May 5, 2011

Peak State as Occam's Razor

My concept of the Peak State is the Occam's Razor version of the concept of the Deep State.

The Mediterranean term "Deep State" refers to shadowy string pullers within a ruling establishment. The Peak State theory suggests that the man most likely to be pulling more of the strings than anybody else is the official top guy.

For example, in 1983 Ferndinand Marcos's exiled rival Benigno Aquino announced he was returning to the Philippines to challenge Marcos for the Presidency. He was gunned down on the airport tarmac. That led to a lot of complicated theorizing about which rogue elements and shadowy forces gave the orders, since it obviously couldn't have been Marcos, because that was too obvious. He was the obvious suspect, so he obviously wouldn't have done it.

Nah, it was Marcos.

Similarly, when an enemy of Vladimir Putin died in London a few years ago from polonium poisoning, there was much creativity expended on who dunnit, since, clearly, Putin, the man with more means and motive to do it than anybody else, wouldn't do something so obvious as murder an enemy in an extremely conspicuous manner because that would make him look guilty.

Well, maybe. I dunno.

Or when Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan in 2007 to challenge General Pervez Musharaff's grip on the Presidency and wound up very dead, the U.S. blamed Al-Qaeda.

Maybe.

But now we know that the boss of Al-Qaeda was living near the Pakistan Military Academy. That raises questions. 

The simplest answer to those questions seems like: Osama bin Laden was alive in Pakistan and Benazir Bhutto was dead in Pakistan because that's the way Pakistan President Pervez Musharaff wanted it. 

Now, Peak State may well be too logical and tidy an explanation for a place like Pakistan. But, maybe not.  

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yep. The approval for those things would need to come from the top - but I wouldn't say Musharraf alone. There is probably a group of elite officers in the military drawn from Pakistan's landed feudal orders that basically calls the shots no matter who the figurehead is.

The figurehead can keep changing. The archetypal elite figurehead was Zia ul Haq. But Haq died in a plane crash. He was probably assassinated. So even the guys at the very top do not necessarily form a cohesive group and often act against each other. Zia ul Haq, however, was the man more responisble than anyone else for injecting the madrassa salafist poison into the very bloodstream of the country. And that ideology now is the uniting factor among all the divisions even among the elite.

Anonymous said...

Sounds about right to me.

Anonymous said...

the ISI definitely are the bad guys.

Anonymous said...

I think Peak States and Deep States exist in different times and places. Sometimes there's a hand behind the throne and sometimes not.

With George W. Bush and Barack Obama, for example, I think we're looking at pretty clueless cardboard cutouts thrust into the most powerful job in the world with virtually no international political experience. In these cases there are powerful forces propping them up and dictating their policy positions.

With a third-world dictator like Marcos or Saddam, we're almost always looking at a Peak State.

Foresight Gaga said...

Pakistan should be called Crackistan. It's been cracking up since... forever. Peak State theory works well for stable authoritarian/totalitarian orders but not for a place like Crackistan where ANYTHING can happen.
And remember Zia of Crackistan and Park of South Korea got assassinated. At some moments in some places, anything is possible.

Wandrin said...

"My concept of Peak State -- that the man most likely to be pulling more of the strings than anybody else is the official top guy -- is the Occam's Razor version of the concept of Deep State."

I think that's generally true.

For a Deep State to form there would have to be a reason.

I think the main exception to the general rule would be places where a powerful group want to hide their influence. The main reason for doing that is if they're an outsider minority. For example the Maharajah states in the British Empire where the local ruler was allowed to remain in charge on the surface while British advisors stayed in the shadows.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Raj#Princely_states

The Romans followed a similar system in some places. The French still pretty much rule a few African countries that way.

Other versions might be South American states in the past with a nominal local ruler and a lurking CIA proconsul.

A second reason for the growth of a Deep State might be a democracy gaining an empire where neccessary(?) but murky things have to be done for national security which the population might not support if they knew about them. If the reason for that kind of Deep State to form disappears e.g the Cold War, then it would take a while to erode away.

A third exception might be where a democracy was devolving into an oligarchy where a small minority of very rich men bought both sets of shallow state politicians.

But there would always have to be a reason.

.
I'd say the other exception to the "Peak State" rule are places like Afghanistan in it's natural state where the power of the nominal top guy barely extends past his own palace and where the entire country is made up of rogue elements.

.
As far as i know the first exception doesn't apply to Pakistan.

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The second exception partially does, at least in the tribal areas, but i'm not sure it applies enough in this case given where the compound was situated.

Wes said...

Interesting stuff by Steve and Wandrin. So it seems to me, one of the key factors in the devopment of a Deep State is a relatively low quality population (to be blunt). You have a bunch of low IQ people, barely literate, who can't be trusted to run their own lives, and some other group ends up wielding most of the power behind the scenes.

It looks like only about 50% of Pakistan is literate.

Anonymous said...

The most important question is who calls the shots in the US government.

slumber_j said...

@Wes

You said:

"You have a bunch of low IQ people, barely literate, who can't be trusted to run their own lives, and some other group ends up wielding most of the power behind the scenes.

"It looks like only about 50% of Pakistan is literate."

That makes some sense. And if the same is true of, say, Detroit? What might be going on there?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1383996/Nearly-half-people-Detroit-read.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

Anonymous said...

Steve, deep state is similar to deep politics put forward by JFK assassination folks, particularly Peter Dale Scott. So, with Marcos the most likely suspect for the Aquino job, does that mean LBJ was behind the Kennedy hit?

Anonymous said...

Brilliantly obvious in hindsight. Bravo, one of your best bits of independent thinking I've read.

Hopefully Anonymous
http://www.hopeanon.typepad.com

Anonymous said...

If he was really running a peak state then why is he no longer the dictator? It seems like the one goal above all others for someone running a deep/peak state is to continue running a deep/peak state.

Truth said...

I like this! So Barry's really on top of the world and he got there on his own merits.

Anonymous said...


It looks like only about 50% of Pakistan is literate.


By some strange coincidence, that's about the same as Detroit, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

After Bush finally learned Pervez Musharaff's name, he would have probably called him Perv when not on camera. He seems like the sort of guy who'd do that.

Wes said...

From what I can see, Peter Dale Scot is a deeply anti-American figure who renamed conspiracy theories "deep politics". But then again, I am being paid by CHAOS to say these things.

Anonymous said...

Off topic, but the NYT blogs about changes to the MCAT:
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/05/a-better-medical-school-admissions-test/

The proposed changes will add 90 minutes to the test and try to get at an applicant's personality and integrity, include questions on ethics, sociology, and philosophy. An admission test like the MCAT is probably better for testing both IQ and/or the base knowledge of biological and physical sciences required to be a good doctor. Conscientiousness has traditionally been assessed through grades and activities rather than standardized exams.

It seems like elites can get themselves confused about testing even when diversity questions aren't on the table.

none of the above said...

Anon 6:30 PM:

The sad difference between these two cases is that Pakistan's literacy rate is probably headed upward over time, while Detroit's is probably headed downward.

Anonymous said...

"A second reason for the growth of a Deep State might be a democracy gaining an empire where neccessary(?) but murky things have to be done for national security which the population might not support if they knew about them. If the reason for that kind of Deep State to form disappears e.g the Cold War, then it would take a while to erode away."

Or, it would find a new raison d'etre - ie the "war on terror" - and grow ever fatter off of the renewed sense of "national purpose". Which is what has happened.

"A third exception might be where a democracy was devolving into an oligarchy where a small minority of very rich men bought both sets of shallow state politicians."

This also happened in the USA, quite a long time ago. Control of the mass media was the key. Both parties serve the same interests and do not differ on any important fundamentals (partisans of the two parties are easily distracted with side issues and don't notice this).

"Interesting stuff by Steve and Wandrin. So it seems to me, one of the key factors in the devopment of a Deep State is a relatively low quality population (to be blunt). You have a bunch of low IQ people, barely literate, who can't be trusted to run their own lives, and some other group ends up wielding most of the power behind the scenes.

It looks like only about 50% of Pakistan is literate."


High IQ and high literacy rates actually work just as well as illiteracy and low IQ, for the purposes of Deep State, if the mass media is controlled and coordinated by one group/interest and the public education system is sufficiently dumbed down. Mass education and mass literacy merely makes the masses more susceptible to indoctrination via mass media. If said mass media is in appearance "free" and privately owned, but is in fact coordinated by a single cartel or shared interest group, it is even more effective than the old fashioned government controlled media. Mass media controls the democracy by shaping what people think and feel and what they are allowed to talk about. Mass media is part of our current Deep State, indirectly. No politican or political party can rule without its support. The democratic charade that has to go on in a high IQ / high literacy society is much more complicated than the kind of rule that a low IQ / low literacy society has, but it isn't an insurmountable barrier to the existence of a Deep State.

none of the above said...

Seems like there are two possible cases:

a. OBL was sheltered by someone relatively low on the totem pole, perhaps not really even knowing who they were sheltering.

b. OBL was sheltered by someone high on the totem pole--the president/central government, ISI, the military, or someone high up in one of those organizations.

In the case of (a), whoever took the bribe is probably going to spend the short remainder of his life having all the details of the transactions wrung out of him in Pakistan.

In the case of (b), things get more interesting. Every other powerful person/group in Pakistan must see this, rightly, as playing with sweating dynamite. Knowingly sheltering Bin Laden is the sort of thing that could end up wrecking their country, and that has to be clear to any number of people in power.

So if it's (b), it would be unsurprising to see some serious shakeups in the Pakistani government, as it becomes much easier to build a big coalition to, say, make some extensive changes to the management of ISI. That's not guaranteed--maybe ISI's just too powerful to take on, even when they jeopardize the existence of the country. But it's at least a possibility.

Svigor said...

I have no idea on the Putin Polonium thing. I do know if I was Putin and I wanted some critic dead and didn't want credit, I'd go with low rent methods like two to the back of the head in an alley. Or even better, a knife.

Frickin' Polonium? He had to want credit, if he ordered it. That, or someone down the chain of command was hittin the pipe way too hard.

Svigor said...

I'd say the other exception to the "Peak State" rule are places like Afghanistan in it's natural state where the power of the nominal top guy barely extends past his own palace and where the entire country is made up of rogue elements.

Hollow state Feudalism.

Wes said...

That is scary about the literacy rate in Detroit. Isn't the high school graduation rate among Hispanics only about 50%? Of course, that isn't the Cubans ... that is the Mestizos and indigenous people coming over the border in huge numbers.

If things continue along these lines, how do we avoid something like a Deep State? The Whites and Asians will demand it against the NAMs.

Dark State PC Dogma said...

Wes said...

Interesting stuff by Steve and Wandrin. So it seems to me, one of the key factors in the devopment of a Deep State is a relatively low quality population (to be blunt). You have a bunch of low IQ people, barely literate, who can't be trusted to run their own lives, and some other group ends up wielding most of the power behind the scenes.


Or there has to be a very sophisticated cultural immersion, programming and control system developed to brainwash the masses into acting without regard to their own best interests. It also can severely punish and shame those who stray too far from the officially accepted line.

Think about uncontrolled illegal immigration at a time of prolonged and extremely high unemployment and long-term relative economic decline.

That system would include educational, religious, political, media, entertainment and other fundamental components.

How many American politicians, educators or even actors would publically admit the obvious fact that different groups are genetically more gifted and capable and others are inferior in various human endeavors like sprinting, strength, stamina, intelligence, etc?

The overwhelming comformity to manifestly absurd PC dogma shows even the most advanced and best educated country in history can become nothing but a nation of docile lemmings led by the nose rings.

Intolerance of true but non-PC ideas like HBD is a good indicator of how vunerable a society is to having a "Dark State" arise.

travis said...

The simplest answer to those questions seems like: Osama bin Laden was alive in Pakistan and Benazir Bhutto was dead in Pakistan because that's the way Pakistan President Pervez Musharaff wanted it.

Ok, I'll buy that. But what about in the US when a presidential candidate gets shot? Can we conclude it's because the POTUS wanted it? Gore Vidal thought so. He believed that the Nixon administration was behind the attempted assassination of George Wallace and even wrote an article published in the New York Times that suggested superspy E Howard Hunt forged the diary of Wallace's shooter. It's a fascinating read, if you can find it online somewhere for free.

nosos said...

Truth said...

I like this! So Barry's really on top of the world and he got there on his own merits.

Gee Troof, shoulda trusted that you would reference this to your hero O. again. Is there anything which does not relate to O. on some tangent? I mean the guy is like God or something. Too bad we learn more and more what a pathetic weasel he really is.

Has to be said...

"Frickin' Polonium"

Most likely explanation: a workplace accident.

Luke Lea said...

What about the 10,000 (or 13,000) wealthiest families in America, the so-called "donor class"? According to a NYT financial journalist they bankroll both parties and use their influence to not pay $300 billion in taxes owed annually by hiding income in overseas tax shelters, secret bank accounts, shell corporations, etc. We hear about the Forbes 400. How about the America 10,000? Who are they? A couple hundred in each state on average -- the 20 well known families in Chattanooga, for example, where I live.

Luke Lea said...

I should have said the top 10,000 were about the deep state. George W. represented the peak and the shallow and the deep all at once. :)

Anonymous said...

Frickin' Polonium? He had to want credit, if he ordered it. That, or someone down the chain of command was hittin the pipe way too hard.

Putin has to deal with international oligarchs that he exiled and that are now holed up in London, NYC, etc. with their own security services, contacts, etc. plotting their revenge against him. He has to send a message.

Anonymous said...

Pakistan is a sh*thole, a cobbled together artificial state bound together only by its hatred for Hindus.
Pakistan is comprised of mutually hating ethnicities, run by feudal landlords withe army pulling the strings behind the scenes.A nasty war with India over Kashmir (the only 'bit of green' in Pakistan as one Pakistani put it) has rumbled on for decades.India has humilated and thoroughly defeated Pakistan numerous times, the most significant in 1971 when it managed to split 'East Pakistan' (Bangladesh) from 'West Pakistan'.Basically the Punjabis who run Pakistan hated and despised the Bengalis whom they thought of as trash.
With a dry as dust climate, few natural resources and burgeoning population growth, Pakistan is screwed.A burning ht country, power cuts are the order of the day due to the inability to pay for fuel.It's only real export is its people firstly they were dumped on a massive scale on Britain (actually they threaten in the future to outnumber indigenous Anglo-Saxons).They have now started foisting there excess population on any other white nation they possibly can sneak into.Poor Norway for some inexplicable reason has been targetted, so have the dumb Italians (dumb, because the sh*tty pre-Berlusconi leftist who ran the country encouraged the flow due to wank-lefty 'brotherhood of man' bullpoopy).The USA is tragetted - and boy, you don't know what you'r lettinng yourselves in for, it will make Mexico look like a Presbyterian ladies' teaparty.
Anyhow, cosanginous marriage (first cousins) is the norm in Pakistan.*Everything* and *everybody* in Pakistan is corrupt.It runs to the marrow of the people, it's in their DNA, they live, breath and die corruption, lies, cheating, deceit, getting one over, treachery, that's all Pakistan in a nut-shell.
Immigration laws must be abrogated.

ATBOTL said...

The guy who died of radiation poisoning most likely accidentally poisoned himself or was done in by one one of his associates. It's ridiculous to think that Putin would have ordered a total nobody like him killed, let alone in such a bizarre way.

Anonymous said...

YOu may want to correct that sentence. Vladimir Putin did not actually die, but Livtenko did!

Truth said...

"Gee Troof, shoulda trusted that you would reference this to your hero O. again"

Barry is a pathetic weasel...all presidents are...and all I'm doing is extrapolating what Sailer wrote.

neil craig said...

Or like who knew about Watergate?

Or who ordered the poisoning of Milosevic? Orv appointed known organleffers as NATO police in Kosovo?

Or did Johnson know about the Kennedy hit or just Hoover?

Or Hitler about Auschwitz? (just kidding, nobody doubts that)

Or FDR know about Pearl Harbour in advance?

Or Jesus deliberately get Judas to tip off the Pharisees?

You can see why people shy away from it.

Anonymous said...

"But now we know that the boss of Al-Qaeda was living near the Pakistan Military Academy."

Sure. Whatever the current White House/CIA story is, I believe it.

And when they change the story for the umpteenth time over the weekend, I'll believe the new version too.

/sarc

Occam's Razor says OBL died a long time ago.

corvinus said...

The USA is tragetted - and boy, you don't know what you'r lettinng yourselves in for, it will make Mexico look like a Presbyterian ladies' teaparty.

You forgot Canada... for several years it was taking in as many Pakis as the USA was!

Great post otherwise on Pakistan, Anon.