Submitted by a friend and ally. This will be our working definition.
The “deep state” is a collective of unelected persons in positions of government, corporate, and/or social authority, holding a power obscure an unrestrained, wholly absent any effective means of checking said power short of direct violence. Membership in the deep state is not defined by nationality, employment, or any structured authorization of public acceptance; membership in the deep state is sustained on nothing other than loyal adherence and useful contribution to the deep state.
The deep state has no visible offices; no assets of it's own; no public record of its size, disposition, or activities may ever be prepared. The deep state has never asked society for permission; it takes what it needs from the host society, and purposes to bend the entire system and structure of said society towards serving that single end. It's members consider accountability their enemy, just as much as they consider everyone outside the deep state's control to be their enemy.
The deep state's efforts to exert control have focused on infiltration and corruption of bureaucratic agencies and large corporate entities, from the IRS and Intelligence agencies of the federal government, all the way down to local zoning boards, who use their power to restrain their “enemies”, while enabling other members of the deep state to grow their base of power, wealth, and ability to enhance the deep state. In the corporate sphere, the deep state destroys competition, corrupts the market, and infiltrates government so as to obtain regulatory authority over itself and its affairs to the exclusion of any legitimate regulation.
Just like there is no centralized list of membership in Al Qaida or ISIS, there is no list of the deep states membership, nor any map of it's members and their realms of control and influence: everything is done through the exploitation of personal relationships, and everyone along the chain is compensated for their “contributions” – most often through the promise of reciprocal “favors” to be returned in the future in exchange for favors done today.
In short, the deep state is nothing more, and nothing less than the sum of the equation: Government + Big Business + Greed & Corruption + Foreign Ideology = Social Devolution and Tyranny
They are not ashamed of their membership in the deep state; they are in fact proud of it. They believe that they have found the best solution to their desire for unbridled power, and consider any question of said pursuit of absolute power to be an ensign of weakness, and therefore proof of ineligibility for membership in the deep state. Members enter only by invitation, and invitation comes only to those who advocate the positions of the deep state voluntarily and consistently, and who pursue personal power above all else. Loyalty is the first requirement to membership, and obtaining “useful results” for the deep state is the currency of highest value amongst its members. Membership in the deep state can be cancelled at any time, for any reason – but almost always for one of two reasons: failure to deliver on a promise, or treachery against another member which does not benefit the deep state to a higher degree than the damage done.
Like I said, the deep state is, first and foremost, a COLLECTIVE – every member must submit to the consensus which governs it, and produce results which further its aims.
If the deep state sounds like the repugnant “perfection” of what begins as political corruption – mushroomed out beyond the political sphere to corrupt the economy, morals, and social well-being of society – then you're probably not a member of the deep state.