Book Review: The Deep State (Lofgren)

The Deep State:  The Fall Of The Constitution And The Rise Of A Shadow Government, by Mike Lofgren

This book was disappointing in that it was a book about the deep state written by a denizen of the deep state who looks upon Conservatives, Christians, and others with a great degree of contempt.  It is hard to say exactly who this book is for.  Most of the people who recognize the existence of a deep state of committed bureaucrats who pursue their corrupt and self-serving plans do so out of populist opposition to such entrenched power and desire to destroy it root and branch. This book is clearly not written to people who have already been red-pilled, as the author is one of those insufferable condescending Never-Trumper elites who looks down on the common people and views Intelligent Design as well as any sort of skepticism of the dominant cultural narratives as being uneducated and unworthy of respect.  It seems as if the book is written to fellow cultural elites as a way of warning of the problems of the Deep State before the “barbarians” from flyover states tear it down.  But are those people going to be interested in a book that critiques something they tend to benefit from?

This book is between 250 and 300 pages and is divided into fifteen chapters.  The author begins with acknowledgements, an introduction that discusses his own personal life and background, and then a discussion of what is meant by Beltwayland (1).  The author discusses the identity of the deep state (2) and posits that bad ideas matter (3).  He also discusses how elections matter (or not) (4) and discusses what our defense system does if it is not defending America (5).  There is a discussion of economic warfare and a marked hostility towards big banks (6) as well as a look at the commanding heights of power (7) and the relationship between the deep state to the law and constitution (8).  After this the author discusses Silicon Valley and its role in the deep state (9) as well as the importance of personnel in determining policy (10) and the hypocrisy of austerity for thee and not for me (11).  The book discusses the author’s view of those who lack insight into the problems of the deep state (12), some ideas about signs of change (13), as well as the confrontation between America and the world (14), after which the author discloses his own ideas for an alternative to the contemporary deep state (15), after which the book closes with notes and an index.

This is not a very good book, but it is a bad book in instructive ways.  The author reminds us, in spite of himself, why it is so hard to trust Republican politicos in the way that Democrats feel more confident trusting their own politicians.  Many squishy Republicans who are not sound on social causes look down on the base of the Republican party with contempt as uneducated rubes whose votes are appreciated but whose views are not.  The author does not realize that people who are opposed to the Deep State and do not view the author as a sympathetic or worthwhile writer read books, probably at levels higher than many other segments of society, and thus it seems baffling that the author would drop his guard and not even pretend to respect the sort of populism that comes from areas that are tired of being treated with contempt and disdain by corrupt elites like the author.  For the author to recognize the reality of the corruption, to recognize, however haltingly, that he is and was a part of it, and to fail to seek to make common cause with those who are most upset about it is an appalling lack of tactical or strategic (to say nothing of diplomatic) insight.

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in American History, Book Reviews, History and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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