Puzo vs Coppola, or Triumph Saga vs Tragedy Narrative in THE GODFATHER Films, by Jung-Freud - The Unz Review
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Puzo vs Coppola, or Triumph Saga vs Tragedy Narrative in the GODFATHER Films

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THE GODFATHER and THE GODFATHER PART II have been among the most resonant in cinematic history. Their stature as Great Movies owes not only to artistry but social, cultural, and political significance. Like Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY in relation to science-fiction movies, they were unlike all previous movies in the gangster genre in subject, style, and suggestion.
Most gangster movies featured misfit outlaws rapidly rising to the top, only to crash and burn in infamy(and a bit of glory) from an excess of vanity and greed; in contrast, THE GODFATHER films were about men with survival instincts and staying power: Qualities of patience, diligence, intelligence, and empathy(albeit for nefarious reasons). They generally weren’t hotheads.

The centrality of the hothead in the classic Gangster Movie was a win-win for the studios. Hotheads are exciting, bursting with bad boy exuberance, the sort of outsized personalities that draw in the crowds. But as they were almost always destined to fall sooner-than-later, they could be peddled as ‘morality lessons’, aka crime-doesn’t-pay, to assuage the scolds.
Over time, the formula became so repetitious that the gangster movie fell out of fashion. And, few thought to capitalize on the other side of gangster life, deemed too dull and boring for crime movies: Mob activities interwoven with accountants, lawyers, judges, labor leaders, and the dreary machinery of local politics. (Even the much esteemed GOODFELLAS met with limited box office, and THE IRISHMAN, a film just as remarkable, went nowhere. Both were immersed in the mundane aspects of gangsterism.)
Likewise, most Westerns have been about gunslingers at the expense of other kinds of people who were more instrumental in the fulfillment of Manifest Destiny; but then, the appeal of the Western is the freedom, equally promising and dangerous, at the dawn of settlement. And guns are more fun than pens or hammers on the big screen.

As a further consideration, a more banal representation of the gangster world might have been incriminating of, thus more dangerous to, the establishment. It was one thing to show gangsters as a bunch of bootleggers and hoodlums mowing down one another. It would have been quite another to show how organized crime was intricately interwoven with the activities of legal, financial, and political spheres. Instead of simple rise-and-fall tales of hothead gangsters, the public would have been confronted with the dilemma of criminal operatives worming into the system and rubbing elbows with the respectable elements of society, i.e. gangsters need not self-destruct but thrive in cahoots with politicians, bankers, labor bosses, and even the clergy(that, like politics, hardly cared about where the donations came from).
If the classic Gangster Movie emphasized the outlier nature of its outlaws(supposedly at odds with the mostly decent and law-abiding citizens of their ethnic community), a more realistic assessment of the gangster world implied that penchant for criminality was more hardwired in some cultures than others, a troubling prospect for the Italian-American community and the more liberal-minded voices opposed to ethnic prejudices.

As it happened, Mario Puzo wrote a best-seller, a landmark in American fiction. There had been countless novels about crime, but THE GODFATHER was different. Puzo was too talented a writer to crank out just another piece of pulp about hoodlums. But then, he was too desperate to agonize over a serious piece of literary fiction — his second novel took him ten years to write. His earlier and more literary attempts, THE DARK ARENA and THE FORTUNATE PILGRIM, a minor masterpiece of the Immigrant Experience, garnered good reviews but made little money, and besides he was a degenerate gambler burdened with debts. He also had a family to take care of and chose to ‘sell out’ his considerable talent to churn out a work with all the bells and whistles of a best-seller. Of course, Puzo being Puzo, a man of literary passion, he found himself immersed in the subject and producing a work far more impressive than was initially conceived.

In actuality, Puzo only had indirect contacts with the mob through relatives and friends/acquaintances(some involved in gambling) and relied mostly on government reports and newspaper archives. Being an outsider to mob culture, his fictional account owed a good deal to the tropes and conventions he’d absorbed from countless novels, pulp and serious(usually about families than criminals). THE GODFATHER novel was inspired more by literary tradition than literal facts. His brand of somber sensationalism was aimed for middlebrow sensibility. He combined the brutal and grisly details of the underworld(mostly gleaned from news archives and books), a Machiavellian intuition of mobster strategizing, and literary craft that could render any character more interesting than he is.

Had THE GODFATHER been a truthful novel about organized crime, the characters and their activities would have come across as shabbier and cruder, like the hoodlums in Martin Scorsese’s GOODFELLAS and THE IRISHMAN. If truth is any criterion for art, one could argue that THE GODFATHER, novel and film, fail miserably. But if myth-making is an art in its own right, Puzo’s novel has a place alongside the works of Henryk Sienkiewciz, Margaret Mitchell, Edna Ferber, and Ayn Rand.

As a runaway success in book form, it hardly stirred up controversy in the Italian community, not even among the mobsters, surely not the most avid readers in the world. No matter how successful a novel, it rarely generated the kind of anxiety and excitement it might in movie form, which explains why certain novels(deemed a bit racy) never made it to the big screen or were fundamentally altered to pass the censors: PEYTON PLACE and LOLITA, for example.
The various ‘decency’ organizations in the US were less worried about the impact of books than of movies(and of course TV), which came under heavier censorship, that was until the late Sixties. When word got around that Puzo’s best-seller would be turned into a movie, certain members of the Italian-American community, not least mafia types posing as concerned citizens, chose to turn it into a socio-political issue. It was also a reflection of a time when identity politics took on a whole new meaning with the Civil Rights Movement. If the eggplants got much mileage by making a big fuss, why not the olives too?

Of course, given the history of the gangster genre, as either pulp fiction or B-Movie, the ethnic anxiety(and exploitation thereof) was easily understood. It was especially true of THE GODFATHER that wasn’t merely about individual miscreants but about the larger culture. It was one thing to portray lone Italian-Americans as criminals, the black sheep of the family but the entire culture/community? Unlike Classic Gangster Genre hoodlums, usually shady individuals or members of a rogue organization, the entire Corleone clan was in the ‘business’, as were the other ‘families’. The Italian-American FAMILY wasn’t supposed to be in the ‘business’, at least in the popular imagination. Indeed, a convention in the Classic Gangster Movie was to have a mother type or priestly figure bemoan the gangster as a black sheep of the community, a pariah who’s lost his way.
In the Gangster Movie, the mob is like a sick and twisted parody of the family and/or the church. Unlike Western outlaws, the mob was organized and hierarchical, relatively elaborate for a gang of misfits. It had a strict chain of command, loyalty oath, and even a sense of honor(among thieves). It was a ‘black’ family for those who rejected or were rejected by their real families. They had no use for respectable society and vice versa.

Then one can appreciate the disturbing implications of THE GODFATHER, in which the entire family is in the business. Sure, the women keep to their spheres, but even they know and accept(and justify) what their fathers, brothers, and husbands are up to, regarding it as ‘being strong for the family’.
THE GODFATHER novel would have been problematic with publishers in an earlier time. The movie would have been impossible. Both, especially the film, reaped the benefits from the socio-cultural changes of the post-war years, especially in the Sixties. Ironically enough, some of the appeal was in nostalgic reaction to the ‘radical’ changes as the Corleones embodied the kind of ‘values’ and attitudes threatened by the youth-oriented licentiousness of the Sixties. THE GODFATHER is about growing up and being, above all, for one’s own family and culture despite(or especially because of) the unavoidable compromises with a rapidly changing America that weakens all communities and traditions in the name of individualism and careerism.

Given what they knew of the sordid Gangster Genre and the seedy & ugly realities of the gangster world, a good number of Italian-Americans surely expected the worst from THE GODFATHER the movie. A movie about an Italian-American family immersed in ‘business’ with and against similar families and going about resolving their differences not only with guns but with ropes and knives(with dead fish and horse thrown in for good measure).
Given their limited imagination, how could they have known what Francis Ford Coppola had in mind? They could be forgiven their worst nightmares as NO ONE, probably even Coppola himself, had any idea of how it would turn out. The studio itself had little faith in the project and, had it not been for Coppola’s insistence, would have rushed out a hack-job to make a quick buck from Puzo’s best-seller.
Indeed, to reduce the production cost, the original idea was to ditch the period setting and contemporaneously update the story(in which case the result might have been something like THE GRADUATE + organized crime).
Until then, Coppola had been noticed(with hope and derision in equal measure) as an ambitious upstart in the industry, the leading Young Turk of the Film School generation and its most articulate spokesman, but he hadn’t directed anything of consequence, something that might convince studio heads that the future of movies lay in the hands of college graduates. Coppola was more appreciated as a writer, as he’d won the Academy Award for the screenplay of PATTON.

The studio, with its conflation of the gangster genre with B-movies and box office flops, decided to make ‘another’ gangster movie only because of the success of Puzo’s novel. They were banking on the notoriety of the best-seller(than anything special or outstanding about the prospective film itself) to draw in the audience. Like all exploitive enterprises, the idea was to make it cheap, sell it fast, and take and money and run. One of the reasons the studio opted for Francis Ford Coppola was it figured the ‘kid’ would be easy to boss around; in his eagerness to be working in the industry, he would do as told. As things turned out, Coppola possessed not only the soul of an artist but the instincts of a consummate salesman, and he somehow managed to corral the executives into his way as the only way. Still, the anxiety(often boiling over into exasperation) lingered to the final day of the production that a lot of money would be lost because Coppola didn’t make the film fast and cheap enough.

And certain Italian-American organizations, ironically with mafia involvement, were convinced that the eye-talians would be collectively defamed as a bunch of crime-ridden goombas. The movie critics may have been curious about the project, especially with Marlon Brando chosen to play the Don and with Coppola at the helm as one of the first(if not the first) film-school directors, but virtually no one expected the phenomenon that it became.

It also came to mean different things to different groups. For the young and cynical, THE GODFATHER films, especially Part II, reflected the political malaise of the Vietnam War era and the worsening Watergate scandal. It was admired as an exposé and indictment of the greed and corruption at the heart of American power and wealth, and Francis Coppola, something of a political liberal, did nothing to dissuade such a view.
For others, however, the films, especially the first, were almost an affirmation of what had been either forgotten or maligned amidst the social transformations of the Sixties. No wonder THE GODFATHER is Patrick Buchanan’s favorite film. It was also, more or less, the perspective of the author Mario Puzo who, even if a liberal, was an Old School Democrat more interested in real-life advantages than idealistic pies-in-the-sky. For Puzo, the corruption and compromises of ‘business’ were just part of reality, something one had to deal with as ineradicable or part-of-life, like immunity learns to deal with germs. His view was rather like Rodney Dangerfield’s in BACK TO SCHOOL.

For some THE GODFATHER was a story of a great fall while for others it was a story of a great rise. Of course, it was both, a classic illustration of “gaining the world while losing one’s soul”, i.e. Michael wins in ‘business’ but loses in the ‘personal’. THE GODFATHER PART II was especially molded to favor Coppola’s take over Puzo’s.
This ‘tragic’ aspect has been key to the films’ stature as masterpieces: Not just the politics of the ‘business’ but its ‘spiritual’ costs, where even when you win, you lose. If the Classic Gangster genre stuck with the rule “Crime Doesn’t Pay”, THE GODFATHER films demonstrate how crime can pay — Michael Corleone defeats his rivals and even bests the US government — but only at the cost of one’s soul.

If old Gangster Movies seemed simplistic in their insistence that crime mustn’t pay, THE GODFATHER films showed how it could be otherwise, especially if organized crime enjoys a depth of network in the larger ethnic community and has wormed itself into legitimate areas of business and politics. That said, there is the tragic cost of crime, its irreparable damage to personal life and one’s self-respect. Deep down inside, for all his rationalizations, there’s a sense of Michael having betrayed himself and ironically even his father for whom he ended up joining the ‘family business’. Michael’s act of fealty by killing Sollozzo and the police captain was most certainly not what his father wanted. There lies the tragedy. (Sollozzo is useful as a metaphor: The thing that must be named, exposed, or removed for any kind of real solution. As Michael says, ‘business’ with Sollozzo is out of the question as the drug-lord is only stalling for time for another attempt on the Corleones. So, whatever the risk, the Sollozzo Problem must be dealt with in a real way. In the US, the ‘sollozzo’ is Jewish Power. From ample evidence on how it has dealt with Palestinians, Syrians, Iranians, Russians, Western Whites, and etc., it should be obvious by now that the only Jewish Position is ‘our way or the highway’, which means all negotiations and compromises are bound to be meaningless as Jewish Power eventually wants everything to go its way, all the while accusing the rivals or perceived enemies of its own pathology.)

But is it truly tragic, borne of a deep and dark rumination on the nature of power? Or, is it a contrived piece of moralism, little more than a clever twist on the pat truism of “crime doesn’t pay”? Was it a sop to the ‘guilt’ anxiety of the audience that was having too good a time, an assuring reminder that hell awaits those who steal heaven on earth? Have the cake and eat it too. Root for Michael to beat the competition and capture the throne, only to slap oneself on the wrist with the admonition, by golly, it’s all very bad for the soul.

THE GODFATHER films were a departure from the gangster genre, and some even argued, including Coppola himself, that they’re more about a family involved in organized crime than the crime world itself. It’s about fathers and sons, mothers and sons, husbands and wives.
In a broader sense, it is also about politics at both the literal and metaphorical levels. THE GODFATHER films lurk in the overlapping spaces between the underworld of crime and the ‘over-world’ of law, which makes one wonder if the institutions of governance and law enforcement are more a restraint on or a facilitator of criminality. (Of course, there’s the third option, perhaps most depressing of all: the arms of the law are corrupt in and of themselves regardless of their connections with criminality. Isn’t it interesting that, even as mafia-related organized criminality was largely suppressed in the US, the deep state turned into one big criminal outfit, about which nothing can be done because it operates within the laws of its own making. Hardly better, what had once been deemed obscene, illegal, insane, and/or dangerous have become part of ‘legitimate’ enterprise: spread of gambling, drug legalization, pornification of childhood that is two degrees away from pedophilia, businesses built around facilitating illegal immigration, and etc.)

At the metaphorical level, the mafia(though never called any such in THE GODFATHER films) could be appreciated as a useful Machiavellian model of how power and wealth really operates in the US(or any domain for that matter). As metaphor, it is in equal measure powerful & damning and specious & self-serving. Of course, corruption has always been a part of every system, but it’s been convenient for certain criminally-prone ethnic groups to argue that they merely did in the underworld what the WASPS and Northern-European-stock Americans did in the ‘overworld’. (Of course, blacks have an even lamer excuse: “Muh slavery and shit.” Gotta loot them Air Jordans cuz long long ago their ancestors done picked cotton for massuh.)
In other words, certain ethnic groups turned to crime because the doors were shut to them in the legitimate spheres. Or, they did the dirty work for the ‘legitimate’ types who kept their own hands ‘clean’, much like how the political establishment in Japan recruited the Yakuza as muscle.
But there’s no getting around the fact that certain ethnic groups have been more inclined to corruption and criminality than other groups, and in the US, the most famous three have been the Italians, the Irish, and the Jews. As it happened, the Irish came to control much of the urban ‘machines’ — city hall, fire departments, police departments, the electoral process, and etc. — and accumulated sufficient ‘clout’ that they could ease off from outright criminality. And the Jews, with their smarts and networks, could amass great power via finance, media, academia, law, & etc, and use them as platforms for ethnic muscle. Who said you couldn’t act like a ‘gangster’ in the ‘legitimate’ world?

In the literal sense a gangster is a criminal operative, but behaviorally it can be anyone looking for the angles to cheat and steal. (You gotta see the angles, as Bernie Bernbaum in MILLER’S CROSSING says.) Jordan Belfort of THE WOLF OF WALL STREET ran an investment firm and stole more in a year than most gangsters do in a lifetime. And, news reports suggest that much of the Deep State is essentially a Jewish Supremacist mafia outfit.
Because Jews and the Irish moved into and dominated more lucrative fields — to be sure, Jewish Power, more fluid and flexible, kept on growing whereas Irish-American clout cratered with the loss of the local political machines — , it was left to the Italian-Americans to dominate the underworld, and as such, the Italian-Americans became the face of organized crime in the US. Of course, it also owed to Jews running the media and making another ethnic group take the blame for mob activities. To this extent, the eye-talians were like the fall guy in the equation.

But, especially following the release of THE GODFATHER films, the fear of the ‘blame’ gave way to the pride of ‘fame’, as few movies made an ethnic group as colorful, captivating, admirable, and even noble as THE GODFATHER films did for the Italian-American community. (Besides, in the Rock n Roll era of youth rebellion and ideological cynicism, it was ‘cool’ to be outcasts or outlaws. And given the new rhetoric of power-this and power-that, soon to morph into the discourse of ’empowerment’, what mattered more than anything was being ‘strong’ for your people. It was evident in the rise of Black Power politics, even justifying riots and looting, and in the ascendancy of Jewish Power that would culminate in the open gangsterism of Neocon-ism.)

It’s rather odd. According to the official narrative, slavery was the worst stain on American History, and furthermore, the American system, being committed to the Rule of Law, cannot tolerate transgressions against its principles. And yet, the two most ‘iconic’ American movies have been GONE WITH THE WIND(that romanticized Antebellum South and its struggle in the Civil War) and THE GODFATHER films(that romanticized an ethnic crime family that lives by the rule, “Your country ain’t your blood.”)
It implies that, as appealing and inspiring as the idea of the US as the land of the free, rule of law, and equal opportunity may be, there is something within human nature that finds it rather unrealistic, naive, and generic, therefore craving, if only subconsciously, for the firmer bonds of family & clan and assurance of hierarchy(as opposed to the alienation of individualism). One part of us wants to see ourselves break free as individuals, but another side of us wants to see ourselves in a ‘brotherhood’ serving something ‘greater’ than ‘myself’. Of course, American War Movies try to have it both ways: In TOP GUN, the hero is both a dutiful patriot who salutes his superiors and something of a cowboy who rides a fighter jet as his sky horse.

Paradoxically, THE GODFATHER’s powerful sense of Italian-ness made it as appealing to non-Italian-Americans as to Italian-Americans. Apart from the ‘exotic’ appeal, the ethnic peculiarities of the Italian-American mob families remind non-Italian groups of what makes their own selves different from the generic sense of ‘colorblind’ American-ness. The film’s Italian-ness can be observed as a uniqueness or be appreciated metaphorically as what makes each racial, ethnic, or religious group different and special. In other words, as Italian(or Sicilian) as the families in THE GODFATHER are, Hindus are Hindu, Jews are Jewish, Mexicans are Mexican, and etc.
Indeed, even as the Corleones are depicted as besting the Jewish mobsters in the films, with Moe Green getting bumped off in the first film and Hyman Roth in the second, Jews need not strictly see THE GODFATHER films as Machiavellian paeans to Italian-American triumphalism, especially given the actual historical outcome of ethnic competition in the US since the end of World War II. The Italian-Americans, like the rest of goy America, became just another bunch of hapless dogs to the Jews. American goyim are now either the attack dogs or the lapdogs of Jews but never the master. On that note, the Corleones can be regarded as crypto-Jews or crypto-any-ethnicity vying for power and privilege in the US. So, when M. Night Shyamalan says THE GODFATHER is the greatest movie ever, he could be admiring it from his own ethnic angle.

Ironically enough, the social, cultural, and political trends of the Sixties led to louder calls for both universalism and tribalism. The Civil Rights Movement was purportedly about equal rights and treatment of blacks and all other Americans on the basis of the ‘content of the character than the color of the skin’, and yet, there was no getting around the BLACK element of the movement, especially with MLK bellowing and hollering like only a Negro could. And it wasn’t long before the Civil Rights Movement gave way to various Black Power movements that, instead of calling for more mere acceptance and equal treatment, emphasized the need for black identity and pride, a sense of roots and vision. Contrary to popular conception, MLK was not about colorblind policies of meritocracy but preferential treatment for blacks as redress for past discrimination. Blacks going from universalism to tribalism inspired other groups to do the same, and it wasn’t long before people were yapping about Brown Power and Red Power(and even Pink or homo power). And Jews, especially with the rise of Holocaust Consciousness and Zionist Pride(over the Six Day War), emphasized tribal identity over assimilation into the Anglo-American model.

There was something schizoid about demanding White-Bread America(or Anglo-Germano-America) to treat everyone with equal justice and dignity while also calling on blacks, various non-white groups, and the white ethnics to give the Middle Finger to the WASP stock(as the foundation of the country). Even as the WASP elites were excoriated for their exclusivity, it became a point of pride for non-WASPs to maintain their own purity tests. In the film GOODFELLAS, one must be 100% Italian to be ‘made’. So, some ‘goomba’, who might fume about his ilk being excluded from some lily white club, would have no problem with only true-blue Italians being led into the backroom.

Already, even among white ethnics, there was the buzz that being generically American wasn’t necessarily to one’s advantage in a society where victim-narratives were becoming fashionable. Indeed, some whites got a head start in this by pretending to be ‘part-Indian’.
For others, what had been a reason for humiliation became a reason for pride. The WASP establishment excluded or belittled your grandparents or parents? What had been hurtful became boastful, and there’s some of this in THE GODFATHER novel and the films as well. Certain swarthy or non-Protestant white ethnic groups could also turn up the knob on their victimology. “Italians and Irish were not considered white” or “Anti-Catholicism was America’s oldest prejudice.”

On a darker note, American cultural attitudes about criminality began to change as well. Granted, the romanticization of the outlaw was nothing new as the American popular lore and legends were rife with exciting and even heroic tales of Southern avengers(like the James and Younger Gang) and Western Outlaws. But they tended to be regional than national — what was heroic to certain segments in the South was utterly villainous to others — and/or part of vulgar culture, that of the ill-educated whose idea of literature was dime-store novels. It just wasn’t part of respectable culture. Also, even as the classic gangster flicks made the underworld exciting, they stuck with the iron law that “crime doesn’t pay”.
In their time, real-life hoodlums like Al Capone had many associates and partners(even in the legal world) and became objects of public fascination(and even secret admiration), but no one believed he was a Good Guy or justified in his criminality(despite his spending sprees to appear as a modern Robin Hood).
The group most closely associated with justified violence against the main thrust of Americanism was the Indians who, upon their utter demise and passing from history, came to be mythologized in the popular imagination. It was a luxury that White America could afford because the American-Indians-as-a-threat-to-public-peace was no more. With the pacification of the West, no white man ever needed to fear again of being raided, scalped, and fed to fire ants by red savages. Even so, most Western movies still cheered on the cowboys, whose heroism largely derived from their handiwork with Winchester 73’s against the ‘Injuns’.
The Jews in Hollywood sure as hell saw nothing wrong with Manifest Destiny as it was a boon for Jewish immigrants as well. (Only after World War II and the ascendancy of the Holocaust Narrative did some Jews draw parallels between what the Nazis did and what the Paleface did, that is until some noticed parallels between the fate of the Indians and that of the Palestinians.)

It was in the Sixties that crime and violence came to be justified in ways unthinkable in earlier times. One reason was the easing of censorship, especially in the movies. Another was the change in attitude, not least due to Rock n Roll that drew inspiration from savage black energies and idolized youthful rebellion. Another was the fusion of radical politics and popular culture, most famously in Arthur Penn’s rendition of BONNIE AND CLYDE, a film that went from notoriety to a kind of nobility. Initially dismissed and even denounced by many critics as ugly and irresponsible, the naysayers were soon mowed down by its defenders, and then the radical community rationalized the hoodlums as modern-day robin hoods. And with Clyde going from impotent to erect, the violence-as-liberation took on a Freudian as well as a Marxist tone. And even though the criminals were all captured, wounded, or killed in the end, the blood rapture engulfing the handsome duo made their deaths seem almost transcendent. It was expanded upon two years later in THE WILD BUNCH(directed by Sam Peckinpah).

It was the kind of climax denied to the hoodlums in the Classic Gangster Movies. The anti-hero of SCARFACE wimps out at the end. The one in LITTLE CAESAR pitifully mutters, “Is this the end of Rico?” James Cagney’s Cody at the end of PUBLIC ENEMY is dropped off at a door, dead and bandaged. The closest thing to an orgasmic ending in the Classic Gangster Movie was perhaps James Cagney’s shouting “Made it Ma, Top of the World!” just before immolating himself into gangster Valhalla in Raoul-Walsh-directed WHITE HEAT, released in 1949 on the eve of momentous changes in American Cinema in the next decade with the advent of figures like Elia Kazan. Still, the fact that Cody calls out to his mother at the end pop-psychoanalyzes criminality as the product of stunted emotional development, an immaturity trapped in the cops-and-robbers and hide-and-seek mentality of children.
In contrast, Bonnie and Clyde die as fully-developed and matured lovers, as if the violence is a culmination of their psycho-sexual actualization. It was unapologetic, even more so than Orson Welles’ revised(and explosive) ending of THE TRIAL and the atomic-orgy finale of DR. STRANGELOVE(deemed acceptable as satire). And if the final violence(of the execution) of IN COLD BLOOD turned the tables on the state(of being cold-blooded killers too) and if the final violence of COOL HAND LUKE opted for Christo-symbolism, BONNIE AND CLYDE felt no need to justify its glorification of the killer duo who went out in a blaze of cathartic glory.

As much as the Counterculture types loved to mock and ridicule the militarist mindset(in films like CATCH-22, M*A*S*H, and HAROLD AND MAUDE), they were drawn to the violence inherent in radicalism. The peaceniks were as likely as not to have posters of Ho Chi Minh and Che Guevara(and the Black Panthers). In that regard, BONNIE AND CLYDE and PATTON had more in common than people at the time realized as both were unapologetic romanticisms of violence(even though the grim fates of Clyde’s brother and his wife are depicted in harrowing realism). It’s also telling that many of these movies were set in the past, adding to their mythic allure: The Great Depression, World War II, or the immediate post-war period than contemporary times. One of the few exceptions was THE GRADUATE that, though short on actual violence, was as, if not more, outrageous than most gangster movies. Indeed, the setting of suburban affluence made the transgression all the more impactful. The only physical violence involves Benjamin Braddock(Dustin Hoffman) elbowing Mr. Robinson in the gut and shoving away a bunch of fellows while Elaine is bitch-slapped by Mrs. Robinson(Ann Bancroft), but in a way, Ben ends up out-gangstering all the hoods in the gangster genre by violating the sacred space of matrimony and running off with the bride after the wedding was finalized. Instead of a bad boy doing bad things in a bad world, it was a good boy doing a bad thing in a good world, though by the film’s end, one wonders what is ‘good’ and what is ‘bad’. Gangsters killing gangsters is just business as usual. And the murder in Alfred Hitchcock’s PSYCHO, though shocking, isn’t surprising given that a maniac is involved.
In contrast, Ben is neither gangster nor psycho but a well-raised and high-achieving college graduate. So, his actions seem more outrageous, more out of character with his social milieu. Ironically, his healthier feelings for Elaine cause more problems than his disreputable fling with Mrs. Robinson as the older woman. Whereas his desire for Mrs. Robinson was mere lust, addictive at worst, his yearning for Elaine is love, the stuff of obsession(and madness). Still, his quest seemed less like a prince in shining armor saving a damsel from distress than like an ethnic gangster crashing the party and running off with the prize. After all, Benjamin was the co-transgressor with Mrs. Robinson in the adulterous affair, and the order he violated was middle class respectability itself, the very foundation of modern civilization. If the gangsters in THE GODFATHER have a rule against harming civilians, Benjamin trampled all over them.

In some respects, the violence in THE GODFATHER films was more disturbing than in other New Hollywood films(from 1967 to 1975). While works such as BONNIE AND CLYDE, THE WILD BUNCH, FRENCH CONNECTION, and DIRTY HARRY were considerably more violent, they came with redemptive, cathartic, and/or moral value. It was about lawmen going the extra mile to get the lowlifes(as in DIRTY HARRY, a morality tale despite the cynicism) or outlaws finally meeting their maker in a sensational(BONNIE AND CLYDE) or redemptive(THE WILD BUNCH) manner.
In contrast, the violence in THE GODFATHER was just ‘business’, albeit with an operatic touch, especially in the annihilation of the heads of the Five Families. It was neither morally affirming nor emotionally satisfactory. It was just the established ritual of doing ‘business’, like a butcher carving lamb for the Christmas season.
In the aftermath of the attempt on Vito Corleone(Marlon Brando) and the killing of Sonny Corleone(James Caan), THE GODFATHER certainly shows the tragic toll of the violence on family members, but there’s no getting around the fact that it’s part of doing business, and what is done to the Corleones, the Corleones do onto others, with the saving grace that all sides try not to target ‘civilians’, which is what makes the killing of the whore(to blackmail Senator Geary) the most unsettling thing in Part II(though animal-lovers may make a case for the innocent horse in Part I).

Still, despite the cold ‘business’ realism in THE GODFATHER films, there may be a kind of moral refuge in their tragic arc, further emphasized in Part III(though perhaps not canonical). True, Michael gained the world, but didn’t he lose his soul? Sure, he vanquished his enemies and overcame all obstacles, but didn’t he lose his family(if not in body than in affection or respect)? (In part three, Michael Corleone has gone legitimate and is bigger than ever and even regains a measure of respect from his estranged ex-wife Kay but then loses his daughter.) If the Classic Gangster Movies insisted that crime doesn’t pay, THE GODFATHER showed otherwise but with the caveat of losing one’s soul and dear ones.

Arguably, the moralism of THE GODFATHER films is more damning than the old Boy Scout formula that good guys always win while bad guys always meet their comeuppance. The old formula assures the physical defeat of villainy, whereas THE GODFATHER films assure the spiritual defeat of villainy. The hoodlums in the old gangster movies meet their doom but remain defiant and unrepentant to the end, whereas Michael Corleone, in the closing moments of THE GODFATHER PART II, knows he’s a condemned man in his heart and home despite his success in ‘business’. He even managed to prevail over the machinations of Hyman Roth(though only by a hair’s breadth via the ‘Sicilian thing’ with Pentangeli’s brother, accentuating the crucial X-factor of cultural psychology and its secret codes), but the old Jewish gangster nevertheless set in motion the forces that would hollow out Michael’s family life(and turn a most loyal mafia don against him).

But, is this tragic aspect of THE GODFATHER films convincing? At the level of drama, yes, largely owing to the powerful performances, intensity of focus, and somber tone. (The novel and the film share more-or-less the same melody but diverge in tonal qualities.) Emotionally, THE GODFATHER films are less about Michael’s growing ‘business’ savvy than its impact on his personal life and inner-being. Even as he takes the enterprise far beyond what his father had envisioned or imagined possible, the stakes and actions involved threaten to topple the complex barrier between the ‘business’ and the ‘personal’. He blows up in rage three times in Part II(with Pentangeli, Hagen, and Kay), betraying the level of stress building beneath the cool exterior. Still, outbursts are more like exploding grenades than volcanic eruptions(as was the case with Sonny Corleone). In any case, the rage humanizes Michael as it shows he’s not all cold steel. He holds back his anger in relation to Fredo, and it proves to be far more dangerous.

Now, it’s too simplistic to assume that Michael’s soul-loss owes to his involvement in the criminal world. After all, Vito Corleone was a gangster for most of his adult life, but he had a loving family and was much respected, as well as feared, by those around him. His gangster operation didn’t feel like a funeral home, which is the case with Michael.
Ironically, one could argue that it’s Michael’s burgeoning contacts with the ‘legitimate’ world and mainstream America that is more soul-robbing than his immersion in the Italian-American crime world. Recall that he seemed to gain a kind of soulfulness during his stay in Sicily following the killings of Sollozzo the ‘Turk’ and Police Captain McClusky. He took in the sights and sounds, the scents and the sun. And his love for Apollonia was deeper than anything he’d felt with Kay. Reconnecting with crime-saturated Sicilian society actually made Michael seem more human, more personable. The death of Apollonia, more than anything, seemed to harden his heart(even more than the news of Sonny’s murder some time back). At any rate, Sicily, for all its corruption, violence, and poverty, made Michael more relaxed and approachable.

It was his marriage to Kay the Anglo, the upright(and increasingly uptight) American woman, that rendered Michael rather cool and dispassionate, i.e. ‘soulless’. For all his genuine affection(and even genuine love) for her, he seems divorced from his true roots and elements, indeed compelled to be what his reawakened Sicilian self has come to hold in disdain. In the film, the old school hoodlum Pantangeli comes across more positively than Senator Geary who oozes with slimy hypocrisy(like Mitt Romney). It’s almost as if the films are hinting that the soul needs roots more than goodness, e.g. a crook with roots has more soul than a law-abiding citizen without roots. It’s almost like a twist of the Christian notion that faith is more important than virtue; or a vile lowlife who robbed, raped, and murdered but gains faith in Jesus shall be saved whereas an all-around do-gooder and nice guy who nevertheless lacks faith shall be cast into heaven. Are roots more important than goodness? Perhaps. It’s been said Northern European societies are high in trust and civic virtues, but they seem to be fading from history in their anemic rootlessness. (In a sense, the Anglos do win out because the modernity that they wrought comes to bleed out the other groups as well, rather like Frank Pentangeli’s preferred ethnic music turned into “Pop Goes the Weasel”. One could argue that the biggest threat to Michael Corleone wasn’t gangsterism and/or the failure of legitimacy but modernity itself. Consider all those law-abiding Americans who ‘lost’ their families one way or another due to the influence of modernity that severed them from their roots and community. Even had Michael chosen a lawful path as a doctor or some professional, he might have ‘lost’ his family just the same, much like the father in the film AMERICAN PASTORAL based on the Philip Roth novel; the man broke no law but lost his daughter to 60s radicalism and lost his wife to la-dolce-vita decadence. Today, a perfectly decent law-abiding man could marry a woman who seems so nice but, affected by ‘woke’ ideology, believes her son is a tranny and demands that he be allowed to undergo gender-reassignment treatment. What is a husband/father to do in such a situation? In many states, to be ‘law-abiding’ means to pretend that trannies are real ‘women’, or else be fired from one’s job or fined for big bucks. It’s no wonder THE GODFATHER is Pat Buchanan’s favorite. Even putting aside all the crime-stuff, the films, especially Part 2, show the impact of modernity on family and culture. The great-grandson of Michael Corleone, though completely legitimate, could be faced with a wife like Kay screaming at the top of her lungs, not about criminality but about his insufficient deference to St. George Floyd and his trepidations about his daughter’s desire to have her breasts removed to become a ‘boy’.)

Ultimately, Michael is emotionally undone not by his ‘business’ activities but the lack of understanding and disapproval from his non-Sicilian wife. Had Apollonia lived and been his wife in the US, Michael would have had her full support, like Vito from Mama Corleone, and Michael would have been a far happier man(even if he committed a lot more crimes). But, being married to the well-educated, relatively liberal, and rather priggish Kay(as a model of respectable America that immigrant groups aspire to assimilate into), Michael finds himself in the impossible position of doing his ‘business’ and pleasing his wife who never stops reminding him that his ethnic ‘family’ has yet to become fully ‘legitimate’. (Later when she admits to having whacked the unborn son, her speech about the ‘Sicilian thing’ sounds like Senator Geary’s putdown of the Italians.)

Arguably, Michael would have been soul-robbed even had he succeeded in cutting all ties to the underworld. After all, it is modernity itself, criminal or not, that robs people of the traditional ties and familial bonds that gave them meaning. Even as a respectable man in a perfectly legal world, Michael would have become atomized and deracinated as just another Good American and would have witnessed this process go even further with his children. (Consider the final scene in THE HEARTBREAK KID where the Jewish Charles Grodin character has managed to break through the ‘brick’ wall of WASP society and marry the blonde daughter. He got inside but now has to be one of them, the bloodless white-bread folks, the Ideal Stepford Whites.)
Look around at our globalized society today, and some of the most soulless, bloodless, and pointless people are upper-middle class professionals who never broke the law. (Such types are the same everywhere, like the affluent Koreans in PARASITE.) They’re culturally zero with no meaningful identity and purpose beyond their jobs and what junk they watch on TV. To that extent, THE GODFATHER films convey both the eagerness for and the anxiety about assimilation among immigrant groups. The desire to become Good Americans in ‘the greatest country in the world’ and the fear of losing something deeper and more meaning in a Faustian bargain of sorts.

While the tragic arc of THE GODFATHER saga works beautifully due to the film-making mastery of all involved, it appears to be made of clay upon closer inspection. It’s a testament to the power of art that it can overwhelm the audience with its vision and passion, much like the centrality of music over plot in opera. The effect is such that the audience is carried along without asking too many questions. (Of course, propaganda works much the same way. Consider the sweep of BLM and Covid despite their basis on hyperbolic moral panic and medical hysteria. In such a climate, rationality and factuality became thought-crimes, what with even the elements of the so-called Dissident Right doing the bidding of Jewish Supremacists behind both.)
As such, the overall impact of THE GODFATHER films derives more from artistry than from sober analysis. The tragic theme concerns the near-impossibility of freeing oneself from the sins of one’s family and washing the bloodstains off one’s hands, at least if one possesses anything like a conscience.
The Corleones manage to avoid jail but they are lifers just the same as their connections and their deals draw them further into the ‘business’. It’s like Macbeth cannot walk back from what he did, the murder of his king; he can only move forward in the hope of a clear path to power, but there are obstacles at every turn. Likewise, given what others suspect, the enemies he’s made, the dirt on him that others have, his dark associations, his checkered reputation, and tensions within the family(mainly due to the killing of Carlo and passing over his older brother for the role of head of the family), the closer Michael comes to the prize, the more he feels caught in a trap.

The whole situation has been further complicated by the fact that the very actions that eventually robbed Michael of his soul were, in their moments, the ‘right’ things to do. The Corleones possess genuine virtues as well as vices. Even the most anti-criminal mentality can understand why Michael was obligated to do whatever necessary to protect his father Vito, an unusual gangster who is as wise and kind as calculating and ruthless(when he has to be).
Following the attempts on his father’s life(as Michael soon discovers that a second hit was in the works at the hospital), Michael could have chosen to remain ‘straight’ for the sake of his future as a Good American, but would a truly devoted and dutiful son have done that? In a way, Michael did the honorable and even moral thing by taking out the men who tried to murder his father(and would likely have tried again).

Michael didn’t so much face a choice between good and bad but between good/bad and good/bad. Either way, he would have done right and wrong. Had he remained ‘straight’ and law-abiding, he would have done ‘good’ as an American, but he would have done ‘bad’ as a son.
And then, there was the next obligation with him filling the shoes of his older brother, Santino or Sonny. Had Sonny lived, he would have remained the head of the family, and perhaps, Michael could have somehow eased back into ‘civilian’ life. But with Sonny dead and with his father too old and frail(having barely survived an assassination), who else could have taken over the family?
Tom Hagen is smart enough but isn’t the boss-type, and besides, he’s not Italian; therefore, his leadership would have caused problems with the other families. As for Fredo, there was just no way.
Then, Michael had no choice but to be ‘strong’ for the family. He did the wrong thing as a ‘Good American’ but the right thing as a son and member of the family, not merely of blood kin but of the ‘brotherhood’. Michael was no less bound to his family than George Bailey to his father’s business in IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE. In both cases, it’s not only about right-versus-wrong but personal honor, family obligation, and the expectations of those around you, the people you grew up with and came to regard as members of a tight-knit community. Of course, the Baileys are do-gooders whereas the Corleones are do-badders, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do, as Rocky Balboa said.

The tragic overtones of THE GODFATHER films, like music in an opera, vastly exaggerate one aspect of the story at the expense of others. While the story could be regarded tragically, as indeed was Coppola’s choice, such an interpretation is at best only implicit in Puzo’s telling, i.e. traces of tragedy can be gleaned throughout the novel but not in sufficient amount for damnation, which must be credited to Coppola in the film version.

All stories necessarily emphasize certain factors and themes over others, and the style goes a long way to influence our response to the substance. If we go by the chords of Coppola’s narrative melody, THE GODFATHER films feel true as a story of a good man who gained the world but lost his soul, a man who built an empire but destroyed his family. Furthermore, one could argue he gave up an empire of his own to enter the larger empire, where the rules of the game are different and in bigger hands.
As Pentangeli says to Tom Hagen near the end of THE GODFATHER PART II, the Corleone family was like the Roman Empire but it will be no more. Not because Michael lost but precisely because he won and got what he wanted. He beat the odds to make himself ‘legitimate’, but in moving from the underworld to the ‘overworld’, the former had to be left behind, doomed to disintegrate and fade away. What had once been the springboard for the family’s fortunes became a drag on Michael’s higher ambitions. But the things he did or the time he took to make it to the finish line estranged his wife(even to the point of aborting Michael’s son), alienated Pentangeli(the last connection to the Corleone Family of old), and tarnished his reputation in the showdown with Hyman Roth(who’s in the same league as Michael in terms of power and influence). Even with ‘legitimacy’, Michael can never wash away the stains of his past connections.
Something else must be sacrificed in the leap to the legitimate world. For all the problems of the underworld, its members were bound by something more than contracts and self-interest. Though there were traitors in the family, there were also men willing to go to hell and back for the Corleones, e.g. Luca Brasi. No such culture of loyalty exists in the ‘legitimate’ world.

Coppola’s tragic angle is largely through the Christian and liberal lenses. Though hardly a practicing Catholic(like Martin Scorsese), Coppola couldn’t have missed the Biblical overtones of the story of a man who, in gaining wealth and power, loses something far more precious. As for the liberal perspective, the story becomes an immigrant tragedy: Sicilian-Americans in the New Land trapped in their traditions and tribal loyalties that prevent genuine assimilation into America and its values of the Rule of Law and shared patriotism.
Michael’s story is one of betrayal in both the Christian and Liberal sense. The Catholic angle is further emphasized in THE GODFATHER PART III where Michael confesses to a cardinal, but the story continues in the Liberal vein as well in Michael’s efforts to mend the rift between himself and the Good Kay who stands for what’s upright about America.

Coppola’s tragic sense also played up the family angle. Whereas Sonny is the only Corleone killed by the life of crime in Part One(though Apollonia could be counted as Mrs. Michael Corleone), Michael loses everyone else in one way or another in Part Two. Connie degrades herself to hurt Michael. She returns to the family after the death of Mama Corleone, but one wonders about the future of Michael and Connie after Fredo is taken out. (Connie’s stalwart role in the family and undying love for Michael in THE GODFATHER PART III is most unconvincing.) Kay remains alive, but the feelings between Michael and her are dead(which makes their rapprochement in Part Three also unconvincing), not least because she’d ‘assassinated’ his son in her womb. And the kind of extended ‘mob family’ that Michael once had is also lost, but in this case, ironically enough, as the result of Michael’s determination to, one way or another, go ‘legitimate’. He loses that ‘family’ by trying to do the ‘right thing’.
In Puzo’s novel, Kay comes to terms with her husband’s other life and even converts to Catholicism. If Puzo had his way with Part 2, Connie wouldn’t have been a fallen woman degrading herself out of spite. And Fredo of the novel isn’t as pathetic and stupid as his counterpart in the film, and it would have been unlikely for him to be involved in a plot against Michael. If anything, Puzo pleaded with Coppola, like Connie with Michael, to have Fredo spared.

Coppola’s great albeit disingenuous achievement was a circumvention of Puzo’s characterization and narrative that were devised to be foolproof against tragedy. Puzo chose not to piece together the implicitly tragic elements into a monumental reminder of man’s fall from grace. He accepted man’s state of fallenness as a given and minus the guilt. Coppola’s story takes place in the cathedral of the mind, whereas Puzo’s tale takes place in a casino where, win or lose, it’s guilt-free, just the nature of the game.

Puzo surely projected something of himself onto Michael Corleone. As a young man of serious literary ambition, he spent ten years writing THE FORTUNATE PILGRIM about the Italian-American immigrant experience. Pressured by the publisher to add some mob cliches(for flavor and popular appeal), Puzo refused and based the story mostly on his mother’s experience. It garnered positive reviews but went nowhere in terms of sales and reputation. Bitter(and desperate as he had to take care of his family, as well as his gambling addiction), he threw his obvious talent into churning out a popular novel. (Likewise, Ivy League classics scholar Eric Segal made a killing with LOVE STORY.) Like Michael, Puzo had to ‘betray’ himself for the family.

Mario Puzo

Of course, Puzo was only the latest in the long line of writers with genuine literary gifts to pander to the mass market. Usually, the best writers stuck with serious literature(especially with the rise of modernism), the second-rank writers produced middlebrow works(with some literary merit), and the lesser ones specialized in genre, notwithstanding the considerable exceptions to this rule. For extra money, even serious writers sometimes dabbled in lesser works for easy profit, even though part of the mass appeal owed to the brand built up with serious works. Ernest Hemingway wasn’t one to say NO to an easy buck. Unlike Hemingway, Steinbeck, and the like, Puzo didn’t even have a brand to sell when he embarked on THE GODFATHER.

THE FORTUNATE PILGRIM had the hallmarks of a first-rate talent, except it gained zero literary traction despite the good reviews. No wonder then the embittered Puzo embarked on writing a popular novel that some would regard as ‘trashy’ and ‘sensationalistic’, even if or especially because it was the work of a compromised or ‘wasted’ talent. It was ‘trash’ by a real writer than a mere hack.
Despite his initial purely commercial motives, Puzo obviously fell in love with the material and poured everything into it. The result was trash-as-treasure, an irresistible hook for snobs and slobs alike. Had a lesser talent produced something similar, it wouldn’t have had the impact of Puzo’s novel. It was like a real chef making a popular dish.
Puzo may have been too good for such a material, but the result was a landmark in popular fiction, impossible to dismiss as mere sensationalism. Perhaps, had Puzo been established as an important literary figure, he wouldn’t have stooped so ‘low’ with a genre beneath his talent. When the likes of Hemingway, William Faulkner, Truman Capote, or Yukio Mishima wrote below their pay grade, it was usually throw-away stuff that they understood would be forgotten or dismissed sooner than later, hardly inimical to their well-earned reputations.

Such wasn’t the case with Puzo and THE GODFATHER. What was conceived of as easy fiction for a quick buck ended up creating an entire universe of gangsterisms that influenced popular culture to this day — and given life imitates art, even actual gangsters took cues from Puzo/Coppola’s work, often with amusing results as lowlife goombas aspired to the grandeur of the Corleones as modern day Medicis.
The story of the Corleones became engrossing not so much for their criminality but for their vision and intelligence, honor and loyalty, pride and passion, drizzled with generous servings of sentimentality. Puzo drew as much, if not more, inspiration from serious literature(and his family life, e.g. Vito Corleone was partly based on none other than Puzo’s humble but tough-minded mother) as from genre fiction in the creation of the Corleones and their world. As such, it could be appreciated more as a story of a remarkable family involved in crime than a crime story involving a family. Richly drawn characters were at the front and center of the story, making it far more rewarding than most genre works where the action and situations are central, where the characters are etched with just enough ‘complexity’ to be convincing.

Francis Ford Coppola, Robert Evans, Mario Puzo, and Albert S. Ruddy in The Godfather (1972)

In a way, Puzo ‘sold his soul’ by cashing in his considerable gifts instead of remaining true to his literary calling(though it must be said it’s no easy feat to write a best-seller, which is arguably more difficult in some ways). But Puzo felt no guilt, partly due to cynicism(about the literary industry), bitterness(about the indifferent public), and desperation(his obligation to his family and mounting gambling debts) but also due to the socio-cultural milieu he grew up in.
If Puzo was a Democrat(and I’m guessing he was), it had less to do with idealism than with the Democratic Party doling out more favors to his people, the Italian-American immigrant community. It was ‘business’. Even though Puzo wasn’t part of a criminal family, he was well-aware of and well-adapted to the semi-criminal nature of his community, one of thieves, crooks, and moochers. Moreover, his people had few qualms about commonplace transgressions to ‘wet their beaks’ and take home the added slices of bacon.
Puzo often recounted the case of a neighbor who, on a daily basis, stole a loaf of bread, carton of milk, and dozen eggs from his place of work, enabling him to save just enough to send his kids through college. What some ethnic groups would have deemed as lowly and contemptible, Puzo regarded it as a case of ya-gotta-do-what-ya-gotta-do for the family. He expressed hardly any concern for the larger impact on society if EVERYONE were to behave in such a manner.

In THE GODFATHER novel, Puzo seems unperturbed by young Vito Corleone as a partner-in-crime in robbery because the victimized business can recoup its losses through insurance. But wouldn’t the cost of insurance go up for everyone? It was no use talking about principles with the Sicilian-Americans of Puzo’s generation, though things could now be worse with the normalization of rampant corruption, made even worse with the top institutions having been thoroughly infiltrated and debased by the ethnic gangsterism of Zionist-supremacists. (Incredibly, arch-Jewish-supremacist gangster Merrick Garland was nominated to be a Supreme Court Justice, and he is currently in control of the Justice Department.)

Even though THE GODFATHER is about big-time gangsters, it appears Puzo’s understanding of mob psychology was derived largely from the all-too-pervasive attitudes of ordinary Italian-Americans who, though not criminal by profession, nevertheless harbored attitudes and ‘values’ similar to those in the underworld. If you can steal or cheat a little and not get caught, no problem.
That feature of the Italian-American community is indeed the most disturbing aspect of GOODFELLAS(by Nicholas Pileggi and Martin Scorsese) where even the non-criminal elements in the neighborhood either turn their heads and pretend not to notice or trade in contrabands they know to be ‘hot’. They don’t want to do the crime but aren’t above indirectly benefiting from it for reasons of greed, fear, and ethnic solidarity.

Arguably, things aren’t so different at the top, as surely the movers-and-shakers in the military-industrial complex don’t care who they do business with and how many people get killed — by some estimates, 500,000 Ukrainians have died already in the war — as long as they get to rake in the profits and shoe their kids into top institutions or industries.
Corruption is likely to be most pervasive at the very bottom and the very top. At the bottom, the ill-educated, stupid, and low IQ types are motivated by economic desperation or short-term gratification, and at the top, the vain, greedy, power-hungry, status-obsessed, and ultra-competitive have few qualms about doing whatever to ‘win’ or rub shoulders with the ‘best’(and have the means to protect themselves from the reach of the Rule of Law, which is usually subordinate to the Rule of Lawyers/Lawfare).

Therefore, if a society is to be defined by virtue and respectability, it is up to the broad middle class to shoulder the burden of proper culture of morality and ethics.
Middle class values aspire to rise above beastliness and criminality and, furthermore, operate without the extralegal privileges enjoyed by the truly rich and powerful. Thus, the middle class is most likely to live in accordance with the rule of law(meaning equal justice for all).
Without such a broad middle, society comes to be defined by low-class thugs and high-class gangsters, and that sort of sounds like where the US is headed today with the fading of the Middle Class. (Perhaps, BREAKING BAD resonated with many Americans for its middle class character who sinks low to rise high. Anything but the middle to make it in the New Broken America.)

Depressingly enough, even law-abiding middle-class Italian-Americans in GOODFELLAS seem devoid of the values and attitudes that have long defined the respectable middle of Northern-European America. Though not part of the criminality, they are adjacent to it by tolerance, fear, and/or sentimentality; it’s almost as if the Mob is like a fraternal organization as far as most people in the community are concerned.
Despite having entered the ranks of the middle class, the Italian-Americans in Scorsese’s film are stuck in the petty mentality of self-gain(with hardly any consideration of the larger picture and long-term consequences) that deems it acceptable, even defensible, to bend the rules a bit here and there for an extra slice of bacon. The socio-cultural insularity means that the Italian-Americans don’t care where the loot came from as long as they get to reap the rewards. (Of course, it wasn’t just Italian-Americans stealing from the rest of America but from one another, the logical end of the petty nihilism of self-gain, i.e. what does it matter if other greaseballs lose out as long as MY family gains?)

THE IRISHMAN(directed by Scorsese) shows the trajectory of Big Labor in the US when, from top to bottom, it became de rigueur to run on the basis of taking-a-piece-for-yourself as a loyal and likeminded member of the organization or the brotherhood. To a large measure, it became a skimming operation.
Multiply such problems by a factor of 100, and you have the black community. Why do big stores shut down in the black neighborhood? If say one out of a hundred blacks is likely to steal, the losses would be sustainable. But suppose twenty, thirty, or fifty blacks out of a hundred steal a little here and there, and the losses keep mounting. Given the psychopathic nature of blacks, many refuse to admit, even to themselves, that they did anything wrong, or the Dindu Nuffin mentality. Even among those who admit there is a problem, excuses are countless and win the day: “me and my chillun need to ‘survive’”, “other niggaz doing it, so me too”, “honkey done owe me cuz my ancestors done pick cotton”, “it be fun and shit”, etc. Of course, the overall impact is just another store shut down and jobs gone and less items to buy in the neighborhood. But don’t expect petty-brained blacks to connect the most obvious dots. But then, White America is partly to blame for its misconceived ‘guilt’, stupid ‘anti-racist’ ideology, and/or craven cowardice that prevent it from speaking the obvious: Blacks are naturally wilder, more aggressive, and less inhibited, or more psychopathic. Because of black BS and white BS, different in argumentation but same in nonsense, everything and anything are blamed for the mess in black communities but blacks themselves.

Although Italian-Americans were angels compared to blacks, their relative socio-economic lag could be attributed to their relatively low conscience vis-a-vis other European-American groups. (Not that higher conscience is always a good thing, as the case of Minnesota run by high-trust Scandinavian-Americans has amply demonstrated. Those committed to doing the ‘right thing’, as defined by elite institutions controlled by Jewish globalists, such as promoting Diversity and combating ‘racism’, will end up filling their once-idyllic communities with loutish blacks from the American South or numb-nut immigrants from Somalia. Conscience wedded to reality is a wonderful asset, but conscience divorced from reality is worse than no conscience at all. Anyone trying to ‘do right’ by savages will end up worse than a no-conscience thug who’s only out for himself. Worse, because conscience affects all of society, misguided conscience is ruinous not only to individuals but to the entire community. Look what’s become of Minneapolis-St. Paul.)

Puzo’s forte as a writer would prove to be a combination of keen intelligence and questionable ethics, equally applicable to himself and his characters. He figured he didn’t really betray himself with THE GODFATHER novel. Instead, he took stock of himself and finally became a real man, someone who could take care of his family(and could afford to indulge his vices, mostly gambling). If in the bargain, he compromised his youthful literary ambition, oh well, that’s life. Instead of mulling over his ‘betrayal’, he accepted his pantheon status in popular fiction.
It paralleled Michael Corleone’s transformation from a Good American, a war hero patriot, to a killer, gangster, and don. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Unlike in Coppola’s films, there is no judgment on the part of Puzo; if anything, one senses a bit of approval.

mario-puzo.jpg

From Puzo’s point of view, Michael’s idealism and patriotism(or ‘civic nationalism’), though admirable in a young man, were something he had to grow out of to become a Real Man. In GOODFELLAS, Paulie(Paul Sorvino) and his crew congratulate the adolescent Henry(Christopher Serrone) for having ‘broke’ his ‘cherry’ after getting ‘pinched’(and acquitted via a crooked judge) for the first time, and that pretty much sums up Puzo’s feelings about Michael’s change from a ‘civic nationalist’ war hero to the mob boss and head of the family. Michael ‘broke his cherry’. (On the other hand, the ‘feminine’ twist on the rite of passage suggests that becoming a ‘real man’ involves submission as well as triumph, the willingness to take it up the arse and be a ‘bitch’.)

Just like Puzo had to man up, assess his situation, and use his talents to gain success in the world-as-it-is(as opposed to as-it-should-be), Michael had to do the right thing by this family and take on real responsibilities. But then, what about the cost, personal and social, of involving himself in organized crime?
It depends on the conception of Michael. In the films, Michael’s crippled conscience hangs over him like a dark cloud. Despite his conviction in the necessity of his deeds, he feels as if cast into the shadows, cut off from the light. His having to steel himself against guilt and doubt suggests a sense of self-betrayal, as if attending the funeral of his own soul. For all his growing power, he feels judged and disheartened by the growing distance between Kay and himself. He knows that no amount of money will regain her trust and respect. In THE GODFATHER PART II, their relationship has reached a point that even the attainment of full ‘legitimacy’ is unlikely to alter Kay’s view of him as a man who chose evil.
But the conception of Michael in the novel spares him that burden as he clearly feels justified in what he’s done and, furthermore, isn’t wracked by any sense of guilt, doubt, or betrayal that has to be nailed shut with cold steel. And if the film Michael has no real defenses against Kay’s accusing eyes, the novel Michael has the power of will and conviction to finally persuade Kay to see things his way as the only way. Ultimately, the Sicilian Way judges the American Way, not vice versa(as in the films).

In a way, the novel’s candid amorality is ethically more consistent than the films’ disingenuous morality. Puzo lays out from the very beginning his view of wealth and power by (mis)quoting Honoré de Balzac: “Behind every great fortune there is a crime” from “The secret of a great success for which you are at a loss to account is a crime that has never been found out, because it was properly executed.” Puzo’s Latin-colored cynicism denies the possibility of clean wealth, at least clean Great Wealth. Perhaps, such an attitude served as a coping mechanism for Southern Europeans(and their immigrants in the New World) and Latin Americans as it offered a counter-explanation as to the ascendancy of Northern Europe over Southern Europe, as well as the Anglo-made empires over the Hispanic-made ones. Northern-European apologists made the case for the rule of law, advancement in contracts & property rights, individualism & enterprise, higher trust & conscience as the main reasons for the triumphs of Great Britain and Germany. While some Latin types took these arguments to heart and attempted to model their societies on Northern success, others took umbrage that the late-comers-to-civilization in the North actually gained dominance through such virtues.
No, if the rich and powerful in the South were plenty corrupt, then the real reason for the greater wealth and power in the North must have been even more corruption, except hidden better behind the ruses of ‘democracy’, ‘rule of law’, and ‘liberty’. (An extreme variation of such an attitude is of course found among Negroes who tell themselves that whitey gots more simply cuz he done steal more and especially from the black man who really done create civilization and shit, like Wakanda.)
The truth is surely somewhere in between. The North did manage to devise more effective means of social organization, civic duties, political governance, and economic performance. But given the very nature of power and wealth, there was tons of corruption in the North(especially among the elites) as well as in the South. It was nevertheless better managed, meaning its sewage didn’t seep into and contaminate the middle class. There was also the factor of national character, especially among the all-important middle class as the backbone of any modern society. Some groups, as the result of a combination of racial traits, cultural factors, and social habits, tend to be more orderly and productive than other groups. For example, Hong Kong has long been famous for its looseness with the law, even outright gangsterism. Yet, a corrupt Hong Kong will surely outperform even a hypothetical black community that is governed cleanly. Even with good leaders and conscientious managers, too many blacks have the kind of ‘national character’ that is oogity-boogity, or inconducive to efficiency, harmony, productivity, or any set of middle class values.
At any rate, given the novel’s view of fortunes, the only way to be truly legitimate is not to seek power and wealth. It’s no wonder in the novel that Michael recounts how his father wanted him to pursue a modest career in a professional field, like being a doctor. One can be an honest doctor, truly legitimate in moral terms. To rise high means one’s hands must handle dirt, making legitimacy nearly impossible, a ruse at best. Then, as Michael in the novel goes for power and wealth, it’s with the full understanding that he’s in the world of sons-of-bitches, be they gangsters or ‘respectable’ business leaders. Such amoral consistency allows for a kind of dark ethics, something akin to the honor-among-thieves.
In contrast, the film is confused because it condemns Michael for being mired in the gangster world, thus failing to make the final leap into the legitimate world, while, all the same, showing the legitimate world to be thoroughly corrupt with international oligarchs and bought-off(or blackmailed) politicians.
Unlike Vito in the novel, the film Vito had big plans for Michael, to be ‘Senator Corleone’ or ‘Governor Corleone’. But given what Vito knows of politicians and bigshots, how could he really believe that Michael’s entry into that world could preclude the kind of things that he himself(and Sonny) went through? It could only be more of the same: corruption, blackmail, violence, and etc.
Vito in the novel does speak of future generations of Italian-American reaching new heights(in a conciliatory speech to other mafia bosses), but given his originally modest hopes for Michael, it seems he believes the criminal elements must first launder their sins through children who’ve gone fully straight. Thus, were Corleones to become politicians, better his grandchildren than his children. After all, even Michael-gone-straight will be perceived as a son of a mob boss, whereas his son(or Vito’s grandson) will carry no such baggage.

At any rate, had Michael chosen the ‘civilian’ life and gone straight, how far could he have gotten? He might have become just another doctor, lawyer, some professional, nothing more. For all its disadvantages, his participation in the family business ensures his status as an important figure, especially as many top firms and institutions of THE GODFATHER period had restrictions against Too Many Ethnics and/or Ethnics-rising-too-high. According to Alan Dershowitz’s CHUTZPAH, in the early 1960s even top Jewish law school graduates faced more hurdles than WASPs with less stellar academic credentials.

In THE GODFATHER universe, the betrayals and/or the hypocrisies of the ‘legitimate’(or WASP-ruled) order serve as grounds for rationalization, even justification, for the extra-legal ethnic strategies of power, even those involving violent crime. Simultaneously, the WASP-ruled order is deemed too naive and genteel for the coming power game, which will invariably favor the groups with more cunning, will, and ruthlessness. It’s sort of like the ethnocentric amorality of SOCIAL NETWORK where ‘Zuckerberg’(Jesse Eisenberg) plays the gangster and outmaneuvers the competition that proves to be deficient in brains or balls.
Anglo-Americans could easily overwhelm the primitive Indians and enslave the savage blacks, but how would they measure up against the ethnics? Even though the Italians fell behind the Northern Europeans whose progenies(unlike their Latin counterparts in South America) brought the New World to greatness, even eclipsing the combined power of Europe, could there have been vulnerabilities in the Anglo-Germano-created order open to exploitation by certain dark-minded ethnic groups such as the Italians and the Jews? At the heart of Anglo-American and Northern-European culture of virtue, was there a kind of childlike innocence and naivete that could be shamed and even traumatized into guilt and submission? If one blames Arabs for their history of slavery, they react, “Yeah, so what?” An Arab man or woman never wrote anything like UNCLE TOM’S CABIN. But then, how did such upright, proper, and do-goody people rise to such power and prominence?
History teaches us that the goody-goody always lose out to the baddy-baddies. It’s like what Dark Helmet says to Lonestar in SPACEBALLS: ‘Because good is dumb.” A Good Order requires people to be somewhat ‘innocent’ and ‘trusting’, thus allowing for some degree of mutual assurance and social harmony. It’s difficult to maintain a Good Order if everyone suspects everyone else of being a crook or liar. But that very quality of ‘innocence’ renders the citizens of a Good Order vulnerable and even defenseless against Bad People. Therefore, in order for a Good Order to triumph and grow powerful, it must be ‘racist’ and ‘exclusionary’ against outsiders of potentially bad character. While the people of bad character in their own domain will achieve less than the people of good character in theirs, they may gain even more than the latter via entry into the Good Order by doubly benefitting from the good will of others and their own bad faith. When a Good Order opens itself to Bad People, its fall will be fast and calamitous, what we see today with Great Britain, Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, and Minnesota.

Of course, the reason for the rise of the Anglo-American and Northern-European World Order was far more complicated than the American-as-Apple-Pie narrative. While the ethno-cynics and butt-hurt Latin Americans were wrong in their assertion that ALL peoples and cultures have been equally corrupt in their own ways(as the Anglo, Germanic, and Northern European societies were undoubtedly more conscientious and diligent than the Southern and Eastern European ones), the rise of the Anglo-Northo World owed to something more than the Rule of Law, Property Rights, Protestant Work Ethic, Individualism, Spirit of Innovation, Incentivization of enterprise, and the like.
It owed a lot to brutality, terror, repression, and yes, tribalism. The in-group/out-group distinction was of the utmost importance to the success of the Anglo-Northo model. Indeed, the successful campaigns against classism and race-ism spelled doom for the order.
It had all been a careful balancing act, which became more difficult to maintain as the Anglo-Northo Empire grew in scope and ambition, as a result including more races and cultures in the domain. Always, the more you conquer, the more you may be conquered by others, not least those you’ve conquered. Of course, it depends on WHAT you conquer. Surely, if you capture a rabbit and a wolverine and let them loose on your property, one will give you far more trouble than the other. Likewise, what you eat may make you stronger & healthier or weaker & sicker. And if you swallow a parasite, far from being digested into your system, it will stick to your gut and rob you of nutrients. Some groups, essentially docile or childlike, could be useful to the conquering power, whereas some other groups, feisty and nasty, could gnaw away at its authority.

While rigid hierarchy may lead to laxity and dissipation among the powerful(who’ve come to take their privilege for granted) and the suppression(and thereby waste) of talent at the lower rungs, the dissolution of hierarchy and the liberation of vulgar energies can lead to a new barbarism, which has to be quelled by a new feudalism. It sounds rather familiar as the current Western Order has been characterized as ‘neo-feudal’ in its anarcho-tyrannical characteristics.

The genius of the Anglo-Northo Model was in maintaining hierarchy while permitting just enough freedom and opportunity for the truly talented to exercise their gifts and contribute to society. Thus, the upper levels of society came under some degree of competitive pressure from the enterprising and/or innovative forces below while the middle and lower orders were given some outlet(and safety valve) for their ambitions and talents. The upper classes could maintain a culture of refinement with some degree of socio-economic security, and the middle classes upheld their manners out of eagerness to rise higher(or gain approval from higher-ups) and out of anxiety of falling lower. As such a middle class came to define the core of society, the lower classes in their ill-educated ways aspired to attain a degree of middle class respectability as well. They attained a modicum of respectability by tipping their hats and saying “Aye, guv’nor.” And class wasn’t only a matter of money but manners, attitudes, and values.
Thus, the barriers among the classes were open but also well-guarded. Without these barriers and restrictions, the upper classes would have been less likely to exhibit qualities of benevolence and magnanimity, viable only when the powerful, wealthy, and/or privileged feel reasonably secure in their station.
But then, precisely because some doors were open, the middle classes preferred to prove themselves than wallow in bitterness and cynicism(as opposed to mere sarcasm). If trapped in their station regardless, they would have felt less incentive to improve themselves as a marker of upward mobility. And it was because mid-level respectability was acknowledged even by the lower classes that their natural loutishness and boorishness were checked(though there was the fear of hanging or the exile to some far-flung part of the empire as well).

Even though the United States prided itself as the Land of Freedom and Equality, the Anglo-Northo models of behavior were slow to fade entirely and lingered in one form or another in many parts of society, at least until the rise of Youth Culture in the 1950s centered on the savage rhythms of the Negro.
Indeed, that very social anxiety serves as an incentive for Vito Corleone’s plan for his youngest son. Vito made plenty of money, but it isn’t enough for respectability given the way he made it. He wants his youngest son, the most intelligent one in the family, to attain a proper education and be accepted into American Society as a Good American.
In the opening of THE GODFATHER, it’s obvious Michael desires such a future for himself as well. Quite likely, he’s drawn to Kay not only because she’s smart and pretty but an Anglo who represents the Real America, the one that immigrants of all stripes aspire to be accepted into. Much of the desire to assimilate and become a Good American owed to the value of the Anglo-Northo Model, the founding and developmental standard of the United States. And this model had value as long as it maintained the balance of exclusivity and access. If overly ‘inclusive’, it could be devalued as the order would be swamped by swarthy peasants from backward parts of Europe and vulgar boors of the lower classes. But if overly restrictive against outsiders, there would be less incentive for non-Anglos and the lower orders to improve themselves to be worthy of social ascension, even acceptance into the WASP-dominated elite order. Thus, the locks were just as important as the doorknobs in the success of the system.

Then, one can appreciate the gravity of the problem when the socio-cultural hierarchy began to completely break down in the US and even in the UK, especially with the new generation since the Sixties weaned on Black Music and, worse, with the advent of the loathsome Punk ‘movement’. The upper classes lost self-confidence, the middle classes aspired only to be crass yuppies, and the lower classes shamelessly wallowed in their trashiness. In the US, Jews took over from the WASPs, and, even as they became richer and more powerful than their predecessors, their standards for elite selection and prestige have had a degrading impact on society.
Unlike the Anglo-American-Christian elites with their balance of give-and-take, Jewish elites have been totally about nothing but Judeo-centrism, especially in foreign policy in regards to Israel and Jewish hegemonism(with the Ukrainian tragedy as a prime example). In the West, the highest value, apart from Holocaust-Worship and mindless hosannas to Israel, is the celebration of Globo-Homo and Tranny-Tyranny.
And, if the White Christian change of heart on the racial issue, especially concerning blacks(and to a lesser extent the American Indians), had something to do with a genuine moral redemption for America, Jews seem to be favoring and propping up blacks only for tribal-supremacist reasons: Bribe and favor blacks to side with Jews, elevate blacks to sacred status, and then showcase Jewish-Black alliance as proof that the Holy Holocaust People and Sacred Slavery People have each other’s backs as totally irreproachable eternal victim groups. This isn’t true morality but a most cynical weaponization of history by relegating the ideology of universal justice to the backburner in favor of the idolatry of certain key groups, namely Jews and blacks, along with of course the Homos, another proxy group of Jewish Supremacism.

he godfather 1972 francis ford coppola marlon brando al pacino james caan

The other reason for the Anglo-Northo power and success was race-ism, without which the Anglo-Northo World cannot survive, as currently evinced in the problems facing the UK, Sweden, Germany, and Minnesota. Without race-ism, the only hope for Anglo-Northos maintaining a semblance of a ‘world of our own’ is class-ism; however, even the notion of ‘white privilege’ has come under assault, i.e. white people deserve no right to maintain implicitly white communities, and any such must be denounced for its lack of ‘diversity’.
Then, one can appreciate the attraction of so many privileged whites to globo-homo as a status marker as its representation and involvement were heavily white, educated, professional, and privileged. Thus, even affluent and ‘privileged’ white individuals could score points with their ‘progressive’(or ‘more evolved’) credentials and justify their wealth and influence on the ‘correctness’ of their outlook. The signs of desperation in their fulminations against ‘hate’ and the lack of proper attitudes on ‘diversity’, ‘equity’, and ‘inclusion’(mainly concerning the cult of Noble Negroes and Holy Homos) suggest panic than passion because, on some level, they must know they’re on shaky moral grounds if the justification of their wealth and power rests on the celebration of sodomy, consensus that a man can be a ‘woman’, and participation of their children in ‘drag-queen story hours’ at the local library or the kindergarten.
But, such is to be expected when white people can no longer justify their power on grounds of sound and sensible race-ism, the rational understanding of the reality of race and the existence of multiple races, as well as the need for racial consciousness as race is deeper than history, culture, religion, ideology, and individuality.
If indeed the oldest civilization(in the Near East) is 6,500 years old, the European race is 40,000 years old at the very least. Long before white minds were filled up with the mythology of a Jewish carpenter being the Son of God, they were part of a unique race forged by particular conditions of the northern climes. Furthermore, the white race had fully come into being in looks, intelligence, temperament, and variations long before the emergence of cultures, rise of civilizations, and spread of ideas and technology. Thus, even as the white race owes its advancement to myths, values, and credos, it doesn’t owe its emergence/existence(or ‘creation’) to any of those factors as the white race was molded by the particular geo-climactic nature of Europe. No less than bears, tigers, bison, wolves, and elk, the white race(as well as the rest of humanity) was made entirely by nature, not by culture(even though cultural influences later contributed to further evolution).
Granted, racial consciousness alone cannot be the basis for social, cultural, and political organization, but without it as an essential component, all falls apart. For example, White Catholics need to understand they have more in common(in genetic and historical depth) with white Protestants, agnostics, atheists, and even Muslims than with nonwhite Catholics. E. Michael Jones’ Catholo-centrism is pure poison as, in its cult of ‘logos’, it pretends that the eons that forged the white race into a distinct European bio-ethnic entity is just some ‘construct of the mind’ cooked up in the internecine politics between White Protestants and White Catholics(as the victim of the former that employed black violence to disperse and destroy Catholic unity); but, if the use of blacks-against-whites was a Protestant ploy targeting Catholics, why were the white Protestant Evangelical communities in the South similarly slated for humiliation and destruction?

Germanic Peoples

Racial differences are real enough in intelligence and initiative, and that may explain the relative success of whiter North America over the darker or more mixed Latin America and the Caribbean Islands. But even if racial differences in ability were non-existent, the fact remains that a homogeneous society is likely to be more cohesive and united, whereas a diverse one is naturally bound to be more divided and distrustful. Not for nothing have Trust Societies usually been homogeneous or at least more homogeneous than diverse(or dominated by an ethically-oriented majority power-holders who set the standard for the rest who, otherwise, might have reverted to their bad old ways, e.g. the Singaporean effect whereby the relatively more orderly Chinese majority, which had absorbed certain key facets of Anglo culture, enforced their standards onto the whole of society). Latin America, with a considerably smaller proportion of whites vis-a-vis the browns, blacks, and/or mestizos/mulattos, was bound to be messier.
Granted, the formula isn’t so simple as a case of functional homogeneity vs. dysfunctional diversity. Surely, a society that is made up of ⅓ Germans, ⅓ Japanese, and ⅓ Hindu is likely to be richer and more functional than a homogenous society made up 100% of Bantu blacks. If the loss of blacks is no threat to peace and prosperity to a white population, the loss of whites(or Asian-Indians) can be devastating to a black community, as Uganda under Idi Amin and Zimbabwe under Mugabe found out. The expulsion of non-blacks made for greater black homogeneity but also fewer people with the brains, ethics, and habits to run enterprises, manage industries, and facilitate trade.
Also, with the birth dearth in the prosperous countries, increased diversity may be the only way to maintain any kind of economy. An economy is made up of brain power and body power, but modern societies excessively prioritize the brains at the expense of the body(especially with depressed wages for the middle and working classes due to globalism), meaning the only recourse is to let in more immigrants willing to function as the much devalued body of the economy.

Race-ism, along with classism, was necessary to secure and maintain a zone of civility, refinement, and sophistication. Garden must fend off the jungle, which means those who enjoy the garden must appreciate the gardener whose duty is to get his hands dirty, pull out the weeds, and prune the shrubbery. In other words, even as an order seeks to present a kindly and genteel image of itself, its viability owes to the ruffian tactics of its praetorian guards, the ‘bouncers’ of the order.
The Corleones surely understand this as the benevolent and magnanimous reputation of the Don rests on fear and respect(of the family’s power). Vito Corleone had Luca Brasi, and Michael has Al Neri. Steven Spielberg acknowledged this invaluable dynamic in his movies where one bunch of dimwit goy ‘barbarians’ are recruited to fight and destroy another bunch of goy ‘barbarians’, usually those less amenable to Jewish interests.

While the favored self-image of British Civilization/Empire was one of ethics, manners, and civility, the order was maintained through the artful harnessing and channeling of certain quasi-barbarian energies. It’s no wonder the Anglos were especially obsessed with dog-breeding-and-training. (As the American Imperialist Theodore Roosevelt said, you can speak softly only if you have a big stick.) The Anglo Order was about the taming than eradication of barbarian energies, like how canine creatures are trained to serve as loyal servants than savage beasts. (One reason for Confucian China’s relative weakness was its attempts to eradicate than domesticate virile barbarian-ism.) Dogs have been useful to mankind throughout history for their utter loyalty to the master and utter hostility toward the master’s enemies. Though obedient, they are nevertheless driven by wolfish and predatory instincts. That was the ‘dirty’ secret of the British Empire.
Granted, it wasn’t anything new in the history of civilizations, but the Anglos mastered the art(or science) better than most. There was always the element of danger, even doom, like in playing with fire. The risks were as follows: (1) the elites lost control of the barbarian energies that ran wild (2) elites gave into the barbarian energies, thereby abnegating any rationale for their social prestige and/or (3) elites failed to appreciate or came to regret(and atone) that their order had relied on the controlled barbarism of the less cultivated members of society. Jews certainly know this lesson as they appreciate the usefulness of groups such as ‘Antifa’ and BLM in using violence or threat thereof to intimidate mainstream society into acquiescence(though Jewish Power may suffer from underestimating the dangers of such savagery running wild and out-of-control).

The problem for the Anglo-Northos in their late-imperial stage, as with the Chinese Confucian elites in an earlier time, was that they were loath to admit the extent to which controlled barbarism had been the key to their success and power; or if they admitted as much, they couldn’t handle the truth and surrendered their right to rule on account of their tainted past of abject hypocrisy.
It goes to show that hypocrisy, so essential to the defense of any order(civility protected from wild savagery by controlled barbarism), is useful only when its beneficiaries control the narrative. When Anglo-Northos controlled the myth, icons, and narratives of the order, they could minimize the extent of the hypocrisy as a necessary evil. But when the power of ideas and idols fell into the hands of Jews, the White Hypocrisy became the main theme of the West, whereby White People felt impelled to fully commit to the ideals of civility and justice. In other words, whites had to abandon their ‘dirty’ power of controlled barbarism that had been so integral to their success. Instead, they needed to rely solely on universal principles and let the chips fall where they may on the basis of meritocracy.

Such a bargain, in and of itself, wasn’t so bad. As things turned out, however, Jews and blacks(and homos) had no intention of playing by the same rules. Black criminality was soon politicized and justified, and Jewish power increasingly grew gangsterish, its hypocrisies far surpassing those of the Anglo-Northos. Jewish Power now kvetches endlessly about the ‘nazis’ while propping up sub-nazi types in Ukraine. It spreads alarm in the West about the threat of Islamic terrorism, all the while aiding Jihadi groups across the Middle East and North Africa for Zionist aims. Even as Jewish Power nags on whites for having used violence in the past against black savagery and criminality, it insists on whites serving as rent-a-lynch-mob military muscle for Zion around the world. So, while it’s totally unforgivable that mobs of whites in the South hanged Negroes from trees for rape/murder, it’s totally patriotic and glorious for whites to join the military to fight Wars for Israel and massacre countless Arabs/Muslims. And while it was utterly unconscionable for officer Derek Chauvin to have restrained and ‘murdered’ George Floyd(who most likely died of overdose of fentanyl), it was totally justified for blacks and their white cuck allies in the Antifa(and the like) to carry out pogroms and burn down cities to send a message to White America, “If you don’t help us remove Trump one way or another, there will be even more urban violence!”
Why does Jewish Power get away with such hypocrisies? Because Jews control the ideas and icons, stories and statues. Against such odds, the pro-Palestinian activism across the West is the most positive development in the past fifty or more years. Unlike so much that has been stage-managed and manipulated by Jewish Power — Globo-Homo activism, Neocon war-mongering, anti-white ‘wokeness’, BLM savagery, Antifa lunacy, Slut Pride, and etc. — , the pro-Palestinian movement got away from the clutches of Jewish control or is a sign of conscience among some in the Jewish community that can no longer abide by the gangster nihilism of the Neolib/Neocon establishment.

Most crucially, race-ism was of paramount importance to the Anglo-Northo and White order in general because of the black threat. While ethnic and/or racial conflict has always been a part of history, the victory of one over the other hardly meant the end of civilization as we know it. Even when the Huns and Germanic barbarians overran the Roman Empire, it led to merely another kind of civilization than the end of civilization. Soon enough from the rubble something new(and possibly even better) was constructed. It was much the same regardless of which side won: Europeans, Arabs, Turks, Hindus, East Asians, and etc. All such were either the civilized or ‘civilizable’ peoples.
In contrast, Bantu blacks were a race apart, intractably savage. It is why the Arabs understood the value of race-ism in regards to blacks. While one may despair of the Arab slave trade and treatment of blacks, Arabs understood that blackness had to be restrained either by force or by Islam(with its restrictions on oogity behavior). Blacks either had to serve the Arabs or live by strict Islamic codes to earn respect as people worthy of civilization. As such, Arabs were careful not to emphasize the kind of expressions that might unleash wild-ass Negro energies.

Whites also maintained a similarly race-ist outlook on blacks. After all, the main reason why whites brought black slaves to the New World was because of their hardiness and toughness, making them useful for heavy-duty farm labor. Furthermore, whites soon realized that blacks, left to their own devices, usually reverted to oogity-boogity jungle behavior.
But, unlike the culturally more restrictive and theocratic Arabs, whites(and Christians) had certain proclivities more vulnerable to the siren song of Negronics. Unlike Islam that is more about pride and power than guilt and atonement, Christianity imbued its practitioners with the moral anxiety of sin. So, if Muslims regarded their enslavement of blacks merely in terms of power and control, Christians increasingly felt guilty about their deeds, even more so as Christian morality and secular humanism came to eye-to-eye on the ‘rights of man’. Furthermore, European culture was less sexually paranoid than Arab culture that had no use for chivalry and stories of knights and damsels. For the Arabs, women were veiled creatures restricted to their own spaces. They weren’t lovely damsels to gawk at, go ‘boing’ over, court in public, and have jousts over. In contrast, the culture of chivalry was a kind of sexual game of champions where men contested with one another to win the hearts of the ladies. Western culture made a big deal of individual male heroism and female beauty: May the best man win and get the prettiest girl, the modern day reiteration of which is the Prom King and Prom Queen, often the captain of the sports team and the leader of the cheerleading squad. Christianity softened but didn’t snuff out the pagan warrior culture of Europe. Arabs understood the risk of a culture where men openly fought for women who cheered for the winners, perhaps because they lived in closer proximity with Africans. (Maybe Arthur should have kept Guinevere in a veil in EXCALIBUR. Lancelot never would have seen her and gone bonkers as a result.)

Among whites, this warrior-damsel culture led to lots of violence among men eager to show off to the ladies, but thankfully it was limited to the aristocratic caste and governed by strict codes of honor and conduct, preventing the whole thing from turning into a saloon brawl at every turn. But over time, the aristocratic culture of gaming and chivalry passed to the masses. The British elites saw the danger in this and created the ‘amateur’ competition, one defined by gentlemanly sportsmanship than by ‘crass’ material rewards(as the participants were rich and/or privileged), as opposed to professional sports where lower-class ruffians took part mainly for money and ‘vulgar’ prizes. This quasi-aristocratic bias was behind the banning of professional athletes in the Olympics, which ironically came to the advantage of egalitarian communist countries that had no concept of professional athletes as everything was socialized.

Mass sports culture essentially developed as a thump-and-hump culture. Guys thumped other guys to claim the trophy. This made them the alpha heroes, magnetic to the females. Such games could unleash barbarism but also prove constructive and useful. It could be an outlet for pent-up young male energies: Better to let them expend aggressive energies on the sports fields than in the streets, or better teams than gangs. (It also had a festive communal effect of bringing people together.)
In the 1990s, Bill Clinton’s administration floated the idea of Midnight Basketball on grounds that black males playing ball will be less likely to go around robbing, raping, and murdering. It’s like the joke in FULL METAL JACKET: “How do you stop five black dudes from raping a white chick? Throw them a basketball.” Indeed, white male cuckery to black athletes partly owes to the unstated assumption of “Better to have black guys win in sports and marry my daughter than to have them to break into my house, beat me up, and rape my wife(and the daughter too).” \

Now, the white history of playing fire with quasi-barbarian sports culture wouldn’t have been so dangerous if blacks weren’t around. It’s like the ancient Greek Olympics that, though brutal and even bloody affairs, always affirmed Greek pride as only the Greeks were allowed to participate. Greeks were too smart to have non-Greeks take part and turn the whole thing into a spectacle of non-Greeks kicking Greek butt. Why would Greeks have wanted to cheer for non-Greeks beating up Greeks? Sports culture could be a net positive if it was kept all in the tribal or national family. As barbaric and stupid as sports culture could be, it fosters a spirit of health, virility, and competition. Man is mind and body, a lesson that may be lost in an overly refined civilization that devalues manhood in pursuit of manners. (Granted, the emphasis of which part of the body is of some significance. Blacks not only favor body over mind but emphasize the ass above everything, not the best formula for cultural development. Judging by Classical Greek expressions, the entirety of the body in balance was emphasized.)

While a culture that is overly focused on the body cannot be civilized, one that is overly focused on the mind or soul, like Confucianism and Hinduism, turns sickly and pale. There are two kinds of degeneracies, one by excessive beastliness and one by excessive refinement. A sound culture maintains the balance of mind and body and, furthermore, preserves the minds and bodies of the core ethnic population. In other words, Europeans must ensure the survival of the white mind and the white body.
Then, whites need to be aware of the greatest dangers to the white mind and to the white body. Already, whites, in having succumbed to Christianity, lost control of their souls by worshiping God as conceived by the Jews. In the late modern era, whites also lost control of their minds by outsourcing ideas and meaning to the Jews on the basis of Jews being wiser for being smarter, a fallacy that conflated wisdom with intelligence. Thus, the white mind was robbed of agency.
And then as a clincher, the white body lost the right and the will of self-preservation, in no small part because their sports culture was turned ‘anti-racist’, which, however, only confirmed the race-ist reality of nature, i.e. even though racial discrimination in sports was done away with on the basis of all races being equal in innate talent, the natural race-ist reality asserted itself and favored blacks in the sports arena over the whites. As sports culture has become absolutely essential to Western Culture, the sight of all those black guys beating up white guys in sporting ‘duels’ and ‘jousts’ could only lead to one conclusion: Black males have the right to hump white women and conquer white wombs to create black babies. Because reality is naturally race-ist, so-called ‘anti-racism’ could only lead to race-ist results, one favoring blacks over whites. Likewise, letting trannies into female sports on the basis of ‘inclusive anti-sexism and anti-transphobia’ could only lead to the obvious fact of sexual differences as men-pretending-to-be-women have a huge advantage over women, aka ‘biological women’(as if there is any other kind).

Western sports-centrism goes a long way to explain the rise of Negrolatry. True, the Jewish control of the media and their anti-white agenda have a lot to do with it, but why are so many whites so resigned to cuckery to blacks(and Jews)? If HBD whites put out to Jewish Genius and beg to be porked in the arse by Einstein and Seinfeld, many more whites(who are less inclined toward intellectualism) are in awe of alpha-blackness. Indeed, isn’t it rather incredible(but then all-too-plausible) that, after a whole year of blacks looting and burning down cities and beating up whites, the #1 mass ritual of White America is to watch the NFL in record numbers and cheer on black athletes?

When whites appreciated the value of ‘antisemitism’ and race-ism, they did what was necessary to protect their values, worldview, interests, pride, and physical well-being of the White Mind and White Body. There was an intuitive understanding that ‘colorblind’ meritocracy would be fatal to the white race, not only because it would weaken(and even vilify) white unity and white interests but because some races were better at whites in certain areas and endeavors.
Now, it’s one thing for whites to appreciate and learn from Jewish Genius, but did it make sense to let Jews take over white institutions? Did it make sense for whites to mindlessly defer to Jews as always right and naturally wise?
It’s one thing for whites to acknowledge blacks as better athletes and admire their feats of running and jumping, but did it make sense to racially integrate whites and blacks in sports, only to end up with blacks totally whupping white butt and reducing white men to a bunch of ‘faggoty-ass white boys’ in the very games that they invented? (Of course, whites are not unique in such stupidity. Japanese let bigger non-Japanese enter Sumo Wrestling with predictable results.) You can acknowledge the strength of a gorilla, bear, or lion, but you’d be foolish to wrestle with one. Human competition has to remain among humans, and white competition in the white sphere should have remained among whites. What irony that whites who ended segregation in sports on account of racial equality ended up revering blacks as the superior race on account of blacks kicking white butt? Equality among naturally unequal groups is impossible.

For the above-stated reasons, the Anglo-Northo World was well-served by race-ism and ‘antisemitism’, though in balance than in excess. The West was right to do away with black slavery as it was dehumanizing and often cruel, and it was only proper to acknowledge the basic rights of blacks in a just order. But there was also an acute sense among whites, those in the north as well as in the south, that whites and blacks were different and difficult to reconcile, that is unless whites totally cuck and debase themselves at the feet of a naturally savage race, which is what’s happening today? As Honest Abe Lincoln said, “Free the slaves but ship them out of here as they’ll kick our butts and turn us into a bunch of pansy-boys.” It was wrong to force blacks to pick cotton and call them ‘nigger’ but also wrong to deny the natural race-ism of reality and pretend whites could get along hunky-dory with black.

As for Jews, as long as they clung to their tribal-spiritual sense of superiority and resorted to exclusive networks to expand their own power at the expense of goyim, white or nonwhite, whites had every reason to counter with a degree of ‘antisemitism’ as a defense mechanism. No need to go overboard like the National Socialists, but then, excessive philosemitism is as or even more dangerous than excessive antisemitism because of the nature of Jewish identity and feelings regarding goyim(a mixture of arrogant contempt and envious resentment).
Anglo-Northos maintained a useful balance of race-ism and anti-supremitism(or anti-supremacist-semitism) and as such were able to preserve the security and viability of the White Order, but when this balance was lost and whites succumbed to the foolhardy notion that ‘racism’ and ‘antisemitism’ are the two greatest evils of all time, they were faced with doom(and will indeed fade from history unless, by some miracle, they regain their sense of racial and tribal reality).

People like Christopher Caldwell are missing the point with books like “The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties”. The problem is race-ism, the ineradicable kind of nature and genetics, not some legislation of the Sixties. By ‘race-ism’, we don’t mean KKK burning crosses and screaming ‘nigger’ and the like. We simply mean Race + Ism should properly mean the belief(as -ism means creed or conviction or set of ideas) in the reality of race and racial differences. Race-ism is real as the races are indeed different, with blacks being not only less intelligent but more muscular, more aggressive, wilder, and more prone to psychopathy, made all the worse by their contempt for the white race as weak-and-wussy, consisting of white cuck males and white skanks into jungle fever.
Suppose race-ism is false, and there are hardly any meaningful differences between whites and blacks in terms of intelligence, emotions, and abilities, i.e. whites are essentially blacks with white skin and blacks are essentially whites with black skin. That being so, would the Civil Rights legislation of the Sixties have had such a baleful impact on the US, if indeed race is just a social construct that could be overcome with legislative and statist redress? Of course not.
As predicted and/or hoped for by most liberals and moderate conservatives of the time, the US would have overcome much of the racial divide. Over time, with equal access to resources and opportunities, blacks would have achieved rough parity with whites, and then, Affirmative Action would have been phased out.
Also, if race-ism is bunk and the only difference between whites and blacks is skin color, there would have been far less White Flight from blackening areas. There would have been far less racial violence(overwhelmingly black-on-white) resulting from the new freedoms and rights for blacks. White-Black relations would have been like White-Hindu relations.

But why did the racial problems associated with blackness linger? Not because of new laws in the Sixties but because of the timeless laws of nature(evolution) that made the races different, with the most fundamental difference falling between blacks and non-blacks.
Indeed, despite Jews and blacks being political allies while Jews and Arab-Americans remain bitter enemies over foreign policy, most Jews get along better with most Arab-Americans at the social level than with blacks who are far more likely to attack, rob, rape, and terrorize Jews(and Arabs). Some states have pandered more to blacks than others have, but the results have been nearly identical. Whether it’s South Carolina or Minnesota, whether it’s Selma, Alabama or Baltimore, Maryland(or Detroit, Michigan or Gary, Indiana), too-many-blacks is a recipe for social disaster. And things would hardly have been different even if the Civil Rights legislation hadn’t passed in the Sixties and paved the way for the so-called Age of Entitlement.
And if indeed the new era really ran on anti-meritocratic egalitarianism, how is it that the Jews, the group with the highest IQ, got richer and more powerful than ever? How was it that the top 1% reaped more rewards than all of the middle class? If indeed the Age of Entitlement favored mediocrity over meritocracy, Jews would have been the main victims of the policy, as happened under Soviet communism when Jews gradually lost out to the other ethnic groups. If white goyim in general lost out(though until recently the privileged white upper-middle class did better than ever under globalism) and if Jews count as whites, why did Jews gain far more wealth and power in relation to other groups in this period?

At any rate, if indeed race-ism is false and all races are innately equal, then the Civil Rights legislation would have been a great success and, in time, even blacks would have agreed it’s time to close the book on Affirmative Action. On merit alone, blacks would have reached proportional representation in most fields, and they would have been content with that. The reason this didn’t happen is because race-ism is real. As innate racial differences do exist, the gap cannot be closed by legal enforcement in favor of meritocracy. The gap can be narrowed only by favoring less qualified blacks over whites and other non-black groups.

The problem is people like Caldwell are too cowardly to mention that the problem is really race-ism or innate racial differences than any set of laws. These ‘thinkers’ and social critics, from top to bottom and from ‘left’ to ‘right’, claim that the problem is anything but race-ism or real racial differences. So-called ‘liberals’ will blame ‘systemic racism’ while so-called ‘conservatism’ will blame the public school system or Democrats-being-the-real-’racists’.
And this Caldwell moron blames the Civil Rights legislation. He’s just another cuck-maggot pretending to speak the truth. Indeed, are black problems any different in places like Brazil, Venezuela, or elsewhere? In Paris or London? Their laws concerning race and ethnicity are different from those in the US, but the end-result is more or less the same when it comes to ‘too many blacks’. More crime, more pathology, more violence, more terror, more oogity-mayhem.

Anyway, all of this is to say that while the Anglo-Northo order was more ethical and less corrupt than the other cultures of Europe(especially Southern Italy notorious for gangsterism and petty clannishness), its success owed to something more than cleaner governance, social trustworthiness, civility & civic duty, meritocracy, liberty, and rule of law. To a large extent, the admirable qualities were protected and/or expanded upon with controlled brutality based on keen understanding of ingroup vs out-groups dynamics. The ladies and gentlemen of the order cultivated an army of ‘goons’(or tamed barbarians) to do the ‘dirty’ work.
Southern Gentry in the US couldn’t have been possible without the overseers with whips. White civilization couldn’t have expanded westward without the ‘cowboys’ gunning down the Indians. And ‘ethnic’ immigrants(and German-Americans before them) came under considerable pressure and even duress in their process of assimilation. It was the nature of power at work, but the idealism inherent in Americanism put forth too rosy a picture, setting itself up for ‘deconstruction’ and disillusionment. Ironically, the group(Jews, of course) most hellbent on exposing WASP hypocrisy was also most committed to turning the US into an ultra-hypocritical tribal-gangster state, which it most certainly is today, one that harps about ‘diversity-equality-inclusion’ while pulling every string and lever to ensure that Jewish Supremacism has the last word on everything.

To what extent Puzo was aware of the self-serving ethno-BS in THE GODFATHER is anyone’s guess. For sure, his sentiments were not unlike those found in Latin America, especially among those of European extraction, the idea that the ONLY or MAIN reason for the triumph of North America over South America was that the Anglos, ‘Yanquis’, or ‘gringos’ were more materialistic, more corrupt, more avaricious, more ruthless, and of course, more ‘racist’ than the more relaxed, tolerant, and colorful folks with ‘Latin’ salsa-souls who were nothing like the cold-hearted Protestant-Work-Ethic nose-to-the-grind-stone Scrooges of El Norte.
Even in Europe, Southern Italians tended to rationalize their backwardness, poverty, and corruption on similar grounds. Sure, they were less orderly and more corrupt but only because they were more ‘tolerant’ of human nature unlike those priggish penny-pinchers of the North. Or, the argument went, the relative backwardness, poverty, and criminality in the South were mainly the result of the North exploiting the hapless South.

Puzo was correct that mainstream or ‘legitimate’ America was hardly a garden of angels and had its own long history of corruption and nefarious ways, but there was no way something like the United States could have been created if, perchance, Southern Italians had been the founding stock. What might have become of North America with Italians as the master builders can be seen in the fate of Argentina. Italo-Argentinians gained prominence in many areas, but the overall history has been one of underachievement. So much potential wasted by a people more into style than substance, vanity than virtue.
In the end, it wasn’t so much that the Anglo-Northos were corruption-free while the ‘ethnics’ were full of it. Rather, the Anglo-Northos were more adept at compartmentalization so that the ‘necessary evil’ of corruption wasn’t allowed to contaminate the whole barrel. There’s a difference between there being some rotten apples in the barrel AND letting the mold affect the whole batch.

That said, Puzo the Italian-American, like Jews and other ethnic-Americans(of whom Michael Novak wrote about in THE RISE OF THE UNMELTABLE ETHNICS) certainly sensed the emergence of a post-WASP America. They could smell the blood draining out of anemic Anglo-America. The people of the founding stock, who’d once so impressed the immigrant newcomers as the model to emulate(as well as envy and resentment) seemed dissipated in resolve and ruthlessness so essential to power.
Puzo’s novel was published in 1969, the same year as the setting of Whit Stillman’s METROPOLITAN in which, of the five male characters, one is a ‘socialist’ opposed to privilege, one constantly frets about the doomed fate of HUB(haute urban bourgeoisie), one is utterly cynical and resigned to ‘failure’, one sits around and naps most of the time, and one happens to be of aristocratic lineage(and only cares about partying); they go through the motions of a culture devoid of prestige and vitality. The WASPs had become the WISPs. And ethnics caught the scent of blood(or perfume from the broken bottle). Anglo-Northos had attained greatness but lost the will and drive to keep it at any cost, in contrast to certain Jewish super-elites today, for whom NOTHING is out of the question to keep the power over the dimwit and inferior goyim.

Given Puzo’s disingenuous view of American power and wealth, his mafia tale is a story of triumph than tragedy. What need of tragic sense when the Corleones go from strength to strength and come out on top in a world where everything is corrupt, i.e. fall-from-grace is baloney because everything is in a state of fallenness to begin with? Likewise, when the protagonists prevail in Puzo’s penultimate novel THE LAST DON, we feel good for them and don’t bother about them ‘losing their souls’.

In Puzo’s universe, corruption is everywhere. Even ‘legitimate’ society is just a ruse. If the Corleones of the novel try to go ‘legitimate’, it’s for appearance’s sake, not because there’s a real difference between the underworld and the ‘overworld’.
While the pervasiveness of corruption marks both the novel and the film, the latter(especially with the funereal solemnity of Nino Rota’s score eulogizing the dead souls of gangsters) approaches Michael’s metamorphosis from an affable Good American to a ruthless underworld boss as a bitter and brooding betrayal . Thus, even as we are reminded of the corruption(and hypocrisy thereof) at all levels of society, the focus is on the ‘spiritual’ fall of Michael Corleone, further underscored by the changes to Kay’s character from the pages to the screen. In Coppola’s film, Kay serves as Michael’s repressed and neglected conscience. She represents what is good, decent, and hopeful about America. So, when Michael in Part 3 confesses to the cardinal that he betrayed his wife, we know what he means. (Granted, in Part 2, we see Michael doing his utmost to make the family ‘legitimate’ but being foiled by obligations to old associates and the machinations of a Jewish gangster who really wants him dead, but then, as Kay is left out of the loop, how could she know what Michael was going through?)
While both Kays more or less come across the same set of circumstances — they’re introduced as Michael’s girlfriend, recede into the background during Michael’s exile in Sicily, then reappear to marry Michael, and convey displeasure upon suspecting Michael had a hand in Carlo’s death — , their contrasting personalities make all the difference. In the film, she’s clearly distressed by Michael’s recounting of the Luca Brasi/Johnny Fontaine Affair, an earlier instance of “making an offer that can’t be refused”. The novel’s Kay, in contrast, is excited by the story, as if to say, “Wow, your family is so cooler than mine.”
If the Kay in the film falls in love with the Good Michael(and increasingly despairs of his growing ‘bad’ side), Kay in the novel doesn’t seem perturbed by his belonging to a ‘bad’ family.
It was Puzo’s way of saying women are naturally attracted to power. Puzo’s Kay is rather like the ‘good’ Jewish girl Karen in GOODFELLAS who finds herself turned on by Henry’s hoodlum ways. Not that Kay of the novel is as shallow as Karen, sort of a nitwit for a Jewess. She feels pride in the American Way and isn’t without anxiety about marrying someone associated with the underworld, but she isn’t so goody-goody and naive as the Kay of the film. She isn’t the one to believe with any sincerity that “Senators and Presidents don’t have men killed.”

In the film’s final scene, Kay is relieved by Michael’s assurance of innocence in Carlo’s disappearance but then suspects the worst as the door shuts on her from inside the room where Michael is surrounded by henchmen pledging loyalty to him(like in the Old World). This Kay is clearly disturbed by the possibility that her husband is indeed a killer, someone capable of ordering a cold-blooded murder of his brother-in-law.
In the novel, however, Kay isn’t as troubled by the possibility of Michael’s hand in Carlo’s death. What upsets her is the sense that Michael doesn’t trust or ‘respect’ her enough to share his innermost thoughts and the ‘business’ part of his life. Worse than Michael’s murder of Carlo is his distrust of her(to understand why he did what he had to).
The film ends on a spiritual note with Kay wondering if she married an American Lucifer, whereas the novel mulls over a personal issue, one of respect between husband and wife. The film’s Kay wants to maintain her ‘innocent’ view of the world, whereas the novel’s Kay is miffed that Michael considers her too innocent for hard truths. Like Karen of GOODFELLAS, she’s the sort who could understand why men do what they gotta do.
Both Kays deviate from the standard female of the gangster movie genre, the moll of course. In the Classic Gangster, most hoods aren’t fit for marriage, and indeed it seemed a bit sacrilegious to associate gangsters with marriage and family. Usually, the gangster attracts disreputable women drawn to the allure of money, power, and notoriety. Bad men get bad girls, and of course, the molls know full well what their men are up to.
THE GODFATHER differs from the genre in its absence of molls. Part 2 makes clear that Vito Corleone was a good man compelled by circumstances to become a gangster; thus, he not only breaks the law but takes the law into his own hands(vigilante style) to set things right in the Italian-American community leeched on by lowlife hoodlums like Fanucci(in no small part due to the habits and attitudes brought over from the Old World). Vito got married to a good woman before he became a gangster and did his best to imbue his children with ‘family values’. Even the promiscuous Sonny has a wife and children. His women are mistresses, not molls. And Michael was set on marrying the right woman, either the intelligent All-American golden girl Kay or the beautiful Apollonia of a respectable family in Sicily. Even though THE GODFATHER, especially the first film, is essentially about fathers and sons(and brothers and brothers), it is also about husbands and wives, especially in Part 2 where Kay grows more prominent(and ultimately proves to be Michael’s greatest nemesis).

There are several ways in which women married to gangsters/outlaws/hoodlums can handle the situation. Mama Corleone sticks to her duties as wife and mother, never daring to intrude into her husband’s ‘business’. Apollonia would likely have been similar had she lived. Such women maintain a ‘civilian’ normality in the household completely separate from the sphere of their husbands.
Then, there are women like Karen in GOODFELLAS who, though uninvolved in the crime itself, know full well what it’s all about and converse freely with their husbands about the lifestyle. Thus, there is less of a barrier between normal-family life and criminal activity. As wives, they aren’t technically molls but sort of fit the mold. Such women tend to be rather shallow and stupid.

Then, there are women like Kay who, upon realizing the extent of their husbands’ involvement in nefarious activities, undergo serious psychological crises and seek ways to cope with the problem. Such women usually thought they married someone respectable(or halfway so), only to discover the dark truth and be faced with the choice of staying or leaving, neither of which is easy for emotional and/or physical reasons.
Then, there’s another kind of woman, perhaps the most remarkable(if not the most admirable), with qualities of the three aforementioned groups. Like Mama Corleone, they know and stick to their roles in the family(and shady community). Like Karen, they know full well what their husbands are up to. Like Kay, they’re pretty smart, unlike the bimbo-wives Karen encounters in GOODFELLAS. And they’re loyal to the max. Consider the wife of Russell Bufalino(Joe Pesci) in THE IRISHMAN. Her husband comes home one night with a bloody T-shirt. Without asking questions, she knows what she must do. A man would be fortunate to have such a wife. Or consider the spouse of Jesse James in THE LONG RIDERS, probably the most ideal wife put on the big screen. A woman who’s smart, performs her duties, knows what’s happening, and is completely reliable in moments of stress is a dynamite combination(though the Catherina Zeta Jones character takes it too far in the Steven Soderbergh’s remake of TRAFFIC). The Kay of the novel is more this kind of woman.

Jesse James’ wife-to-be in THE LONG RIDERS. The finest woman that ever was.

She leaves Michael for a while, before returning under the advice of Tom Hagen(who lets her in on what really happened). As Puzo explains, “She had left him because of that lie, not because of the deed.”
Kay of the film judges(even in her silence), whereas Kay of the novel wants to be trusted. And if Kay in THE GODFATHER PART II, despite having given Michael two children and being pregnant with a third child, remains resolutely ‘New England’ in her values and outlook, Kay of the novel is finally presented as going ‘ethnic’, lighting candles in a Catholic church as a convert. Spirituality in the novel is a matter of ritual than conscience. In converting to the religion of the immigrants and mobsters, she feels infused with new blood as a member of a community and tradition that feels more like home than the cold anemic woodshed of Protestantism does. It’s as if the ethnics immigrated to Anglo-America, but Anglo-America is beginning to soul-migrate to ethnicism that is richer in tradition and identity. (This certainly applies to post-WASP Anglo-Cucks as the denizens of Zion. These types, who flinch at the mere mention of “It’s Okay to be White”, will go to hell and back to serve and appease the almighty super-duper Jews as the awesome Master Race.) At the end of the novel, Kay’s prayers for Michael’s soul seem less about saving it from hellfire than about pleading with God to go easy on him. It’s as if God is the ultimate godfather.

All throughout the story(especially in the novel) are reminders of how the legitimate world is rife with corruption as well. Ironically, THE GODFATHER PART II makes a stronger case along those lines even as it faults Michael for his lack of legitimacy. But, how is one’s soul lost for having failed to achieve legitimacy when the ‘legitimate’ world is no less up to its gills in corruption?

From the outset, THE GODFATHER lays out how even the legal system is corrupt and rigged in favor of the rich and privileged, implying that those on the margins must find ‘other’ means for ‘justice’. Bonasera the funeral home owner/operator relates to Don Vito Corleone that he raised his daughter in the ‘American fashion’ and didn’t protest when she did ‘American’ things, like going out with non-Italian boys, likely of the Anglo-Northo variety. Most of all, he wanted acceptance by mainstream White America at a time when many white Americans weren’t fully convinced that Italians were fully white or worthy-to-be-considered-white(for understandable reasons). But, the boys treated her as easy ‘dark’ meat and beat her to a pulp when she resisted their advances. And, the American legal system gave the boys(with privileged and perhaps connected parents) ‘suspended sentences’ and left Bonasera feeling like a fool.

Thus, the beginning lesson of THE GODFATHER is as follows: America may be about the Rule of Law, but there are ways to get around it if you’re the right kind of people with the right connections. Bonasera, who thought he would be treated like any decent law-abiding American by a fair system, turned out to be a fool. He’s left feeling like the dog with a bone in its jaw staring into its reflection in the water. Chasing after an illusion, he lost both the connection to his own community(Italian-American with ties to the Mafia) and the acceptance by the larger society. Bonasera explains to the Don that he distanced himself from the Corleones because he didn’t want to ‘get in trouble’, but now he must plead with them for ‘justice’.

So, what is the Bonaseran Lesson? America may offer more freedom and opportunities, but never trust nor rely on its abstract promises because real power is animated by priorities other than generic notions of decency and fairness. More often than not, the sort of people who become judges do so on the basis of something other than merit and character. They can’t help being tools of certain identities and interests(and to a lesser degree, ideologies), especially those who put them where they are.
After Bonasera’s aggrieved account, no reader of the novel or viewer of the film is likely to begrudge the pitiable but enraged man’s request for ‘justice’(or be offended by his returning to the fold to see the vendetta through). When the supposedly legitimate order is full of hypocrisy and rigged in favor of some groups over others, it can still make you but cannot save you(in the spiritual sense). You seek entry for the kind of respect that comes with wealth and power but not for any real self-respect.

After Bonasera exits the scene, a baker begs a favor with Vito Corleone to use influence so that an Italian-P.O.W may remain in America to marry his daughter, and Corleone tells Tom Hagen to hand this request to a ‘Jew Senator’. In other words, politicians in the legitimate world are on-the-take and pull strings now and then in exchange for money. Hagen informs Don Corleone that many politicians and judges sent gifts but didn’t come to the wedding. They too are corrupt but must keep up appearances. In other words, the real difference between the underworld of the Corleones and the overworld of the ‘legitimate’ types is a matter of show than substance.

In a conversation between Vito Corleone and his son Michael(as the new don) in the film, the former says he had hopes of Michael becoming ‘governor Corleone’ or ‘senator Corleone’, but Michael says, “Just another pezzonovante”, or just another big-shot-son-of-a-bitch, which Vito doesn’t refute. So, it’s all about the art of appearances and the politics of respectability, not about genuine transformation from disreputable to reputable. The real problem(from the perspective of pragmatism) is that the mob world is too dangerous and too tainted in reputation in a hypocritical society that, even as it indulges in certain vices, is committed to maintaining the façade of shared virtue. In other words, there is no real soul to gain by entering the ‘legitimate’ world and no real soul to lose by joining or remaining in the underworld, implying that the sole reason for going ‘legitimate’ is having to worry less about being gunned down(or end up sleeping with the fishes) or rubbing shoulders with the wrong kind of people.

Granted, Puzo was talking about the world of power, privilege, wealth, and influence, not the ordinary world of the Average Joe, where one can truly be a decent and law-abiding fellow. But when it comes to power, even the so-called ‘legitimate’ world gains and maintains control by ways other than the law. It’s the rule by lawyers than by laws, always open to being twisted one way or another or overridden on grounds of whatever(like ‘national security’).
Indeed, the novel begins with the quote from Balzac, “Behind every great fortune there is a crime”, and Puzo meant everyone, not just gangsters.

Jewish-run Hollywood certainly understood the art of appearances. It did its darnedest, not least by coming to terms with Catholic organizations as moral watchdogs, producing respectable works(based on classic novels), and staging sham-prestigious award shows, to convey legitimacy. THE GODFATHER shows how Hollywood is filled with crooks and nasty/vicious people who either have mob ties or act like gangsters all on their own. The studio boss Woltz comes across as worse in the novel as his sexual excesses even involve young girls. But, the likes of him get away with such things because they throw money around and have the backing of powerful/connected people(as is also the case in HAIL, CAESAR by the Coen Brothers). Later, the Corleones seek to go legitimate by moving their operations to Las Vegas where gambling is legal, but, as with Hollywood, it’s a game of adding the sheen of respectability to something that mainly profits from one or more of the seven deadly sins.

As is clear from the opening of THE GODFATHER, you can’t trust the judges to do the right thing. What about the police? We learn that Captain McCluskey, an Irish-American, is on the take and more-or-less serving as a bodyguard for the dope-dealer Sollozzo the Turk. McCluskey is also in on the plot to finish off Vito Corleone, then recuperating in the hospital following the first attempt on his life. According to the novel, it’s not just the police captain(though he’s worse than most) but the entire department that is, in one way or another, on the take from the mobsters. And when Michael lays out his plan for taking out Sollozzo and the police captain, he reminds Tom Hagen that the Family has contacts in the media to reliably churn out stories exposing police corruption(in cahoots with the dope trade), thereby taking some heat off the Corleones. Apparently, the so-called ‘free press’ isn’t a shining beacon of truth either. It too has ‘agents’ and mouthpieces of powerful forces(like the CIA for example). It also turns out that the Corleones have their own contacts in the police department, one of whom tips off the family on the whereabouts of McCluskey, essential information for Michael’s assassination attempt. And in the novel, Sonny learns of Paulie’s treachery by phone records. “We have people in the telephone company and they tracked down all of Paulie’s phone calls in and out.”
One comes off with the impression that some organizations, institutions or industries, are corrupt beyond redemption while others are easily infiltrated by individuals with nefarious motives. Of course, the Jewish Power networks all across the deep state, legal institutions, law firms, media, banking, NGO’s, Big Tech, medical firms, entertainment, advertising, and vice industries(such as gambling, narcotics, and pornography), the military industrial complex, and even the academia goes to show that the US had gone backwards than forwards where tribal gangsterism and corruption are concerned.

The fact that the overworld allows the underworld to exist at all speaks volumes about the crisis of legitimacy in the US. When Vito Corleone is shot, the newspapers feature headlines about an underworld boss. If indeed the legitimate society and powers-that-be know about the malaise of organized crime, why is it allowed to fester? It means that the legitimate order either wants it to exist or hasn’t the power to be rid of it, neither of which says much for the Rule of Law.

Some may argue that it was the Rule of Law, which insisted on innocence before being proven guilty and the protection of basic rights of privacy, that allowed mobsters to operate in the shadows(and even out in the light), and there’s some truth to that. Bad actors simply took advantage of well-meaning laws, and one could say it was to the credit of the American System that it didn’t forgo its legal principles to combat crime. After all, Benito Mussolini was quite effective in suppressing the mafia but used the same authority to trample on civil liberties(though to nothing like the extent of Stalin’s Soviet Union, perceived favorably by many supposed ‘liberals’ of the period).

But, such rationalizations only address half the issue as the Power in the US exerted considerable, even overwhelming, pressure to quash certain factions and movements. Just ask the German-Americans during World War I period and the Japanese-Americans in the World War II period. Consider how the Southern Segregationists were crushed, paving the triumph of BAMMAMA(Blacks Are More Muscular And More Aggressive) in the South. More recently, consider how the Power trampled all over free speech & free assembly rights when the Alt Right gathered in Charlottesville. And look how Jews in Big Tech, the Deep State, and the courts colluded to effectively silence free speech on the internet platforms. They even took down Parlor, falsely accused of having been the primary site where the 1/6 ‘insurrectionists’ organized a ‘coup attempt’. Even the president of the US was banned from Twitter. In other words, when the Power really wanted something, principles hardly stood in the way.

Maybe it’s worse now, maybe not, but surely the mafia had a nice long run because it was useful to a lot of powerful people and had considerable support from its ethnic community. It finally met the double whammy of self-destruction and being targeted by bigger forces, but the effective demise of the classic mafia hardly spelled the end of the culture of criminality in American society. If anything, things are worse than ever because all the characteristics associated with organized crime are now so brazenly(and even shamelessly) visible in the ‘legitimate’ world, the so-called ‘rules-based liberal democratic order’, and furthermore, hardly perturbing to its affluent and ‘well-educated’ support base. BLM and Antifa are the Luca Brasi of the Jews. Covid hysteria was a giant scam to rig the 2020 election and rake in tons of cash for the Big Pharma oligarchs. The so-called ‘liberal media’ are for censorship(or censchwarzship) and shill for agendas that would criminalize ‘hate speech’(as defined by Jewish supremacists who now say Anti-Zionism is ‘genocide’ even though it’s the Israelis who are mass-slaughtering women, children, and cats in Gaza).
And the FBI and CIA do little but the bidding of the Jewish supremacists. Sure, there are decent analysts and agents in both departments, but the top dogs are chosen on the basis of political affiliation by whore politicians whose strings are pulled by ZioNazi Globalists. Who needs organized crime when its ways have been so thoroughly internalized by the so-called rules-based order, the face of which is the likes of Adam Schiff. And where does the GOP get the bulk of its donations from? Casino moguls like the late Sheldon Adelson who made his money in an industry that, for the longest time, was rightfully disreputable and associated with organized crime.

The view through a microscope is different from the view through a telescope. When we take in the whole picture, the Anglo-Northo world was cleaner, more conscientious, and less corrupt than the Southern-Italian kind, but upon closer inspection, lots of germs could be found even on seemingly clean surfaces.
Granted, notwithstanding Senator Geary’s hypocrisy, the Anglo-Northo Protestant types weren’t entirely wrong in identifying the arrival of the ethnics(and before them the Irish Catholics and Scot-Irish moonshiners) for the sharp increase in the culture of criminality in the US. Indeed, one wonders how the US might have been if immigration had been limited to Anglo-Northo-Protestant types. It might have been more like Canada that, prior to its wholesale plunge into Diversity Mania, was a very nice, safe, and stable country mostly dominated by Anglo-Northos. Likewise, the political and social culture of Great Britain has been considerably degraded with the rise of Jewish Power and Diversity. British white Christian elites are now, at best, third-rate compradors, grifters, and/or servants to the criminal cabal of Jewish Supremacists, the neo-caste of Hindu oligarchs & land-grabbers, and the black agents of Negrolatry(that intends to sexually conquer and transform Anglo-Saxons into Junglo-Saxons).

THE GODFATHER films are rather confused on the matter of corruption. For Puzo the novelist, there wasn’t much to mull about. Human nature is corrupt(with prostitution being the oldest profession), and the strong rule over the weak. Crime is just part of doing ‘business’. That said, certain People of Power are preferable to others for having some sense of honor and limits(like when Vito Corleone draws the line on drugs). Better Corleone than Fanucci(or Sollozzo).

The saving grace of the Corleones is they’d rather not deal in prostitution and certainly not in dope. They consider gambling a forgivable and manageable vice, something that many people want but is “forbidden by the ‘pezzanovantes’ of the church” and the like. But drugs, that’s a dirty business with terrible consequences, by which the very fabric of society is frayed. Corleones seek to profit off human weakness than human wreckage(which narcotics may well bring).

Coppola, on the other hand, being more in tune with the Zeitgeist(and an extrovert to boot), was given to enunciating fashionable statements about ‘capitalism’. Unsurprisingly, THE GODFATHER PART II, along with THE CONVERSATION, tapped into the dark mood of Watergate. Part 2 could be seen as an indictment of capitalism, not least because some of it is set in Cuba where business is represented by decadence, corruption, gangsterism, oligarchs, and the role of US corporations(who come bearing ‘gifts’). The scene introducing the captains of industry in Havana is similar to the one in the first film where the heads of the families come together to make peace. Coppola was likely consciously drawing a parallel, i.e. all big capitalists are gangsters. (He may have been inspired in part by the Soviet film I AM CUBA.)
Michael’s assessment of the Cuban situation is cold-eyed and realistic — the rebels may win — but betrays a certain yearning for his lost idealism. The rebels may be ‘crazy’ but are also idealistic, willing to lay down their lives for what they believe. Ironically, Michael did something similar in becoming a gangster, i.e. he put his life on the line to protect and avenge his father, a most honorable duty for a son. Michael may also feel a bit of envy as the Cuban rebels know the only way to legitimize their country is via full rejection of US-dominated capitalism. In contrast, Michael seeks to be a part of what his kind actively subverts. Radicals and gangsters, be they Che Guevara or Tony Montana, share an antagonistic stance against the establishment, but whereas gangsters only think of themselves, radicals have the larger community in mind. Gangsters want to squeeze the system, whereas the radicals want to replace it altogether. One wonders if Coppola, being of Latin background, felt a degree of sympathy with fellow Latin folks in Cuba in resistance against the Anglo-Northos(and the Jews).

The conzo-columnist George Will took Coppola’s remark at face value, albeit in dismissal, in his consideration of GOODFELLAS as a welcome corrective. According to Will, Scorsese’s film is more honest in depicting criminality as a product of culture than economics(aka capitalist greed). But even cursory examinations of the two films suggest the opposite, though Coppola himself was largely to blame for the misperception. For all the capitalist-related malfeasance we see in THE GODFATHER films, one simply cannot overlook the origins of the (culture of)criminality in Sicily itself, the least economically developed part of Italy, or least touched by modern capitalism. The place strikes us as semi-feudal in the two films.
After the slaying of Sollozzo the ‘Turk’ and Captain McClusky, Michael makes a kind of aliyah to the Sicilian town where his father was born — ironically, Michael seeks refuge in the very place from which his father fled in fear of his life. It’s evident that the area is run by the mafia of one stripe or another, the endless cycles of blood-letting and vendettas accounting for the scarcity of men.
Given such a backdrop, far from being a saga of well-behaved Italians immigrating from a depressed but idyllic community to a capitalist cutthroat America rife with criminality, it’s the story of immigrants who brought their own culture of criminality(like lice and rats) to the new land.


Furthermore, Vito Corleone turns to crime not because it’s the American-thing-to-do but because the Sicilian-American community has all the features of the Old Country where parasitic dons have routinely threatened and leeched off others for as long as anyone could remember.
Of course, there was always crime and violence in American History, but what we sense among the Italian-Americans in THE GODFATHER is a palpable sense of fear, anxiety, resignation, and deference to amoral power, contra the will for reform, improvement, and progress, the hallmarks of the Anglo-Northo-Protestant culture that spearheaded many of the positive advancements in American History. Prominent in the Anglo-Protestant Western narrative was the tough, courageous, and upstanding lawman figure to face off against the outlaws; or, a man of principles standing up to the system despite all the slings and arrows, e.g. Henrik Ibsen’s AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE. Was it because Anglo-Northo types in Europe and America were made of tougher stuff morally, mentally, and spiritually? Was it the influence of Protestantism with more emphasis on individual conscience than reliance on institutional instructions? Was it primarily cultural, i.e. the more homogeneous and stable North was more trusting than the more diverse South? Was it ethno-racial, with Southern blood being more temperamental due to mixture with Arabs and Africans, therefore less stable for a Trust Society?
Or was it because the villains in the North weren’t as extreme as those in the South? After all, even evil comes in gradations, and good people are more likely to stand up to moderate evil than to total evil. Hindus got a lot of mileage from marching against Anglo Imperialism, but who would have thought to march against Stalin’s totalitarianism? Did even the bad guys in the North have a modicum of restraint whereas those in the South had no qualms about going to any length to get what they wanted? Goodness usually gains in courage in the face of moderate evil but wilts in cowardice at the feet of total evil. It may explain why Anglos have become such hapless cucks to the Jews, whose evil is absolute in its shameless ruthlessness, i.e. there is no limit to what they’re willing to do to get what they want. Whatever conscience Jews may feel toward one another, it simply doesn’t apply to goyim. It’s possible that the Anglo-Northos, long accustomed to dealing with moderate evil, was ill-prepared to handle this kind of radical evil of the Jews. Like the extinct North American fauna prior to the arrival of hunters-and-gatherers with spears and stones, Anglo-Northo men found their balls shriveled to the size of peanuts in their frightened cluelessness against the weasel-like behavior.

In the ethno-gangster narrative, the lawmen types are either absent, useless(cowardly/corrupted), or unconvincing; and, as often as not, the gangster is brought down by other gangsters than by the law.
Furthermore, a key distinction exists between corruption as a means to an end and corruption as the end itself. It’s the difference between the Al Pacino character and the Robin William character in INSOMNIA(directed by Christopher Nolan). Pacino as the cop committed an unethical(even criminal) act — tampering with evidence — , but he did it to put away a child-rapist-murderer, whereas the psycho(Robin Williams) lies and cheats to get away with murder. One can do the wrong thing for the right outcome, but it’s still different from willfully doing the wrong thing. An enterprise involving some degree of corruption(or cutting corners) could be essential just the same. A farmer who cheats on taxes still produces food for the community(and may use the money for the good of his family), or a crooked head of an engineering firm still manages the production of essential machinery.

In contrast, gangsterism in its essence is pure-and-simple parasitism. (Gangsters may invest or involve themselves in legitimate enterprises, usually on the side, but their bread-and-butter is a venal commitment to corruption/criminality.) It’s not just about twisting the rules here and there to squeeze a few more golden eggs from the goose but the robbery of the goose itself.
The Prohibition Era was especially devastating because it handed on a silver platter to the criminals the production and sale of something that most people wanted(and had a long pedigree of normality and respectability), and the wealth accumulated by organized crime in this period funded its expansion into other endeavors.

Criminalizing the legitimate is as dangerous as legitimizing the criminal, and in a way, they are two sides of the same coin. The former makes the criminal class rich and halfway respectable — Al Capone couldn’t have been a popular as well as notorious celebrity if he’d trucked in heroin than in alcohol — , whereas the latter degrades the norms of society by tolerating, even promoting, what should clearly be banned(or at least banned to young ones, like the pervasive pornification of society, now reaching down to kindergarten levels via globo-homo-tranny-pedo-propaganda). The Corleones don’t seem so bad as their criminal profits are from gambling, the much-romanticized royalty among criminal activities, and as they also have a legitimate enterprise, the olive oil business, in which they’re fully invested.

The argument of capitalism-as-the-driver-of-organized-crime is most convincing if capitalism is regarded as an enabler than as the source of the criminality. Capitalism, though often abused and distorted, is nevertheless about fair competition in accordance with the rule of law, property rights, and contracts. It’s also about individuality and merit. Capitalism often fails to live up to those standards but wouldn’t be possible without them. In contrast, organized crime is committed to anything-is-possible and almost-nothing-is-unthinkable as long as ‘we get ours’.
The reason why Anglo-Northo-Protestant Capitalism and ethno-tribal culture of criminality in America was such a toxic combination, like drinking and driving, was because certain immigrant groups took every advantage of American freedom while disregarding the sense of duty and obligation inherent in the American Way. Americanism, in the best sense, is freedom for those deserving of it and observant of its principles. The Protestant Work Ethic well-served the US, UK, and Germanic nations as a moral and even spiritual reminder/restraint on the more vain, indulgent, self-centered, and hedonistic tendencies of capitalism. It had a somewhat dampening effect on temptations unleashed by enterprises yielding unprecedented profits. Such a mindset was bound to be less tolerant of corruption and more mindful of reform.

Capitalism couldn’t have progressed far with excessive corruption, as has been proven by the history of Latin America and the Russia of the 1990s when gangster-capitalism was the order of the day. The Catholic European South, which had grown more resigned to, tolerant of, and dependent on corruption, unsurprisingly lagged behind in capitalist development and innovation because individuality, meritocracy, property rights, and the rule of law were so often disrupted by threats, violence, and extortion. Whatever one achieved could easily be snatched away. In THE GODFATHER PART II, Don Fanucci makes a store-owner fire the young Vito Corleone(Robert DeNiro) and hire his nephew.

If the Anglo-Northo types didn’t always extend the same considerations to the peoples of other races, ethnicities, and nationalities, they at least upheld their bargain among their own kind, more so than the other groups did among themselves. (It’s telling that Australia, a country founded on the labor of convicts, became a more law-abiding place than most non-Anglo parts of the world.)
In contrast, by what’s shown in THE GODFATHER films, Sicilians often treated other Sicilians like shit. We learn in Part 2 that Vito’s father and brother were killed by a heartless mafia boss who then set his sights on boy Vito as well. His mother pleaded for his life but to no avail and was gunned down. The mafia don’s goons openly call on the town to give up the boy so they could murder him, and the community does nothing but hunker down in fear. Later, Vito as a young man in America observes how Fanucci, the don of Little Italy, extorts money from other Sicilian-Americans and throws his weight around(and worse, the people cower before him).

Perhaps, if Sicilian-Americans had been dispersed throughout Anglo-Northo communities in the US, they might have changed their attitudes via assimilation. But having settled in their own enclaves, much of the Old Way remained. Worse, it took full advantage of the freedoms & opportunities(made possible by capitalism) and of the rights & protections enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. So, capitalism and constitutionalism, which might have suppressed Old World habits(in thin amounts), came to reward and embolden them. It’s like how some radical Muslims have grown even nuttier in the West where the freedom and legal protections could be exploited to fuel further extremism. And for sure, Jewish nuttery reached its apex of psychosis in the United States where the Tribe, while taking full advantage of meritocracy and the rule of law to safeguard their own rights and properties, paid no heed to their civic duties and obligations as Good Americans. It’s rather revealing that the worst Jewish excesses in America often emerged from the slower-to-assimilate or more-difficult-to-assimilate Jews from Eastern Europe and Russia. Like the Italian-Americans, those Jews learned to take full advantage of Americanism without fully committing to its principles.
Or, in other cases, as if to compensate for their intractably tribal tendencies, some sought to overcompensate by leap-frogging over Anglo-American reformism to radical revolution(especially of the Bolshevik kind). Over time, especially with the decline and demise of communism, the two tendencies merged with the rise of Neoconservatism, or Ex-Trotskyites gone Ultra-Zionist, setting the template that came to be adopted by Neolib Jews as well.

Anyway, contrary to the remarks of conzo George Will, it is GOODFELLAS than THE GODFATHER that implicates the role of capitalism in organized crime. Unlike the hoods in THE GODFATHER whose criminality can be sourced back to sun-drenched but blood-soaked Sicily, the crooks in GOODFELLAS are more American than Italian, of the generation following the men and women of THE GODFATHER films.
In a way, it’s more depressing as the ‘fellas’, not least due to Sixties influence, seem rather rootless. (To be sure, Henry and Jimmy are half-Irish. Still, Italian-American culture has pretty much gone to pot all around over the years. Camille Paglia called it garbage, though I’m not sure she’s one to judge, given her promotion of the skank idol madonna and the general pornification of culture.)
If earlier generations of gangsters were at least closer to tradition & community and if well-assimilated law-abiding Italian-Americans adopted a sense of civic duty(along with the freedom), the thieves and killers in GOODFELLAS seem both detached from community and uncommitted to American principles, a kind of double whammy on culture and morality. No wonder then that the mafia soon met its end as it emboldened more divas(as opposed to team-players) who were all about ‘me’. Teflon Don was soon gone.

geroge will web

Depressingly enough, the ‘capitalism’ in GOODFELLAS is metaphorically useful to the kind of economics that took off in the 1980s, often spearheaded by Jews, one of shameless profiteering with zero sense of limits and conscience, as conveyed in Oliver Stone’s WALL STREET and more accurately in Martin Scorsese’s THE WOLF OF WALL STREET. (According to Oliver Stone’s Manichean-ism, it boils down to honest and decent Labor versus crooked and parasitic finance in WALL STREET, but Martin Scorsese’s THE IRISHMAN shows how Labor itself was no stranger to corruption.) And globalism made it all the worse by making economics faster and looser all over the world(or Ross Perot was right in 1992).

Even more depressing still, if socialism and moral movements of yesteryear drew attention to the self-indulgence, greed, vanity, and decadence of the elites, their supposed counterparts today champion as the highest good the celebration of sodomy, tranny-men-as-’women’, promotion of pornography-as-pedagogy for children(or pedo-gogy), and idolization of Negroes, the wildest and most destructive race, all of which are encouraged and funded by super-rich Jewish gangster-globalists whose priority is always to distract public attention from the most pressing issues of our day: (1) Jewish supremacist-tribalism rules the West and (2) the US is a decrepit oligarchy than any kind of democracy.
If the people themselves are morally corrupt, they have no firm foundation on which to stand up against tyranny and corruption. Worse, if the (self)righteous types are ‘morally’ outraged in defense of immoral ideas and ‘values’, the world has gone crazy-demonic; imagine demons as trans-angels.
So-called ‘wokeness’ is full of sound and fury, but it’s a tool of Jewish gangster-supremacism, its themes and narratives cynically calibrated to defame and demean whitey, all the better for Jews to take advantage of the browbeaten and humiliated whites. Neolib Jews exploit ‘white guilt’ to make whites atone via the Jewish proxies of Negrolatry and Globo-Homo, while Neocon Jews whisper into white conservative ears that ‘wokeness’ is pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionist, and that’s why ‘conservatives’ must support right-wing Israel even more.

It’s no surprise that George Will wrote something so stupid. It should be obvious to anyone with even two brain cells that THE GODFATHER films, despite Coppola’s critique of capitalism, illustrate how organized crime in America has a deep cultural pedigree in the Old World. As such, they’re largely about capitalism succumbing to the culture of criminality, the kind that the ethnics(especially Italians and Jews) brought over with them. In contrast, GOODFELLAS shows the ugly side of capitalism devoid of all rules and limits, something the Reaganites like George Will egged on in the nineteen-eighties, even if unwittingly.

Goodfellas Silhouette Poster Wallpaper

But then, George Will was often prone to willful misinterpretation. Most laughably, he praised MENACE II SOCIETY for setting the record straight on crime. Apparently, when some older black character advises the gangstas to stop killing each other because ‘The Man’ is after them, Will interpreted ‘man’ as black-guys-with-guns, ROTFL. Anyone who knows anything about black ideology and worldview understands that the older black guy was saying, “THE WHITE MAN is after us and wants us dead, and that’s why we need to stick together and stop this niggers-killing-niggers business.” George Will also lauded SHOAH(the 9 ½ hour snooze-fest by Claude Lanzmann) as the greatest use of film ever. Now, such fulsome praise could be credited to Will’s aesthetic appreciation or moral contemplation(on a grave historical matter), but I seriously doubt it. Most likely, it was just your typical sucking up to ascending Jewish Power by signaling that the American Right has been thoroughly cleansed of ‘antisemitism’ and totally committed to serving the Jews as the new master. By characterizing the American Right as totally philosemitic and thereby more pro-Zionist than the Democrats, ya think maybe the Jews should throw more money at the Republicans?
Indeed, most of this American Right’s ‘sympathy’ for Jews has almost everything to do with awe and fear of Jewish wealth, talent, and power and almost zilch with moral consideration. If Jews had an average IQ of 80 and had little wealth/influence, no ‘conservative’ would care if the Nazis killed 6 million Jews. Notice how these rightist types, who claim to have cleansed their movements of the evil of racial supremacism(of which ‘antisemitism’ was a part), are now fully onboard with the Jewish-Zionist-supremacist destruction of Palestine(and warmongering all over the Middle East).
They never ponder as to why ‘antisemitism’ came to be deemed a great evil, i.e. it was supposedly the animating factor behind Hitler’s wars and genocidal campaigns. In other words, ‘antisemitism’ = path to death and destruction. But, if ‘philosemitism’ also leads to death and destruction(as has been amply demonstrated in the 21st century in which Jews rule the US as the lone superpower), isn’t it also an evil? If antisemitism is racial supremacism against Jews, philosemitism is racial supremacism for Jews.

The real lesson to remember from World War II is that a people with great power and infected with a radical supremacist ideology can do evil things. Only an idiot would draw the conclusion, “Germans are forever guilty while Jews are forever innocent”, which would be more an idolatry of a group than an idea of justice. The real lesson of World War II is that any people, with too much power and insane ideology, can be like the Nazi Germans, and that any people, in the wrong place at the wrong time, could be like the Holocaust Jews. Fast forward to today, and it’s clear the Jews(in supremacist mode) are now the New Nazis while the Palestinians(and other victims of Zion) are the ‘new Jews’.

But the likes of George Will(and Jordan Peterson) feel zero sympathy for the Palestinians while harping endlessly about the nobility of Jews, as if historical morality is simply a matter of pulling out the Holocaust Card. This is either idiocy or, worse, craven opportunism seeking favors/approval from the strong horse by veiling it in a perversion of moralism. It justifies the Jewish destruction of Palestinians by invoking the German destruction of Jews.
Apparently, the memory of the Holocaust makes Jews the forever-victims even when they act like Nazis, not only in their wholesale slaughter of the Palestinians but of Jewish hostages as well. With conservatives like George Will(and he’s far from the worst), it’s easy to understand the abject degradation of American culture and society. Sucking up to Jews for their power and wealth but pretending to sympathize with their victim status even as Zionism looks upon and treats Palestinians as the Nazis did the Jews(who, by the way, were treated better by Germans up to the outbreak of World War II than the Palestinians and other Arabs/Muslims have been by the Zionists and Neocon imperialists).

If THE GODFATHER only mentioned the judges and politicians without showing them, THE GODFATHER PART II features a major political figure, Senator Geary of Nevada. And later, Michael Corleone is seated among the American industrialists in Cuba, a gangland colony run by the CIA and the mafia, Jewish and Italian. Much more than in the first film, there’s an undeniable indication that the legitimate world is neck-deep in corruption as well. The industrialists and politicians may not ‘push the button on a guy’ but are hardly adverse to doing business with those who do. (Besides, the government has various ways of assassinating people and toppling adversaries by ‘legal’ means. Long ago, the FBI and CIA sometimes recruited the mafia to do extralegal things for them. Today, the FBI and CIA do those things on their own, almost out in the open, and the educated classes look the other way as if it’s the necessary evil of ‘defending democracy’.)
Later, however, when Michael is under investigation and brought before a Congressional committee, justice still seems alive in America. But then, Fredo informs Michael that the Senate lawyer is owned by Hyman Roth. So, even the apparent attempt at justice is yet another gangster tactic. With such tentacles of corruption reaching into the corridors of just about any institution and industry, it’s difficult to sustain the tragic notion of Michael’s failure to become ‘legitimate’. If everything is corrupt, there is no soul to lose or gain. Underworld or overworld, it’s the same difference. Then, Coppola’s tragic sense seems unconvincing upon closer ‘political’ inspection(though it works at the dramatic level).

Something similar dogs Oliver Stone’s NIXON in its grasp for tragic gravitas, especially as it begins with the quote: “What does it profiteth a man to gain the world but lose his soul?” The problem is, by the evidence in the film, the story is hardly about Nixon’s loss of soul by gaining the world. If anything, the arc of Nixon’s political career seems tragicomic as he came so close to achieving his stated goals but was undone by a ‘third-rate burglary’. The film hints at Nixon’s innocence and idealism in his younger days but leaves no doubt that he took to politics like a pro. So, like most politicians, he hardly had a soul to lose. He lied and cheated like the rest of them.

Some say THE GODFATHER is about the Banality of Evil, and others might say it’s more about the Nobility of Evil(Puzo) or the Tragedy of Evil(Coppola). The concept of the Banality of Evil takes evil seriously, just that it acknowledges that evildoers are often people like you and me who follow orders and/or rationalize what they do as necessary or preferable against the Enemy. Surely, plenty of National Socialists, though troubled in conscience, thought that the Enemy was worse. And Stalinists and British/American Imperialists thought or rationalized similarly. A sense that our evil, though regrettable, was necessary against the greater evil.
While such attitudes are common today — “we globalists and ‘progressives’ are compromised but remember the Russians, Chinese, Iranians, ‘homophobes’, ‘racists’, and ‘white supremacists’ are far worse, and that justifies the badness on our side” — , no less troubling is the sense of ease with gangsterism as a mode of life. Thus, the issue isn’t so much one of ‘necessary evil’ or ‘banal evil’ but the normality of evil, to the point where evil isn’t evil anymore but just how things are. It isn’t just about the black community where gangsta rap has normalized the thug lifestyle but about the white community weaned on stuff like THE SOPRANOS and BREAKING BAD. While plenty of TV critics and social commentators have pontificated on the moral meaning and significance of such works(even calling them ‘art’), what is the socio-cultural and emotional impact of watching a bunch of hoodlums week after week year after year? Inured to such depictions of life, could it be Americans in general have become more jaded about political and business corruption? Hey, the crooks in DC and Wall Street are just like the fellas in THE SOPRANOS and BREAKING BAD. Cool. You see, they are all just in the game as ‘playas’. Take Victoria Nuland. She’s a thug through and through, and her foreign policy was based on ethno-gangster-tribalism, rendering her official takes on events ridiculous and useless(to any sound person). But her ilk rose so high and ravaged the world, and the system(and most people) just treated it as business-as-usual.

 
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  1. Oooooh.

    It’s like in the moooovies *soyjack*, *open mouth*, *excited spasms*

    Why does the author talk about this so often? Didn’t he already mention the godfather?

    • Replies: @KnutHamsun
  2. Next time make it a little longer.

  3. The US Military, of course, does not protect the American people. If it did, then it would be prejudiced in favor of Americans over non-Americans. And, that would not be good. Nor, for that matter, does it act as a Policeman of the world. Rather, the US Military is actually there to protect Saudi Arabia and The State of Israel!

    • Agree: anonymouseperson
  4. JPS says:

    Puzo’s novel very explicitly addresses the issue of Michael’s soul, by having Kay Adams convert to Catholicism so that she could pray for his soul.

    Godfather II is just very clumsy, because the first film completed the natural arc of the story-line.

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  5. whites succumbed to the foolhardy notion that ‘racism’ and ‘antisemitism’ are the two greatest evils of all time

    “Foolhardy”, you say? I would say not! And I’ll try to prove it to you by the end of this comment.

    First, what is “evil”? Answer: it is whatever the Jew wants you to believe it is. The Jews decided that the definition of absolute evil is “antisemitism”, and they implanted that idea into the normies’ hivemind through the media. The whole white population grew up watching countless Nazis-are-evil movies, Hogan’s Heroes, and, more subtly, “The Six Million Dollar Man” — the Jews will make that number seep into your subconscious one way or another. Hollywood and the media in general are the most effective mind control weapon the Jews ever invented: as Unz repeats in almost every article, “the media creates our reality”, by which he means “the Jews create our reality”.

    But why did they choose antisemitism as the greatest evil to implant in the normie head? The most obvious answer is because “it’s good for the Jews”. Supposedly, the Jews want to prevent another “Holocaust” — which is nothing but another media creation which wraps itself like an Alien facehugger around the collective consciousness of humanity. But perhaps it goes even deeper than that. To penetrate the inner workings of the Talmudic Mind (TM) we must listen to what the Jews themselves proclaim. And here is what they say, as quoted in The Land of Promise: A Critique of Political Zionism

    This religio-national pantheism made it possible for Vladimir Jabotinsky (1880-1940), the Russian Zionist leader, to speak of himself as “one of the masons building a new temple for my God — whose name is Jewish people.” It is also equally legitimate for Reform Rabbi Eugene B. Borowitz to claim that what was on trial in the Arab-Israeli war on June 5, 1967, was “in very earnest God Himself,” and therefore any question concerning the outcome of the war “was not military … it was theological.” Given this transvalued divinity and sanctity, it became perfectly natural for General Moshe Dayan to refer to the eretz as his only God.

    Now, are you starting to get the picture, goy? To a Jew, the Jewish people are God Himself. And you thought, goy, that Napoleon was rather arrogant for placing the imperial crown upon his own head. The Jews take arrogance and chutzpah to a whole other dimension — the metaphysical realm. But what are the concrete implications of such a view? Well, to the Jews, every single Jewish life constitutes an integral part of Divine Being Itself. That is why a Jewish fingernail is worth more than the lives of millions of goys: because it is The Fingernail of God.

    So now do you understand what you are doing when you dare insult a Jew, goy? To insult a Jew is to insult God Himself! Sacrilege! Heresy! When you commit antisemitism, goy, the Jew is actually going quite easy on you by merely cancelling you, by merely destroying your reputation and your livelihood and by merely bankrupting you and throwing you in jail; if Justice were to be met, goy, you should be burned at the stake as a heretic for offending God Himself. You should thank God — the Jews — you miserable goy, for Their sublime mercy, ‘cos you’re getting off the hook rather easy while committing the evillest grossest crime of all — antisemitism.

    And if the Jewish people are The Almighty Deity Himself, goy, can you get it through your thick head that what the Nazis did by perpetrating the Holocaust of the Six Million was “uniquely” evil, “transcendentally” evil, indescribably other-worldly evil? In other words, can there be poetry after Auschwitz, goy? No! Never again, goy! You will shut up and mind-swallow the latest Holocaust blockbuster the Jews have kindly prepared for you, goy. And you will weep for the Six Million yet again.

    Now with your flimsy intellect, goy, attempt to come to the full realization, to fully fathom the reality of What Really Happened: that the Holocaust perpetrated by the evil cruel ruthless fanatical Nazi scum, and by extension the totality of the German people, and by extension the totality of white people, and by extention the rest of the fucking world of goys, goy — was an attempt to wipe out the Jewish People off the face of the earth and thus ALL of the above are ultimately responsible for committing the Ultimate Ultimate Evillest Crime: attempted DEICIDE, trying to murder God Himself.

    I think you get the picture by now, goy, because as a white goy you have indeed introjected the most fundamental commandment: Thou shall not commit antisemitism. You have learned the commandment well, goy, though admittedly it did take some movie mind control magic from a young age to train you in the way you should go. But even now that you are old, goy, you have not departed from this correct learning — that antisemitism is the greatest evil — not because you have “succumbed”, nor because you are “foolhardy”, as the author of the article above claims, but rather quite the opposite, dear goy: you believe this righteous belief because you are becoming wise. Yes — becoming wise, goy! Good goy! For it is written: “The fear of The Jews is the beginning of all wisdom”.

    • Thanks: Odd Rabbit
  6. Florestan says:

    It’s always a pleasure to read your thoughts about The Godfather movies.

    I’d be very curious about what you would make of Beau is Afraid, the horror comedy by Ari Aster. It seems to be a not-so-hidden allegory of the Sackler family. Aster is on the side of darkness – he has a fetish for decapitated bodies, but this film is surprisingly candid about Jewish power in the current age and the Jewish neurosis about Jewish power.

  7. One day, there will be no more White Gentiles. Then, the Jews will say that they had had their revenge for The Holocaust!

  8. @JPS

    Puzo’s novel very explicitly addresses the issue of Michael’s soul, by having Kay Adams convert to Catholicism so that she could pray for his soul.

    In essence, it means she has come to accept his world as it is, for what it is.

    The movie Kay remains very much of the American Protestant mindset. She cannot tolerate criminality in this world. She cannot accept what Michael has done.

    The novel Kay takes on a Catholic approach. Fallenness and corruption are part of the world. The thing isn’t to change the world but pray and beg forgiveness, perhaps salvation in the next one.
    As for this world? It is what it is, and ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

  9. @Cloud Posternuke

    Only an American could write “theory” with TalmudVision projections as the “source.” What a damning realization of just how empty, illiterate, nihilistic and barbaric “American culture” is.

    • Agree: Cloud Posternuke
  10. anonymous[192] • Disclaimer says:

    You will like watching the latest Tucker Carlson episode. He gets it now. He understands the central focus of the Hollywood led ruling class is their hatred of Christians.

  11. Carney says:

    Had THE GODFATHER been a truthful novel about organized crime, the characters and their activities would have come across as shabbier and cruder

    My father was a police officer for a few years. He loathed The Godfather precisely because it put a sophisticated, romanticized, glamorizing veneer (even the tragic aspects are seductive) on what he knew to be a squalid gang of shallow, brutal thugs. He was particularly infuriated by the ethnic empowerment / victimization narrative and rationalization the Mafia used, because he knew that their primary victims were their own community. The Mob provided no actual service and in no way represented a way up for hardscrabble minorities denied any other path — it reduced opportunity and was a huge burden, and actual hard-working Italians could and did work their way up without it, and would have done better without it. Instead, the roadside fruit-seller, the mom-and-pop corner store, the dry cleaner on his aching feet late into the night rubbing his fingerprints off with harsh chemicals who should have been able to hold their heads up and live in freedom — were all having to bow and scrape to vicious bullies, all living in the shadow of fear and worry under constant menace, all having their extremely hard-earned, scarce, and badly-needed money wrested away by grinning useless bullies with all the noble honor and sophistication of a public toilet.

  12. chuck lowe says: • Website

    Brilliant.

    Enjoyed the article.

    The bootless cries to heaven from white boys, who, like me, are filled with hate, are just a little, little more justified.

    I’m takin the fuckin gun and the fuckin Cannoli.

  13. Loved this. I hope to see more of this type of film criticism Jund.

  14. Che Guava says:

    Only older people watch The Godfather in Japan, I think I read the first Puzo novel once, saw I and II once each. The oldies like the theme tune in particular, all very corny.

    In the end, it is misdirection, as with all Jewish movies for U.S. consumption, it is a diversion from the reality of the Jewish protection rackets.

    As Priss or JF would know, The Garment Jungle is pretty good, David Lynch copied the style of the opening credits in one film, and Robert Loggia, the Jewish-runner of that sweatshop in N.Y. came back as Frank in the second Scarface, the senator in Wild Palms, Mr. Eddie in the Lost Highway.

    I would disagree that the original Scarface was a bad film.

    Really, I read part of the first Puzo volume, but it was too boring. As with the films, except for casting James Caan (Cohen),

    Feature films, if they still exist, are not documentaries, but the great old-school U.S. organised crime movies by Scorcese, Casino and Goodfellas in particular, beat any Godfather crap.

    Casino makes a very light reference to the founding of Los Vegas of now by Meyer Lansky and Murder Inc.

    Still, it is a great film, and sure much better and even a little more educational to watch than any episode of The Godfather.

    Same for Goodfellas, seeing it first as a child, didn’t see the obvious role of Hill’s Jewish wife, only other character to be clearly depicted as Jewish is Lorry (I don’t know the correct spelling), the television wig man.

    I would expect that you have read Gangs of New York, a major Scorcese failure, but if he’d taken it up to the Kosher Nostra ascendance, it may have been interesting.

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  15. I must confess to some unfairness in my comments about Jung-Freud. I have accused her of superhuman productivity. That might not be the actual case, since not everything she’s been publishing recently was recently produced. Take, for example, her piece on Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence:
    https://www.unz.com/jfreud/merry-christmas-mr-lawrence-directed-by-nagisa-oshima/
    Save for possible minor differences which I haven’t checked for, that piece is the same as the following one, published in 2010:
    https://ostrovletania.blogspot.com/2010/10/neo-fascist-review-of-merry-christmas.html

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  16. Thrallman says:

    Jung-Freud is a graphomaniac. Put this in perspective:

    The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway, 26,601
    Puzo vs Coppola, Jung-Freud, 28,300
    A Christmas Carol. Charles Dickens, 28,944
    Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck, 29,160
    Animal Farm, George Orwell, 29,966

    https://blog.bestamericanpoetry.com/the_best_american_poetry/2016/03/word-counts-in-novels-by-lawrence-j-epstein.html

    Figure 1 word per syllable, 1 syllable per beat, 120 beats per minute @ 60 minutes for a one-hour reading = 7,200 words.

  17. @Brás Cubas

    What a prophetic piece. Written in 2010 but mentions Russian-Ukraine War. What foresight!

    • Replies: @Brás Cubas
  18. @Che Guava

    I would disagree that the original Scarface was a bad film.

    It’s terrific. The DePalma remake is great too.

    Only older people watch The Godfather in Japan,

    Yakuza movies still popular?

    Name the ten greatest Yakuza movies.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  19. @Priss Factor

    It appears you have extensively edited that 2010 piece (not just “minor changes” as I’d supposed). As blogger.com registers only the initial posting of a text, but not further editions to it, you had me fooled. An earlier version (possibly the first one), which apparently went largely (or perhaps completely — I haven’t checked) unedited until November 21, 2023, is available here:
    https://web.archive.org/web/20140714062047/http://ostrovletania.blogspot.com/2010/10/neo-fascist-review-of-merry-christmas.html
    Of course, there is no mention of Ukraine in it.

  20. Che Guava says:
    @Priss Factor

    That is too difficult, even of those that I’ve seen and most liked, I forget many titles.

    Still popular?

    Not as such most of the time, the decline preceded that of ‘pink’ movies (made for cinema porn) by many years.

    However, really bad bad guys in various other types of movie are often essentially Yakuza depictions.

    Yukio Mishima starred in a Yakuza movie, 1960, title is karaffuu yarou, empty-wind beast, it’s pretty good. I don’t know if it was ever released in other markets, also don’t know the title in English, if there is one. It is said to have shocked the leftist literati of the time, but they only saw it as bad taste at the time.

    Just about any Yakuza movie starring Ken Takakura or Bunta Sugawara as a gangster is good. The former, as you would likely know, also starred in some other masterpieces.

    Two movies are called chinpira, derogatory term for a would-be/beginner gangster, one 80s, other 90s. Both good, but the earlier one is better. The latter isn’t a remake of the former. However, again, I have no idea if either was released in external markets.

    You would also likely know of Shinya Tsukamoto. Bullet Ballet is essentially a Yakuza movie where, as director, Tsukamoto casts himself as a kind of anti-Yakuza buffoon. Many of his films, at least until the 00s, are similar in that way. His Vitale is totally different, but also a masterpiece. I used to go to unpleasant goth events where he would be dancing. Wanted to talk, ask about his films, get a bit part in a film, but am too polite, he was having fun being not recognised, I checked without informing, none knew who he is. Funny.

    Some of Takeshi Kitano’s (Sergeant Hara in Merry Christmas Mister Lawrence) are Yakuza-adjacent, he behaves like a one-man gangster, in the movie hanabi (fireworks) in particular. IRL, Yakuza wanting to get protection money usually start with a solo approach.

    The villains in the live-action movie of Cutie Honey are cartoonish Yakuza gangs. The mix of model work, cheap effects, Alphaville-style locations, and good acting and over-acting make it great.

    Finally, The Machine Girl has a lot. You likely know or know of it. Japanese title is One-Armed, the Machine Girl.

    Lately, since the mid- to late 00s, Japan’s cinema isn’t much good. It is sad. Okurimono won a big prize. Really, I preferred Vitale, on a similar theme.

    At the cinema club I was in until they closed (supposed to reopen soon, but doesn’t seem likely, since they haven’t even sold the old building and finding a space for a small cinema in Tokyo must be very hard), most of the Japanese films were boring.

    The building was funny, the basement was for ‘pink’ movies, ground floor the main cinema, a mahjong palace on the first floor, and offices on the other two floors. The business shut down about two years ago, building still standing, so they may as well have kept it operating. Obvious that the owners are holding out for a ridiculous price.

    The cinema manager is a true cinephile, he set up an outdoor free showing of The Red Balloon and another, I forget the title, years ago.

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  21. @Che Guava

    Did the Yakuza kill Juzo Itami?

    Speaking of Kitano, KIDS RETURN is a funny-sad take on that world.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  22. Che Guava says:
    @Priss Factor

    Did the Yakuza kill Juzo Itami?

    That is the common belief, or even common knowledge. They don’t like to be laughed at. Though the one time I directly saw an attempted shakedown, the man concerned was dressed like a clown, gold shirt, flashy shoes, shaven head, he was talking about great used-car buys, the manager of the shop told everyone ‘Don’t talk with him!’

    As you would know, studios refused to fund Itami’s films because of death threats, so he was reduced to, for example, getting money from a supermarket chain to make suupa no onna, don’t know the English title, if any, (The Supermarket Lady?) still a great film, and much credit to the manager of that supermarket chain for paying for its making.

    No direct advertising, either.

    Kitano is always an arsehole on television, even faked rumours of his own imminent death some years ago, as a director though, he is generally good to great.

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