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The Mafia State Of Mind

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

Once the mafia state of mind has seeped into every nook and cranny of the society and economy, it's not even recognized as corruption: it's simply the way the system works.

We recently spent a few days with a friend who was born and raised in Sicily who now lives elsewhere in Europe with his wife (also Italian, from Naples). Though we talked of many things, one of his comments struck me like a bolt of lightning.

The Mafia isn't about shoot-outs, he said; the mafia is a state of mind.

He then pointed to a city trash collection truck driving by. Those guys are mafia.

I should stipulate that our friends are left-liberal in their views, and deeply concerned about the direction of free enterprise, democracy and social equality in Europe. He did not make these comments as a joke but with the utmost seriousness.

Why are the union sanitation workers a mafia? Because they have the leverage (via strikes) to extract and extort what they want from a populace who earns less than they do in wages, benefits and salaries--a population with no other choice. Is there some other option to giving the striking municipal workers what they demand? Is there another choice to clear the streets of garbage? Is there another train system to get to work when the train operators are on strike? No.

The mafia state of mind is all about establishing a monopoly that leaves the populace no other choice, and that creates sufficient leverage to enable systemic extortion. In the mafia state of mind, the government is a partner in the racket. When thugs arrive in a peasant village in China to drive the residents off their land so a corrupt developer can build hundreds of highrise flats, where are the corrupt officials of the government? In line to collect their "fees", which will fund their purchase of homes in Vancouver, B.C. or Sydney, Australia.

Where were the government officials when BART employees held the San Francisco Bay Area hostage? Quietly collecting their usual bribes (politely called "contributions") from the union mafia.

The mafia state of mind is all about extracting wealth that could not be extracted without state enforcement, monopoly and covert systems of control and extortion. When the "too big to fail" banks received $16 trillion in direct subsidies and loans to keep from imploding (i.e. what would have happened in a truly free enterprise system), that was the mafia state of mind in action: the central state extorted whatever was necessary from the populace to aid and protect its banker cronies.

What is the shadow banking system other than a shadow financial mafia? The "too big to fail" banking sector is a mafia of the cartel-crony capitalist sort, and the shadow banking system is a cloaked version of the same extortionist system that depends on the government for protection. In the shadow banking mafia, the government protects the racket by acting as if it doesn't exist.

When there is no other choice but submission, when voting for either party yields the same results, the mafia state of mind reigns supreme. The mafia state of mind exists in all ideological flavors--socialist, capitalist, communist. The mafia state of mind is simple: leave the populace no choice but submission, enforce monopolies of control and power, and then extract and extort to your heart's content.

Once the mafia state of mind has seeped into every nook and cranny of the society and economy, it's not even recognized as corruption: it's simply the way the system works. And so the residents of nominal democracies in Asia, Europe and the Americas do not even realize how thoroughly corrupted their societies and economies really are; they cling to the illusions of choice even as their incomes, wealth and political influence are funneled into the hands of various elites by overlapping extortion rackets.

Once you realize that the mafia is a state of mind, you recognize just how thoroughly it has corrupted and criminalized our entire society and economy.


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Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:01 | 4407866 ParkAveFlasher
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A type more Greek, than Italian.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:15 | 4407926 WarriorClass
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Under-boss, John 'Old Yellow Stain' Boehner Continues Treasonous Acts

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:34 | 4407961 HyBrasilian
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In 'The Godfather 2', the main man Michael Corleone feared was Hyman Roth


"Keep your friends close & your enemies closer"

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:47 | 4408027 WarriorClass
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Leaders to consult in Iroquois Nation Tribal Counsel:

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 14:00 | 4408281 Fredo Corleone
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"I don't like your kind of people. I don't like to see you come out to this clean country with your oily hair, dressed up in those silk suits, passing yourselves off as decent Americans. I'll do business with you, but the fact is that I despise your masquerade, the dishonest way you pose yourself."

My brother Mike then arranged a bit of "entertainment" for Senator Geary at one of my joints. Well, you the story.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 14:57 | 4408530 James_Cole
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Once the mafia state of mind has seeped into every nook and cranny of the society and economy, it's not even recognized as corruption: it's simply the way the system works.

This is the natural state of affairs, democracy is pretty much the abberation. You spend a bit of time in the 3rd world and you really see the mafia at work. The west has a long history of battles between the mafia (currently known by the euphemism 'corporations') and the common folks. 

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 14:07 | 4408129 Ignatius
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For an idea of how fucked up the 'politics' can get check out the documentary The Act of Killing.  This extraordinary film documents the 1965-66 Indonesian crack-down on "communists" as told by the gangsters who carried out the killing (a million plus).  Imagine the Nazi's winning WWII and the story is told from the perspective of shameless Brown Shirts.  It's currently on netflix.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 14:20 | 4408394 tip e. canoe
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that movie takes surrealism to a whole'nother level.

found it quite disturbing to watch, but couldn't stop watching.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 14:26 | 4408404 Ignatius
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Same.  Surreal and hard to watch.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 17:55 | 4409242 USGrant
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Who was modeled on Meyer Lansky.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:46 | 4408026 The Dunce
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The system has ALWAYS been corrupt.  It's just harder for the West these days because China has become such a force.  Life was better when Chairman Mao was standing on their collective neck.  Bastards.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 14:10 | 4408340 asteroids
asteroids's picture

It's cowards stealing from children and grandchildren. That's what happens when you run the debt to pay for your Porche while leaving the bill to future generations.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 13:01 | 4408072 williambanzai7
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Thu, 02/06/2014 - 13:06 | 4408085 Drachma
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"Deriva-Tits" always Banzai. Oh and coffee all over my keyboard.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 13:20 | 4408112 HyBrasilian
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Best Ever WB7!

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 13:22 | 4408118 Rafferty
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And just like the Corleaoe family amost all the players are from the same ethnic group, with just a few reliable outsiders allowed inside the circle of trust.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 14:03 | 4408299 Fredo Corleone
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Whatever became of Johnny Commode ? Did he take over Henry Hill's digs in the Witness Protection Program ?

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 14:26 | 4408405 johnconnor
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I wish I could give you a million up votes, awesome William Banzai, really awesome!

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 14:57 | 4408537 James_Cole
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That's genius, needs to be frontpage on zh!

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 15:05 | 4408573 medium giraffe
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Lol WB!   Hilarious, but a fucking travesty too.




You missed Yellen the Felon, the East Coast's most notorious cross-dresser.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:03 | 4407870 sleigher
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Been saying this for years.  Small town CA.  1 garbage service in town and a local law that states you must have garbage service.  The fees were 3 or 4 times the neighboring towns and the owner was a Figone.  So obvious...  

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:13 | 4407900 TBT or not TBT
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A microcosm of the single party state that killed the golden state. The party in question has counterparts in other machine politics states and cities around the country. The party of slavery, the KKK, Eugenics, segregation, Jim Crow, internment, the destruction of our education system, the nationalization of healthcare, and on and on.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:12 | 4407914 CH1
CH1's picture

1 garbage service in town and a local law that states you must have garbage service.

It's the new (fascist) way of getting business!

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:55 | 4408048 MayIMommaDogFac...
MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

Be sure to sort all of your discarded stuff into individual bins 'cuz the overpriced monopoly can barely survive without this assistance from each and every common folk. </sarc>

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 21:04 | 4410075 MeelionDollerBogus
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What happens if people compost, have no garbage to put out?
What if EVERYONE did that & the racket-members just drove by on schedule to do nothing, paid, everyone knows it, everyone pays the tax for it, how absurd could this get?
Dirty stares & just driving by every week? So long as the shake-down money is paid...

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:02 | 4407877 Cookie
Cookie's picture

Jeez, this guy is struggling to find something new to write each day

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:21 | 4407938 EmmittFitzhume
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Why are you reading it then? Fuck off

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 15:02 | 4408565 Keyboard Kommando
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Thu, 02/06/2014 - 13:06 | 4408056 Grosvenor Pkwy
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"Jeez, this guy is struggling to find something new to write each day"

Right! Hugh-Smith is the master of the catchy headline leading to an article repeating the same old stuff he has been saying for the past 2 years, well-written, but very low in content:

"Things are getting worse, and someday something terrible might happen, but I don't know what, and I don't know when either.

"Now please send me money or I may have to stop writing these brilliant blog posts."

There's nothing "Mafia" about local trash pick-up, but a title like "The trash fees in my town are too high" just doesn't capture as many readers, now does it???

To the extent that the "Mafia" exists at all, it is the farthest thing from a government monopoly on services. "Mafia" usually refers to highly competitive businessmen operating in black-market businesses, undercutting existing monopolies and institutions, such as gambling pools competing against state-regulated casinos, or drug dealers violating government drug-control laws. No relationship whatsoever.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 13:37 | 4408172 tip e. canoe
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i've been known to give CHS shit on numerous occasions in the past, more for regurgitating the exact same shit in the ZH comments back to us days later and then pimping his paid content at the end.  however, have to give him credit on his last 2 pieces, they've been very good in distilling the thematic elements of the overall thesis down to a level where it can be communicated to a wider populace.

and i respectfully could not disagree more with your point on the Mafia:  what you term the "Mafia" is no longer the Mafia.   the real Mafia has gone viral and fractal and infects every single level of modern society.   so much so that "Mafia" is not even an accurate term for it anymore, as it invokes improper connotations such as the one you made above.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 13:41 | 4408192 Anusocracy
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Government has always been organized crime.

It just calls itself legal.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 21:05 | 4410073 MeelionDollerBogus
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"There's nothing "Mafia" about local trash pick-up"
Ya there is: same for snow plowing. It's on contract & if there's a disagreement the mafia-union will stop anyone else from coming in to do the work. You can't even take your OWN trash to the dump, they'll slash your tires & blockade the entrance even though they DO NOT OWN the road, your car or the dump.
"Mafia" usually refers to highly competitive businessmen operating in black-market businesses, undercutting existing monopolies and institutions
Mafia is a monopoly formed by KILLING anyone else using guns & shake-downs to bring "income" in that is under threat at all times. You don't pay, you get picked up for a bad ride.
Maybe you haven't paid a few times & maybe you don't come home from that last ride. Government & Mafia operate the same way.
Government, however, is not a family business. That's the difference.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 13:04 | 4408082 midtowng
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He had a good idea for a subject. He just executed it poorly

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:05 | 4407879 falak pema
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the mafia state of mind is just regression into clannish or tribal neo feudalism. 

"Hail the chief all bow to him. He defines th rules and its for our tribal good and goddam that fool's paradise of "general good"."

Now CHS you are deconstructing one of the SALIENT MYTHS of the 1970s, that shoed in, on a populist tinsel town diffused level---and Ronnie was a true veteran of that club-- the neo-oligarchy mantra of Reaganomics.

Big Boss man says the new rules don't respect the old rules of "general good" of the welfare state model. We don't want state side control no more. We want Don Corleone to show us what it means to be efficient. 

The new rules are : we make our own rules for our OWN kind of people; the rich supply siders!

C'mon this is Dallas and Dynasty! 

And now its paytime. 

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:16 | 4407921 WhyDoesItHurtWh...
WhyDoesItHurtWhen iPee's picture

Would any of these systems have a chance of working out ?

Capitalism - with an honest gov or with a dishonest gov.

Socialism -  with an honest gov or with a dishonest gov.

Facisim -     with an honest gov or with a dishonest gov.

Oligarchy-   with an honest king or with a dishonest king.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:23 | 4407941 medium giraffe
medium giraffe's picture

You've noticed that central governance is synonymous with corruption and repression, no matter what costume it's wearing?

Me too.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:30 | 4407956 WhyDoesItHurtWh...
WhyDoesItHurtWhen iPee's picture

+100  " no matter what costume it's wearing?" love it dude.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:45 | 4408024 alangreedspank
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Regardless of how bad it is, I wouldn't want to see Obama without a costume...

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 21:03 | 4410070 MeelionDollerBogus
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What I noticed is the more elaborate the costume, the less legit it really is, and if something really is legit, you shouldn't have to wear a costume to prove it.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 13:31 | 4407977 falak pema
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You have to know what you want. The rule of many is a bitch but its never as bad as the rule of a few. 

If you read Plato's republic you have all these options very well defined in terms of pros and cons.

From our historical time line the lessons of the past should have taught us the ESSENTIAL. 

The questions you ask as a citizen of a new republic, with its own history of 250 years; where people thought they could reinvent the BASIC rules of civilization based on "the sky is the limit" capitalism; are finding out they have forgotten first principles of the past. 

Sad that. 

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 13:37 | 4408171 DblAjent
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Not sure if it was the founding fathers' intentions for capitalism to become cronyism, or for the free market to become a corporatocracy.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 14:00 | 4408271 falak pema
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Big US capitalism was born in a united continent after the civil war and when the industrial revolution bred that mind set, giving it its geographical horizon, consequently its material justification, notably as the amerindian herd thinning was ramped up to its highest intensity, to achieve ocean to ocean nation reach in a resource rich continent. 

Founding fathers were small scale landowners. Modest horizons breed modest mindsets in QUANTITATIVE terms but not in QUALITATIVE terms.

The quantative meme, as we see in the QE fiat debacle,  fed on greed and hubris, has totally drowned the qualitative meme of Values and ethics. 

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 21:04 | 4410068 MeelionDollerBogus
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Capitalism with lots of well-armed people & no government at all.
Socialism with no government but lots of interacting & overlapping collectives.
Either of those would work, purely voluntary the entire time or it would all fall apart.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:05 | 4407886 Rainman
Rainman's picture

The Shitcago Way !! Do you feel it bitchez ?

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:05 | 4407887 ebworthen
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.gov telling me I had to buy overpriced health "insurance" or they'd break my knee caps was a pretty clear indicator.

After the '08 bailouts and FED QE going straight to the perpetrators on Wall Street you'd have to be a dope to not see it. shortage of dopes in the U.S.S.A.

Or is it dupes?

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 16:40 | 4408928 HardAssets
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Theyre dopes and dupes.

And that's why articles are written time and time again, with the same ole' theme.


The dummies still haven't gotten it yet.


Talk to most of them . . . and if you get more than a dull '''Huh ?"  it will be about the next 'election' and putting in another demorepublicrap to throw the current rascals out.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 16:41 | 4408929 Catullus
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Why stop at health insurance? Car insurance is the same "I know a guy who had something bad happen to him" attitude.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:08 | 4407897 RonBurgundy
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The Enlightenment conception of Rule of (positive) Law and Liberalism was an anomaly. We are just reverting to the mean.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 14:23 | 4408396 Anusocracy
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Two hundred years of importing antagonistic mindsets has destroyed the founding principles of America.

The experiment that was America is over - permanently.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:27 | 4407905 Cognitive Dissonance
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As a corollary to "The Mafia State of Mind" consider the devastating effect denial has on the ability of the average Joe to cope with corruption, cronyism and the police state. Because the person in denial is always in a state of 'catch up', meaning they are desperately attempting to assimilate external social, political and financial changes into their mental and emotional database while still maintaining their overall denial, the perpetrators are always one or two steps ahead, thus leveraging their limited numbers and the effects of their corrupting efforts exponentially. Propaganda is often used to confuse and delay the ability of the average Joe to see clearly what is going on because the propaganda feeds their own denial and wishful thinking.

We have heard that one should never waste a crisis. What I am talking about here is the continuously manufactured slow boil crisis of change that takes advantage of the already severely disabled person in denial. And we are all to some degree or another in some form of denial (consider the term ignorance or the inability to see the entire picture because it is being deliberately obscured if denial doesn't sit well with you) of not only the present state of affairs, but of the future potential acceleration of the "Mafia State of Mind".

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:58 | 4408062 DaddyO
DaddyO's picture

While I understand the premise of your post, denial requires one to be aware to some extent the underlying truth being denied.

In today's society, there is not even a basic understanding of the level of control and corruption at work.

Just walk into any major city and stop and talk to someone about the garbage man being the "Mafia" or the water meter reader and see what kind of response you get.

Many are indeed waking up to the forces seeking to control their daily lives but the headwind against this awakening is staggering at best.

How many posts have we read here on ZH about trying to wake up family members at a holiday dinner? What is the usual response?

Even in my own endeavors to talk with family members, they are usually met with a change of subject or a blank stare that denotes not hitting paydirt.

And yes there is a river named Denial, but it flows around awareness of what is really going on with most people.


Thu, 02/06/2014 - 13:15 | 4408088 Cognitive Dissonance
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Your response has great merit. One must be exposed (meaning some level of awareness) to some extent to what one is attempting to deny.

But denial isn't just a conscious response. In fact most of the denial process is handled (originated) by the ego which is operating on many levels of the conscious and subconscious mind. So even though people will claim ignorance of this or that and be sincere in their ignorance doesn't mean they haven't been exposed enough to develop a healthy denial response.

As well the subconscious mind is constantly being imprinted with information that is not filtered by the conscious awareness and thus it can be claimed that the 'person' has been exposed to information even when they are not consciously aware that they have been. This unconscious imprinting goes a long way to explaining phenomenon such as intuition, inspiration, gut feelings and so on.

Our inner 'knowing' knows what is going on. Our ego is desperate to hide this knowing from us for a multitude of reasons.

BTW that blank stare is often (consciously or unconsciously) feigned and is one sign that denial may already be in progress. A truly uninhibited mind not obscured by their egoic denial would at least ask more questions and seek to know more. A blank stare does not mean lack of knowledge or awareness.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 13:30 | 4408145 DaddyO
DaddyO's picture

In trying to separate the conscious from the unconscious, I will give that many things are lying just under the surface.

However, there is a big difference between, let's say, someone being court ordered to AA for a DUI or other substance abuse violation and someone understanding or even being aware of the implications of a smart meter or even Obamacare.

The poor soul ordered to an AA meeting by a well meaning judge has to make a clear and obvious choice to deny their problem.

On the otherhand, the smart meter looks more like a corporation just trying to lower its costs and eliminate labor.

The subconscious mind would have a harder time rationalizing the underlying control aspects.

Hence, the author's premise that the Mafia State of Mind is so ingrained as to be undetectable by all but the most synical.


Thu, 02/06/2014 - 17:00 | 4409006 HardAssets
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Well you guys are getting into some psycho-babble gobble-de-gook, in my opinion, -- but denial isn't such a complex thing.

Ever show someone youre trying to 'wake up' something they don't want to acknowledge ?  During the last election I showed YouTube vids with Romney saying things that countered their positions on many topics from so-called national 'health care' to gun control. I did the same thing with YouTubes showing Obama past broken campaign promises.

Those hardcore Rs and Ds wouldn't even acknowledge what they saw and heard right in front of them. They literally acted as though they heard/saw nothing.  It was quite amazing to see. But at that point the conversation usually came to an abrupt stop. The final response was 'Yeah . . . but I don't want X to get in office.'

It didn't take a lot of knowledge to come out of denial . . . . just a bit of courage to step outside of their own brainwashing and identification with their own beliefs.


P.S. - a long time ago, I used to be a staunch conservative Republican. One of the things that opened my eyes was taking a long, detailed look at Ronald Reagan's actual record versus all that I had heard & thought about it. "Lowering taxes", "smaller government", "bring down the Soviets through defense spending", "brought prosperity", etc - - - - were fictions. Economist Murray Rothbard's writings on these topics made a major impact on me.


Thu, 02/06/2014 - 16:30 | 4408891 TheGardener
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Thu, 02/06/2014 - 13:47 | 4408222 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

perhaps it's even deeper in that beyond denial is an innate response that one must join a gang in order to protect oneself from other gangs.  (the "When in Rome" response)  this is even more insiduous because it prevents one from calling out the tactics of one gang without being at risk of having its own gang exposed.

perhaps this is how "social pyramid systems" (h/t dr. ganja) are built stone by stone.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 14:44 | 4408489 Anusocracy
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Ant colonies don't function to produce ants that strike out on their own.

Humant colonies basically don't either.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 21:03 | 4410063 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Thaz radikalus. We got freedom and democrassee and no global warming cuz the Jeebus say so.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:13 | 4407906 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Extortion and corruption is the natural state of things.  Raising a society above that takes energy and force of will that no longer exists in the US (or apparently anywhere anymore).  So we revert to the mean- to the lowest common denominator.  The new Dark Ages are here, not the next Renaissance despite all our technological innovations.


Thu, 02/06/2014 - 13:52 | 4408250 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

Extortion and corruption is the natural state of things.

that's an assumption not necessarily true in the observation of nature, outside of monkeys with a neocortex convincing all the other monkeys that it is a true statement in order to justify continued extortion & corruption.  

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 21:03 | 4410057 MeelionDollerBogus
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The odds aren't ever in our favahhh?

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:12 | 4407912 The.Harmless.Who
The.Harmless.Who's picture


So forming a union to protect the little guy from massive corporations, big banks, and the likes of carl Icahn are evil mafia?


p.s. In the uk, the mafia unions went a long way to giving us the NHS and oh, the weekends off too :-)  


If we like our mafia, we can keep it ;-)



Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:16 | 4407922 CH1
CH1's picture

forming a union to protect the little guy from massive corporations...

Same sacred myth I heard all my life. Never saw it in reality. But I did see union thugs break windows and cause other damage to non-union guys.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:20 | 4407935 The.Harmless.Who
The.Harmless.Who's picture


I guess it depends where you are CH1, 


In the UK and Germany too, Unions exist (well used to, until recently in the case of the UK), to protect the little guy.  


Nothing about broken windows, but the working man (and woman) did get the weekend off, and helped - for a while at least - consign Charles Dickens' work back to the "fiction" category.  


Now, today - well, the UK union isn't all that, but you can thank Tony Blair for putting the final nail in the coffin of a working man. 



Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:21 | 4407940 taketheredpill
taketheredpill's picture


Um Er you can Google it.  Unions did achieve a few things like 8 hour days, 5 day work weeks, paid overtime, workplace safety rules, etc. until corporations did an end-run and moved the sweatshops overseas.  Seniority Rules are often made out to sound discriminatory, but they basically prevent human beings from being treated like draft horses.

In any case, unions are mostly gone (on % workforce basis) and we have "Right to Work" programs and 2-Tier Wage Settlements in place so unions will eventually go way of the dodo.

Then Productivity will really take off and workers will be given a slice of that increasing pie.

Bwah Ha Ha Ha!!!!



Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:39 | 4407992 DblAjent
DblAjent's picture

There was a time and place for unions. Those days are gone, IMHO. Now they are simply extortionists which caused the outsourcing.

They are the scorpian who stung the toad halfway across the pond, because it is their nature....

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 14:14 | 4408366 AynRandFan
AynRandFan's picture

The new corporate oppressor is the Federal government.  We need unions that counter-balance its power.  Unfortunately, what we have instead is a corrupt government in league with corrupt unions.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:42 | 4408007 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Fuck your gangs, asshole!

Long story, short? Two wrongs don't make a right. Just a fight.

Take your divide and conquer elsewhere, please.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:45 | 4408025 The.Harmless.Who
The.Harmless.Who's picture




Please.... Fuck *YOU* asshole. 


There, fixed it for you (asshole). 


Ta Muchly.  


p.s. Now, "NotApplicable" - get back on your knees and polish Carl Icahn's helmet, and mind the white hairs ass-munch! 





Thu, 02/06/2014 - 17:39 | 4408107 The.Harmless.Who
The.Harmless.Who's picture


Two  Three Icahn fans I see... 





Thu, 02/06/2014 - 13:22 | 4408126 Dixie Rect
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The problem being, organized labor quickly morophed into organized crime.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 13:43 | 4408183 StandardDeviant
StandardDeviant's picture

Ironically, you post this on a day when both London Tube unions are on strike, inconveniencing millions of commuters and costing the city somewhere between £10-50m per day, depending on whose numbers you believe.  All over some obscure dispute about the number of ticket offices, as far as anyone can tell me.  You know what you can do with your UK Mafia unions.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:15 | 4407923 aleph0
aleph0's picture

Reminds me of when the Italian Govt. tried to introduce their new Pension Plans .
A small Italian Fishing Village refused, saying their Local System provided by the Local Mafia was far superior.


Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:31 | 4407967 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

The difference being that the Mafia actually HAS the money to make pay outs.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 14:10 | 4408341 AynRandFan
AynRandFan's picture

The Mafia was probably far less corrupt than the government.  Given the choice of a corrupt government and a criminal organization, I'd chose the latter.  At least the criminals exist within the capitalist system.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 15:02 | 4408547 Conax
Conax's picture


As Barzini once said, "Of course you can charge us for these services, after all, we are not communists."

The old numbers racket (street level lotteries) paid out much more than the state sanctioned money siphoning lotteries do today. 

In WWII, the so-called mafia was a great help in intelligence gathering for the Allied powers.  They like freedom, it's good for da bizziness.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:17 | 4407927 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Off Topic:

Syrian Electronic Army Claims Control Over Facebook.Com Domain


Do the war mongers really expect us to believe that these people are from Syria? How freaking transparent can they be? Unfortunately the majority of the flag waving sheep will probably fall for this crap.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:34 | 4407972 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

They hate us for our LIKE THIS!

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:36 | 4407983 Son of Captain Nemo
Son of Captain Nemo's picture

VOA doing God's work!

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 13:11 | 4408098 general ambivalent
general ambivalent's picture

You guys see this about "masquerading as an enemy in a “false flag” operation"?

"In another document taken from the NSA by Snowden and obtained by NBC News, a JTRIG official said the unit’s mission included computer network attacks, disruption, “Active Covert Internet Operations,” and “Covert Technical Operations.” Among the methods listed in the document were jamming phones, computers and email accounts and masquerading as an enemy in a “false flag” operation. The same document said GCHQ was increasing its emphasis on using cyber tools to attack adversaries."

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:20 | 4407933 fijisailor
fijisailor's picture

More commonly known as fascism

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:42 | 4408008 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture


Still #1.


On the threat list.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 13:50 | 4408223 falak pema
falak pema's picture

that article is worth reading in its entirety to undersand how the US machine aided and abetted the apartheid regime and how the Cubans helped defend the local freedom fighters, notably in Angola and Namibia.

Another dark chapter in the unending chapters of CIA plays in Congo/South Africa and Rhodesian enclaves, which began with the execution of Lumumba and the protection of mining interests of this hugely rich country; whose surrogate shepherds were Moise Tshombe (Belgian stooge) then Mobutu, true CIA military recruited tool. The man who allowed the control amongst all  the wealth of his own lands plus those of the Cabinda enclave of Oil that belonged to Angola. 

Oil, Oil, Oil and nigerian petroduct. 

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 14:28 | 4408401 Emergency Ward
Emergency Ward's picture

I think it is better to say that Castro pimped out Cuban soldiers to his Soviet Godfathers for the sake of African intervention (countering US intervention).....not because the Cubans were somehow heroic defenders of freedom.  Castro must be regretting his involvement to this day.  Think: la SIDA (AIDS).

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 15:45 | 4408727 falak pema
falak pema's picture

Its always difficult to be Spartacus against the Roman Empire. 

Cuba is poor but not part of US OLigarchy. Small solace for a ideological counter model like Giap's Nam. 

Win the war lose the Nam's case. 

Cuba is now a dot on the world page, but an idiosyncracy. It survived Armageddon in the US-Soviet face off. 

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:26 | 4407946 NoWayJose
NoWayJose's picture

Don't be surprised that after the US economic collapse that we will see a 'mafia-like' world here.  As resources become more scarce, we will return the era of gangsters, bribes, and barter.  If you want something, or if want 'protection', you will not be able to get it from the government, but instead will need to deal with the Don's or with bureaucrats who only work for bribes.  This corrupt system is ingrained in Europe, Asia, and South America right now (and has been in place for centuries) -- and while the US has some already, it is hidden by the government's ability to print unlimited cash without consequences (at least for now).  We see a headline every once in a while about a US company getting caught with bribes to Chinese officials -- but that is how business is done everywhere in the world...

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:50 | 4408034 10mm
10mm's picture

Look forward to the old days and ways. Neighborhoods were safe.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 13:08 | 4408086 graneros
graneros's picture

"Don't be surprised that after the US economic collapse that we will see a 'mafia-like' world here."


What do you think we have now?  Politicains ARE the mafia.  Everybody has this image of Al Capone or some such shit.  What do you think the likes of Joe Biden or Harry Reid are?  They are the Mafia.  How about your Local, State, or County officials?  Don't pay them a yearly bribe on YOUR property and men with guns will force you off YOUR property. We all think the Mafia is this bunch of cartoonish gangsters who control whoring and loan sharking and all talk with a Joisy accent.  Sure these clowns exist but they are very small potatoes compared to your Congressmen and Senators.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 20:57 | 4410046 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

After? It's happening now.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:39 | 4407997 Reaper
Reaper's picture

The sheeple crave a shepherd. Thinking or taking personal responsibility is a painful activity. Mafia, or government, or school teacher, or priest, or whatever thinks and plans for you. Stay safely hidden within the flock.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:39 | 4408005 no more banksters
no more banksters's picture

When Monti bowed to banksters

a short story of how a country can be loaded with 40 billion euros additional debt in just one day

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:46 | 4408021 Son of Captain Nemo
Son of Captain Nemo's picture

Speaking of Mafia', "the fat man from the bench" has spoken... And he actually has this one right 'to boot'!

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:59 | 4408068 Duke of Earl
Duke of Earl's picture

Rather than helping people understand and come to terms with their helplessness, I would rather read articles about a free state of mind and ways to reverse or direct the trend toward an ideal.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 13:04 | 4408080 general ambivalent
general ambivalent's picture

Can any of you recommend books or articles on criminal organisation in the markets or in big property and construction? Would appreciate it, thanks.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 13:08 | 4408090 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Great, I really needed an ENTIRE ARTICLE on the common language usage of mafia in many (Spanish, French, Portuguese) languages outside of English and Italian...

However, many places in Europe (and probably the US - unless there were a whole bunch of trials and convictions I somehow missed in the last 20 years) the garbage business is still a cash cow for the mafia in the more American sense.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 13:26 | 4408113 CaptainSpaulding
CaptainSpaulding's picture

" As you could see, I have a sentimental value for my children. They talk when they should listen" .... The Don

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 13:20 | 4408122 Carl Popper
Carl Popper's picture

The old corn laws in england are a typical example.

U.S. sugar subsidy keeps sugar prices higher than necessary benefiting a few at the expense of the many.

Job "certification" requirements are also barriers to entry that rarely have anything to do with safety or quality. Certain occupations such as law and medicine are a protected monopoly that gouges the public.

And don't get me started how dentists have worked hard to keep their numbers low and barriers to entry high

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 13:28 | 4408137 smacker
smacker's picture

"Once the mafia state of mind has seeped into every nook and cranny of the society and economy, it's not even recognized as corruption: it's simply the way the system works."


This is so true.

It perfectly explains the system of democracy we have in (probably) all western countries.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 13:58 | 4408273 silverserfer
silverserfer's picture

"you gonna buy these spiderman towels here see! You goona take them home to your wife and your kids and your gonna use them. Cause if you dont, your gonna get all wet. You wouldnt want to get all wet now would ya?!

I diddnt thinks so!!


Thu, 02/06/2014 - 14:06 | 4408317 AynRandFan
AynRandFan's picture

Corruption isn't all financial, maybe not most.  A lot of it is ideologically based.  By that I mean a strong undercurrent of desire by the so-called educated class to be European.  Call it political correctness, call it creeping socialism or liberalism, the idea that America should cast off capitalism and the Constitution in favor of a new leftist body of laws has corrupted everything from the media to the courtroom.

I blame the educational establishment and its unions.  They have sown the seeds for America's demise in one generation.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 20:23 | 4409914 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Religion: the biggest mafia of all & perhaps the most powerful.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 15:00 | 4408556 casfoto
casfoto's picture

The fact that the NSA can listen in and track any conversation, phone call, email, text etc....would give them a carte blacnhe for finding the Mafia criminals in our midst. Jon Corrizine, Stephen Cohen etc....all these guys would be and should be put in jail for crimes against the people of the US.....except for one thing and that is that NSA is being controlled by the heads of our Mafia gov't. I have often wondered why these people were not in jail and this explains it.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 15:12 | 4408580 malek
malek's picture

He forgot to mention the sickcare and higher education mafia.

And I wonder if he touched upon if his left-liberal in their views friends at least in some cases support forcing people into their happiness (a/k/a "I know better what you need than you do yourself" cough Obamacare cough) -
often those folks are not even aware that shows they clearly have a supportive mindset towards a mafia-like society...

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 15:41 | 4408716 The Abstraction...
The Abstraction of Justice's picture

Isn't it time we saw civil lawsuits against the makers of Grand Theft Auto and the Sopranos? 

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 16:02 | 4408819 tradewithdave
tradewithdave's picture

It's called rent seeking... and is there another option? Almost forgot ... Arianna's Third Metric.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 16:02 | 4408827 tradewithdave
tradewithdave's picture

What do you think Cass Sinstein's book "Nudge" is all about... The observer effect... We're watching you.

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 21:34 | 4409073 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

The earlier exchanges between Cognitive Dissonance and Daddy O were both right, but too exclusively psychological. That emphasis on psychology, rather than the ecology that made and maintained that psychology, is very typical. It is at the root of the title of this article as being a "Mafia STATE OF MIND." The driving force behind the "denial psychology" that most people have developed to cope with those social facts, especially as their own government becomes a runway manifestation of those, is the backing up of lies with violence. The most important episodes were the assassination of politicians that could not be bribed or intimidated.

The "Mafia State of Mind" is militarism, where success depends upon backing up deceits with destruction. The surrounding psychology is the longer term result of generation after generation facing the consequences of the best organized gangs of criminals backing up their frauds with force. It follows that the only genuine "solutions" must necessarily still be inside the context of more militarism. That the vast majority of Zombie Sheeple have been brainwashed to not understand that, and conditioned to not want understand that, is the result of the feedback of the organized criminals operating through the principles and methods of militarism.

ONLY better dynamic equilibria of the systems of organized lies, operating organized robberies, is possible. Approaching the Mafia State of Mind through false fundamental dichotomies and their related impossible ideals is to still be IN that Mafia State of Mind. The "Mafia" was merely how a particular group manifested that state of mind, in their historical context. However, the Mafia State of Mind is as universal as militarism, and can be derived to necessarily exist in general energy systems as a theoretical corollary of how those systems must work.

Citizens are necessarily members of an organized crime gang, which is their country. The vast majority of them do not perceive that governments are ALWAYS necessarily the biggest form of organized crime, controlled by the best organized gangs of criminals. The smaller gangs of criminals, such as the "Mafia" only got their name known and recognized because they had a long history of having been operating coherently within the context of larger organized crime gangs, mostly in the forms of various empires that rampages across their island from time to time. After many centuries of adapting to cope with that, immigrants to America brought that culture with them, to cope with setting up new lives in what they perceived as a somewhat similar social situation for them to have immigrated into. However, projecting onto others that they are the Mafia, but we are not, is basic to the deeper nature of these problems.

The way that language works is to subtract parts, and give those names, and properties, which are then assembled into narratives. That human ability to tell stories, (based on mental models of the world, with models of themselves within their model of the world) NECESSARILY creates systems of organized lies, which NECESSARILY operate systems of organized robberies across the boundaries of the relatively subtracted parts of the whole. The paradoxes are that we tend to be taught to see the world as a Bizarro Mirror World, where everything is backwards. All of the "Ideals" come from the conservation of energy which flows THROUGH all of the relatively subtracted parts, across which relative boundaries energy is TAKEN. Thus, the basic way that human minds work REQUIRES that we always operate through organized systems of lies, operating organized robberies. However, the most basic concepts, such as the entropy equations, have arbitrarily reversed that, because the biggest bullies have been able to reverse the meaning of the stories told about them!

Those who did that the best were able to assert the false fundamental dichotomies, and their related impossible ideals, that they were the "good guys" while the others were the "bad guys." However, there are no fundamental dichotomies between people. The "good guys" were merely better at being dishonest, and backing that up with violence, which then enabled them to dominate the rest of civilization, such as through the school systems and mass media. However, everyone necessarily, due to how the human mind must work, operates through SUBTRACTION and ROBBERY. Indeed, the basic process of all is SUBTRACTION, since the ROBBERY depends upon the original SUBTRACTION. Everything else follows from that, which is the basic ways that human minds (or any other possible minds) work. However, the vast majority of people are brainwashed to believe in the biggest bullies' bullshit social stories, which tend to REVERSE everything, into becoming a Bizarro Mirror World, where that vast majority of people are prevented from understanding the elementary principles of philosophy or spiritualism. The ruling classes are constantly waging a "War against Consciousness." Paradoxically, the more successful they become in dominating society, the sicker and more insane that society becomes overall!

As Charles Hugh-Smith concluded in this article:

Once the mafia state of mind has seeped into every nook and cranny of the society and economy, it's not even recognized as corruption: it's simply the way the system works. ... Once you realize that the mafia is a state of mind, you recognize just how thoroughly it has corrupted and criminalized our entire society and economy.

We’re doomed by a pathocracy:

From the Greek pathos, “feeling, pain, suffering”; and kratos, “rule”

A totalitarian form of government in which absolute political power is held by a psychopathic elite, and their effect on the people is such that the entire society is ruled and motivated by purely pathological values.

The Pathocrats

However, after reading many articles by Charles Hugh-Smith, I find him to be another one of the classic kinds of reactionary revolutionaries, when writing about "The Mafia State of Mind," who does acceptable historical analysis, but then still tends to collapse back to false fundamental dichotomies, and impossible ideals, when proposing "solutions." Pretty well everyone else does too, due to the degree to which the biggest bullies' bullshit stories have been able to dominate civilization, so that the only audiences, of significant size that would approve, operate within that kind of frame of reference too.

While what this article asserts is mostly correct, and relatively obvious to those who have paid closer attention to the real social facts, it is practically impossible to be popular enough in our current civilization unless one continues to operate within some frame of reference of false fundamental dichotomies, and related impossible ideals. Furthermore, that also tends then to be excessively psychologized, rather than appreciated more from the perspective of general energy systems operating through evolutionary ecologies.

However, as science and technology has advanced through series of profound paradigm shifts, which have tended towards better understanding through applying UNITARY MECHANISMS, we more and more imperatively need our politics to catch up with those processes. We need intellectual scientific revolutions most of all within militarism. The development of weapons of mass destruction makes that become more and more imperative, although, so far, that has not been happening in significant enough ways, since the biggest bullies' combined money/murder systems so totally dominate the lives of the vast majority of people that they have thoroughly adapted to take the bullies' bullshit social stories for granted, and so, almost all of the controlled opposition to those bullies tend to promote the same basic bullshit world views too.

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 08:07 | 4411021 straightlinelogic
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