The Roman Philosopher Lucius Anneaus Seneca (4 BCE-65 CE) was perhaps the first to note the universal trend that growth is slow but ruin is rapid. I call this tendency the "Seneca Effect."

Saturday, March 19, 2022

The Top Gangs of the Planet


Gangsters are a feature of human society and, being Italian, I know a few things of the way they organize themselves in Italy: Mafia, Cosa Nostra, Camorra, 'Ndrangheta, the Corleonesi, and a few more. To say nothing about the international versions of the same idea: the Yakuza, the Zetas, the Нохчийн, the Triad, and many more. My impression is that the mafia is a universal kind of organization, diffused everywhere, in different forms, with different names, but always more or less the same. So, I have no doubts that governments can and do behave like mafias. There have been several clear examples, recently. Here is a reflection received from "Bill" on the "Seneca Effect" blog, published with his permission. Obviously, it as a piece of fiction, but I think it does have something to do with reality.

About representing state's actions as played on a stage, see this post.


The World is a Mafia 
by "Bill"

I’ve been reading and thinking about this Ukraine thing a lot, and I think it makes no sense to get emotional and pick a side to root for.

The way I look at it, there are three top governments/gangs on planet earth. Let’s call them The Eagles, The Bears and The Dragons. The Eagles are still top dog, but their boss is senile, and his cadre is unable to deal with reality. The Eagles know that the Bears and Dragons are moving in and want to stop them. One plan was to use the gang that used to be part of the Bears, The Weasels, to cause problems for the Bears“Look, don’t worry we got your back. If push comes to shove, we’ll take on the Bears.”

So, for a long time, The Weasels made trouble for the Bears.

And the Bears let it slide because they weren’t ready to take on the Eagles. But, that day did come, and presently the Bears are stomping the shit out of The Weasels. And, the Dementia Don of the Eagles said, “I’ll pray for you.”

Now, The Eagles are trying to kill off The Bears by creating an incredible firestorm of emotional support for The Weasels and hatred of The Bears. And, stopping The Bears' access to credit, dollars, McDonald's, and Netflix.

The Bears are going to sell their gas and oil etc. to The Dragons instead of to the Eagles-aligned little gangs. And, keep stomping The Weasels until they come to their senses and pledge allegiance to the Bears.

The Dragons are just sitting quietly, thinking how to make a buck out of the whole mess, and waiting for their chance to be the world’s top gang.

As for me and the rest of the little people on planet earth, none of the gangs gives a rat’s ass about what happens to us. If a new gang becomes the top gang, it will be as bad as or worse than the present top gang.


  1. The Eagles claim that they will protect the Eagles-aligned little gangs from the Bears, but in reality The Eagles don't care very much for the Eagles-aligned little gangs. In fact, The Eagles try to do their very best to make life miserable for the Eagles-aligned little gangs who will pay dearly for trusting the Eagles.

  2. We down at the bottom of the Pacific used to belong to a gang called the Lions. When another gang called the Cherry Blossoms trod on our patch the Eagles absorbed the Lions and threw the Cherry Blossoms out. Its been great since so long as we keep up the protection "fees". Recently the Dragons have moved close to our neighbourhood which leaves me wondering what might happen to our "insurance" and "fees"?

  3. Picking a side would be drinking ideological poison. As one of the rats all I can do is worry about my ass.

  4. hahaha - The Mafia...
    The only criminal organisation in history that burns finite fossil fuels to depletion - only to animate and choreograph the world - just to play a Mafia inside the choreography...

    The finite fossil fuels sacrificed in the process is more valuable than all what all the Mafias will achieve - ever....

    This is never a behaviour of Criminals - but rather the Insane...

    Fossil fuels were so hypnotic, humans have degraded their mental capacity with them - to the level of the lowest IQ members of our Animal Kingdom....

    Humanity has reduced itself, with finite fossil fuels, to the IQ of insects...

    ...morally, ethically - to even lower levels - unseen ever before in the jungle...

    A 'Mafia' usually forms and surfaces in a - more or less - an energy-balanced and normal community - shortcutting the energy typically put in honest work - making living outside the norm...

    When the world is governed by a brain of insect - everything is running outside the norm - and ends up - suicidal - and a joke....

    JHK frankly says here and here - Nuclear Fusion, Mars colonisation and all others alike - will not happen - but never dares to say all the last 50 years being in the field - the Western Civilisation and its Capitalism are a joke...

    A joke that even the dumpiest and most desperate Mafia wouldn't ever make a joke as silly...

    Finite fossil fuels are so magical and poisonous to humans - they made humanity enjoying playing-Mafia against itself...until - soon - finite fossil fuels are no-more...

    "Energy, like time, flows from past to future".


  5. This seems way to true!

  6. Sorry, but I can't agree that this war is just about a sharing of the world between superpowers.
    I am convinced that Russia is still an Empire like Austria was before WWI and that it is only normal that it breaks in parts. Many people of eastern Europe are scared of Russia and don't want it back at any costs, otherwise the Ukrainians wouldn't fight.
    I believe it also regarding China.
    I agree that the US are not much better, but at least they don't absorb invaded countries like it was done in the 19th century, which keeps national identity and makes future revolutions easier.

    1. Same here.
      The USA did illegally invade Irak and topple the regime, it did kill hundreds(thousands) of civilians directly and as bombing collateral -- and yes it was a crime -- but it didn't directly kill a million civilians -- The ensuing chaos resulting of Irak's dumbass sectarian war did that ... with a little help from Iran.
      Objectively, it's worth noting that the US\Nato doesn't LEVEL ENTIRE cities [anymore(!)] like the Russians did in Aleppo and are doing now in Ukraine if Mariopol is any indication.
      The Russian *regime* is **unambiguously** barbaric, there is no getting around that fact.

      The horror we are seeing now is a product of compounding.
      I'm going to repost here a comment I made on RE's collapse Blog:
      ["Russia, nowadays, strong from their fossil fuel production, from the temporary benefits of "green revolution" type agriculture that relegates soil to mere nutrient sponge, and finally, strong from the cheap goods and cheap tech that China provided since its economic explosion; filling the gap in purchasing power and in the technology tree needed to achieve relative prosperity and relative self sufficiency; doesn't need Ukraine as bread basket per se, as Russia itself is now the top wheat producer, but it certainly remains a very nice and very substantial addition of better quality soil in more a permissive climate I'd imagine.

      The problem is probably that the utterly Russian energy dependent Ukraine, getting rid of its necessarily corrupt Russian cleptocrat's henchman of a leader, made the move, probably a little too forcefully, to pivot commercially to sell it's output to western interests (and I suppose in time, to turn to there corporate juggernauts for imports).
      Of course, feeling the lingering Orwellian vibe still present in Russia, despite the country's accession to modernity and the internet ...asoasf ... Ukraine's choice marked a strong preference for removable leadership but did not appreciate well enough how displeased the stunted former empire would be at losing cheap ag output, cheap minerals in somewhat less hostile climate than the tundra and siberia (!), economic rents and cheap labor 'synergy' from a cultural sibling.

      NATO was never going to be a threat because of MAD.

      I think it's a classic vulgar display of power brought about by strategic stupidity (on both sides), itself, brought about by ignorant leaders democracy tends to bring forth most of the time.
      Probably compounded by European blunders.
      CERTAINLY compounded by the reckless invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan and US posturing ...
      CERTAINLY compounded by the surreal election of a retard followed by the incomprehensible selection of a senile train wreck as party candidate to "repair the damage".
      CERTAINLY compounded by peak everything ...and democracies' studious ignorance of it, to borough RE's phrasing ...

      Nevertheless, there is no way to rationally downplay Putin's and his inner circle's true leanings.
      The poisonings, the Chechen war, the **** Riot music\activist band jailing, Aleppo ... and just right now (!)... the overtly Orwellian arrest of anti war protesters ...
      It ain't exactly subtle.
      PUTIN IS A F****G THUG.
      This level of obtuse backwardness and uncalled for, incommensurate violence is just reckless.

      The waste this is going to generate by means of destruction, armament production, supply chain dislocations ...etc, is just plain *****g counterproductive at this point.

      The Russian galley slaves should hold their oars still and get rid of unenlightened leadership once and for all."]

    2. Two third parts of the United States Territory was invaded, absorbed ans stolem from Mexico in the 19th Century

    3. Well, I am sorry to say that the two big comments in this branch sorely illustrate the fact that the less one knows about and understand a subject, the more he (or she) is prone to pontify about it.

  7. Etienne, are we not thoroughly Americanised ? So deeply that we don't even notice our national identity being completely dissolved from under us ? "There is no French culture" said Macron. Cultural debasement, population mixing and elite corruption is what colonial power always practice.

    1. No we aren't. And never will be because our history, our climate, our food, our languages, our geography... are too different. There is a strong US influence but we are all different. for example there haven't been two countries that managed the COVID the same way, and that is related to national culture, the way people feel about authority, trust the medical system...
      The US have been built on a dream of independence and freedom, in Europe the aim was to survive our psychopathic leaders, it has a great impact on our cultures.

  8. Personally, I don't think Putin wants Ukraine. In the context of the post, The Eagles only help the Weasels because the Bears don't like it. The Bears hate the Eagles because the Eagles encouraged the Weasels to take their side and attack the Bears. The Bears also hate the Weasels because some of the Weasels want to be part of the Bears due to a turf war long ago that the Bears won, but the rest of the Weasels won't let them. The Bears want to make sure the Weasels can't threaten the Bears, so they're messing up the Weasel turf, while the other gangs just watch. Meanwhile, the Dragons know they need to be in good favor with the Bears and the Eagles; otherwise, they'll be crippled economically or militarily, so it's best to just wait and see what happens between the Bears and Weasels first, and maybe they can use this all to their advantage somehow were it not for The Naturals (Mother Nature) standing by to beat down all the gangs.

  9. For good background on why the response to the Ukraine war is happening and why things will get worse worldwide, I really recommend reading:
    Surplus Energy Economics by Tim Morgan
    To put it simply what he says in very clear and easy to understand language is:
    Nothing can be produced without energy.
    Money is just a token for energy.
    Worldwide energy per person has already started down. And, this trend is accelerating.

    We humans maybe share when times get bad, in small groups. But we certainly don’t as nations. Just look at the Covid response and how ‘vaccines’ were distributed worldwide. (As fate’s sardonic sense of humor is starting to make clear, them that didn’t get them may have been the lucky ones.)

    Add in that the global human economy is vast complex system and America’s Sanctions from Hell have just blown huge holes in it.

    The world will certainly get interesting when Russia strips off the western money shuffling layer and trades its surplus energy and food directly with China for whatever it needs.

  10. The Greek gods would have qualified as one of the most terrible mafia ever imagined by man. They run everything behind the scenes and many if not most of them actually would have had no second thoughts about killing helpless young babies or childbearing women. I can cite many examples from Greek mythology for those interested. Madeleine Albright would have qualified as Hera's alter-ego. I still remember when I first came to grow more acquainted with things like this in Greek mythology and thought, "Huh? This is considered great literature?"

    It has been repeatedly said how much Western Civ inherited from the ancient Greeks. One wonders in this respect if today's Global Elite might not have been precisely one example of this inheritance and might not have taken its inspiration precisely from the gang on Olympus. Certainly Chris Hedges has compared what he called the 'merchants of death' to the gang.