©Fernando Caracena 2018
This post continues a thread begun in a January 26, 2014 post called, " The Human Race May be Self-destructing by Cutting off the Flow of Information".
Secrecy and the Deep State
What are addressed here are the long-term deleterious effects of the secrecy of the Deep State. The Deep State here means the secret part of our government which shares information with various trusted industries on a "need to know" basis. Since much of the secret work is funded by the Defense Department, the Deep State is a synonym for the Military Industrial Complex, which was a term coined by General Dwight Eisenhower when he served as president of the United States. The term "Deep State" also includes the spy and propaganda apparatus that is maintained to keep the secrets of the Deep State from leaking out into public consciousness.The spy agencies keep tabs on people who are entrusted with state secrets and also originate misinformation to throw off the scent anyone who can figure out some of the secrets just from a few leaks.
Some of the history of the origins of the Deep State are contained in David Talbot's book, "The Devil's Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America's Secret Government". Naturally, citizens who become conscious of some of the activities of the Deep State have become concerned that such an apparatus may be operating beyond the limitations imposed on the Federal Government by the Constitution of the united States. It appears that the main target of secrecy of the Deep State are the citizens who are its principal, existential threat.
Another name for the Deep State is the National Security State, which refers more to the philosophy and modus operandi of the Deep State.
What this post is concerned with is not so much the deleterious effect of the Deep State to our political system and public trust in government, rather the concern focused on here are the harms done to the technological and social advance of the human race that is produced by the ponderous backlog of technological development that is unavailable to the domestic economy because its secrecy is considered important to Deep State insiders.
Although the thick veil of secrecy is often misused to cloak a multitude of abuses and crimes, a casual look reveals that it is really a failure, or rather it is guarding the the wrong hen house. The biggest leaks to our security are from the top levels of government.The results are that although the citizens remain in the dark about secret technology, it is spread globally to both friend and foe through top levels of government.
Do you think that China developed all the advanced technology that it now controls? How about North Korea? The areas of the greatest technological and scientific advancement domestically are where people are free and can speak freely with each other. In recent history, China was faced with Mao's Communist revolution, the Cultural Revolution and the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. Recent history of China is characterized with oppressive Communist dictatorship, and severe restrictions of personal freedom, including free speech. It was not the kind of environment that would produce groups of people experimenting with and building personal computers in their garages, which would spark a personal computer revolution.
Compartmentalization of Knowledge
The worst effects of secrecy are the compartmentalization of knowledge on a "need to know" basis. Access to specific knowledge is given or denied to a person based on a committee determination of that person's need to now. Stories circulate that some secrets are withheld from the president of the United States, and top government officials, on this basis.
The free circulation of scientific knowledge is the life blood of science. The need to know is just personal curiosity. In history, the fastest development of physics had happened with the open and rapid exchange of information. Witness the fast development of the Quantum paradigm. That is just how physicist are.
Conventional versus Secret Science
By its very nature, science is tentative and approximate. By iterations of the scientific method, science becomes more precise and accurate. This increasing precision and accuracy of science becomes the mainspring that drives technological advance.
Some people are voicing concern today that science that has been developed in secret and kept secret from the public, is already far in advance of the science taught openly in the university. This growing concern is based on information leaked by individuals who have participated in secret research projects and have decided that it is wrong to keep valuable information from the citizens who are funding that research. Allegations are made that decades of scientific advancement to the domestic economy are backlogged and hoarded in government laboratories and hidden from the public under the cloak of secrecy.
Perhaps such tales and rumors are simply expressions of growing paranoia under Deep State rule, or misinformation designed to cover other secrets. Even if we do not believe the testimony of insiders that have come out of hiding, there is evidence of a large backlog of technological development that is hoarded and hidden away because it was classified as secret and put under wraps. Many such secrets may be no longer of concern to the national security, but the sheer inertia of the process keeps them sequestered. This is a recognised problem which has been openly discussed in publications such as Network World. This is not a trivial problem by the way, but may have important implications for life on plant Earth.