The basic framework for understanding the political and social evolution of Western societies is Plato’s concept of the “Five Regimes.” First, virtually all Western societies begin as an “Aristocracy.” Second, the aristocracy then evolves into a property-owning and land-owning “Timocracy.” Third, the timocracy then becomes an “oligarchy” or “plutocracy.” Fourth, the populist anger which arises from the abuses and exploits of the oligarchy and plutocracy transforms the Western society into an angry populist “democracy,” which Plato thought was the worst of all the five regimes. Finally, what arises from an angry populist democracy is “tyranny.”
But the ‘secret of secrets’ regarding American political and social life which Noam Chomsky made evident through his profound and spectacular body of work is that there is essentially a right-wing state within the American state that has fascist, racist, xenophobic, and pseudoscientific leanings and inclinations which are essentially anathema and opposed to a largely left-leaning general population in the United States. Hence, whether it is Democrats or Republicans who get elected in the midterm elections this Tuesday or whether Biden or Trump wins in 2024 makes little to no impact on the very basic essence of the American state, although Trump did try to alter the basic essence of the American state after he got elected a few years ago, only to get pushed out in 2020 by a Democrat in Joe Biden who could not even hold and maintain fourth place in the New Hampshire and Iowa primary and caucus.
As Noam Chomsky argued:
“In every society there will emerge a caste of propagandists who labor to disguise the obvious, to conceal the actual workings of power, and to spin a web of mythical goals and purposes, utterly benign, that allegedly guide national policy. A typical thesis of the propaganda system is that the nation is an agent in international affairs, not special groups within it, and that the nation is guided by certain ideals and principles, all of them noble.”
In America, the nominal head of the state within the American state is the CIA director, although as mentioned before, oil companies are a major component of the state within the state. In turn, the CIA director usually jockeys against the “Department of Defense” (DoD) for resources and money from Congress, and as certain scholars have noted, the CIA and DoD do not always see eye-to-eye on issues pertaining to national security and foreign affairs. In fact, these two agencies are at odds with one another more often than not.
The culture and psychology of the CIA has been elucidated by one former CIA official, who stated the following while he was terminally ill:
“Fundamentally, the founding fathers of U.S. intelligence were liars. The better you lied and the more you betrayed, the more likely you would be promoted. These people attracted and promoted each other. Outside of their duplicity, the only thing they had in common was a desire for absolute power. I did things that, in looking back on my life, I regret. But I was part of it and loved being in it…Allen Dulles, Richard Helms, Carmel Offie, and Frank Wisner were the grand masters. If you were in a room with them you were in a room full of people that you had to believe would deservedly end up in hell.”
He added: “I guess I will see them there soon.”
Perhaps a major component of a job in the intelligence world is to analyze the past and the present in order to draw valid inferences and conclusions regarding the future. Thus, speculation is the name of the game. Beefing up bureaucracy and thus beefing up intelligence agencies is part of the Western “Rationalization Thesis” which I have mentioned in the past. But the whole enterprise ends up being futile and wasteful, given that the money, energy, and personnel drawn by these intelligence agencies do not enable them to control or predict future events and occurrences. Moreover, the prestige which intelligence agencies garnered for themselves in the past was due to their possession of information which others may not have had. But with the continuous and rapid changes and evolutions in globalization and technology, that information asymmetry between intelligence professionals and ordinary persons may be closing over the course of time.