As you know, as the best blogger of Italian heritage this side of James Bay, I'm not sure what to make of this. I grew up around wiseguys and so know how intoxicating it is to be around them - just like Goodfellas. Comparisons to the state have always been around and were points of self-evident jokes for us. Italians were always ready to accept that the government is not your friend more than most nationalities I think.But let's not romanticize the mob either. It's true once upon a time they kept streets clean (like in A Bronx Tale) and to a certain extent still do. Montreal police, so I hear, much prefer when the Italians run the streets because it's efficient and not especially violent towards society in general.Alas, collateral damage does occur from time to time. Just look at Italy in the 1990s when the Mafia basically declared war on the Italian people and state where not only thousands of people lost their lives; but Italian treasures were targeted. The state was the one who protected Italian laws and citizens and eventually prevailed.I guess both rely on fear and coercion with people stuck in the middle.
Thanks for the comment T.C. I guess the final point is simply that the state is a bigger, badder bunch of gangsters than the mob could ever be, even in the heyday of the mafia.
I just re-watched Goodfellas (one of my favorite movies) over the weekend, by the way.
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