Our shadow government consists of factions in a variety of agencies bound together in loose groups to further their common interests. These groups are ill defined and fluid but held together by enduring power structures and the rewards that beckon newcomers to ally themselves with entrenched factions.
We know there are officials in the Pentagon that have close ties with military contractors and others in the military industry. These people have allies in other branches of government, in think thanks and lobby groups. These factions maintain their presence, evolution and power structures over the course of administrations. This is the "mycelium" that grows and spreads and is rewarded by the changes in the law, commerce and politics that they instigate over time. The illusion of free government and free capital markets has never made any sense in theory and never been evident in practice.
The existence of "shadow" power structures is obvious in all institutions that do not explicitly forbid or override it. The only example of such control that I can think of is in the military where the hierarchy attempts to completely control decisions in a top-down manner. But even here there are whispered stories of collusion, corruption, and favoritism. A global enterprise, or an interacting collection of global enterprises, will develop internal power structures extending outward to other institutions in whatever manner is profitable and practical. If these structures need to be hidden or dissembled, then that is easily done.
It's a mistake to look for the shadow government as a single, integral hierarchy. System theory would suggest that this is not the case. The forces that fortify the shadow government need to come from within the system. The shadow government is a collection of larger and of smaller special interests that coalesce and dissolve at different levels over time so as to remain responsive to opportunity and immune from disruption or destruction.
Misinformation is a key part of the
maintenance of special interests, and all the more so where there are conflicts
of interest. So, in addition to power threads developing onto branches of
government, they will also develop into branches of the media, education,
science, and entertainment.
Every social issue I examine reveals areas of allegiance and control. My recent reading about AD/HD has brought to light goals shared between government education programs, the commercialization of psychiatry, the social acceptance of the medicalization of mental illness, the role of insurance industries, the history of psychology and social change, and the provision of social services. This is all as one would suspect.
Studying this subject allows one to easily point to dominant forces that shape a twisted picture of health and medicine. Within every sub-area the actors -- teachers, social workers, doctors, therapists, journalists, politicians, and parents -- are largely ignorant of these forces, intentions, and history of the whole.
The medical shadow government developed since the end of the 19th century when doctors started forming industry groups that built allegiances with government. It grew in new directions with advances in pharmaceuticals and the social acceptance of new forms of illness.
The totality of today's shadow government consists of a pervasive set of institutions who share explicit or implicit goals and means, and whose uniformity and collaboration are largely unrecognized. Were these collusive relationships recognized -- such as the allegiances between the American Psychological Association and the Dept. of Education, for example -- these relationships would be attacked and weakened (1).
This is not the military-industrial complex, but it is a similar systemic, organically evolving structure. The medical/pharmaceutical industry, like the military industrial complex, chemical/agricultural industry, the justice/law enforcement/criminal complex, and many others, tap into society at many levels.
Taken as a whole these complexes constitute an entirely separate "electorate" whose votes are not equal, and whose struggle for power is neither democratic, fair, civil or just.
All of this is entirely to be expected in the context of our society. What is surprising is how ignorant people are of how powerful these organizations are, and how pervasive is their control.
As long as people remain reductive, dependent, and uninformed, the very concept of a shadow government that controls us will remain incomprehensible. And that is how it is now.
It is frightening to consider how society will respond when some particular crisis sets off waves of rebellion that move through these systemic levels. Any change that proceeds in a narrow and uninformed manner will be chaotic and poorly directed. Like the French Revolution -- or any revolution -- sides will be drawn with little realistic or lasting value. The victorious party rebuilds a new structure much like the previous one, whose roots were never understood and whose nurturing structures are left unchanged.
After the crash the society "reboots," and much the same "social software" runs again. (2)