark wilson's leg and characterization. for our purpose, three features of eisenhower's discourse in the industrial complex stand out, and mark as a precursor of today's talk -- today's talk of a deep state.
but rather he presented the military industrial as a powerful, somewhat hidden center of power from within. and his rendering of the industrial complex was nothing autonomous network of power outside of view of democratic control, and straddling the public-private device. second, the invocation of a military-industrial complex represented a move away from images eisenhower used before when describing what he considered to be the following --dition of america live life in politics. that state is described as a unified structure, and inevitable develop mental destiny, leaving remarkably little room for meaningful civilization.
prior to 61, eisenhower repeatedly talked about the intending -- the impending garrison state and its grim paraphernalia without going into too much detail or drawing on laszlo's most specific argument. he was talking about a transformation. the view of change was present militaryof so-called tenancy or the militarization of america. what is also striking about eisenhower's invocation of the term military-industrial complex in its warning of misplaced power is a certain ambivalence, it's open to different readings. the brief speech leaves many questions open because of its level of generality, can be leveled as a technocratic critique -- technocratic critique on the -- on behalf of the organized security state.
once introduced by as an how are to political discourse -- morecs retire to a systematic critique of capitalism then military and state. or they can use it in liberal or conservative fashions to denounce particular practices of the military economy and the unfortunate product of selfish interests run amok. notion of a military-industrial complex fits in a certain way of thinking and arguing with which i suggested to contextualize current talk about the deep state in the u.s.. a way that registered the emergence of the national security state in big government in mid 20th century. in its emphasis on a duality built into the state, it represented a shift away from the more one dimensional, more
conspiratorial populist critique of the military and industry selfish interests, which had occupied center stage in american politics in the early 1930's. it had done so in the context of broad politicalization against the industries and its military --y in general, to work that's 1934 through 1936 special and at the kitchen and the armaments industry. there were at least two broader contexts for this mobilization in the work of the committee. first to confront a systemic products of the cause of the war. in a military and industrial sphere that was nationalized, a debate linked to other political struggles of a public enterprise. [indiscernible]
had asked congress to investigate the munitions industry. there was nothing outlandish and thee agenda investigations of the committee, including shares of repeated talk including full-scale nationalization of the armament industry. the public mobilization against the armaments industry and the committee investigation was particularly strained in terms of the populace persuasion, setting the people against the interests and warning and -- foratorial terms their own selfish ends. at the center were images of corruption. meaning, arms manufacturers engaging in bribery and other methods.iness
cynically beating the patriotic and in pursuit of profit causing armed conflicts to sell their products, if at all possible, to all sides. this is best captured in them merchants of death, the best-selling book on the armaments industry. inh some justification, 1932, he published his own critique and the interests of naval policy. in history of the revelations of the committee, emphasizing the mayors of a more structural analysis of broader conditions of politics and economics. characterized this talk associate it with the committee was not simply its commitment to appeal in general, but it's political multi-surveillance. collusion among
merchants of death and military elites in a populace conspiratorial key, easily functioned as the site for various divergent politics. the context ofto both the u.s. political posture and global politics, and the economic politics of the new deal. it has also extended to a debate about why the united states had enter into world war i. and -- in important ways, eisenhower's discourse in the military industrial complex was an invocation of what eisenhower caused a conjunction of -- transpose in 1930's critique of merchants of death. echoes.e remains direct after all the military-industrial complex loomed as a big organized interest in his speech that explicitly invoked misplaced power. the term merchants of death, coupled with the munitions that
they ought not to dictate national policy, appeared in a key memorandum produced by the president's speechwriting staff in october 19 60, which identified for the first time the actual subject of the speech. occasion,an one eisenhower advanced the conspiratorial view of business elites. there is a real danger of military gaining up with powerful industrial leaders, president eisenhower reportedly once said. the military needed to stand "against greed, against corruption, and against monopoly." i'm coming to the end, so i started a talk about the american deep state in a historical perspective. in so doing i first directed attention to three broader ways of thinking and arguing within which we can place this talk. i then focused on eisenhower's discourse in the military-industrial complex. one of course does not talk
about the security agencies beyond the military important to much of today's deep state literature. by way of conclusion, let me suggest that thinking about the deep state in the same context as the military-industrial complex is often solitary. the notion of the industrial complex enter the world in an active political speech, but it was picked up and used in an analytical category of scholars of different persuasion. thinking about the deep state through the lens of the military-industrial complex invites us to consider the notion of the deep state as a possible conceptual term with analytical promise. that is promised not only for ,he study of turkey and egypt germany,? tour boat -- the historic place -- germany, the historical place from which i began -- always draw keywords applicable discourse for our own analytical categories.
we may choose from them carefully, impose our own definitions, and use them in a disciplined manner. and thus we may decide that the deep state must not qualify for political pickup. there's no meaningful history to be had beyond the potable --antics of our own times the political semantics of our own times. thank you. [applause] thirdnk you, our speaker today is professor beverly. she is the professor at yale university, where she is also the professor of american studies in yells program of grand strategy --yale's program of grand strategy. -- which was recently made into a full-length documentary ipds -- by pbs. she is publish in every major historical journal i know, is a
regular guest on pbs news hour. she is now writing a major new biography of former fbi director j add your hoover, entitled -- of j edgar hoover, entitled "t man." the floor is yours. >> thanks. i'm going to talk today about a key study in the deep state, and that is, as aaron suggested, it edgar hoover. i am in the final stages of writing a biography of hoover. a popularertainly perception, hoover represents many of the features of what may be labeled the deep states that have already come up here. ia wrote down some of aaron's keywords from the introduction, "conspiratorial, illegitimate, unelected." this image of hoover as one of the -- one of america
history's great unaccountable who sat in, someone the background exercising great power without a lot of accountability. there is a lot of truth to this image. just as a reminder of j edgar hoover and his place in american history, he was director of the fbi from 1924-1972. he was head of the fbi for 48 years. that means he came to power in that job at the age of 29, and he died in that same job at the age of 77. he was appointed under calvin he lasted through coolidge, then through herbert hoover, so was there in the early years of the great depression. he was there through the three plus terms of franklin roosevelt's presidency, through the new deal into the second
world war i roosevelt died, truman kept him on. hoover was there through the early cold war and through mccarthyism. when hoover -- when truman left, eisenhower came in, and hoover eisenhower'sh both residential terms. through the rise of civil rights politics, he stayed on through john f. kennedy. after kennedy was assassinated in 1963, he stayed on for lyndon johnson's presidency. when lyndon johnson left office, he stayed on through richard nixon's presidency. and finally died in the position of fbi director in may of 1972. throughout this period, as you can see, hoover lasted -- one of the great themes in this world of bipartisan politics, he lasted through eight presidents, through two dozen attorneys general, republicans and
democrats alike. he was, of course, never elected to this position, but was reappointed repeatedly. over the course of his career he built the fbi from being a rather small and insignificant bureaucracy -- the investigative ,ing of the justice department into a substantial part of the security state and an institution that was created wholly within his own control and his own image. -- and in his own image. thatnswer to how he did tends to emphasize a lot of these kind of deep state terms. i think most prominently, the idea that hoover controlled so much power and lasted for such a long time by ruling through fear , through intimidation, by creating a bureaucracy that emphasized secrecy.
i suggested, began manipulating politics in a secretive way from behind the scenes, intimidated presidents, intimidated congressmen, created a culture of fear that allows him to stay in office for so long. in those terms, ideologically, we understand hoover's greatest influence on american politics to really have been a conservative political figure who wielded a lot of his power in the service of containing popular movements broadly, but in particular for targeting the american left, targeting liberals, particularly the communist party, but moving on to the left movements of the 60's and 70's. this is popular in many ways, also our scholarly image of hoover, the ultimo -- the ultimate accountable bureaucrat.
popularogue to contain politics and to contain the left and liberalism most broadly. almost as a rogue actor, following his own agenda, someone who had enough concentrated power again to shape politics from outside of the electoral system and outside the democratic system in many ways. there is a great deal of truth to this story. i want to suggest and push back against the idea of the deep state, that that story is largely overblown, or at least it doesn't tell us about key parts of hoover's life and about the creation, particularly of the national security state, that have, in many ways, certainly in popular discourse, fallen off the map. i would suggest that far from being a rogue actor and far from
being someone who operated outside of electoral politics, who are we to see as that hoover -- who are we to see as the main product -- and in particular fbi emerged as part of the same liberal state that began to grow and had its greatest moments of growth in the 1930's and in the 1960's. and far from being a solely conservative constraining force on leftist and liberals, the fbi was in many ways a product of the same state building impulses that produced the social security administration and the civil rights act later on. see, i want to make three key arguments. hoover asphasizing this unaccountable bureaucrat,
as this product of deep state impulses, it doesn't tell is very much about how it is he came to power. before he exercised power, how it was that an institution like the fbi was actually built. it doesn't explain all of the time and energy that hoover and fbi putgures with the into cultivating political relationships and relationships with elected public officials and finally, and most importantly, it doesn't explain hoover's enormous popularity over the course of his career. we think of hoover as one of the great villains of american history, i think largely coming out of this moment that michael discussed in the 1970's a moment of expose, characterized in particular in this case by the church committee and its revelation about the practices of the fbi. i think out of that has common idea that nobody in washington really understood or desh
understood what it was the fbi was up to -- understood what it was the fbi was up to. i want to take us back to an earlier moment before those exposes of the 1970's, really to remind everyone that hoover was one of the most popular figures in american history in the 20th century. he was one of the most respected public servants in this period the 1970's. other secret operations were of course secret. large swaths of what the fbi was doing was perfectly public, both in terms of its campaign against its domestic law enforcement powers, but also in terms of its intelligence operation. against other left groups.
the agenda was very much out there. i think as we talk about the deep state, we talk about americans suspicions of this kind of power without actually thinking about the ways in which that can actually often be embedded in and support both by -- and supported both by elected officials in washington and also by the american public at large. i want to talk about hoover's relationship with two presidents , who we might not necessarily as well with jng edgar hoover's politics. are what i characterize as the two great liberal presidents, president roosevelt and lyndon johnson, far that her any other presidents in hoover's rain, these other presidents that
really gave the fbi the power that he came to have, and in johnson's case, allowed that power to continue to exist in the critical period of the 60's and 70's when the fbi became so controversial. starting out with roosevelt, again, i think we tend to put roosevelt and hoover into rather different ideological categories , tend to think of franklin roosevelt as really the architect of a liberal state and j edgar hoover as operating in some very different sphere. . more than anylt present who built the architecture of the fbi and willingly gave hoover many of the areas of jurisdiction and power that he came to have. the bureau itself had been created in 1908 as a rather small investigative body in the justice department during world
war i. it had expanded out from that to perform some of the widespread efforts and political surveillance within the united states. when hoover took on the job of fbi director in 1924. there had been a backlash against political operations. many of the powers of the bureaus had had in the teens and 20's, particularly in terms of surveillance of political radicals and groups within the united states had been curtailed. much of ther spent 1920's working on the bureau as a relatively small organization, perfecting his bureaucratic processes, not exercising a tremendous amount of power. it's when the new deal comes along that that really begins to change. did threereally critical things for j edgar hoover that formed the ultimate of the fbi and gave hoover his own personal power. many of these were done with the
full consent of congress and went through congressional processes. others were done through consecutive -- through executive processes that ease -- executive processes. the first was the enormous expansion in the 1930's and the fbi's restriction in terms of the messick law enforcement. the fbi began to get a larger menu of fresh -- of federal crimes that it was responsible for. some of the storied figures of that age. it is the moment that the fbi lawmes the dominant enforcement agency, particularly having to do with bank robbery. as the federal government is expanding, other things are becoming federal crimes. the fbi also comes in and begins to become responsible for bank
robbery. that is through democratic processes. that is through congress passing laws. piece. the first two, it is really under franklin roosevelt that the fbi learns to a popularf as institution. when we talk about the "deep state," we don't talk about the popular image, the fact that the military has a popular constituency that mobilizes on their behalf. he idea that government and government service is something that had to be sold and promoted to the american people, and the
fbi was not only a public relations apparatus, but hoover himself becomes a household name in the 1930's as a law man, as someone fighting on behalf of the american people. the third and i think most critical thing that happened, as roosevelt becomes increasingly concerned by 1936 about the war in europe, and possible ramifications here at home, the possibility at this point of war in europe, he begins to turn to the fbi, reauthorizing it to serve in more expensive political surveillance capacities in the united states. in 1936 through executive order, he authorizes the fbi to begin investigating nazis and communists. by 1939, he gives the fbi control over espionage, subversion and sabotage within the war. from 1939 to 1941, when
roosevelt felt deeply constrained by public opinion that is very much against u.s. involvement in the war, he worked closely with the fbi to begin building a new intelligence apparatus that is going to serve the purposes of the war. much of that goes on from 1939 to 1941, before the u.s. has officially entered the war. it seems pretty clear that franklin roosevelt would have done even more with the fbi, both had hoover not stopped him and had roosevelt not died. there are two interesting moments in the 1940's where roosevelt is really pushing for fbi expansion, and in one case hoover is a constraint. in another, roosevelt dies. when japanese internment comes along, there is a lot of enthusiasm for the fbi to manage japanese internment, and hoover pushes back against that.
the department of justice and fbi both opposed the policy of japanese internment, so what happens in large part through other channels. at the moment that roosevelt dies, he was actually considering taking up hoover's idea that when the war came to be the fbiought to in charge of global surveillance, sort of making the fbi into a proto-cia. so in the 1930's, the point to take away is that the fbi is not operating on its own. it is operating in conversation with congress, in conversation with the presidency, and in many ways is being empowered by the president's own agenda. hoover is certainly pushing some of this, but he's not the engine of his own empowerment, in many ways. in closing, i want to jump quickly to the 1960's, and offer a few last thoughts. if roosevelt is really the president responsible for creating the fbi in many ways,
it is lyndon johnson who allows hoover to stay on. in the natural course of things, at this moment, there was a mandatory federal retirement age of 70. so hoover should have retired in 1965, had things been allowed to go their own natural course. it is lyndon johnson who at the moment he becomes president decides one of his first acts will be to exempt jaeger hoover from federal retirement provisions and keep him on, and power. there has been certain speculation about why this may have been. they were neighbors. they had been good friends. did hoover have something on johnson? but i think it is pretty clear, johnson saw both that hoover was an enormously popular political figure, someone who in part because of his conservative political constituency could help johnson with more
conservative elements of the democratic party. and in part that hoover would in the goals many of johnson had for his own presidency. 1965, johnson more than any other president really uses the fbi to support his own political agenda, to secure his own reelection. talk or about any of that -- more about any of that in the q&a. finishing up, i suppose i want to push back on a few of the concepts of the "deep state," at least as they apply to j. edgar hoover. i think we cannot see the "deep state" as developing outside of a broader analysis of state development, the fbi's own greatest moments of expansion, also the greatest moments of expansion of the liberal state,
of the national security state to some degree. as i said, the new deal, the great society, these are also moments of empowerment of the fbi, and in particular we need to contend with the relationship between "unaccountable bureaucrats" and the hand -selected politicians who often support and use the "deep state" in ways that serve them, and to think about the "deep state" not simply as a reviled part of american politics, but one that has had an enormously popular constituency as well. >> wonderful. thank you so much, beverly. folks,, we have about 30 minutes for questions. i will start off, to you and to the panel. nobody needs to answer my question, but they might prefer some conversation. and if you have a question, just raise your hand and join. my two questions i thought of listening to our panelists. the first one, is "the deep
state" a useful term for historians to use to explain american politics? is there unwarranted, unelected, unacknowledged power with undue influence in american politics? if so, where does that power reside, and how should we historians contextualize, discuss and explain it? i don't think we do well by just critiquing the term. let's try to understand it in its most useful possibilities. the second, what animates some conspiratorial elements of the deep state narrative, the so-called paranoid element of american politics, which we think has always existed, even oddly enough as literacy rates have improved, government transparency has increased and overall people have more access to information today than say in the first two decades of the
19th century, and nonetheless there are still underlying currents of belief that there conspiracies, secret drivers of u.s. government policy. those currents in the periods you study? economic disenfranchisement? political disenfranchisement? something darker, ethnocentrism? whenever we hear "globalists and bankers," it is a short leap to jews who are a stance of government policy. so is it -- who are extensively controlling government policy -- trollingly con government policy. let's get a few questions. you can direct them to the specific panelist or to the whole crowd. there is a microphone, if you would wait for it, because we have c-span. >> you know what happens when
someone has a microphone. [laughter] ok. thanks. i would like to start by thanking all four of you. what a brilliant panel. so helpful and interesting. and i have a question, but i also want to add another element to the bureaucratic structure. because it seems to me, one thing that is useful is to sort of think about, what are the components where it tends towards conspiracy, and what are the components of the state structure we now have that in, secrete built and unaccountable? one technology of what we might call the deep state, or something else, is law. madelegislation, but law in secret without being subject
to review and revision by any democratic process, and we need some serious, deep work for want of a better word on the office of legal counsel. it exists within the attorney general's office, and in terms of the law of presidential power over war, which of course matters literally today, preside precedents, opinions are created about the lawfulness actions,n presidential there is no adversarial lawmaking process in court, and those presidents get built -- precedents get felt. some opinions are released, but a lot of the relevant laws related to presidential power and use of force is classified. so if there's any element we
might call "deep state," that sure seems like it. i sort of raise this, as a question for you about state as we of the now have it, and so i wonder, especially for beverly, but for everyone. to what degree has law been a constraining or enabling feature of your stories? that's my question. >> yeah. i think that's a great question, and the really important category to think about. to sort of build off of aaron's question, of whether "the deep state" is the term we want. a term that didn't come up so much is the administrative stae, te, and in many ways that remains a more useful term.
what "the deep state" contains that the administrative state doesn't, the administrative state suggests a certain amount of transparency, whereas "the deep state" suggests much of that is going on in secret, so that may be a useful distinction. but certainly regulatory decision-making and the question of who is making most of the decisions that are made. most of what's going on is not happening through legislative processes, not happening through necessarily public discourse, although of course some elements of the administrative state, that does occur. theseow, there have been moments in american history, the 1970's in particular, when there have been real pushes to try to open up some of these processes. one of the interesting things you might think about now is whether we're at one of those moments of reform. during hoover's life, the only
check on the fbi, the only check on his power, although i'm making the case he had all these elaborate political relationships and talking to constituencies, formally the only check was having to get appropriation every year. intelligence committees in congress. there was no one in the federal bureaucracy who had the right to access fbi files. that makes them very useful to historians now, with the freedom of information act. so the fact they didn't think anyone was ever going to be able to access what they were doing, their own internal policies, the notes, makes them pretty valuable and interesting documents. but they always operated on the assumption that they had total control over these kinds of internal decisions. one of the most famous examples of hoover's own discretion was around wiretapping and bugging, tappedh wiretaps,
through the telephone system, were supposed to be approved by the attorney general. they weren't always approved, although they technically were. but hoover didn't decide -- decided that didn't apply to bugs, two microphones planted physically -- to microphones planted physically in certain places. this was a secret decision, internal to the fbi, never subjected to outside scrutiny, looking at the technicalities of instructions and carving out an entire sphere of autonomous action. so if you were bugging martin luther king's hotel room you didn't need that approved by the attorney general, but if you are wiretapping his phone, you did, and of course robert kennedy approved the fbi wiretapping martin luther king's phone. so the idea it is as secret as we might like may not be so true. the last thing i will say on
this question before opening it up. very, 1970's, there was a very concerted effort to build more transparent structures. the freedom of information act, the congressional intelligence committee, the fisa courts, this moment of reform energy that lasted through the 1980's and 1990's to some degree, but was really undone. by 9/11 her of the questions, whet we will have a moment of that kind of reform energy and scrutiny again. i don't think the energy is really there for it, the political energy, but i don't know. it might be one of the end results of a kind of t"trump battles the deep state." >> one of the things that struck me about your question, mary, was the comment there is no adversarial process. i think this speaks to some of the persistent themes of our pap
ers. intend to right now exist what we imagine feels like a very adversarial political environment. i mean, that's long been true, not solely of our own moment. and yet one of the things that makes this concept of the "deep state" both attractive and repellent to us, it seems to operate largely by consent. it is not sort of burdened with these conflicts, and contests, that define our open politics. it's sort of governed by administrative procedures, and deep affinities, and the like. and we can think of that as a problem, as undemocratic, but beverly is also calling to how there is also something
attractive about that, something efficient about it, something professional about it, a kind of way in which it works. of i think that sort explains the different emphasis beverly is giving us versus ofbe what the jerome corsis the world are giving us. depending on your point of view, it can be something that sort of advances your interest and keeps you safe, or it can be something that is a kind of conspiracy. but the lack of adversarial process, i think, has persistently struck a lot of americans as somehow undemocratic, because they can't necessarily engage or ornge these processes, really even understand or comment on them, often, if they are made in secret. >> if i can add one other quick thing to that.
i think in many ways, part of the progressive traditions that produced the administrative state and continued on for many years, and you see this quite dramatically in hoover's career, is the idea that is the more virtuous part of the state. sits,rt of the state that professionally outside of the drama of electoral politics, that is somehow going to be acting in the common good as it is constructed. popularan enormously idea for much of the 20th century, the idea that produces a figure like hoover. there's anti-communism, but a lot of it is driven in fact by hese idea that unlike all t self-interested politicians always fighting with each other, engaged in these adversarial processes, he's able to stand back from that. he was born in washington, d.c., he very proudly said he never
belonged to a clinical party and never voted, because d.c. residents could not vote at that point. that was supposed to be a virtuous tradition, and right now we see a real battle over whether that has created a sealed, elite world, or if it is in fact a virtuous tradition of public interest work that will protect us from demagogues and other public figures. >> yes, sir? please identify year self. -- yourself. >> from the notion of conspiracy theory studies, there the deep state might mean something slightly different, from the security state and other things. tois much more nefarious,
some extent a newer idea, debatably from 1970's and onward, but related to notions of the new world order. it's morebably, marginal, but moving towards the people where a lot of think of ideas of a national security state. a more deep stae, te, marginal thing. but i wonder if you think there are differences between what we now talk about a "deep state," coming into existence in the last 20 years, and the more traditional national security state, administrative state. >> before anyone answers, can i ask back to you, in your remarks
. thesemark, are there also constant references to military and intelligence services? that is a commonality among the egyptian, turkish, american narratives, and even the narrative about italy originally. military and intelligence services, that had not only undue power, but often lethal power, killing people or arresting people. >> denmark is a little different in that sense, in that we almost degree of a high trust in the state. american, but i have worked on denmark. much of the current state of denmark is imported from the youed states, through,
know, x-files. x-files has had a proven effect the deep's view of state, insperity theories in general. >> the long reach of david duchovny. [laughter] want to take this one? >> let me begin by emphasizing the distinction, whether we talk about the political keyword or an analytical concept. the term itself, we can't fix its meaning. it has so many different meanings. fantastical meanings, even more meaning that register with practices of the state. it's difficult to identify the core. one of the things i tried to do in my talk was to trace
this long genealogy about the notion of a d.l. of the -- of a duality. the state, and the national security state. when i tried to identify some academic thinkers who -- president eisenhower, in ge neral. to see this idea is not an outlandish, conspiratorial tradition, but there is a long tradition. the term is not being used. of course, even among people talking about the state duality, it is very different. a critique of the the state that associates e.ergency stat s is different.
that is why it is strange when he references frankel to talk about security hierarchy in the state department. not making argument about the nazi-fication of the state department, but he plays with this idea of state duality. that's a very interesting idea, an invitation to think about, to not think about the state as a coherent institution, but about dualities, particularly in the fields of the military and security agencies. that i find potentially a useful idea. ast i would also emphasize, aaron talked about the association with the military and security agencies. i used the case of eisenhower, but it often invites us to not just think about the state, but
the relationship between state institutions, actors of the state and what is outside of the state, like private industry. writesay o'scott about drug cartels, banks, other things. the argument often comes to us about relationships with the state. this is perhaps an analytical invitation to take it more serious. i think the keyword side, that's an intellectual history fantastical, conspiratorial politics. politics -- it always transcends conspiracy theories. it has a conspiratorial element, but some of us might think
there's some analytical promise to these kinds of analyses. >> if i can briefly add to that. i don't see this kind of rhetoric about the "deep state" today as substantially different then the kinds of arguments made in the past. one of the ways i might try to prove that claim, on e of the ky if you will debates in the church committee was whether or not cia assassination programs were or were not authorized by the president. did the president know or not know of these programs? which seems to me to get to the crux of your question. like, is there something deeper "deepthe present state" than in the past?
the reason i cite that, there is nothing deeper than the basic epistemic logical question of, of,pistemological western does some -- question of, does some legal entity authorized the actions of a state or not? that is the kind of ground-level question, beneath which you really start to get into the "d eep, deep state," right? i think that question has been there for a long time. raised, arounds the manhattan project and truman's unawareness of the manhattan project until he becomes president. these questions have been there for a long time. to mary's point, if the law is made in secret, maybe with only two people in the room, how do
you even know or establish this as a fact? it is very difficult. that was a question at the heart investigations, whether or not this was part of a legitimate state program, however controversial or unethical it may have been, or whether it was a true conspiracy. >> two quick things to add on to that. you're right, to ask to distinguish between, there's the foreign policy blob, right, that usedimes "deep state" is to describe the unelected, more of an administrative state. and sometimes we are discussing something more secret, conspiratorial. and in that taking apart of what
we're talking about, it's interesting to look at debates within institutions that we might or someone might describe as being part of the "deep state." for instance, the fbi, and he saw a little of this after 9/11, the fbi, and hoover in particular, really held the cia in contempt. the cia and the nsa. because he didn't believe their budgets should be secret. he didn't believe there was enough transparency in what it was the cia was doing. and they found the fbi was a much more law-bound, in part because it was a law enforcement as well as an intelligence agency. but there were lots of battles between different intelligence agencies structured differently, about who is really the nefarious actor, how much accountability there really is, what levels of secrecy are
>> i'm a doctoral indicate kansas.ty of nixon for president him he had a true belief about deep state shment and heavily influenced how he thought about policy. need to give credence to this idea because of the effect it has. wonder what you think of that deep state of the true belief in and there were forces some against him in respects. he overblew it but there were wanted to bring him down inside government. >> absolutely, nixon came into a very explicit idea that he wanted to criticize the
ureaucracy, that one of the problems is bureaucrats were electoral rom politics. the s certainly one of themes of the nixon presidency. one thing that , hoover -- todown go back to the example, died in 1972. he had not dealt very well with the question of f.b.i. succession. nixon had had a lot of battles but they were very good friends. he wanted the fib to do things f.b.i. to do things and leave didn't want many which were political. when leave died he appointed and tsider to the f.b.i. the f.b.i. essentially rebelled
gainst this person they saw as political operative, most famously the man when hoover three man at the thought d quick ly should be the director mark nixon eally went after and famously became deep throat nd began leaking and helped to bring down the nixon presidency. kind of rebellion of bureaucracy working in cahoots "washington post" as that they would. so that is a story we should take seriously. the deep ought of throat, deep state, so the i was writing this piece, i'm glad you mentioned it, beverly. i don't think that language around deep throat, deep whatnot, should be
overlooked. i agree with the question. point i'm t of the making in my paper, that trump seriously as ion did nixon, and that part of the eason why i think people who wish to understand politics and policy making should take it seriously, though i agree with dirk that it mean useful to sort parameters some around which we are going to try category if we want how the to understand state works. ie of the things that i guess would briefly say on the nixon approach to the deep tate is it feels often with both of those figures in is a degree of projection going on. beverly said nixon was trying debitlyicize the bureau and he is constantly scheming in
also, i ard and one can think, the same goes for trump. his authorization of the f.b.i. ation into the inquiry into the 2016 election e's politicizing the bureaucracy and both are doing that because they already regard the bureaucracy itself as politic political. it is.htly so, the progressive idea that the dministrative state is before politics has its own kind of baked in.ideology as outsideers both nixon and keenly aware of that and resisted it and tried to reverse it. of those things to the as far as in a way they are not often brought to the surface. in a moment where there are more calls for ransparency and reform perhaps because the 1970's and today are moments when presidents are battle i the bureaucracy in a
way that brings these things to the surface. howard baker said during the wart gate investigations -- watergate c.i.a. gations the involvement is like animals forest.g around in the you could hear it but you that 't see it and it is same sense there are things going on just ben northeast the beneath the surface hat we can feel but cannot ufp understand. i think that is the battles presidents and bureaucracies in both moments. the panel n request to consider my question. it, ave studiously ignored i noticed. endurance ed by the of darker element of the deep state. there's a set of in law d does it exist or secret si and we agree that
valid work but there is almost always a darker element says free masons who is running it and one person. what the story of american history is one of slow and neven movement toward better enfriesment. more -- enfranchisement. have involvement and more access to information while the summerent and state have grown and -- certainly grown you can through information look at the budget and presidential progress makeses and any speeches in ways the 19th do in century. so people have more access to nformation, more people have access to their government one way or another, yet there is a portion of our wants to say
there's a secret power that is train.g the my first question is in the american context specifically you comment on that? is that just one of by-products democracy, that as long as eople are in the political system if they don't get what they want they find a reason. are narratives, narratives of a deep state is there something deeper going on? there is possible there are t n and americans with connections to the gangs or exist.because they it could also be there is something deeper trans national one country that wants to explain politics as -- nefarious, secret and of a small group that
has more power than they should have. the easy thing to say is this is a way to engage in you know, attacks against out groups and jews primary kind of villain. and certainly there's and the of think, at work in this igure of george soros and more broadly this international financier is the way that gets introduced. from my point of view, it seems often st surprising more aloft, a the villain is kind of elite figure from the speaks multiple languages who has all the right credentials. been the people imagined to be at the center of conspiracies.f
mac bundy being exhibit a for this. sort k that what i would of attribute that to is a kind among a broad of american people there both the constitution itself and built on tive state top of it are forms of empowered that have already powerful people, and that strikes many americans as undemocratic. i really think that it is kind as simple as that. o, it is a kind of populist critique of elite rule but it is partially the system of overnment creates elite rule through all kinds of systems.
electoral college, senate. it was never designed to be a pure democracy and it has become arguably less democratic over time and that creates a lot of anger. is important to recognize that when it comes to thinking that is just a part of politics and we 17th and 18th the century, there was this stuff british crown and free masons and it is just condition and not a thing simply done by people had are it is not -- i think that every american president some kind of n conspiracy theory. so i think that is just a of politics. that you have to have explanations, lots of the politics in
society. is would have it see what the configuration. the second thing about populism, comes out of a particular moment. t is available as a political oftem when there is a crisis representation when you can set the source of all people against elites. but it has a distinct history. you can locate its beginning in it late 19th century but populism.pitalist it is one way to make sense of it. to do with representative democracy because you have to have a political system in which can sort of argue that the people are not being served by power.in
think that populism has overhappen of conspiracy torl ism ism. nd pop lymph in both of these are things we find in or some of with populism the most interesting listen are latin pop limb. populism. if we talk about the deep state is something here about the 20th century which is state and l security big government. here is this idea with securiti securitized government you get something built in and it the ters something about american state in the 20th century. it is different then than before.
t the same time, it is politically very different people -- eisenhower is the ultimate insider. he has an idea of misplaced not on the outside. talking from within. be i think this shouldn't forwarded into some of the other things. the is some overlap with populism thing so we have to be areful it distinguish in these different intellectual traditions that are constantly remaking themselves. if we want to sort of talk about it, we have to attend to this specificity, i think of the particular political formations.ate >> it occurs one of the most do is e things we can
separate between valid and questions of dep -- and i have soon a range of opinions on how useful is and it describes processes that we agree exist prove with historical research exist or existed. different then arelessly throwing around accusations. we are about out of time. i would like to offer one specific pitch on this which returns to what was with on secrecy. one thing that occurred to me over the course of the panel for our own tant work is how much the worse part reflectstate narratives one of the additional costs of secrecy in government. don't vernments declassify records or refuse to release him or don't have the do the normal
eclassify indication -- declassify indication procedure c.i.a. not only did the j. tpfplt kfpf.k. assast controlling lunch. it seems like an additional cost disgruntled with what you consider loose and distrust usations of and deep state join the cause to release overnment to records and declassify them ecause that is how we can disprove claims and prove some. any final thoughts? you for ment thank joining us -- all right. thank you for joining us. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] >> american history tv is on social media.