The Ultimate Long Game: Autarky and Resilience

In my recent essay Could the Deep State Be Sabotaging Hillary? I wrote:

“An increasingly powerful sector of the Deep State views the neo-con agenda as a disaster for American interests, and is far more focused on the Long Game of energy, food security, economic and military innovation and a productive response to climate change.”

This runs counter to the conventional view that the U.S. Deep State is rabidly attached to the neoconservative liberal hegemony model of geopolitical hard power. If you want some evidence for this shift, please read this essay from the journal of the Deep State, Foreign Affairs; if you read this carefully, you will find a devastating critique of the neo-con strategy and an alternative strategy based on autarky, a topic we’ll discuss in a moment.

The Case for Offshore Balancing: A Superior U.S. Grand Strategy (registration required)

What is the Deep State? Former congressional staff member Mike Lofgren described the Deep State thusly:

“I use the term to mean a hybrid association of elements of government and parts of top-level finance and industry that is effectively able to govern the United States without reference to the consent of the governed as expressed through the formal political process.”

I have been studying the Deep State for 40 years, and have written extensively about it for the past 10 years, including:

The Next Superpower/Empire (July 16, 2009)

The Dollar and the Deep State (February 24, 2014)

The alternative media often embraces a model in which political and financial elites seek to consolidate their power in a one-world government and currency. My esteemed colleague Brandon Smith recently wrote an insightful essay suggesting that domestic instability and disunity could set the stage for further consolidation of power–a strategy he termed the Long Game:

2016 Will End With Economic Instability And A Trump Presidency

While I understand the model–Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism describes the strategy of “never let an engineered crisis go to waste”–I respectfully disagree.

While many understandably view the Deep State as being wedded to globalization and centralized one-world power structures, I see the Emergent Deep State in the U.S. pursuing a much different Long Game: autarky (self-sufficiency), and the geopolitical influence that flows from an abundance of the FEW resources, my term for the essential resources of food, energy and water.

(These are related, of course; with no energy and no water, you won’t have any food, either.)

In addition to the FEW resources, autarky requires a culture of innovation, flexible social structures and multiple ladders of social mobility.

I laid out my reasoning in three essays:

A Thought Experiment in American Autarky (January 17, 2014)

Globalization = Permanent Instability (October 29, 2014)

What’s Scarce Geopolitically: Stability, Ways to Get Ahead and Innovation (July 18, 2015)

In effect, globalization guarantees insecurity, and so further attempts to consolidate one-world power are doomed to fail, regardless of the resources thrown at the effort.

The winning Long Game is strengthening autarky (self-sufficiency) and the ability to export food, energy and decentralized cultural models to friends/allies, while nurturing the essential social elements of self-sufficiency:innovation across the entire spectrum, not just in technology per se; social mobility; flexible, adaptive economic and social structures (i.e. decentralized, networked, opt-in), and a productive response to climate change.

The Emergent Deep State doesn’t care to debate whether human action plays a part in climate change; it is interested in managing the consequences of climate change, regardless of its sources. Projections are always iffy in dynamic systems, but there is some compelling evidence that some nation-states will suffer relatively mild losses/gains in water and food resources while others may suffer catastrophic declines as a result of increasingly erratic climate change.

In effect, when you can’t feed your people, everything else goes by the wayside: fancy political theories, one-world schemes of domination, hegemony, you name it–all go in the trash bin of history.

The Emergent Deep State is keenly aware that geopolitical influence in the future will rest heavily on the potential impact of devastating crop failures, the resilience of nation-states in terms of water / food /energy supplies and the ability to export surplus energy and food to friends. Put bluntly: enemies starve, friends get to eat–if they recognize the value of what you’re offering.

Not every nation has the social and economic flexibility needed to survive the future. The key dynamic is the resilience of the institutions that make up the nation-state and its Deep State: a nation-state with rigid hierarchical elites, little social mobility, limited FEW resources, a brittle social structure and a fear of innovation is a fragile nation-state that is one reasonably good famine away from collapse.

Those with surplus food will be the ultimate arbiters of value. Autarky means having the ability to feed one’s people despite the vagaries of climate change, and I mean growing food, not buying it with energy, gold, or fiat currency. When push comes to shove (and it will), nothing will have any value except food and the resources needed to grow it: water and energy.

Back in 2007, I charted out a simplified version of the U.S. Deep State. I missed a few components, but you get the gist: this is a vast, dynamic structure with some social mobility in the lower rungs.

Future hegemony will flow from what’s scarce: autarky, the FEW resources and the cultural resources of inovation, flexibility, adaptability and social mobility.

Ironically, autarky and these cultural dynamics arise from decentralization and the free flow of information, not one-world centralization. Anyone pursuing that path is doomed to instability and collapse.

Oh, and the ability to defend your FEW resources from starving, resource-poor neighbors: that matters, too.

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  • WillDippel

    Here is an article that looks at a one of the more interesting emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server:

    This email provides us with an inside glimpse of the Deep State and the connections that exist between the corporate power brokers in Washington who are really in charge.

  • unheilig

    If this theory is correct it would seem to be a hopeful development. But if so, why is the world hell-bent on putting a bloodthirsty neolib neocon MIC sock puppet in the White House?

    • Macon Richardson

      Obviously “the world” is not “hell-bent on putting a [inane characterizations omitted] puppet in the White House. Only certain factions of an elite over-world have that goal.

      As to why, the answer is CHAOS. By creating chaos, those factions hope to weaken the great mass of people in the world to make them incapable of organized or sustained resistance. It is not a new technique. What IS new are the means and methods of doing so.

      Globalization is one of those means. The world economic system (not money but the economy of commodities–food, water, transportation) is so very fragile now because the slightest break in supply, distribution or acquisition chains can stop the world economy and create CHAOS within a week. If you are dependent on your master for water, how long can you maintain a resistance?

      And please, stop with the 2nd Amendment crap! When was the last time you were able to walk into your local guided missile and hydrogen bomb store and buy the weapons you might really need? The 2nd Amendment, which was added to the US Constitution that the people could rise up against tyranny, now only provides you with the means to kill your next door neighbor for his water and food. Lo! Another source of CHAOS.

  • Zap

    The deep state is the Rockefeller Rothschild central bankers, the investment bankers, the CFR, Tri Lateral Commission, Bilderberg Group and every president, cabinet, agency, department have been connected to these groups going all the way back to Woodrow Wilson. They now have a complete lock on western governments, media, academia, finance, business and every other thing you can think of. This has been going on for over 100 years and although they are secretive none of it has ever been secret. Criticism of these groups has always been squashed by media and academia, always by associating the critics with ultra right wing groups or conspiracy nutters as in the case of the John Birch Society, Lyndon Larouche, Barru Goldwater and others who first broached the subject in the 1960’s…….consider that in itself, the CFR had already completely taken over the State Department by the 1930’s so it was 30 years before the first criticism’s of this group ever even made it into the public record. There are not a lot of good academic sources for this for this reason but 2 of them are Carroll Quigley and Antony Sutton, read their works if you wish to learn the history of these groups.

    • diogenes

      Carroll Quigley and Antony Sutton are both well worth reading and substantiate Zap’s comments here. That’s why — if you are one of the one in 50 Americans who reads books and thinks — you have never heard of them.

      • Zap

        This information has always been out there but has been heavily suppressed, no surprise there when you consider that most of the sources you would expect to report on these things have been under the control of people associated with the Rockefeller’s and these very groups…..most media, publishing houses, academia etc

        Katherine Graham publisher of the Washington Post and Arthur Ochs Sulzberger publisher of the NYT for example.

        In my opinion the most important person in US politics for the last 60 years is David Rockefeller because so many high level people from both parties trace their beginnings on the national political stage to a direct connection with him and before him to the Rockefeller family……Nixon, Kissinger, Ford, Carter, the Clinton’…the Bush family going all the way back to Samuel Bush 100 years ago…Brzezinski, Madelaine Albright, Condi Rice…….everybody at the State Department since the 30’s…DOJ…CIA…..I mean the list is endless

        A research into the history of Quigley’s book Tragedy and Hope tells the tale……it was waved off using straw men arguments by media and academia and then completely buried and never had a second printing although it sold out in it’s first edition…..the publisher then even took the extraordinary measure of destroying the plates for the book…..if it was not for the internet that book would be completely forgotten and a copy of it would be impossible to find

      • Macon Richardson

        Why do you presume that readers of Washington’s Blog have never heard of or read both Quigley and Sutton? It is an arrogant presumption, offensive.

  • justquitnow

    But if they have so much power and money, they can create technologies that will create these “scarce” resources like water and energy which is freaking everywhere and can be teased out of the environment with simple machines.