One way to model how the imperial state functions is to think of it as a single informal community that controls the organs of power. People enter into this community as they would any community. They get to know people, make friends, build connections and over time are considered a part of the community. Every once in a while, one of them falls out of favor and is punished by the community. They are “on the outs” for a while until they can be rehabilitated and returned to good standing.
It is not a formal structure with rules and official membership, like the communist party in Russia was back in the last century. That was an effort to create something where no natural community existed. Instead, Washington is the natural evolution of the managerial class that evolved in the 20th century. People move to the area through one of the many on-ramps of the managerial state. Over time, they slowly become part of the ruling community that controls the imperial government.
It is why reform is impossible. There’s nothing all that wrong with the formal government, at least in terms of structure. The issue is the people running it. For them, the organs of government are there to serve the community, not the country. That’s why they are always finding ways around the rules, subverting the process and manipulating the system in order to achieve ends different from what is intended. For them, the point of government is to serve the community, not the country.
Even though the community is not a formal organization, it has some similarities to the old communist party system. Instead of party officials enjoying special perks like cars and secret access, community members have unofficial perks. For example, the community members involved in the seditious plot to overturn the 2016 election will be exempt from prosecution. That was the point of the IG report, to let the world know the community has looked into the matter and the issue is closed.
If there is any doubt about this, consider the people at the heart of the scandal, who cooked up the fake intelligence dossier. They are so sure of their position, they are now running a new operation to plant community stories in the media. If these people had any fear of Barr or Durham, they would be lying low. Instead, they are doing the same service for the community they were doing before all this. They are members of the community in good standing. They have nothing to fear.
Like the old communist party, community members live with one another in lavish quarters in the capital. Instead of apartments on the Embankment, the community lives in swank neighborhoods in the city. The lower ranking community members live in seven figure homes in the surrounding suburbs. For example, Lois Lerner, the women who used the IRS to harass dirt people in the 2012 election, lived in this lovely home in Bethesda. She now lives on the Vineyard, by the way.
It is this community nature of the ruling class that makes it immune to democratic reform and popular pressure. When reformers are elected and sent to Washington, they are absorbed into the community. As Pat Buchanan pointed out decades ago, reformers arrive in the capital and go native within a few years. The reason is they join the community and soon see their interests as the community interest. Those who don’t are eventually framed or shamed out of office and expelled.
This is why Trump’s game of chicken with the Democrats over impeachment will end in disaster for the country. He thinks they lack the spine to remove him, but they are not interested in removing him, at least not yet. Instead, the community has decided to use him to further the interest of the community. When impeachment hits the Senate, Trump will be given a list of things he must sign in order to avoid conviction. Look for immigration reform to be at the top of that list demands.
Immigration is a good way to understand the psychology of the community. They want to pass reform, by which they mean open borders, not for material gain or because they are ideologues. They want the issue to go away. The most expedition way of doing that is to give the pirates what they want. This is how health care reform worked. The pirates got what they wanted and the issue was put to bed. Your health care is worse, but you are not part of the community, so you don’t matter.
Trump could roll the dice and dare them to convict, but that’s not much of a threat to the community. A few members of Congress will lose their seats, but they will not lose their place in the community. Instead they will land in high paying lobbying jobs elsewhere in the system. That was the lesson of health care. The inner party lost the House in the 2010 election, but all of the defeated members landed in good jobs at good wages in the imperial system. The community still thrived.
It is why reform, particularly democratic reform, is hopeless. You cannot reform something that does not exist in a formal sense. The ruling elite in Washington is a subculture financed by global pirates. The billionaires underwrite the community and the community makes sure the global pirates get what they need from the state. In many cases, the billionaires are members of the community. George Soros and Paul Singer are as much a part of the community as anyone.
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