The Godfather is an alternate universe story

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Abdul Alhazred
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The Godfather is an alternate universe story

Postby Abdul Alhazred » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:36 am

That is The Godfather by Mario Puzo, following the original book.

I'm not talking about the absurd mob romanticism. And never mind the implausibility of even an old Mustache Pete like Vito Corleone having scruples about the drug business.

That's just artistic license.

I'm talking about alternate universe the same way The Man in the High Castle is alternate universe.

In the climax of the story sometime around 1960 the heads of all five New York Families get whacked.

Think about how different subsequent New York City history would be, what with one single Mafia family in charge. Certainly not along the lines of the sequel movies.
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Re: The Godfather is an alternate universe story

Postby Matthew Ellard » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:07 pm

Abdul Alhazred wrote:Think about how different subsequent New York City history would be, what with one single Mafia family in charge. Certainly not along the lines of the sequel movies.


There would simply be less variety of music in the USA music industry.
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Re: The Godfather is an alternate universe story

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:51 pm

Don't crime families pretty much break up when the founder dies? So.... one family for a while, then family competition and other mob groups compete.

It is interesting to look around the world at the different degrees and impact of FORMALLY CRIMINAL organizations. Takes special words to differentiate Wallstreet/Congress from Street Thugs.

Just saw on News the Italian Mafia making death threats against high school girls soccer teams. THAT is your alternate universe right there.

.........................must be a constant pull on society to that outcome? Wonder what really stops it?
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Re: The Godfather is an alternate universe story

Postby Frank Hoffman » Sat Feb 06, 2016 12:13 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:..........must be a constant pull on society to that outcome? Wonder what really stops it?

I initially started this comment with "It seems we are only reduced to cooperation when conflict does not work, and after all, everybody wants to rule the world"... but it's more complicated than that; since we do often cooperate even when we don't have to. So why are criminal cartels found in every society, and why are there criminals at every level of society? It must be something central to humans; perhaps simply the lust for power... otherwise it would not be so pervasive. Even in this universe.

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Re: The Godfather is an alternate universe story

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat Feb 06, 2016 3:06 am

Hoffman: true enough. I wonder at how the balanced gets set.......... although....... one could argue there are plenty of examples of the power actually going full tilt criminal?....Africa, Central Europe as examples. ........ AND, I wouldn't say more totalitarian approaches that cut hands off theives or execute fraudsters really is a worse alternative....still a matter of degree and who they actually go after.

Its sad seeing USA deformed by the criminal activity of Big Business. Indeed: its greed out in the open, and allowed.

NO BAILOUTS: without someone going to jail. The Next and even Bigger and even more difficult if not impossible to recover from is on our doorstep right now. But at least Hilary whent to Wallstreet and told them to stop it.
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Re: The Godfather is an alternate universe story

Postby Matthew Ellard » Sun Feb 07, 2016 10:27 pm

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:.... one could argue there are plenty of examples of the power actually going full tilt criminal?....Africa, Central Europe as examples. ....
The Nazi party had many similarities to gangsters, in the way they operated and how Hitler ran his "crew".

The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui is a 1941 play by German Bertolt Brecht, that makes that direct comparison using contemporary US gangster films. That's the really sad thing, for Germany, in that there were really smart Germans who had to flee.

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Re: The Godfather is an alternate universe story

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:18 am

Hey Matt: safer/easier to reference history........rather than what is going on in our own countries. Is the difference trivial, non-existent, better hidden, more stratified?

What does anyone think?

Why do Big Biz industry Exec's get away with so much outright, obvious, admitted to fraud? The Govenor of Michigan has statutory immunity. Hmmmmmmm..... rather than choices, probably my constant repose: the combo plate. A whole lot of bribery, equalled by greed, a bit of jealousy and hurt feelings of entitlement.

Silly Hoomans. Its the dip-shit voters who go along with it getting hurt by the action that actually do deserve more scorn.
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Re: The Godfather is an alternate universe story

Postby Frank Hoffman » Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:30 am

I can't speak for Mr. Ellard, but for me it is much easier to frame a historic argument rather than a contemporary one because much of the noise is filtered out by history (although I am finding that a lot of valuable content is filtered out as well). Since I am not in the halls of power, I truly do not know what is really going on. There was an incredibly malicious financial deal that (one of America's founding fathers) Alexander Hamilton orchestrated which blew my socks off when I recently read about it. As for current malicious financial deals by the powers that be, I only know what I read in the newspaper.

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Re: The Godfather is an alternate universe story

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:49 am

The Hoff (sic :-))==Exactly so. We read history books, we read the newspapers. Its fair to ask whether or not, or to what degree our own societies are as "obviously" corrupt as are the historical ones. What is your hesitancy .............based on? My own take on what effort required or noise actually means doesn't help at all. Seems to me when you/we are "exposed" to something, our BRAINS, homo or reptilian, form reactions/ideas. Whatever is going on, certainly it should become easier with repetition?

Begin now.
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Re: The Godfather is an alternate universe story

Postby Matthew Ellard » Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:57 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote: Why do Big Biz industry Exec's get away with so much outright, obvious, admitted to fraud?
Because that's the way capitalism evolved. If you look at business practices over the last two thousand years, the only constants have been humans and human psychology. :D

I studied in a very niche area within economics and did a lot of studying concerning how "other countries work". We had a crusty English professor from Cambridge give us lectures on mercenaries, arms traders, tax systems and corruption. He discussed the "liability of directors", as this is standardising around the world.

His general point was that : If you make company directors fundamentally liable for the cost of damages as per common law, then no one will want to become a company director. The problem is that modern economics relies on innovation and risk, to improve market share. Therefore, a shareholder wants directors to take risks. Thus this complex "fuzzy" grey area of law has evolved as to the limited liabilities of directors.

The next problem is that the law can only tell you what you cant do. Therefore, if I create a legal document, that is a hybrid discretionary trust, using legal corporate trustee government, with my cat as authorised agent of the trustee, it would take ten years before anyone at the SEC or IRS would understand what I was doing, before they could introduce retrospective law to stop me.

The same is true with corporate governance laws. They were locked in in Salomon v Salomon & Co Ltd [1896] and the law is still trying to catch up with this 1896 court case, concerning directors.

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Re: The Godfather is an alternate universe story

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:41 pm

Thanks Matt, hitting close to target. Thoughts in random order:

1. The law re corps does say what the "must" do: maximize shareholder profit. They can be sued when they don't. I don't see any application at all of the notion that the law can only tell you what you can't do.....even if true or informative, which it is neither.

2. Limited Liability of Corp Directors. Its the CEO's that in the main should be put in jail. Director liability having zero to do with most of the Corporate Fraud that warrants criminal sanctions.

"EVERYONE" (easily) sees the corruption and insanity of the Nazi regime. MY POINT: the corporate excesses we see today on on par...... but "we" don't see it as anywhere near the same. It is. No assembly line murder factories. Instead, the murder is committed by the products made by the factory lines (connect the dots).

Do we need criminal RICO operations in order for capital to be formed and put to work as you say?=====>I don't think so. Even silly to suggest the same. The "risk" in your formulation is in reference to success in the marketplace, NOT in skirting the law.

More than just words.
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Re: The Godfather is an alternate universe story

Postby Matthew Ellard » Wed Feb 10, 2016 12:37 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote: 1. The law re corps does say what the "must" do: maximize shareholder profit. They can be sued when they don't. I don't see any application at all of the notion that the law can only tell you what you can't do.....even if true or informative, which it is neither.


No. It doesn't. Firstly, when you say "profit", you mean an annual dividend to shareholders. As companies compete for funds, they try to offer slightly better annual dividends than the next company. However, for less needy companies, they will build up share value, with no annual dividend and let you sell the share and receive a capital gain. Tax on capital gains is about half that of annual dividend revenue. What I'm directly saying is that "profit" cover a whole range of "wealth transfers". It is not black & white.

Secondly, you cannot sue a director for not making a profit. You can, however, sack a director for not making a profit. The general problem is that companies operate in periods of time that do not match financial years. A really good director may have a ten year plan, yet the shareholders want an annual dividend. Therefore these long term "capital gain" biased shares are undervalued. That's specifically where I invest. (Remember I spent decades studying and working in this area, and actually read other people's company financial statements everyday.)


bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote: 2. Limited Liability of Corp Directors. Its the CEO's that in the main should be put in jail. Director liability having zero to do with most of the Corporate Fraud that warrants criminal sanctions.
The law of company directors is extremely complex. All these terms like "limited liability" and "trading while consciously insolvent" are actually quite specific and narrowly defined through 'case law". The bottom line is that, if a director misrepresents or does something that is unconscionable conduct, according to the law, he will be legally punished.


bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:Do we need criminal RICO operations in order for capital to be formed and put to work as you say?=====>I don't think so.
Rico is simply the name of a particular USA court case, that people use on TV. Legislation replaced most of that "conspiratorial" case law a long time ago. Australian and UK law in this area is much older. You must have these sorts of laws, to protect minority shareholders.

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Re: The Godfather is an alternate universe story

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Feb 10, 2016 1:56 am

Ha, ha...............Matt.........we are at such cross purposes, I feel we are playing a game of 20 Questions, without the Questions.

Where are we? I thought this was the thread on Teaching English? CRAP! Good ideas, wrong thread. ......................so.
backing up..........this is about how do societies find their balance between functioning freedom vs the constant pull of corruption?

Well..........as demonstated.......... its not by enforcing the laws on corporations, directors, and officers.

I saw a show on the growth of corporations in Western Culture. In USA, they were first formed to perform socially oriented and valuable services. Slowly changed to making money and being more privatized.

"............♫.... we're gonna need a revolution........"
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Re: The Godfather is an alternate universe story

Postby Matthew Ellard » Wed Feb 10, 2016 2:52 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:I saw a show on the growth of corporations in Western Culture. In USA, they were first formed to perform socially oriented and valuable services. Slowly changed to making money and being more privatized.


Corporations and partnership are classical Roman.
Double entry "balance sheets" are from Phoenicia and later from the Baroque Dutch,
Trusts are medieval English and French
Limited Liability Corporations are Victorian England,
The first regulated stock exchange was Belgium and British ( East India Co)


bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote: ............♫.... we're gonna need a revolution........"
No. That would be insane. The world's financial system is an evolved 2,500 year old system. You never "start again" as that would be impossible. You simply "tinker" with today's problems knowing tomorrow will bring new problems as the system keeps evolving.

At no point did Lenin ever contemplate closing banks.

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Re: The Godfather is an alternate universe story

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Feb 10, 2016 3:10 am

Matt: I always urge revolutions that are not insane. Believe it or not, there are sane revolutions. You might think of these as "middle positions" as opposed to what you conclude are insane.

I recall a long harangue in a British Pub. The bar sop made the point that those of us in America saw a rich person and said: "Theres a rich guy, He must be smart and successful. I want to be just like him." .......... he continued: whereas: "We in England see a rich person and we say: "There's a rich bastard. Let's get him!"

Ha, ha. Sorry for the dither, but I think of it often in our USA Rich Idolizing culture===whereas too many if not most are actually bastards. You sound like you might be caught up in this as well..... thinking the financial system is "evolved" and should only be tinkered with. ((I do say BS to THAT!))

Well.......... that is an extended discussion.... all starting from an emotional analysis.
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Re: The Godfather is an alternate universe story

Postby Matthew Ellard » Wed Feb 10, 2016 5:17 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote: "We in England see a rich person and we say: "There's a rich bastard. Let's get him!" .


"Tall poppy syndrome"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tall_poppy_syndrome


My loyal American peasant

The Tall Poppy Syndrome is much stronger in Australia and New Zealand, as we never had an "upper class" and were basically military colonies, with little Victorian period, upper-class commerce. The English still have a legacy class structure, where commoners show respect for Lords and gentry.

Yours sincerely

The Right Honourable, Matthew Temple-Ellard, esq.
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