[Marxism] US Mafia

Nestor Gorojovsky nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar
Sat Mar 11 07:31:14 MST 2006

Respuesta a:"Marxism Digest, Vol 29, Issue 27"
Enviado por:marxism-request at lists.econ.utah.edu
Con fecha:10 Mar 2006, a las 22:49

> Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2006 19:41:21 -0500
> From: "Mark Lause" <MLause at cinci.rr.com>

[I am an outsider on this, and meddling in Mafia issues is, for an 
outsider, rather dangerous.  But maybe I can add a couple of tiny 
drops on this issue.]

> I remember when I was moving to Chicago, I got into an interesting
> conversation with a black bus driver, who talked about Al Capone with
> all the affection of a Robin Hood.  Everyone worked in the black
> community when Capone was around.  I don't know how much of that was
> ever true, but no inherent reason why it wouldn't have been.
> There was no real national "Mafia" before the 1930s. 


> The prohibition of alcohol after World War I imposed a new level of
> organization.  Various ethnic gangs jostled for the prime spot in
> supplying liquor.  In different cities, Irish, German, Jewish gangs
> would come out on top, as readily as Italian or Sicilian.


> The end of prohibition pushed them towards a more concerted national
> organization, in which the Sicilians came out on top, largely with the
> help of a Jewish manager, Meyer Lansky.  I don't particularly know of
> any other reasons why the Sicilians would have emerged as the dominant
> national force, but it seemed to turn out that way.  

(1) Here's my first:  in Italy, at least, and particularly among 
Italian Leftists, it was quite agreed that the Sicilian Mafia of the 
US was in the closest contact with the US command in order to help 
Salvatore Giuliano and his attempt to establish an independent 
Sicilly.  The Leftists I talked with on these issues said that this 
Sicillian issue was one of the main points of agreement that put the 
Italian Communist Party to work together with the bourgeois parties 
in Italy.  I have never dedicated myself to any serious study of this 
issue, but it might prove an interesting lode.

> They redeployed capital towards concerted projects like the operations
> in Cuba and Los Vegas.  

(2) My second:  Las Vegas was a 'half way point' for soldiers 
marching to the Pacific during WW II, and perhaps the last place in 
the US where the GI's would have a last second of gambling and 
whoring.  Would it be too "conspirativist" to believe that there must 
have been some connection between the officers and the Mafia leaders 

> With the growing tensions between Italy and
> the US, Lansky cut a deal with the Roosevelt administration to keep
> saboteurs out of the shipyards of the east coast.  (Back in the old
> country, the Mafia came to see the fascists as a rival gang.)  

Which somehow reinforces my comments on point (1) above.

> The
> alternative would have been a much larger and more invasive FBI, so
> the short term benefits of a Mafia alliance was more persuasive.  This
> also benefited the government and employers vis-à-vis the labor
> movement, but the long term wisdom of giving organized crime such
> influence in the ports of the east coast had long term implications.  

I don't know.  In the end, what was there in that deal that made it 
so different from today's "contractors" operating in Iraq, etc.?

The relations between State and crime were not an American 
exclusivity during WWII, by the way.  There you have the story of the 
Mafia of Southern France, who obtained their right to develop their 
drug-producing "complex" after 1945 through collaboration with the 
Allies.  Among other things, this particular Mafia was directly 
concerned with drug addiction in the Algerian Qasbahs, and it is not 
a matter of chance that the dealers were among the first targets of 
the Algerian Revolution in its early years.

In a sense, they were the true face of imperialism.

Este correo lo ha enviado
Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar
[No necesariamente es su autor]
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"La patria tiene que ser la dignidad arriba y el regocijo abajo".
Aparicio Saravia
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