During the 1940s and 1950s, corrupt politicians championed the politics of anti-communism in order to divert attention from the growing nexus between organized crime, big business and government. — Jonathan Marshall I don't interfere with big business. None of those big business guys can say that I ever took a single dollar from them. I don't interfere with their racket. Why can't they leave my racket alone? — Al Capone (Kenneth Allsop, The Bootleggers, 1970) Underworld | Wikipedia [T]he supernatural world of the dead in various religious traditions and myths, located below the world of the living. Chthonic is the technical adjective for things of the underworld. The concept of an underworld is found in almost every civilization and "may be as old as humanity itself". underworld | Dictionary.com the criminal element of human society You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. — James 2:19
The Usual Suspects Film Clip The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.... Keaton always said, "I don't believe in God, but I'm afraid of Him." — Keyser Söze, The Usual Suspects
The Underworld is what inspires and controls organized crime, and will be the fate of all criminals (organized or not) who fail to repent before death, unlike The Thief on the Cross (St. Dismas).
Typical understanding of organized crime centers on images of gangsters, but the real power of organized crime is in what is termed Corruption that includes white-collar crime, corporate crime, and crony capitalism.
“During the 1940s and 1950s, corrupt politicians championed the politics of anti-communism in order to divert attention from the growing nexus between organized crime, big business and government.”
— Jonathan Marshall
Indicted Attorney General Ken Paxton Epitomizes Texas‘ Exceptionalism on Corruption
Paxton is Burning: Has accountability finally come to Texas?
The Road Home
“State law requires roughly 97 percent of TxDOT’s roughly $15 billion annual budget to be spent on roadways. For decades, Texas Republicans have contended that highways are the engine that powers the state’s economy. “Everything we’re doing for transportation infrastructure feeds into keeping Texas number one in the nation for economic development,” Abbott said in January.
It’s the same argument advanced by the Associated General Contractors of Texas (AGC), which represents 85 percent of the state’s highway contractors. Between January 2013 and December 2020, AGC contributed more than $2.5 million to Texas officeholders, most of that to powerful Republicans, and another $2.2 million to Texas Infrastructure Now, a pro-road-building political action committee, according to Texans for Public Justice. In that time span, the group donated $375,200 to Texans for Greg Abbott, $334,950 to Texans for Dan Patrick, and $303,100 to Senator Robert Nichols, the chair of the Senate Transportation Committee. Terry Canales, the Democratic chair of the House Transportation Committee, received just $4,000.”
Timothy P. Carney | AEI American Enterprise Institute
The Big Ripoff: How Big Business and Big Government Steal Your Money
Big Business and Big Government “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled,” said Kaiser Soze in the film The Usual Suspects, “was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” In a similar way, big business and big government prosper from the perception that they are rivals instead of partners (in plunder). The history of big business is one of cooperation with big government. Most noteworthy expansions of government power are to the liking of, and at the request of, big business. If this sounds like an attack on big business, it is not intended to be. It is an attack on certain practices of big business. When business plays by the crooked rules of politics, average citizens get ripped off. The blame lies with those who wrote the rules. In the parlance of hip‐hop, “don’t hate the player, hate the game.”
Projects | Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project OCCRP
Unwitting Wealth: How a Local Official Scooped up a Georgian Village | OCCRP
The Money and the Power: The Making of Las Vegas — Sally Denton
The Corruption of American Politics: What Went Wrong and Why — Elizabeth Drew
Politics of Corruption : Organized Crime in an American City — John A. Gardiner
Capitol Punishment: The Hard Truth about Washington Corruption from America's Most Notorious Lobbyist — Jack Abramoff
The Corruption of American — Charles Frank Thompson
The Politics of Organized Crime and the Organized Crime of Politics: A Study in Criminal Power — Alfredo Schulte-Bockholt
Hostile Takeover: How Big Money and Corruption Conquered Our Government--And How We Take It Back — David Sirota
A Republic No More: Big Government and the Rise of American Political Corruption — Jay Cost
Corruption and American Politics — Michael A. Genovese, Victoria A. Farrar-Myers
Power and Corruption: The Rotten Core of Government and Big Business — Stephen Moore
Soft Corruption: How Unethical Conduct Undermines Good Government and What To Do About It — William E. Schluter
Corruption and Government: Causes, Consequences, and Reform — Susan Rose-Ackerman, Bonnie J. Palifka
Noble Cause Corruption, the Banality of Evil, and the Threat to American Democracy, 1950-2008 — John DiJoseph
The Pyramid of Lies: Lex Greensill and the Billion-Dollar Scandal — Duncan Mavin
Corruption in the American Political System — Larry L. Berg, Harlan Hahn
Corporate Corruption: The Abuse of Power — Marshall B. Clinard
Confessions of a Mafioso: Gangster Capitalism and Covering Up the Waste — “Organised crime and business have always been interwoven, whether by clearing the way for industrialism through the use of militia, employing heavies to evict tenants or thugs to break strikes.”
Dr. Michael Woodiwiss | UWE Bristol — awarded a Distinguished Scholar Award by the International Association for the Study of Organized Crime, at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology 2019
The Global Fix: The Construction of a Global Enforcement Regime During the 1960s there was the beginnings of a conservtive intellectual revival in the United States that has evolved into the free market ideology now usually known as neo-liberalism. By the 1970s the work of Austrian economist Friedrich von Hayek came to be revered where once it had been ignored and others such as Milton Friedman, Jude Wanniski produced best selling polemics and prominent op-ed pieces in the newspapers. These argued in essence the equation ‘Free Market = Freedom of the Individual’ and claimed that any departure from this equation was no less than The Road to Serfdom to quote the title of Hayek's most influential book. Capitalism was not only efficient it was moral, according to the thinking of Alan Greenspan, the man who as Chairman of the Federral Reserve System [and Ayn Rand groupie] would be largely responsible for the direction of US national monetary policy from the Reagan era to the 21st century. . . . Gangster Capitalism: The United States and the Globalization of Organized Crime Everyone knows what organized crime is. Each year dozens of feature films, hundreds of books, and thousands of news stories explain to an eager public that organized crime is what gangsters do. Closely knit, ethnically distinct, and ruthlessly efficient, these mafias control the drugs trade, people trafficking and other serious crimes. If only states would take the threat seriously and recognize the global nature of modern organized crime, the FBI's success against the Italian mafia could be replicated throughout the world. The wicked trade in addictive drugs could be brought to a halt. The trouble is, as Woodiwiss demonstrates in shocking and surprising detail, what everyone knows about organized crime is pretty much completely wrong. In reality the most important figures in organized crime are employees of multinational companies [corporations], politicians and bureaucrats. Gangsters are certainly a problem, but much of their strength comes from attempts to prohibit the market for certain drugs. Even here they are minor players when compared with the intelligence and law enforcement agencies that selectively enforce prohibition and profit from it. Woodiwiss shows how respectable businessmen and revered statesmen have seized these opportunities in an orgy of fraud and illegal violence. from back cover — How big business and big government adopted the wise guy approach and muscled organized crime into irrelevance It may be comforting to think that organized criminals are the apex of criminal activity. Their dealings, while certainly dangerous, are relegated to the more salacious sections of the newspaper, distanced from the seemingly sanitized “gentlemen’s games” of corporate malfeasance and political corruption. That view, unfortunately, has become dangerously outdated. The reality, as portrayed in Gangster Capitalism, is that not only have the lethal tenets of organized crime worked their way into the operating models of more acceptable institutions, but the politicians, businessmen, and bureaucrats have actually beat the wise guys at their own game, gradually shifting the rules to broaden and legitimize proto-criminal behavior in a far more dangerous and sinister manner. As British scholar Michael Woodiwiss demonstrates, the position of large multinational corporations within the global economy, and lawmakers’ ability to monitor and control that economy, actually provide the most enticing opportunitites for illegal profit, turning the gangsters into mere pawns. Gangster Captialism shows how respectable businessmen and revered statesmen have seized these opportunities in an orgy of fraud and illegal violence that would leave the most hardened mafioso speechless. Double Crossed: The Failure of Organized Crime Control In the United States, the popular symbols of organised crime are still Depression-era figures such as Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, and Meyer Lansky - thought to be heads of giant, hierarchically organised mafias. In Double Crossed, Michael Woodiwiss challenges perpetuated myths to reveal a more disturbing reality of organised crime - one in which government officials and the wider establishment are deeply complicit. Delving into attempts to implement policies to control organised crime in the US, Italy and the UK, Woodiwiss reveals little-known manifestations of organised crime among the political and corporate establishment. A follow up to his 2005 Gangster Capitalism, Woodiwiss broadens and brings his argument up to the present by examining those who constructed and then benefited from myth making. These include the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, opportunistic American politicians and officials and, more recently, law enforcement bureaucracies, led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Organised crime control policies now tend to legitimise repression and cover-up failure. They do little to control organised crime. While the US continues to export its organised crime control template to the rest of the world, opportunities for successful criminal activity proliferate at local, national and global levels, making successful prosecutions irrelevant. Organized Crime and American Power: A History Organized crime, understood in a literal sense as systematic illegal activity for money or power, is as old as the first systems of law and government and as international as trade. Piracy, banditry, kidnapping, extortion, forgery, fraud, and trading in stolen or illegal goods and services are all ancient occupations that have often involved the active participation of landowners, merchants, and government officials. Many people today, however, follow the lead of the US government and American commentators and understand organized crime as being virtually synonymous with super-criminal 'Mafia-type' organizations. These are usually seen as separate entities, distinct from legitimate society but possessing almost unlimited regional, national, and even international power. As background to this understanding of organized crime there exists a consensus among most commentators that suggests that the United States has had the most experience and success in dealing with the problem. In Organized Crime and American Power: A History, Michael Woodiwiss argues that organized criminal activity has never been a serious threat to established economic and political power structures in the United States but more often a fluid, variable, and open-ended phenomenon that has, in fact, complemented those structures. Conventional histories of the problem tend to focus on outlaws in peripheral feudal societies, most commonly Sicily, for their antecedents. Woodiwiss by contrast finds his antecedents in the systematic criminal activity of the powerful and respectable in those ancient and early modern societies that we usually understand to be at the centre of 'civilized' development and continues to emphasize the crimes of the powerful throughout his wide ranging overview. He surveys the organization of crime in the Southern states after the American Civil War; the organized crimes of American business interests; the causes and corrupt consequences of the US campaign to prohibit alcohol and other 'vices'; the elaboration of the Mafia conspiracy interpretation of organized crime and the consequent 'dumbing of discourse' about the problem, not just nationally but internationally. Emphasizing the importance of collaboration, as much as confrontation, between government and criminals, Woodiwiss illustrates how crime control policies based on the Mafia paradigm have not only failed to address much organized criminal behaviour, but have, in many ways, proved counterproductive and damaging to individual rights and social stability.
Jonathan M. Katz
Mike Papantonio | Wikipedia
Mike Papantonio — “senior partner with the law firm of Levin Papantonio Rafferty. He has received numerous multi-million dollar verdicts on behalf of victims of corporate malfeasance.”
World War II
Collaborations between the United States government and Italian Mafia | Wikipedia
Operation Underworld: Strikes and labor disputes in the eastern shipping ports | Wikipedia
Operation Husky: Allied invasion of Sicily | Wikipedia
See — CIA
See — Danny Casolaro
See— Epstein Affair
How Organized Crime Infiltrated American Business After WW II and Corrupted National Politics from Truman to Trump Provocative new book documents the unsavory alliance between the Mafia, the CIA, and the corporate establishment that transformed America into “the world’s most dangerous nation”... During the 1940s and 1950s, corrupt politicians championed the politics of anti-communism in order to divert attention from the growing nexus between organized crime, big business and government.” At the center of this nexus stood FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover (1924-1972), who cultivated mob connected businessmen in his war against communism, while refusing to cooperate with the Kefauver Committee’s landmark investigation of organized crime in 1950-1951.... Before being known as an anti-communist red hunter, Senator Joseph McCarthy (R-MN) had earned the moniker the “Pepsi-Cola kid” after pushing through a bill lifting federal controls for sugar that benefited Pepsi. McCarthy also received donations and stock tips from East Texas oil billionaire Clint Murchison, Sr., prompting him to vote with the oil interests on every piece of legislation of that era, including the 27.5% oil depletion allowance, the Tidelands oil bill, which provided for state rather than federal control of submerged oil lands, and the Kerr-Thomas gas bill, which exempted the sale of natural gas from Federal Power Commission rate regulations. In 1954, McCarthy was censured by the Senate not only because of his infamous communist smear campaign, but also because he had attempted to obstruct an investigation into his finances, which would have revealed improper payoffs by Lustron, an Ohio manufacturer of prefabricated steel houses, in return for its receipt of a generous RFC loan.
See — John Loftus