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175

Thirteen Reflections of Golden Don in the Hall of Mirrors
(missing author)

1
terms
3
notes

by Jordy Cummings

on "deep state" opposition to Trump

? (2017). Thirteen Reflections of Golden Don in the Hall of Mirrors. Salvage, 5, pp. 175-192

183

One well known wit quipped on social media upon Trump’s election that the real story would be its implications for Marxist state theory. Yet what we’ve seen since the election is merely more substantive proof of a theory of the state that arguably goes back to Marx’s 18th Brumaire. The uniquely American state is not merely ‘relatively autonomous’ from capital. It is a factor required for the social reproduction of capitalist social property relations – and one of these structural requirements is this degree of autonomy. It is indeed the ‘Executive Committee for the Management of the Common Affairs of the Bourgeoisie’. Yet, I ask, dear reader, have any of you ever been on an Executive Committee, say, in a political organization or a union? Does the ‘exec’ usually speak with one voice? Executive committees are cut-throat pressure cookers, packed with opportunists who would throw their grandmother under the bus if it meant more power, more control. So then how do we define the American state apparatus if not as a container for a ‘war of all against all’ as adjudicated, of course, by varying branches, that may well, themselves, be rife with duelling factions?

hahaha i love this rhetorical device (and the point made)

—p.183 missing author 1 year, 3 months ago

One well known wit quipped on social media upon Trump’s election that the real story would be its implications for Marxist state theory. Yet what we’ve seen since the election is merely more substantive proof of a theory of the state that arguably goes back to Marx’s 18th Brumaire. The uniquely American state is not merely ‘relatively autonomous’ from capital. It is a factor required for the social reproduction of capitalist social property relations – and one of these structural requirements is this degree of autonomy. It is indeed the ‘Executive Committee for the Management of the Common Affairs of the Bourgeoisie’. Yet, I ask, dear reader, have any of you ever been on an Executive Committee, say, in a political organization or a union? Does the ‘exec’ usually speak with one voice? Executive committees are cut-throat pressure cookers, packed with opportunists who would throw their grandmother under the bus if it meant more power, more control. So then how do we define the American state apparatus if not as a container for a ‘war of all against all’ as adjudicated, of course, by varying branches, that may well, themselves, be rife with duelling factions?

hahaha i love this rhetorical device (and the point made)

—p.183 missing author 1 year, 3 months ago

sop (en)

(noun) a piece of food dipped or steeped in a liquid / (noun) a conciliatory or propitiatory bribe, gift, or gesture / (verb) to steep or dip in or as if in liquid / (verb) to wet thoroughly; soak / (verb) mop / (abbreviation) standard operating procedure; standing operating procedure

188

just a sop for Ivanka

—p.188 missing author
notable
1 year, 3 months ago

just a sop for Ivanka

—p.188 missing author
notable
1 year, 3 months ago
190

When it comes down to it, in regards to the parapolitics of Trump and the deep state, and the interests at play – Wall Street and manufacturing wanting an opening to Russia, the military industrial complex wanting new enemies, tech wanting free trade and less surveillance – there is no ideological unity within the ruling class, and hence not within the state itself. They are all Peter Ustinovs, wandering around between embassies. Yet it is not enough to merely say ‘neither Washington nor Moscow but Peter Ustinov!’ on one hand, or to dismiss this as petty politics within the state that have no bearing on capitalist power in general, or the repressive, racist authoritarianism of the Trump regime in particular on the other hand. It actually is the playing out of the real competition of the former within the latter, and how the dreidel lands after spinning around is the moment in which an Ambassador is shocked. There is no telling what is going to happen next, so while it would be folly to end up like Angleton, convinced everyone around him was a Russian agent, it is useful to adopt an approach that examines the necessary internal relations within what cannot simply be called ‘the deep state’. Instead, given the fluidity between state apparatuses, the blurring of lines between coercive on one hand, and ideological on the other, it makes more sense, at this point, to merely call it the state.

—p.190 missing author 1 year, 3 months ago

When it comes down to it, in regards to the parapolitics of Trump and the deep state, and the interests at play – Wall Street and manufacturing wanting an opening to Russia, the military industrial complex wanting new enemies, tech wanting free trade and less surveillance – there is no ideological unity within the ruling class, and hence not within the state itself. They are all Peter Ustinovs, wandering around between embassies. Yet it is not enough to merely say ‘neither Washington nor Moscow but Peter Ustinov!’ on one hand, or to dismiss this as petty politics within the state that have no bearing on capitalist power in general, or the repressive, racist authoritarianism of the Trump regime in particular on the other hand. It actually is the playing out of the real competition of the former within the latter, and how the dreidel lands after spinning around is the moment in which an Ambassador is shocked. There is no telling what is going to happen next, so while it would be folly to end up like Angleton, convinced everyone around him was a Russian agent, it is useful to adopt an approach that examines the necessary internal relations within what cannot simply be called ‘the deep state’. Instead, given the fluidity between state apparatuses, the blurring of lines between coercive on one hand, and ideological on the other, it makes more sense, at this point, to merely call it the state.

—p.190 missing author 1 year, 3 months ago
190

Once you start wandering around the wilderness of mirrors, anything is possible. It is akin to Peter Ustinov’s film Romanoff and Juliet, in which Ustinov plays the Prime Minister of some tiny entity akin to San Marino, who spends his time wandering back and forth between the U.S. and Soviet embassies. First, he learns the U.S. knows the Soviet Code and he thus duly notifies the Soviets. The Soviets claim they already have this information, thus Ustinov tells the Americans: ‘they know you know their code’. The Americans claim they already have this information. Back he goes to the Soviets, explaining: ‘they know you know they know your code’. And so on, until finally, after a dozen ‘you knows’ and ‘they knows,’ one of the Ambassadors exclaims ‘they do??!!’

This is the proverbial last instance.

mildly funny

—p.190 missing author 1 year, 3 months ago

Once you start wandering around the wilderness of mirrors, anything is possible. It is akin to Peter Ustinov’s film Romanoff and Juliet, in which Ustinov plays the Prime Minister of some tiny entity akin to San Marino, who spends his time wandering back and forth between the U.S. and Soviet embassies. First, he learns the U.S. knows the Soviet Code and he thus duly notifies the Soviets. The Soviets claim they already have this information, thus Ustinov tells the Americans: ‘they know you know their code’. The Americans claim they already have this information. Back he goes to the Soviets, explaining: ‘they know you know they know your code’. And so on, until finally, after a dozen ‘you knows’ and ‘they knows,’ one of the Ambassadors exclaims ‘they do??!!’

This is the proverbial last instance.

mildly funny

—p.190 missing author 1 year, 3 months ago