September 16, 2022

The gen that wasn't cided: Gypsies of the Spanish Empire (Inquisition, Santa Hermandad)

As an epilogue to the series on the rise and fall of the Spanish Empire's Deep State (see here for previous entries), let's take a look at the dog that *didn't* bark. That will illuminate the role of the Deep State even more clearly than looking at who it *did* persecute.

To review, the Spanish Inquisition first focused on the foreign group that had conquered them and formed part of their empire within Iberia -- the Moors, whether they were Muslims or became Christian converts (Moriscos). They also focused on the foreign professionals and administrators who the Moors brought along with them, namely the Jews. The Jews were expelled in 1492, and the remaining Moriscos were ordered to leave in 1609.

However, the Inquisition also targeted local Iberian nobility within the regions that had historically been weakly integrated into the Spanish central state, primarily in the northeast. That was due to their antagonistic role against Castile, the eventual unifier of the nation and the empire, during the Civil Wars of the Reconquista (1350 to 1479). If they smelled foreign political influence coming in through foreign religious doctrines, such as the proto-Protestants like Erasmus or Enlightenment thinkers later on, they focused on them as well. They even hounded the sitting #1 leader of the Catholic Church in Spain (Archbishop of Toledo, Carranza), for decades until his death.

The Inquisition and the Santa Hermandad also shook down those with some degree of wealth, power, and influence -- not only to remind the middle and upper tiers of the societal pyramid that there was a powerful central state above them, but to get some actual material benefit from persecution.

However, it didn't occur to me immediately that there is a very glaring omission in this long list of targets of the Spanish imperial Deep State -- the Gypsies! After Spain became absorbed into the American Empire, by joining NATO and the EU in the 1980s, they have adapted by trying to re-interpret their distinct history and culture through the lens of their imperial overlords, which centers on colonizing indigenous peoples, slavery of foreign groups, Civil Rights, wokeness, and so on and so forth.

And although Spain did practice what the British and French empires did in the New World, there is nothing like slavery or racially coded oppression back in the Iberian peninsula. Most of the groups who were targeted collectively were white-skinned people from the northeast of Spain.

Before them, the Moors and Jews were targeted not on a genetic or even cultural basis, but based on a historical contingency -- i.e., having been the recent colonizers (and their administrator class) during Moorish rule. That's why the Moorish converts to Christianity were still eventually driven out -- although they made heavy efforts to culturally assimilate, they were still the recent colonizers of Spain, so they would always be suspicious as potential internal subverters in the eyes of the central security apparatus, no matter what culture they adopted.

Hundreds of years after the Jews and Moors were expelled, the only remaining genetic and cultural out-group within Iberia is the Gypsies. So that's where the focus goes in trying to interpret Spain in American terms, both by outsiders in the American Empire as well as aspiring woketards within Spain. They are a largely endogamous genetic out-group (hailing from Northwestern India), they had somewhat darker skin, they originally spoke a non-Romance language (although Indo-European), and they were nomadic rather than sedentary.

Although there is no widespread persecution of Gypsies by everyday Spaniards, they still don't accept them as being as fully Spanish as native Spaniards. They get harassed by the police due to their greater inclination toward petty crime, and some businesses try to ward them off from entering their buildings. But painting them as victims of would-be genociders is not only insane, it's a pathetic cry for attention -- and funding -- from the American Empire's woketard ruling class. "Hey guys, we can cry wolf over genocide, too! Why should only those other groups get to do it?!"

Even a milder charge like them being second-class citizens is incorrect. They are full citizens, with all the rights that citizenship brings, and they were on that path long before African slaves in America were headed toward emancipation and civil rights. Neither the state nor the general public is persecuting the Gypsies, and that has been true for centuries, not merely in imitation of the American Civil War and Civil Rights movement.

First, a whirlwind tour through the history of Gypsies in Spain, and then a look into what their lack of persecution tells us about the role of the Deep State. You can read a translation of the Spanish Wikipedia entry on them here. (English material in 2022 is heavily geared toward wokeness, the American Deep State's narratives, etc.)

A few thousand Gyspies first arrived in Iberia during the 1400s, right as the Castilian central state was finalizing its hold on political and cultural authority. They did not present as coming from a hostile religion, and they claimed to be Christians. And some of them even fought on the Christian side in the last battles against the Moors.

But as we saw with the Moriscos, just because you culturally assimilate doesn't mean the Deep State takes its eyes off you. What made the Inquisition and Santa Hermandad not worry about the Gypsies is that they had little wealth, so there was no point in shaking them down. And more importantly, they were not vying for political influence, where they might threaten the central state if they became new members of the regional rural nobility or the urban mercantile class. They simply wanted to be left alone to follow their nomadic way of life. That does not in itself lead to them forming a new power base, so the Deep State paid them no mind.

Local police might pay attention to them, if they wandered into settled cities and committed petty crimes like pickpocketing. But local petty crime is of no concern to the central security apparatus. Notice how absent the FBI and DOJ are in harassing local criminal hot-spots in American cities. Well, of course -- streetcorner drug dealers, pimps, 7-11 robbers, rapists, and opportunistic murderers are not contesting the authority of the central state. So while none of that is desirable for the Deep State, it's not a major threat either, so best to not waste resources on it. They will focus their resources instead on elites or aspiring elites who are vying for high-level influence in society.

Still, nomads pose a minor threat to the central state because they move so easily all around the territory of the realm, making them harder to surveil than sedentary people. So beginning in the 1500s, the government -- but not the Deep State -- enacted laws to sedentarize the Gypsies. As always with such a process, this found partial rather than total success. And it was not done on the basis of genetic differences, and did not impede their genetic continuation, so it was not a racial matter.

It was somewhat a cultural matter, in the sense that the nomadic subsistence mode had been central to their cultural identity, and that was now being replaced by a sedentary lifestyle. However, that would've been true for any group of nomads -- not only those who had come speaking non-Romance languages and following other non-Iberian customs.

The Spanish state was not trying to wipe out the Gypsy culture in toto, only those aspects of it that threatened the central state, like nomadism. They were welcome to keep following their distinctive taboos, kinship and marriage traditions, folk stories, music, clothing, crafts, food, and language. Most wound up learning Spanish in order to interact with their host population, and likewise started to assimilate more in other cultural areas (like dress), to willingly fit in better.

And so, the Gypsies were not targeted for elimination on either the genetic or cultural level. Indeed, unlike the Jews who were expelled in 1492, the Gypsies have remained very much present genetically and culturally right up through the present, numbering 3/4 of a million by now, and retaining much of their distinctive sub-culture. In fact, their contributions to Spanish culture have only been amplified and adopted as symbols of Spain in the meantime, particularly the Flamenco genre of music and dance.

The only episode in their entire history that approached persecution was the Gran Redada, or Great Round-up, of 1749. Notably, it was not planned or executed by the Deep State, which would normally handle such an operation against internal enemies. It was done through a faction within the military, led by a member of the Overt State, the Marquis of Ensenada. The idea was to round-up all the Gypsies, wait for an unspecified miracle to occur, and then they would be rid of the Gypsy population.

Woketards of the American Empire would love to interpret this as an attempted Holocaust, but it was nothing like it. A majority of the prisoners were set free after only a few months, most of the remainder were set free de facto by lower-level military members who didn't want the burden of looking after their charges, and a royal pardon freed the remaining few by 1765. There was no order or practice of murdering them in general (only if they fled and became fugitives, but that was not enforced de facto). They had -- and utilized -- the right of filing appeal lawsuits, and were defended by their fellow non-Gypsy neighbors and employers. Hardly a society hell-bent on annihilating them.

Mainly it was the bureaucratic nightmare that brought it to a halt. There was no standard definition of whom to target -- anyone with Gypsy ancestry? Only those following certain cultural customs? In implementation, it targeted the sedentary members living in cities, not the difficult-to-surveil nomads, and therefore rounded up the more integrated ones, not the potentially unruly nomadic ones. This discredited the plan, by punishing the very program of cultural assimilation -- and even genetic, if they had intermarried with non-Gypsies -- that the central state had itself been demanding for the past couple centuries.

Returning to the importance of the wealth of a group, the Gypsies were still poor, and so even after confiscating their property, the operation could not be financed without the state spending its own money. Poor people are not worth shaking down, unlike Jews who were largely professionals in the lead-up to the Holocaust. And Gypsies were still not politically organized or influential, unlike professional-class Jews in 20th C. Europe, who held leadership roles in political parties, wrote for and distributed political media, etc.

The desperate attempt by woketards to interpret the Great Round-up as a genetically oriented genocide is to say that, since they were separated by sex, that would've prevented genetic reproduction and ended their bloodline. Ha! Yes, just like the Catholic Church's private schools separating reproductive-age teenagers into boys' and girls' schools is a secret attempt to wipe out their own bloodline! Diabolical.

There are simpler ways to end the bloodline of your prisoners -- just kill them. You've already rounded them up, it's not exactly a silent secret program. Why wait decades for them to gradually fade out of the genepool, for want of reproduction with each other?

And actual genociders would not want the targets' genes remaining in the local genepool, even partially. So the Gypsies would have to be separated from everyone, lest interbreeding take place and pass on Gypsy genes into the future. For that matter, why not just castrate the men and set them free? -- no threat of their genes passing on. And take whatever means to sterilize their women. It's not rocket science, if the Spanish state had actually been on such a trajectory.

In reality, they were separated for reasons of labor, with the males over age 7 doing harder labor, and females of all ages plus males under 7 doing fine-motor textile labor.

In the wake of this political disaster, the central state did not double down or go about the plan in more furtive ways -- it actively began granting Gypsies greater political rights, starting in 1783 -- nearly a century before the formal integration of African slaves into the American nation. The Gypsies were granted citizenship, freedom to live wherever they wanted, take up any trade they wanted, and send their children to Spanish schools, to enculturate them and prepare them for integration. The laws penalized those Spaniards who tried to thwart the program or discriminate against Gypsies.

By now, they're covered by the same public programs for education, healthcare, etc., that all other Spaniards enjoy. Any attempt to portray their history as one of persecution, genocide, etc., is simply retarded. Not because the Spanish Empire had no history of such things -- but because the Gypsies flew under the radar, as poor or working-class people who had no political ambitions in the past, present, or future, and who would assimilate if required to.

They have no analogue whatsoever in the American Empire, nor in most other empires. The descendants of African slaves in America pursued political ambitions, which suddenly brought them under the watch of the Deep State, during the Civil Rights era (where the FBI probably played a role in assassinating Martin Luther King). Immigrant groups also join political organizations and aspire to higher status than menial labor, often along explicitly ethnic patronage lines, all the way back to the Ellis Islanders.

No group that was foreign to the founding population of the American Empire has remained at the bottom of the status pyramid, while never pursuing political organization and action, including any threat they may have posed in the past. Native American tribes were at war with the American founders, even though they remain poor and do not aspire to political power within the American state (only tribal / reservation governance). Those are the two distinctive aspects of the Gypsies which left them fairly unmolested by the Overt and the Deep State in Spain, from its imperial heyday up through its post-collapse present.

Contrary to the minor tendency of wannabe woketards to re-interpret Gypsy history as a copy-paste version of African slaves, illegal Central American immigrants, etc., the major tendency has been to celebrate the Gypsy contribution to Spanish culture. That applies not only within Spain itself, but in the broader American Empire that they were absorbed into, including the culture-makers of Japan, who we have occupied since WWII.

There is no greater example of this swirling fusion of influences than from the heyday of American imperial multiculturalism, during the end-of-history 1990s. That is, the culture of the Gerudos in the iconic video game The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, from 1998 (produced in Japan, by Nintendo).

The women are meant to evoke Muslim desert tribes, most likely the Moors of the Maghreb. What's their connection to Iberia? Their soundtrack theme is Flamenco -- which may not have come from the Moors, but rather the Gypsies, however it ties everything into an exotic Spanish focus.

Spain was all the rage during the Macarena '90s and y2k -- I began college wanting to major in comparative literature, planning to study the Al-Andalus era in Spain. Well, I didn't stick with comp lit (thank God), but I did perfect my Spanish, and picked up two years worth of Arabic (along with Italian and later Catalan, when I lived in Barcelona).

As much as I might like to think I arrived at my tastes through some transcendental spirit whispering into my mind, it was probably just growing up in the '90s and getting infected by the Spain bug like everyone else did in that environment. But I appreciate that influence. During this series on imperial Deep States, I've gone into far greater depth about Spain, because I've always been more passionate about them than Austria, Russia, China, or wherever else. That passion applies to the Moors and their empire as well.

In fact, I will take a break from the Deep State series to focus one last time on Spanish ethnogenesis, by returning to the series on the standardization of languages and dialects during imperial ethnogenesis. I'll look at the evolution of Castilian from late Medieval Romance languages in Iberia, caused by their unification of the peninsula against the Moors during the Reconquista, at the expense of other languages (Romance or otherwise) among the other Christian kingdoms.

Castilian is so distinctive among Iberian languages, that even a good share of *foreigners* who speak no Spanish, know what one of its defining sounds is. There's a related other quirk that they do not appreciate, but we'll cover that one too. As a preview, though, they both appear in the word for "intelligence," which sounds unlike all other Romance languages in these two ways.

September 12, 2022

Rise and fall of the Spanish Inquisition's political power (imperial Deep State)

Previous entries here, here, and here.

Now we'll conclude our look at the Spanish imperial Deep State with a survey of the initial rise, the stagnation / decline, and the collapse of its power over purely political affairs.

At the outset, Iberia was not yet fully liberated from the Moorish conquerors, as the Emirate of Granada remained in the deep south. So the main internal threats to the centralizing state, which was coalescing around the Catholic Monarchs, were the foreigners who had originally invaded, or who had come along with the invaders to help administer their empire. That was mainly the Muslims and Jews.

Under its first Grand Inquisitor, Torquemada, the Inquisition was instrumental in expelling the Jews in 1492. Muslims were treated less severely, since they were the still somewhat powerful invaders, whereas Jews were easier to drive out, as they were mere professionals and administrators of their Muslim rulers. At first Muslims were forced to convert to Christianity or leave Spain, during the early 1500s.

One century later, in 1609, even the converts (Moriscos) were ordered to leave as well. However, some of them returned, and in 1628 the local inquisitors in Seville were ordered not to hound them as before. This shows how the empire was nearing its peak / plateau stage in the middle of the 17th C., as it would have been inconceivable that Torquemada would have given them such a light touch over 100 years earlier.

Before getting to that stagnation phase, though, let's look at the power of the Inquisition in another way -- the period when the Grand Inquisitor was also the regent of the Castilian kingdom (i.e., the acting ruler). Cisneros was appointed to lead the Inquisition in 1507, and by 1516-'17 he was also the regent of the kingdom. This was not like when George H.W. Bush headed the CIA for a brief moment, and then became president over a decade later -- this was at the same time, and having headed the Deep State for nearly a decade.

And to drive home his role as the controller of internal enemies of the centralizing state, as regent he oversaw the conquest of Navarre by Castile. The Navarrese were not Jews or Muslims -- but they were weakly integrated into the state, belonging to the northeastern region formally controlled by the kingdom of Aragon. And they were still occasionally rebelling against Castilian dominance, so Castile subdued them by force, overseen by not only the political leader but the leader of the religiously based Deep State. If they belong to the same religion as the central state, then just slander them as not-good-enough members of the religion, as heretics, as blasphemers, as apostates, and so on and so forth.

After Cisneros died, Adrian of Utrecht -- a Dutchman -- took his place as Grand Inquisitor in 1518. Soon after, from 1520-'22, Adrian was also the regent of the empire, during which time he oversaw the continuation of the conquest of Navarre.

Even closer to home in Castile, he oversaw the suppression of the Revolt of the Comuneros, which did not involve Jews or Muslims, nor even the weakly integrated northeasterners. It was a local revolt against foreign rule: the new King was also a Dutchman and the Holy Roman Emperor (soon-to-be Charles I of Spain). On top of that, it was a succession crisis, as the rebels wanted Charles' mother, Queen Joanna, to rule on her own (she had been confined for madness, and de facto did not rule). Joanna had a much more direct and local bloodline to the founding of the empire, as she was the daughter of Isabella I.

But as empires expand and begin to administer international polities, they often absorb the elites of other realms, including at this point when the non-Iberian House of Habsburg was about to control the Spanish Empire during its Golden Age. Already a Dutchman was regent, as well as the Grand Inquisitor -- why not also let a Dutchman be their king?

In the Comunero Revolt, the enemies of the centralizing state were nationalists or nativists, who were against the increasingly international character of their growing empire. There are all sorts of enemies to the centralizing state of a growing empire -- literal foreign invaders, domestic separatists, nativists -- it gives the security apparatus plenty of work to do, and it means they have to rationalize their mission in increasingly twisted ways. It's no longer as simple as, "Christians safe, Muslims and Jews threatening". Whoever poses a risk to the central authority of the Catholic imperial leadership, is a heretic.

After leaving Spain, Adrian became Pope in 1522, the only Dutchman to fill that office. Regent of the preeminent empire in Europe, head honcho of its Deep State, and then leader of the Catholic Church, as well as the political leader of the Papal States in Italy -- all within a few years. This is what central legitimacy and authority looks like.

One of the last displays of the growing power of the Inquisition was in the 1560s and '70s, when the Grand Inquisitor, Valdes, launched a heresy trial against the sitting Archbishop of Toledo -- the #1 ranking leader of the Catholic Church in Spain -- Carranza. Surprise, surprise -- Carranza was from a noble Navarrese family, who grew up during the Spanish conquest of his land. Maybe the Grand Inquisitor thought that made him still a threat, if he were nursing a grudge. At the least, he was more sympathetic to foreign thinkers like Erasmus, which brought charges of supporting Lutheranism. Remember: ideas don't matter, they were afraid that he would allow in unwanted foreign political influence, not airy-fairy crap about the nature of Christian worship or whatever.

* * *

The Deep State of any empire is not an all-powerful entity, and its leaders are political appointees. It's not uncommon for the leadership of the Deep State to change when the political leadership changes. This was no less true for the Spanish Empire.

It's hard to imagine Torquemada or J. Edgar Hoover getting kicked to the curb by the political leaders, but they were heads of the Deep State at the powerful outset. FBI Director Comey was unceremoniously fired by Trump, and beginning in the early 1600s several Grand Inquisitors were forced out of the office when political leadership turned over or they lost favor (Niño de Guevara, Aliaga, and Sotomayor).

The first sign of the Inquisition's stagnating political power came in the 1660s, when Nithard was the Grand Inquisitor, as well as the de facto prime minister (the royal favorite of the Queen and Regent). His reign came just after Portugal won its independence from Spain in 1640, after having been conquered in 1580. That is a strong signal that the Spanish Empire is past its glory days. But then Nithard signed the Treaty of Lisbon (1668), whereby Spain got basically nothing from Portugal, in return for Spain giving up a major Iberian possession and officially recognizing the new Portuguese royal house. For such weak foreign policy, Nithard was kicked out in a bloodless military palace-coup.

The next inflection point in the decline of the empire was the War of Spanish Succession in the early 1700s. The last Habsburg monarch named his French Bourbon son as his successor, but an Austrian faction wanted Habsburg rule to continue in Spain. This war ultimately brought about the end of the Habsburg era, and the start of the Bourbon era. During the war, the Austrian faction was most popular in the weakly integrated northeast of Spain.

Even the Grand Inquisitor himself, Mendoza, favored the Austrian side -- however, he was accused of treason for that, fled to exile for 7 years, and was only allowed to serve as a bishop on his return. Not even an archbishop, let alone head of the Inquisition. But that's what the Deep State gets when it tries to interfere in a political succession crisis, on the illegitimate side at that, and well past the peak of imperial power. This marks an irrevocable loss of the legitimacy and authority of the Inquisition.

As a wonderful natural experiment, the regency board during the early stages of the war included both the G.I. Mendoza and the Archbishop of Toledo, Portocarrero. Both big religious figures, the former who sided with the Austrian faction, and the latter who not only supported the Bourbons but was instrumental in persuading the last Habsburg to name his Bourbon son as successor. Mendoza was only on the board for a few months, while Portocarrero was regent for several years until the Bourbon successor arrived in Spain. So while the Catholic Church may have maintained some degree of power over political affairs, the Deep State was losing it.

By the late 1700s, the Grand Inquisitor was reduced to adding Enlightenment thinkers onto its list of prohibited books, which was not successful anyway. That included G.I. Beltran's 1775 heresy trial against Olavide, an Enlightenment reformer (of Basque ancestry).

* * *

All empires collapse, and so do their Deep States along with them. Ours will be no different.

The Spanish Empire collapsed during the early 1800s, as Spain itself was occupied by Napoleonic France, all of its New World colonies fought and won wars of independence, and it ceded further New World territory to the American Empire (Florida). America picked up the leftovers later in the century (Spanish-American War, getting the Philippines, Cuba, and Puerto Rico).

The Inquisition was first abolished during France's occupation of the peninsula (1808 - 1814), and far from bouncing back strongly with the expulsion of the French and Napoleon's downfall, it oscillated between bouts of abolition and tepid re-establishment, being abolished for good in 1834.

The Grand Inquisitor when Napoleon invaded, Arce, gave pro-French sermons while his country was under foreign occupation. Not only did he not resume leadership of the Inquisition, which was more or less defunct anyway, he had to resign his offices within the Catholic Church as well (Archbishop of Zaragoza, and Patriarch of the West Indies). He was forced into exile for the rest of his life. So much for the all-powerful nature of the Deep State.

Wikipedia says the Inquisition condemned the guerrilla warfare by civilian Spaniards against the invading French army, which was the only reliable defense that Spain had against France, who easily defeated them in conventional battlefield warfare. There's no citation, and the Inquisition was formerly abolished at the time, so maybe this means the former leaders of the Inquisition (like Arce) still met and issued opinions to the public, including this one. If that's true, the reason is easy to surmise: guerrilla leaders were acting outside of the central state, and were therefore a threat to its authority and legitimacy, especially since they were so successful, while the central regular military was failing.

Getting on the wrong side of a war of national liberation in your own territory, just because the winners are not part of the central state? That's an easy way to shred what little remains of your credibility, legitimacy, and authority. It's not really treason, since the Inquisition did not side with France over Spain, they were opposed to those outside the central state playing the main role in defending the integrity of the state's territory. Nevertheless, it shows how useless the Deep State had become by that point, so there was no hope of its preservation as the empire only continued to disintegrate.

As during the War of Spanish Succession, there were several influential figures of the Catholic Church who were regents during the French invasion, but they were not also on the Inquisition. This included a lowly bishop Quevedo in 1810, and the Archbishop of Toledo, Luis Maria de Borbon, from 1813-'14. The latter went on to abolish the Inquisition in 1820.

* * *

Without going too much into the history of the lesser arm of the Spanish imperial Deep State -- the Santa Hermandad -- I'll simply note that it parallels that of the Inquisition. It was formed in 1476, as a result of the Civil Wars of the Reconquista (1350 - 1479), when the new leaders of the increasingly central state wanted a national police force that was under their control alone, not regional police forces that could be controlled by lesser royalty or regional nobles. It was used to harass political rivals, shake down wealthy people, and build their own power base.

It waned in power by the early 19th C., and crucially played no role in the liberation of Iberia from the Napoleonic invasion. As with the impotence of the Inquisition during this crisis, the absence of the Santa Hermandad shredded what was left of its credibility and authority. Technically, its purpose was internal policing, but when Napoleon occupies your country, you should re-focus your efforts to drive out the invaders.

Worse still, the forces that did drive out the French were guerrillas -- the very type of unit that a strong national police force would have persecuted and locked up, for practicing vigilantism. That is, for horning in on the business of the Hermandad. By 1844, they were replaced by the Guardia Civil -- a national gendarmerie, without the holy rationalization of the earlier imperial Deep State.

No more empire, no more obsession with controlling internal enemies of the central state, which only gets less and less centralized during imperial collapse.

Importantly, neither the Santa Hermandad nor the Inquisition was re-established during the Franco era in the 20th C. Although Franco had the support of the military, was a law-and-order leader, and was still based in Castile and facing rebels from the historically weakly integrated northeast, he was still ruling a full century after the collapse of the Spanish Empire. And so, none of its organs stood any chance at being reincarnated, as though being a right-wing leader gave someone magical powers.

September 10, 2022

In a socially fragmented world, guys would LOVE to get friend-zoned (and streamers as friend simulators)

Just wrote an entire post's worth of content in the comments section, as usual. I'll copy & paste it below.

It started with a reaction to Gura's stream tonight, but then got carried away on a number of related tangents. But the basic theme is what the title of this post says. If you're not much of a stream-watcher, give that link a try. It's short by streaming standards (under 3 hours), pretty conversational (not just video gameplay), covering a range of topics, and a spicy meme moment from the chat. You can treat it as a podcast, to play in the background while you do other things, if the game itself doesn't interest you.

Only thing I'll add is that, based on her saying that she likes the clothing styles of cottagecore and dark academia, she is clearly a former or current Tumblr girl (maybe as it migrated to TikTok as well). Like most, or maybe all, of the other Hololive girls, in fact. During the woketard purges of the mid-late 2010s, these girls gradually went into hiding. Now that the woke culture war is dying out in the broader society, and there's a whole new entertainment format that woketards don't control -- livestreaming, especially when they're hired by Japanese companies -- these Tumblr refugees can come out of hiding and bless the world with their cursed-yet-cute personas.

A few years ago, "Tumblr" had only negative connotations, because Tumblr demons had taken over the platform. But now that the Tumblr angels have a safe space, as it were, maybe the brand can be rehabilitated.

* * *

Awww, Goobi hosted an unhinged hang-out party for us, even though she's been in a "head hurty" mood this week. We'll always be there as an audience when you need someone to unload your emotionally drained brain on. I'm pretty sure it was her monthly debuff (as Wolfabelle phrased it), not anything threatening, thank God.

I really like this aspect of girly-girl streamers -- they let you into their lives by going through the things that have been bugging them lately, and whether you actively respond or just provide them with an all-ears audience, it lets them work the frustration out of their system.

Just like being actual friends with them. :)

One of the things I really despise about the girl-hating culture is complaining about when girls complain to guys about the mundane goings-on of their life. "Oh great, what's it about now?" And complaining about not being sure what to say, or whether to say anything at all. Just be an audience, then, they're just looking for some support, so they can get better and be the supportive girly-girl in your life once her head is back on straight.

I really don't understand the girl-hater ignorance toward this behavior -- she's *chosen you* to be her audience, not just any old schmo. That means she values your relationship, otherwise she'd either be talking to someone else, or would just clam up altogether out of paranoia and distrust.

It's really the twin phenomenon to the whiny man-haters (who are also girl-haters, or "female misogynists") who complain about having to do "emotional labor" to support a guy in their social circle. As though it's unpaid therapy, and she gets nothing else out of it from him.

But the reward to the listener is that the person working out their problems is not going to just leave afterward, like the patient of a therapist, who don't see each other outside of their sessions. Rather, they're both involved in each other's lives, so by helping out someone with a problem (even just feeling cruddy during shark week), you're helping to get back a source of support for yourself.

You both depend on each other, so helping the other is also helping yourself. It doesn't require further compensation. But the girl-haters and man-haters (again, the same type of people -- people-haters, misanthropes, etc.) act like it's a burden, and they would need something further.

That's because misanthropes don't actually value social bonds with other people, so helping another person is *not* helping the misanthrope -- who doesn't feel like they ever get anything out of the other person, even when that other person is in a good mood and full of confidence.

All of which is to thank Gura for providing a good role model for the other side, our side. She's a girl-liker and guy-appreciator, not a depressed misanthrope.

Thank you for trusting us and relying on us when you need it -- we'll always be there for you, Goob. :)

* * *

"Emotional tampon" -- that's the phrase the functionally-gay manosphere girl-haters used. Exactly the same as "emotional labor" used by the feminazi whiners. Two sides of the same misanthropic coin.

Imagine thinking you'll ever get a girl to trust you enough to feel comfortable being physical with you, without seeing you be supportive in low-stakes everyday situations like "listening to me go over what's been bugging me lately".

They thought there was a video game cheat code that would allow them to circumvent actually developing a social-emotional bond with a vagina-haver, before getting her into bed. That's what they spent all that time in the manosphere doing -- studying tips, memorizing lists, doing homework. They treated it like it was GorlFAQs.

"Emotional tampon" referred to the suckers who were doing things the hard way, the old way. The ones who didn't have the secret knowledge of what cheat codes to enter into the computer program of the female brain. That knowledge belonged to the geniuses.

Turns out, no, there's no cheat code, and you'll never get laid or have a steady gf or wife (unless you're really hot, which they are not). That's when the real bitterness and girl-hating took off. Back in the 2000s or early 2010s, they were fine to just gripe about women on the internet, if they could enter the cheat code for casual sex each weekend. When the cheat codes didn't work, all that was left was their own bitterness and misanthropy.

The whole "mens rights activists," etc., just the flipside of being a man-hating feminazi. Trying to out-woke or reverse-woke the feminists. Sadge.

* * *

I'll go out on a further limb and say that most guys under 30 or 40 today would be *ecstatic* to be "friend-zoned" by a girl, or several girls at once (ooh la la).

The pejorative sense of getting put in the friend zone is that you stood a decent chance at getting into a bf / gf relationship, or maybe just a fuck-buddy relationship. But like Chris Rock said, you took a wrong turn somewhere, and ended up in the Friend Zone -- NOOOOOO!!! Now you're just her Platonic friend.

Back when people actually did have sex with each other, especially in a casual hook-up way, then yes, that would've been a huge failure, and it would've stung bad for awhile. You might never stop regretting that one time you got friend-zoned by your crush, speculating forever in your own mind what you could've done differently to have gotten into the other f-zone with her.

But now that young people have stopped having sex, especially on a frequent basis (not just a one-night stand or two to last all year), the alternative to getting friend-zoned is not becoming fuck buddies. It's not a missed opportunity at casual sex. If you're not in her friend-zone, you're not in her any-zone.

Fewer young people have enduring friendships than ever, some literally don't have a single close friend who they confide in, and who confides back in them. In this new dystopian reality, yesterday's nightmare is today's paradise -- "Wow! A girl actually wants to be close friends with me?!?!?!!!!"

I think the girl streamers sense this shift in what guys are looking for when they interact with girls online. Aside from a minority of coomers (close to zero with the Hololive girls), they're not there in a girl's chat to hit on them, ask for nudes, or otherwise act like the platform is a fuck-buddy finder. The chat and the streamer both know that Tinder etc. already exist for that. And those platforms are already done for, among the majority of guys, since by now it's an open secret that only the really hot guys will get anywhere using them.

Instead, they're there actively seeking out a friend zone! Because the alternative is not the fuck-buddy zone, it's the no-friends-zone, the worst of all.

And as the girl streamers occasionally confess, during a momentary lapse in their self-monitoring (hehe), they appreciate the chat acting as a collective friend group to them as well. The friendship simulator feeling all-too-real goes both ways. :)

September 7, 2022

Moroccan Arabic's distinctiveness: language revolution and imperial ethnogenesis

[Dedicated to the first one to get me hooked on the streamer phenomenon, Pokimane, the retired anti-woke left podcasteress, Leila Mechoui, and my stunning study buddy from discrete math class back in college, Aicha.]

All this investigation of the Spanish Empire has led me to investigate its historical background, namely the Moorish Empire that controlled most of Iberia.

During this, I noticed two very unique things about Moroccan history, which solve a major mystery about Moroccan culture -- namely, the distinctiveness of its dialect of Arabic, which is so different that no other dialect speakers in North Africa or the Arabian Peninsula can understand it, even remotely. See this video where speakers of different dialects try to understand each other, and how much they all get flabbergasted by Moroccan.

Briefly, the Moroccan dialect has eliminated many vowels, so it sounds like an almost endless string of consonants. This process even targeted vowels in stressed syllables -- usually a no-no for vowel reduction -- so that it also caused a major shift in stress. For example, the original Arabic word "BA-lad" (country) saw its stressed vowel disappear, with stress shifted to the formerly 2nd, now only vowel -- "BLED". With so many consonants in a row, they have also syllabified, meaning they're given the same "weight" as a stressed vowel. (This happens somewhat in English, as in "waddle", which is pronounced like "WAD-l", with no vowel in the second syllable, only the "l".)

But don't worry about the specific changes -- the key thing is that, whatever it's due to, Moroccan sounds totally incomprehensible to the speakers of all other Arabic dialects.

The second fact is that Morocco is the only region among Arabic speakers, outside of the Arabian Desert where Arabic and Islam originated, to have spawned a native empire. That is, a large and expanding state, not just a unified state, and not one that was controlled by foreigners. More than that, it was never conquered and absorbed into any other empires of the region, after the initial adoption of the Arabic language and religion of Islam.

Crucially, these processes happened during the same time period, roughly the 7th to 12th centuries. That saw the emergence of the Pre-Hilalian Arabic dialects in the Maghreb, as well as the unification and eventual expansion of a Moroccan state and empire. This is only one case study of a far more general pattern, which I haven't seen covered in historical linguistics, whereby the growth of an empire accompanies a revolutionary rather than merely evolutionary change in the expanding group's language.

The expansion of an empire is powered forward by intense asabiya (large-scale social cohesion, or potential for collective action, borrowing a term from Ibn Khaldun and popularized by Peter Turchin). This follows a period of ethnogenesis -- the creation of a new ethnic identity -- along a meta-ethnic frontier with a very foreign and threatening Other.

The intensity of Moroccan ethnogenesis -- compared to the identities of other Arabic-speaking peoples -- is reflected both in its imperial expansion and in its unique and radical changes to Arabic that render it sui generis among the descendants of Classical Arabic. Both of these processes happened at the same time, in tandem, around the close of the 1st millennium and the early part of the 2nd millennium.

And although its imperial heyday is long gone, and despite not introducing another wave of radical changes to its dialect of Arabic since then, that period of ethnogenesis was strong enough to leave lasting effects right up through the present, such that Moroccans have set themselves apart from every other group of Arabic speakers.

* * *

First, the historical background of the external pressures that forced the people living in what is now Morocco, into developing such an intense sense of Us vs. Them.

Muslims first invaded North Africa, going all the way into Iberia, during the original wave of Arabs out of the Arabian Desert in the 7th and 8th centuries, bringing with them the religion of Islam and the Arabic language. When they invaded Iberia, they may have relied on local Berber soldiers from the Maghreb -- since the far west of the Mediterranean is quite a distance from the Arabian Desert to bring your own people as an army -- but these Berbers were not organized into a highly ethnically conscious collective.

What forces people to cohere into an intense Us is lying on a meta-ethnic frontier with a very foreign and threatening Them. In the case of pre-Muslim Berbers in what is now Morocco, the invaders were Muslim Arabian-based empires from the east, who came along the Mediterranean coastline. Since the coastline is fertile and lowland, this also pit them against the upland Berbers in and around the Atlas Mountain chain.

Why did only the Berbers near the Atlas Mountains cohere into an intense Us, unlike their cousins in the rest of the Maghreb, which is today part of Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, and parts of Egypt? First, the former had a lot of mountain people, not only lowland coastal people (both regions have desert people as well). So that makes coastal invaders stand out as more foreign in Morocco.

But perhaps more importantly, the Atlas Berbers faced an additional axis in their meta-ethnic frontier -- the Arab Muslim empire in Iberia to their north, right across the Strait of Gibraltar. That became a mighty center of power during the Caliphate of Cordoba -- it was not some wimpy outpost, nor was it fragmented. The Berbers of Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and further east were "only" pressured from the east, and they could escape somewhat to the west, ending up in Morocco. The Atlas Berbers were pressured from the east, but also from the north, and they had nowhere to escape to westward (the Atlantic Ocean). Fleeing into the Sahara Desert to the south is not a long-term viable solution either for any of the Berbers who did not already live there -- too different for either the mountain people or the coastal plains people.

For the Berbers east of the Atlas to feel a secondary front of pressure from the Arab Muslim empires, the Umayyads would have had to control southern France, southern Italy, Sicily, Sardinia, etc., and bear down on Tunisia and Algeria. Or perhaps Umayyad control over the Balkans, bearing down on Libya and Egypt. But none of that happened, so those Berbers felt only a fraction of the pressure felt by the Berbers right below Iberia. As a result, they developed a looser and weaker sense of being in an Us vs. Them war with the Arab invaders.

* * *

The cohesion of the Atlas Berbers did not happen overnight. They did have enough asabiya to break away from the Arab Umayyad Caliphate, during the Berber Revolt (circa 740), but that did not result in a single strong expanding state of their own. Rather, they fragmented into several smaller states, after their united front against the invading Arabs had achieved its goal of local independence in northwestern Africa.

The Idrisid Dynasty (roughly, the 9th and 10th centuries) managed to unify a decent amount of what is now Morocco, although it was not expanding outside the Atlas Berber region just yet. Its founder was an Arab, but he married the daughter of a Berber ruler, and his descendants who continued the dynasty were therefore heavily Berber as well. Not to mention the bulk of the army was still Berber. At the same time, this began the gradual process of Arabization -- it's just that, unlike other Berber regions, it would take on a unique and distinctly new Moroccan character, rather than simply becoming Arabized.

During the late stage of the Idrisid era, the hypothetical threat of being pinched between both Iberian and further-east African invaders became very real. Both the Caliphate of Cordoba and the Fatimid Caliphate (based in Egypt, although founded by Berbers) were waging a proxy war in Morocco. And the local Berber rulers (from the Zenata tribes) were not a strong entity unto themselves, but switched sides between the two would-be imperial overlords from Iberia and Egypt.

However, the intensity of these external pressures eventually led to the formation of a native Moroccan empire by the middle of the 11th C., which not only unified all of present-day Morocco but extended further south into the western Sahara, spread eastward to the other Maghrebi groups of the Mediterranean coastline, and seized control of the Muslim part of Iberia. The first dynasty to do so was the Almoravids, who were then taken over by the Almohads.

This expansionary phase of the empire lasted a good 200 years, into the middle of the 13th C., after which it entered a declining and collapsing phase, during the Marinid era. They still controlled Morocco, but lost control of Algeria and Tunisia, and their territory in Iberia not only shrunk in size during the Christian Reconquista, but broke off into a separate polity altogether (the Emirate of Granada). During the following Wattasid era (late 15th to mid-16th centuries), the core territory in Morocco contracted even further, with much of their southwestern lands becoming semi-autonomous vassal states, and the key Atlantic ports and area around Gibraltar coming under Iberian control (during their Age of Exploration).

By this point, Moroccan ethnogenesis was complete. The Saadi and Alaouite eras that followed did not launch new expansions, nor did they fundamentally change the language and culture again. They managed to unify Morocco, expel the Iberians (mostly), beat back the Ottoman Empire, and resist colonization by other European empires. Coming under a protectorate of empires on their death-bed, during the early 20th C., is not colonization or being on the losing side of imperialism. Other than there being a vogue for the French language, the French empire did not influence Morocco. (And even that influence may have been indirect, through the use of French among the educated of the nearby Ottoman lands after the Tanzimat reforms of the 19th C. to modernize the empire.)

* * *

Without going through the whole rest of the Arabic-speaking world, I'll simply note that none of it managed to stay outside of foreign control after the initial Arabian Muslim conquests, aside from the Arabian Desert nomads themselves. And none of them launched a native empire of their own, again except for the Arabian Desert nomads (who began expanding in the late 1700s, to eventually become modern Saudi Arabia).

Most recently and extensively, the non-Moroccan Arabic-speakers (except the Arabian nomads) were all invaded and occupied by the Ottomans -- who spoke Turkic languages, and before that, Indo-European languages in the Greek branch. Anatolia was never Saharo-Arabian in language.

Looking just at the other countries of North Africa, before the Ottomans they were absorbed into foreign empires under the Mamluk Sultanate (whose ruling military castes were Turkic and Northwest Caucasian by ethnicity), the Ayyubid Dynasty (relying on those same Mamluk generals, but also headed by leaders of Kurdish or Turkic ethnicity), and the Fatimid Caliphate (ruled by Berbers, who were foreign invaders within Egypt, although not so much outsiders in the rest of North Africa).

All of these empires were centered in Egypt, which makes an excellent strategic base for an empire -- it is fed by crops grown in the fertile Nile area, has trading ports in the Mediterranean, and is protected by deserts on several sides (crucially the Sinai, against invasion from Eurasia). However, a native Egyptian empire has not existed since the end of the 2nd millennium BC, during the New Kingdom of Egypt.

Since then, their history with empire is being ruled over by various foreign ethnic groups. Before the Arabs, it was the Byzantines, before them it was the Romans, before them it was the Greeks, before them it was the Persians, before them it was the Neo-Assyrians, before them it was the Kushites, and before them the Sea Peoples brought about the Bronze Age Collapse of the New Kingdom...

Fittingly, Egypt is the most cosmopolitan region within the Arabic-speaking world today. The works of its culture industry are consumed widely throughout the Arabic-speaking world, and as a result the Egyptian dialect is understood by many speakers of other dialects. This is even easier since the Egyptian dialect does not sound like a totally foreign language to those other dialects' speakers -- in stark contrast to the Moroccan "dialect", which sounds like it comes from Mars.

Overall, Egyptians accepted Arabization far more than other places distant from the Arab homeland of the Arabian Desert. After all, it was just another foreign culture to adapt to after they were conquered by foreigners, a pattern they had been familiar with going back to the 1st millennium BC. Egyptians identify much more strongly as Arabs than do their North African neighbors, especially the Moroccans.

Crucially, this is not because the Egyptian culture that preceded Arabization was already highly similar to Arab culture, as though the changes were minimal and no big deal. Egypt was heavily Christianized when the Arabs invaded -- just like the rest of North Africa, where Christianity was spread during the late Roman and especially the Byzantine eras. So the religion of Islam was quite a radical break. Their subsistence mode was large-scale sedentary agriculture, not nomadic pastoralism, so this was another aspect of the invaders' foreign-ness.

And their language, Coptic, did not belong to the Semitic branch of the Saharo-Arabian family -- it belonged to the Egyptian branch, which was just as independent from Semitic as the Berber branch was. Just because all of them are Saharo-Arabian means little -- imagine telling Romans that the invading Gauls are just friendly "fellow Indo-European speakers", despite speaking a language from the Celtic rather than Italic branch of the family.

This shows that the highly distinctive nature of Moroccan Arabic cannot be explained by a local substrate (Berber) that is notably different from the new language (Semitic), albeit from the same big language family (Saharo-Arabian). If that were true, then Egyptian Arabic should also sound like a totally foreign language to other Arabic speakers, since its original population did not speak a Semitic language but an Egyptian language.

For example, consider the aspirated consonants that were spoken in the Demotic and Coptic stages of Egyptian (in the Nile Delta region, from 650 BC up through the Arab conquest). They could have persisted into Egyptian Arabic, making it sound strange to speakers of other Semitic languages or Arabic dialects, which never had aspirated consonants. But they did not, and it does not sound strange to outsiders.

Why did Egyptians not develop such intense asabiya as the Atlas Berbers did? Because although they were quite different from the Arab Muslim invaders, they did not lie along a meta-ethnic frontier for very long, and only in one dimension (from the east). They were rapidly incorporated into the Arab empires, and then the Berber Fatimid empire, and then the Eurasian Mamluk and Ottoman empires. The differences between Us and Them have to fester for decades, even a century or so, before they bring the Us side together so intensely that we both re-define our ethnic identity as a new people, different from who we used to be, and expand militarily at the expense of our neighbors.

Moroccans *did* have sufficient time for these differences to fester, since they were much farther away from the Arab origin in Arabia, and they had the nearby Atlas Mountains and foothills to hide in, while the Arabs were ruling from the lowland coastline. They also felt the secondary front of pressure from the north in Iberia. All the Egyptians had to protect themselves was the Sinai Desert, which is nothing compared to the Arabian Desert, and so was no problem for the Arabs to cruise right through. And they were sitting ducks, depending on the sedentary agricultural farmland around the Nile River. Nowhere to run to.

This explains why the Egyptians have been more able and eager to adapt to foreigners, and appeal to them internationally (within the Arabic-speaking world, at least), whereas the Moroccans have remained more fiercely independent, both militarily and culturally. Not that Moroccans feel the need to sneer down their noses at other off-shoots of Arabic -- they simply feel no need to make themselves intelligible to speakers of other dialects, and are content to only be understood by their own (comparatively) cohesive in-group.

* * *

On a final note, what about the other Maghrebi dialects -- at least, those other Pre-Hilalian dialects that emerged around the same time as the Moroccan dialects? Without going into it too much, they are between the case of Moroccan and Egyptian, but closer to Moroccan. They are not very intelligible to other Arabic speakers, albeit less severely.

And the reason is clear: they were intermediate between Morocco and Egypt regarding imperial history. They spawned no native empires of their own, but they were occupied by foreigners for less time than Egypt was. Not all of those Egyptian-based empires spanned all the way over to Algeria, let alone for their entire history. And sometimes the foreigners had a difficult time conquering them, and were content to let them administer themselves with only indirect input from the foreigners -- such as Algeria, which was conquered late in the Ottomans' history, and was largely under local control after conquest, compared to places closer to the imperial core, like the Balkans or the Levant.

As a result, other Maghrebi people have a fairly non-Arab identity, emphasizing their Berber roots, and not conforming to other dialects of Arabic in order to be broadly understood. They are just not quite as extreme as the Moroccan case. Tunisians and Algerians may desire somewhat to be understood by the rest of the Arabic-speaking world, but accept their not-so-intelligible status -- whereas Moroccans are blissfully unmoved by the appeal of being understood halfway across the world, and relish in their linguistic independence and isolation.

Proud and secure ethnicities feel like there is no other people who they need to be accepted by -- love us or leave us, we don't mind either way, because we have one another, the greatest group by far in the whole world. Insecure groups have a chip on their shoulder about not fitting in with out-groups, and may become eager to get rid of that feeling by endearing themselves to those others.

See this related post on the evolution of regional dialects within the growth of an empire, where the standard dialect reflects whoever was on the meta-ethnic frontier, whereas non-standard dialects reflect who was further removed from the front lines of the meta-ethnic conflict. E.g., Western dialects being standard in the American Empire, reflecting the frontier with the Indians and Mexicans and the Japanese, while East Coast dialects -- whether Northern or Southern -- are highly non-standard.

The same applies within the Maghreb -- since the Atlas Berbers were on the meta-ethnic frontier the longest and strongest, their variety of Maghrebi Arabic defines the standard for the entire region, whereas Tunisian, Algerian, and Libyan dialects are treated as peripheral members of the region.

August 31, 2022

Demystifying the Spanish Inquisition

Series overview here, and history of the Spanish Empire here. Next, a little demystification of the Spanish Inquisition is in order, given America and Britain's historical hostility to Spain.

The security apparatus of the Spanish Empire consisted of the Spanish Inquisition, which was mainly a tribunal, and the Holy Brotherhood (Santa Hermandad), which was more of a gendarmerie. The full name of the Inquisition also includes the word "Holy" (Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition). The authority and legitimacy of these organs of the Deep State were religious, sacred, holy, etc. -- not to be transgressed, which would amount to profanation, heresy, blasphemy, apostasy, etc.

This is no different from the Praetorian Guard in Rome, since their foremost duty was to protect the emperor, who according to the imperial cult was a god himself. By identifying and neutralizing threats to a political leader, they were also preventing attacks on a god. And it's scarcely any different in the American Empire, with our FBI, whose mythical purpose to defend our sacred civic religion of democracy against threats to it (which are treated as dangerously heretical, apostate, and so on).

And far from the local impromptu witch trials of the raving hysterics in Protestant Germany around the same time, the Spanish Inquisition was a stodgy bloated bureaucracy with multiple levels of hierarchy, and complicated procedures, including appeals -- the better to check the zeal of would-be witch-burners. And in fact the Inquisition was far less bloody than the Protestant witch trials.

That was not because the heads of the Inquisition's bureaucracy were so kindhearted -- but because hysterical witch-burners are wannabe upstart strivers at the local and anarchic level of society. The whole point of the Inquisition, and any Deep State, is to centralize authority and check the ambitions of the unruly elites below it.

Hence, in our own empire, the FBI targeting local school boards that pass anti-woke policies. As the FBI sees it, it's up to the centralized state, not local yahoos, to decide how the empire's children will be enculturated. If left up to the yahoos, there would be a zillion different outcomes, many contradictory, and at times threatening the legitimacy of the ruling elite, whose holy ideology du jour is wokeness.

Also unlike the Protestant psychos, who could have been snitching on their neighbor or friend or family member out of a petty grudge, the Inquisition primarily concerned itself with the wealthy, influential, and elite. The elites -- not the peasants -- pose the greatest collective threat to the central state. Similarly, the FBI only freaked out when anti-woke policies were being passed by school boards in wealthy suburbs of the imperial capital (NoVa), not in rural Kentucky.

And as the bureaucracy grows more and more bloated, with less and less reason for existing anymore, they will want to shake down their targets, to fund their skyrocketing budgets. No use in shaking down a landless peasant -- they will shake down a wealthy person instead. That is not confined to state security, but any kind of bureaucratic perpetuation.

In short, the Inquisition was used to identify, harass, and maybe even get rid of the potential or actual political enemies of the centralized leadership of the empire. They can't do this so nakedly and cynically, so they need a sacred, rather than utilitarian, rationalization. Their notion of the sacred involved the divine right of absolute monarchs to rule, and it was a sacred institution that was in charge of the tribunal. You couldn't oppose the political, utilitarian program of state security without also opposing the religious, sacred program of the church.

Likewise today, you can't oppose the FBI's partisan intervention in politics without also opposing the sacred institutions of American democracy, according to our conception of the sacred. Telling the FBI to go fuck itself is up-ending "the rule of law," i.e. the kind of system where God is in charge and everything flows nice and orderly, so that the Devil might take over and usher in wickedness and chaos. Or so the mission statement of the Deep State always goes.

* * *

The Spanish Inquisition was founded in 1478, concurrent with the end of the Civil Wars of the Reconquista (1350 - 1479), during which the northern Iberian Christian kingdoms were at war with each other, and within themselves. Those civil wars came after several centuries of a fairly united Christian front that drove the Moors into the southern tip of the peninsula (1100 to 1250).

This ebb-and-flow of united fronts against external enemies, and civil wars after the former has been achieved, is general. The long period of civil wars during the Crisis of the Roman Republic came after a couple centuries of a fairly united front to drive out the invading Gauls and the Carthaginians. The American Civil War & Reconstruction came after a long period of uniting to conquer the Indian threat, and to break away from the British Empire.

The next stage is the rise of the state security apparatus, now that the central leadership has had its attention drawn to *internal* threats to its power and stability, not only external enemies, where its attention had been focused earlier in imperial expansion. The Praetorian Guard as a powerful faction followed the Crisis of the Roman Republic, and the FBI followed the end of the Civil War & Reconstruction.

It was no different in Spain. The Castilian kingdom had always been the region with the highest asabiya (intense social bonds, or potential for collective action), as it was the most exposed to the meta-ethnic frontier with the Moorish Empire. The Civil Wars of the Reconquista established Castile as the foremost among the Christian kingdoms, and so the security apparatus was designed to protect the Castilian leadership against all other threats.

Those threats included not only the foreign Muslims and Jews who had come in with the Moorish invasion, but also non-Castilian regions in northern Spain -- greater Aragon (including Catalonia), Basque Country / Navarre, and Portugal. As Spain expanded and involved itself more in European politics, external threats -- e.g., from the Protestant Reformation, or later the Enlightenment -- could enter Spain directly with foreign invaders, or through Spaniards who were sympathetic to those foreign sources.

And although the following point was not so crucial within its historical context, it needs to be emphasized for the people of the British and American empires, whose own ethnogenesis is fundamentally anti-Catholic (stemming from their imperial rivalry with France and Spain). Part of their imperial mythology is that their imperial rivals are slave-like robots to the central orders of the Pope, who controls all people in all Catholic societies like an evil mastermind.

In reality, Spain sought to insulate its central state from the influence of the Pope, who was not only the sacred leader of the Roman Catholic Church, but the political leader of the Papal States (the rump state that contained Rome, in the wake of the collapse of the Roman Empire). This Inquisition was Spanish -- not Italian or Roman or Papal -- because it was designed to protect the security of the central leadership of the Spanish Empire, not of Rome, the Papal States, or the international Roman Catholic Church.

Likewise, the American Empire has its own proper FBI and CIA to shield its own imperial leadership against threats to its sacred political institutions. They don't outsource all of that work to the British Deep State just because we are historically related and have similar conceptions of the sacred (democracy, representative government, etc.). Spain and the Papal States were both Christian / Catholic, just as America and Britain are both liberal democratic in their civic religion. That only unites Spain and the Papal States against Muslims, or America and Britain against the Soviets or North Korea (not liberal democratic in civic religion). But the security apparatus is for neutralizing all threats to the central state, including those from within the same society, or fairly friendly foreigners.

Just as importantly, the Inquisition was not involved in foreign expansion. They did not launch crusades against Muslims or Jews outside of the empire, nor did they send divisions to battle Protestants during various wars of religion, or station troops outside of Rome to assert independence from the Pope. Those are all military functions, and the Deep State is a domestic security apparatus. Only if you were a Muslim, Jew, Protestant, or Papal agent inside the Spanish Empire, did you wind up on the Inquisition's radar.

Likewise, the FBI is not the institution that tries to expand American imperial territory abroad, or administer what we have already conquered. Not even the foreign-facing CIA is that central to conquest, which has been through the military.

The next post in the series will survey the rise and fall of the Inquisition's power.

August 22, 2022

"Oshi Eyes" (Billie Eilish parody, Gawr Gura tribute)

Having been an avid watcher of vtubers for over a year now, I have all sorts of new vocabulary that wouldn't have occurred to me to use in song parodies before. Like "oshi" -- a performer among a group that you enjoy so much, follow devotedly, etc. They're more than just a good entertainer -- they're an inspiration and motivation.

The fans are not treating her like a gf simulation, it's more like someone they find captivating and compelling. Although there may be shades of her being an imaginary gf in some of their minds.

And you can have a few oshis, not only one, but usually one of them will stand out a bit more. For example, in my case, Gura and Fauna from Hololive, and Pokimane on Twitch, are my oshis. Though if I were forced to name only one, it would be the sharky chanteuse. I will never apologize for being captivated by Manic Pixie Dream Girls (or Manic Pixie Stream Girls, as it were). They're so uplifting, and teasingly playful, that you can't help it (I can't, anyway).

Then while scrolling through the back catalog of a cover group on YouTube (Cimorelli), it hit me -- "oshi" as a substitute for "ocean"! And so, a parody on the one Billie Eilish song that I really like, "Ocean Eyes". Original lyrics here, and see Gura's own karaoke rendition of it here. The song channels the dreamy, spacey, floaty vibe of the vulnerable phase of the excitement cycle, 2015-'19. Instead of the high-energy, blood-pumping vibe that a crush song would've channeled during the manic phase of 2010-'14.

The new lyrics still play into the oceanic theme of the original, since Gura is a shark-girl who hails from Atlantis. Also, a great chance to reference her favorite color. :) And as always, the theme of the blurring of IRL and virtuality.

The pronunciation guide is at the end, since it's too involved to list a few examples here. But basically, in the original, there are three strong beats, then a fourth soft beat, with a lot of syncopation and unusual stressed syllables. I've copied the lyrics, split up by syllable, and boldfaced the strong beats. The remaining unstressed ones are delivered at the same pace as the original. Gooba can figure it out, at any rate -- she's the rhythm game champion. Hehe.

* * *

Lately I'm becoming too online
Seeking secrets in my oshi's eyes
Azure surface of Atlantean tides
Whirling waters under those oshi eyes
Your oshi eyes

No fair
Even Casanova'd feel shy
When she opens her oshi eyes
I'll dare
And climb through the screen to the other side
Climbing up into oshi's eyes
Those oshi eyes

Stream has ended, now I'm lost for miles
The Cheshire haunting of her shark-tooth smile
I'll solve her puzzle in just one trial
Follow her guide, it's there in her shark-tooth smile
And those oshi eyes

No fair
Even Casanova'd feel shy
When she opens her oshi eyes
I'll dare
And climb through the screen to the other side
Climbing up into oshi's eyes
Those oshi eyes

* * *

Late-ly I'm becoming too on-line
Seek-ing sec-rets in my o-shi's eyes
Az-ure sur-face of At-lan-te-an tides
Whirl-ing wa-ters under those o-shi eyes
Your o-shi eyes

No fair
Even Ca-sa-no-va'd feel shy
When she opens her o-shi eyes
I'll dare
And climb through the screen to the o-ther side
Climbing up into o-shi's eyes
Those o-shi eyes

Stream has en-ded, now I'm lost for miles
The Chesh-ire haun-ting of her shark-tooth smile
I'll solve her pu-zzle in just one trial
Fo-llow her guide, it's there in her shark-tooth smile
And those o-shi eyes

August 20, 2022

Rise and fall of the Spanish Empire (whirlwind tour, as background for the rise and fall of its Deep State)

In the series' overview post, we saw that the Roman security apparatus, the Praetorian Guard, collapsed along with the empire itself. But more importantly, it was not present when the Roman state began expanding -- not until after a turbulent period of civil wars were concluded. That draws attention to the matter of internal security risks, not only external ones.

The security apparatus, or Deep State, emerges from this background, to manage internal risks to the increasingly centralized state -- while also in the process becoming a powerful faction of society in its own right. It's not simply a dutiful servant to the imperial leadership, but neither is it an all-powerful shadow cabal that is *really* running things behind the curtain.

Now we look at the case of an Early Modern empire and its Deep State -- Spain. The importance of the Spanish example is that their empire began growing earlier than the other European ones, and it therefore collapsed earlier. So there is a much richer historical picture of what imperial decline and collapse looks like, compared to the other Early Modern Euro empires, which are about a century behind Spain's course.

Also, all of them except Russia were absorbed into the then-still-expanding American Empire, after WWII, so they were rescued and stabilized somewhat from their free-fall of the WWI and inter-war era. Spain was absorbed awhile later, in the 1980s when it joined NATO and the EU (and later, the Euro currency zone). So Spain was not rescued by the American Empire as much as the others were.

But before we examine the Spanish Empire's Deep State (in the next entry of the series), we need a whirlwind tour through the imperial timeline, given how poorly understood it is outside of Spain.

After the collapse of the Roman Empire, Iberia was governed by an invading group of Germanic people called the Visigoths, who were in turn overthrown by an invading group of Saharo-Arabian people in the aftermath of the expansion of Islam and Muslim armies out of the Arabian Desert during the 7th C. By the 700s, these Muslim, Arabic-speaking armies invaded Iberia and took over most of the peninsula by 900 AD, ruling under various dynasties, loosely referred to as the Moors.

They were, as far as a meta-ethnic frontier is concerned, all the same to the Christian, Indo-European-speaking natives. The Muslim leadership brought along with them Jewish professionals and administrators, who were also not Christian or Indo-European speakers or long-term residents from the Iberian peninsula.

Spain's ethnogenesis was forged on this meta-ethnic frontier. For awhile, the native Iberian kingdoms were in disarray, the easier to be conquered by a highly cohesive external enemy. The main faultline split the peninsula into the southern region ruled by the Moors, and a northern strip of Iberian kingdoms.

The northeastern kingdom of Aragon (including Barcelona) was more concerned with expanding to the east in the Mediterranean, namely southern Italy and the islands in between. Nearby Navarre was content to hide away close to the Pyrenees Mountains. Likewise Galicia in the northwest was relatively insulated from the frontier. But in the central part of the northern strip, there was nowhere to run to, and nowhere to hide. That region, Castile, developed the most intense asabiya among the Iberian kingdoms. People in the south (Andalusia) were immediately incorporated into the Moorish state, and did not lie on a frontier.

As Rome united other Italian groups to beat back the invading Celts, so did Castile unite other Iberian kingdoms to beat back the invading Moors. This Reconquista began in the 12th C, and was mostly completed by 1250, although the Emirate of Granada remained in the deep south, near the strategically important Strait of Gibraltar. And all without a Deep State of any kind, just like Rome!

And just as the nascent Roman Empire fell into a period of civil wars after its first major push against the Celts and Carthaginians, namely the Crisis of the Roman Republic, so did the nascent Castilian / Spanish Empire and its neighboring Christian kingdoms. Beginning in 1350 and lasting until 1479, the Christian kingdoms were at war with one another, as well as riven by internal wars of succession. This spans the Castilian Civil War, the related War of the Two Peters (Castile vs. Aragon), the Fernandine Wars (Castile vs. Portugal), the War of the Bands (civil strife in Basque Country), the Irmandiño revolts (civil strife in Galicia), the Navarrese Civil War, the Catalan Civil War, and the War of Castilian Succession.

This parallels the civil wars of France and England at the same time, i.e. the Hundred Years War, and the broader topsy-turvy-ness of the late 1300s.

The upshot of these Civil Wars of the Reconquista was to consolidate power for the House of Trastamara, starting with Henry of Trastamara's victory in the Castilian Civil War in 1369, and culminating in 1479, when the Catholic Monarchs triumphed. Isabella won the war for succession in Castile, and Ferdinand (up till then only the heir) assumed the throne of Aragon, so that they were jointly ruling over all of non-Muslim Iberia aside from Portugal.

As much as I've casually read about Spanish history, I've never seen this period of civil war lasting over 100 years mentioned at all. Imagine trying to understand Roman history with most reference sources leaving out the Crisis of the Roman Republic, that whole crossing the Rubicon thing, etc. It's crazy. That's why I've spent a little more time on this era than may seem necessary. It's crucial to the emergence of the Spanish Deep State, but it's just flat-out ignored in English sources that are not geared to Spanish history PhD's.

Soon after the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, the Spanish Empire reached its Golden Age under the Habsburgs during the 1500s, when it was the preeminent military force in Europe (backed by the elite tercios units). In 1580, Spain added Portugal to its empire, which had always remained out of reach.

But by the mid-1600s, the empire had began to hit stagnation. There was another wave of separatist civil wars in the north (especially Catalonia), and Portugal managed to break free from the empire in 1640.

The War of Spanish Succession of the early 1700s not only ended Habsburg rule, but furthered imperial disintegration within its European territories, and saw yet another Catalan separatist movement that collaborated with the armies of Spain's enemies (the Austrian / Grand Alliance, who lost the succession struggle). In the Seven Years War of the mid-1700s, Spain tried to take back Portugal, but was crushed. And they proved no match for the British Navy in the East and West Indies.

In the early 1800s, the Spanish Empire collapsed, as its Latin American colonies won their wars of independence between 1808 and 1833. During that time, they were also invaded and occupied by Napoleonic France. A series of civil wars (the Carlist Wars) continued to disintegrate the peninsula, since there were the usual separatist groups in the northeast who wanted to take advantage of internal power struggles to win greater regional autonomy from the centralized state. Spain lost its last key colonies in the Spanish-American War at the end of the century.

Spain played no role in WWI or WWII, as those were wars among the still-existing empires, at their twilight. They had already taken whatever there was to take from the Spanish Empire long before the 1900s. There was a Spanish Civil War during the late '30s, again with a strong regional separatist angle. Basque separatist terrorists began under the Franco era, and lasted into the neoliberal transition. But as usual the more important story is in Catalonia, where, during the 2010s, the voters and the political institutions have voted for independence from Spain (which was not allowed by the central government). Given how far things have gotten so far, it's only a matter of time before much of the northeast breaks off for good, presumably during the next round of hot civil wars and state breakdown.

The weak integration of the northeast -- greater Aragon -- within the Spanish Empire and then nation, traces all the way back to the meta-ethnic frontier with the Moors. Aragon was relatively insulated from that faultline, and was expanding on its own eastward in the Mediterranean, so it had something of a pressure release valve. It could not have cared less about Castilians on the front lines against the Moors, and their attempt to expand southward to take back all of Iberia from Muslims and Jews.

As the aftermath of the collapse of the Spanish Empire continues, the Iberian peninsula will probably resemble the Italian peninsula after the collapse of the Roman Empire. The weakest integration was in Southern Italy, as they were the furthest away from the meta-ethnic frontier with the invading Celts (from the north). And right after the fall of Rome, southern Italy became regionally independent, no matter which other empires it may have been paying tribute to. But it was not part of the same polity as the Papal States, the rump state that included the city of Rome itself, in the central and northern regions (shifting around by the century).

Catalonia, Basque Country, perhaps Aragon proper will split off from the Spanish rump state of Castile, Leon, Andalusia, and probably Galicia (weakly integrated historically, but not large and wealthy enough to split off like Catalonia).

August 12, 2022

The rise and fall of the security apparatus (Deep State) within the imperial life cycle

The FBI has removed any pretense of being non-partisan, above the fray, serving the nation rather than any party or individual, etc., by raiding the home of the candidate representing half the country in the next election. Don't remember them doing that to Hillary Clinton over her misplaced documents ("her emails").

But looking back on that ancient year of 2016, the FBI still did attempt to maintain a non-partisan stance for anyone watching. Whether the Director, James Comey, was hurting or helping the Clinton campaign seemed to change by the week. Probably he figured, like all the other clueless elites, that Trump was destined to lose, so by roughing up Clinton every now and then, he could wring some concessions out of her before she actually took office, in exchange for calling off his dogs.

Since the Trump era, though, the FBI, CIA, and the rest of the Deep State / security services / intel agencies / whatever you want to call them, have taken the mask off. Not just regarding their partisan stance -- Dems good, GOP bad -- but their status as a self-contained faction within society, with their own group interests that may clash with other sectors and/or the general public. Similar to the military, the media, the banks, agriculture, and so on.

They openly say that their goal is not to serve the people, the state, etc., but to increase their own numbers, their own influence, and to not be pushed around by elected representatives or the mob they represent. In this way, they are equivalent to the energy sector, finance sector, etc., that insists it not be regulated by elected government.

Laissez-faire for the secret police sector is argued in the same BS terms as for the others -- dire consequences would follow if elected government would hamstring them with regulations. In this case, internal chaos, mafia / warlordism, insurrection, coups, and so on, unless we just let the FBI and CIA do whatever they want.

As usual, the fools are interpreting events like this week's raid as a sign of the permanent power of the Deep State, perhaps even its growing strength going forward. In reality, they have begun their decline. And although their eventual liquidation is about a century away, that's not very long on the time-scale of the rise and fall of empires.

But rather than sperg out about the 24-hour news cycle for rage-bait clicks and clout, I decided to fit this into the big picture of imperial birth and death, looking across a range of empires around the world, from the past 2000 years.

Specific case studies will either be added to this post, or in the comments section, as I have time to write them up. I want to get the outline out ASAP, and fill in case study details when I can. The only case study aside from our own that I'll write up right now is the Praetorian Guard from the Roman Empire, since they're a well known example.

* * *

The most important fact about the Deep State is that it does not stretch back indefinitely in time, contrary to the paranoid view that it has existed forever and will continue to exist forever, always thwarting the will of the people.

Reality check: the FBI was created in 1908, and the CIA and its predecessor were formed in the 1940s. They were not there before the founding with the Pilgrims, nor by 1776 and independence, nor even during the Civil War of the 1860s. The people, institutions, and forces that created the American empire did so without a security apparatus.

And yet not every state has a security apparatus rivaling the FBI or the Praetorian Guard. These only arise within large expanding states, AKA empires.

First, a quick review of what causes imperial growth and decay in the first place, as popularized by Peter Turchin in War and Peace and War. The not-yet imperial people are being pushed up against by some other expanding group, that is, some other pre-existing empire. Those lying on the meta-ethnic frontier between the two groups, over a long time, cohere into an intense Us in order to withstand and beat back Them. This intense Us-ness (asabiyah, collective action potential, etc.) allows the group to grow and expand to become an empire in their own turn.

But this Us-ness does not last forever, nothing does in a dynamic system. It gets eroded by the waning of the initial external threat, as the nascent empire expands at the other's expense, as well as by internal divisions during the empire's resting-on-their-laurels stage of life. As the glue comes undone, the empire fragments and collapses. No more intense feeling of Us at that huge scale, and no more political or economic institutions left operating at that huge scale.

Now we see why there is no security apparatus before, during, or shortly after the birth of an empire -- the society is too focused on the external, not the internal (like the FBI), and they are focused on surviving the foreigners rather than on managing foreign clients (like the CIA).

In fact, it takes some degree of internal strife, after the initial imperial growth has begun, to make its elites worry about internal organized enemies. Random isolated individuals are never a collective threat to elites, only existing or start-up factions. And if those factions are not just farm-owners trying to lower tariffs a bit to get rich quick, but are vying for control of the entire empire's government -- that makes them dangerous enemies to the state writ large.

This is why the security apparatus only emerges after a new empire's first bout of protracted civil strife, unrest, war, etc. In the American empire, it was the Civil War, Reconstruction, labor unions, and anarchist and socialist movements, roughly during the second half of the 19th century. With hardly any delay, the FBI is formed in 1908, to target collective threats to the integrity and harmony of the empire, from within its own borders. It did not need such an apparatus in the early stages of imperial growth, when the society was focused on survival against the Indians.

Such a "public servant" rationalization has to be their mission statement, in order to wedge themselves into the broader network of elite sectors. They're not entrepreneurially filling a new open niche, and using their leverage to expand their own wealth, influence, and power -- no! They're simply responding to a crucial period of national weakness, and selflessly trying to put it back together and keep it from fracturing ever again. And thus, they are serving the interests of all political parties, and the state writ large, and the general public who elected them. They are magnanimous and godlike in providing the fundamental safety and structure that allows the lower-tier sectors like agriculture and finance to do their thing in peace.

At the time of its emergence, the security apparatus would be looked at with suspicion because everybody knows that the empire had gone over 100 years with no such apparatus, all the way to the founding and before. So what gives now? Well, that whole Civil War thing, the whole labor union thing, etc., which also were not there at the founding. Well, except that the American Revolution *was* a kind of civil war between loyalists and revolutionaries from the same British colonies. Why didn't the American revolutionaries need an extensive secret police? Well, uh, you're asking too many questions -- just focus on the threat of terrorism from the labor unions, socialists, and anarchists! Certainly *those* threats were not there at the founding.

And back and forth the debate must have gone. Even President Harry Truman matter-of-factly described the FBI as a new secret police. Of course -- he was born in 1884, and grew up entirely before the Bureau's creation from nothing. However, as new generations are more removed from the pre-security apparatus era, they come to accept it as totally natural and normal. How could there *not* have been an FBI-like apparatus during and after the American Revolution? Only there wasn't.

* * *

Nor was there a Praetorian Guard at the founding of the Roman Empire during the 3rd century BC, as Rome united the Italian peninsula against the main external threat -- the expansion of the Celts (or Gauls) from the northwest, and secondarily the Carthaginians from the southwest. As the personal police of the Emperor, the Guard only comes into existence after a long period of internal civil strife, well after the empire has begun expanding. That was the Crisis of the Roman Republic, lasting from the late 2nd C to the late 1st C BC, culminating in Caesar's Civil War in the 40s BC.

Right after the Civil Wars are over, the new emperors have a large Praetorian Guard that is not only their own personal bodyguard, but a network of spies / intel who are stationed permanently in the capital city itself. They begin intervening in political disputes during the 1st C AD, most notably by proclaiming Claudius emperor during a succession crisis, in which they had also assassinated the previous emperor, Caligula.

But to reiterate, they were not some permanent bureaucracy, an everlasting Deep State, etc. They were one among many powerful factions in society, along with the military, the large farm-owners, and so on and so forth. They could weigh in on political disputes by forming a coalition with other powerful interest groups, but they did not have supreme outranking power over their coalition mates.

For comparison, the FBI began intervening politically during the mid-20th C, and first joined a coalition to remove a sitting leader during the Watergate affair that deposed Nixon. The key confidential informant for WaPo media operative Bob Woodward, known as "Deep Throat," was not just any ol' inside source with juicy gossip -- he was 2nd in command at the FBI, Mark Felt. But back in those days, the security apparatus was still committed to the veneer of non-partisan public service, so they kept secret the FBI's central role in removing a landslide-elected president, not revealing it until 2005.

Sidenote: there has been a huge, and largely successful, propaganda campaign over the decades to make the CIA the scapegoat among the security apparatus, and to lionize the FBI in comparison. Everyone has heard someone say the CIA had a role in the JFK assassination, but almost no one has heard someone say the FBI had a role in removing Nixon, even though that's not a theory but an admission from the key actor himself. Anytime you need to say something bad about the Deep State, it's always "the CIA" instead of "the FBI" in figurative speech. I slip into that myself. But the CIA is mainly concerned with external matters, and the FBI internal matters.

If it's we American citizens who are complaining about something going on here, it's the FBI we're dealing with, not the CIA. If it's Syrian people whose apartment is getting shelled by Al-Qaeda, then it's the CIA that they're dealing with.

At any rate, the Praetorian Guard did not last forever, and neither will the FBI. During the Crisis of the Third Century, the Praetorian Guard shrank in numbers, territory, and distinctive influence -- they were just one of many military factions vying for power, assassinating one emperor and proclaiming another, during decades of military anarchy. If they were an all-powerful Deep State, they would simply proclaim one guy emperor, and that would be that -- no more chaos, division, coups, or insurrection. No constant turnover. All going along smoothly, with no disruption because the Deep State's competitors are supposedly lower-tier than those with real power, behind the curtain.

The Guard was de facto ruined by Diocletian, whose reign saw the end of the Third Century Crisis but not the rebound of the empire. It was now irrevocably split into a Western and Eastern half, with the latter becoming the new Byzantine Empire. If he had wanted to import the Western Roman Deep State to his Eastern Roman capital near Byzantium, he could have easily done so. The Praetorians had recent field experience in Palmyra, Syria. They're not physically tethered to Roman or Italian soil. But after decades of military anarchy, the power -- and indeed the role -- of the Deep State was over, for good. Diocletian would have palace guards to protect himself, but not an extensive new Deep State for the Byzantine Empire-to-be.

What the military anarchy of the 3rd C showed to everyone was that the Praetorian Guard was not a non-partisan group, given to public service rather than collective self-interest like so many other sectors of society. They were not above the fray, they were participating at every step of the way. And worse, they proved they were no longer capable of fulfilling their raison d'etre -- securing peace, harmony, etc., against the forces and groups who could bring chaos, division, strife, and civil war.

So who needs the Deep State, if they're too powerless to keep internal peace and harmony? Let alone when they are direct participants in the very anarchy, chaos, and civil war they were supposed to be preventing! And not at the BS level of promoting a few agents provocateurs to discredit their enemies and bolster their own position in society. But by going full-force into one succession crisis after another.

The Praetorian Guard was finally liquidated by Constantine, another proto-Byzantine emperor who invaded Italy in order to crush the Roman ruler, Maxentius. That's who Constantine defeated at the Battle of Milvian Bridge in 312 AD -- the Praetorian Guard, who backed Maxentius rather than Constantine. But they choose the wrong guy, and by that point they had no power left to eke out an existence afterward. Constatine dissolved them as a Deep State entity, and they would never reappear again, going on 1700 years later.

We are currently around the Crisis of the Third Century phase of Roman history -- we are done with expansion, and have begun contracting territorially (losing the Philippines, Cuba, and the Panama Canal, beginning after our peak in WWII). Our only additions have come through peaceful alliances, not conquest (i.e., the difference between Germany and Italy being in NATO, vs. Poland and Lithuania being in NATO). And the national and imperial order is visibly breaking down by the month. Anyone who points to a much earlier phase of Roman history as analogous to our own is a 100% copium-dealer (and user), who can't handle the cognitive dissonance that our golden age is long gone, never to come back. All that we have to look forward to is the new Dark Ages, for better or worse.

So that still leaves some decades ahead of FBI and other security apparatus intervention in domestic politics, with increasingly civil breakdown effects, delegitimizing their own sector and their coalition allies such as the Democrat party writ large. But give it a century, and they will barely exist as they had up until 2020. Whatever rump states replace the American empire, they will not include the FBI, nor the CIA.

If one of those rump states comes under the expansionary pressure of some other empire, and then becomes an empire in its own right, then such a neo-American empire could develop a new Deep State, after a period of civil war of course. But it would not be the same Deep State as ours, nor anyone else's. Each security apparatus is particular to the empire on which it is a parasite, having had zero role in its creation or early growth, and directly contributing to its ultimate demise.

* * *

To preview other case studies that I'll post about: China during the Han and Ming dynasties (court eunuchs as their Deep State), and the modern empires of Prussia / Germany and Russia. Unfortunately, not much I can say on the Ottoman / Turkish Deep State, the one that gave the term its name, since info is scant on Wikipedia and cursory searches (but then, it would be). I'd like to look into Indian and Persian empires, but my curiosity has already been satisfied and the basic pattern confirmed. So we'll see about them.