Chronicle of Dissent: Organized Crime
Luxury beliefs, tyranny's origins and fronting for the kosher nostra
Sep 22, 2021
How did we go from busy-body guardians of social standards telling us 'that's not normal' to busy bodies telling us everything's relative but we have no right to an opinion?
From every direction we are told people don't care, they're time-poor and, when push comes to shove, they have privilege and no right to notice or comment.
What is this schizoid flip from the buttoned-up 1950s to let-it-all-hang-out 1960s or a modern combination of both?
Individual freedom is vanishing under the relativists just as quickly as it did under the conformists.
Rob Henderson's concept of luxury beliefs explains much: ideas that confer status on the upper class while imposing costs on lower social classes.
They push ideas like polyamorism yet, in one-on-one research, he found that the same people mostly planned to have conventional, monogamous, child-rearing lives with the family home providing the stable centre of their universe. Meanwhile many a poor 19 year-old woman follows the influencers only to struggle with the cost and diminished social status of being a single mum.
The same Yalies who planned to claim their entitlement to a family home were big users of Tinder in specific ways. Henderson began to investigate. He concluded that companies like Tinder manipulate the worst in people, while many users are conflicted: they “walk the ‘50s and talk the ‘60s.” 
Henderson is a classic outsider, a foster child from a poor town in northern California who went into the military and later found himself in Yale and Cambridge. His observations remind me of Evelyn Waugh without the sycophancy, or the social essays of George Orwell, or the psychological insights that informed Graham Greene.
He says the opinion-formers in academe, especially the privileged undergraduates, and later in the media, banks and corporations, toy with ideas that cost them little but which greatly disrupt the life of the less advantaged.
Henderson discusses his findings with Dr. Jordan Peterson who came up with a colourful analogy. These progressive ideas, if enacted in practice, are expensive — their cost weighs on the poor but the rich can afford to drag them around like a peacock’s tail. 
Psychological studies, especially since WW2, have suggested people follow orders blindly. The Stanley Milgram experiment supported Hannah Arendt’s observation that evil was banal and that people lose their moral judgement in a group.
Psychologists have since challenged this view. In the BBC Prison Study (2002) Alexander Haslam and Stephen Reicher observed the prisoner-guard ecosystem in a Big Brother TV-style experiment. They found that prisoners would strive for promotion to the kapos or guards but, if that ladder was removed, their loyalty returned to the group. Faced with unity the guards lost confidence, some felt uncomfortable exerting authority, and discipline collapsed. 
In this third stage, prisoners and guards discussed forming a commune in which all would cooperate but, again, some felt uncomfortable exerting authority, others rejected constraints upon their own action. Such division was noticed or even provoked by manipulators. Eventually a gang of prisoners coalesced and proposed a coup, in which they would seize control and establish ‘order’. Supporters of the commune were unwilling to block the coup. As the plotters prepared their putsch, the experiment was halted.
It seems that people can sense the opportunity for cooperation and when it is advantageous they pursue it. The researchers found "although tyranny is a product of group processes and not individual pathology, people do not automatically lose their minds in groups, do not supinely bow to the requirements of their roles and do not automatically abuse collective power".
To summarize: two scenarios lead to tyranny. One is where the in-group sees advantage in oppressing an out-group. The second is a coup in which manipulators take advantage of the group’s failure to establish cohesion. The gang notices that society’s diverse ecosystem is broken and seizes the chance to impose its own version of ‘unity’.
This suggests that the group creates the opportunity for its own oppression. By failing to establish their own systems of production and enforcing their rules of distribution, reward and punishment they open themselves to manipulation.
This tell us a lot about our world in society, business and politics. We know we are being manipulated. The Belgian psychologist Mattias Desmet been suggested that a third of the population shows evidence of having been hypnotised.
To understand this we must abandon cozy notions of our “safe” society and “their” criminal world. The only difference between business and organised crime is that governments can declare certain trades illegal.
In a recent article, Covid Points To 9/11 Perpetrators, I noted how many powerful American families owe their wealth to the opium trade.
A mafia crime boss may regulate a business sector, deciding who sells what and where. A cartel of corporations, tycoons or nations may haggle over market share. In fact, the model for the multinational corporation is credited to Charles "Lucky" Luciano (1897-1962).
An aside. Why is it that gangsters have nicknames? Why don’t we talk of Tony “Needles” Fauci or Boris “Pantyhose” Johnson. Why not Billy “The Horns” Gates? Okay, everyone knows Joe “Big Guy” Biden but he’s got a record as a player on the Hill so the theory holds.
Luciano was a front for the mafia don of all dons, Meyer Lansky (1902-83) and that is no idle finger pointing. It is the essence of bizniz. These two titans were the template for today’s cross-border, stateless, tax-evading corporations.
Intelligence agencies owe them a debt because they integrated black ops and crime. Previously the alliance had been informal. The Pinkertons, forerunners to the FBI, broke strikes. Hoodlums did favours in exchange for cops looking the other way.
The OSS-CIA did a deal with Luciano and Lansky that changed the world for half a century or more. It was supposed to ensure the U.S dockworkers cooperated in WW2. The mafia would ensure no strikes and weed out German spies — remember that the U.S. had been heavily pro-German before Pearl Harbor simply because so many immigrants hailed from central Europe.
In return, the OSS-CIA commuted Luciano’s sentence and restored the mafia to power in Italy. Mussolini had eliminated the Cosa Nostra in a long and bloody civil war. In turn, the communists had eliminated the fascist Mussolini. Now the OSS-CIA would eliminate the communists by helping the mafia regain control of Italy, town by town, mayor by mayor. 
This was a brief explainer of fronting: manipulating or directing an operation to suit your ends. You may own it. You may not. But you profit through different means of control: money laundering, banking, intelligence agencies, bought politicians, government contracts, regulatory capture, gangsterism and wet works, misrepresentation, propaganda and war.