The ins and outs of the mafia

Originally published at: The ins and outs of the mafia | Boing Boing

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Previously on BoingBoing:


They Pull Me Back In Al Pacino GIF by The Godfather

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“Honor, loyalty, and respect have been replaced by selfishness and greed.”

So, during some golden era, the Cosa Nostra crime syndicate was not all about selfishness and greed. TIL.

“The Paul Castellano situation… they felt the boss was being greedy…”

The “situation”? Gotti assassinated Castellano because Gotti was greedy, ffs. (And Gotti was scared of himself being assassinated for running drugs against Castellano’s orders.) This revisionism is killing me (but not literally).


Just make sure you understand point out what kinds of honor, loyalty and respect we’re talking about:

  • the kind of honor that drives people to kill their sister if she has unmarried sex, or with the wrong guy
  • the kind of loyalty that comes with the knowledge that everyone who’s important to you will be killed or mutilated when you fail to be loyal
  • respect for a selected few, while denying respect and basic human dignity to everyone else, killing, torturing and exploiting them as you see fit.

You throw around words like honor, loyalty and respect so that the gullible don’t catch on it’s all about power and greed. Throw in some religion for good measure. It’s like the tale of the Nigerian prince, the people who believe you are exactly the ones you’re looking for.

Sometimes I wonder if Goodfellas, the Godfather and the Sopranos are all just advertisements for the Mafia.


I never understood the love for the Sopranos. Making the lives of people who benefit from harming others, either through direct violence or by selling drugs into comedy? Sorry, those guys deserve any problems they might have if they discover they have a moral compass after all. They are not the good guys.

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