The Mafia contra the Other Mafia, from Eric Peters

As I said in Everything I Know About Business I Learned From The Godfather, the government is Il Capo dei Capi (the Boss of Bosses). Eric Peters has the same take at

I have been reading Sammy “The Bull” Gravano’s book, Underboss.

Gravano was just that – underboss – second-in-command of the Gambino “family” of Cosa Nostra, also known as the mafia; also known as organized crime.

As distinct from legalized crime.

He worked for John Gotti, the “Dapper Don,” who was boss of the Gambino family back in New York, back in the ’80s. Gravano ended up turning on his boss – who (according to Sammy) had turned on him, first. Both ended up in prison.

But that’s not the real story of the book.

The real story is the parallelism of syndicates. Of organized vs. legalized crime.  Sammy was a “made member” of organized crime. He had to earn the approbation of already-made members, in order to be “made” – as by showing he could get the job done. And he did, which he describes at length in the book.

You get into legalized crime by getting elected – or appointed.

This is the source of the delusion that legalized crime isn’t the same thing as organized crime. Which is how – and why – it becomes a much worse thing. A demented and for that reason a much-more-dangerous thing. A politician or bureaucrat imagines himself to be a “public servant,” which is an interesting inversion given that servants are servile. They can be commanded – and are expected to obey – while “public servants” do the commanding and when not obeyed, have the legal power to punish those they “serve.”

These “public servants” also believe they “serve” by right – and that it is our obligation to obey (and hand over however much of our money they say). That it is . . . criminal to disobey them.

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