VIEWSrnThe Managerial Mobrnby Samuel Francisrn”M; ichael, we’re bigger than U.S. Steel,” boasts ganglandrnmastermind Hyman Roth to his (quite temporary)rnpartner, Michael Corleone, in Francis Ford Coppola’srnThe Godfather, Part U. Hyman, however, was not the first to sayrnit, and those familiar with the life history and achievements ofrnthe gentleman on whom Roth’s character is obviously based,rnthe late Maier Suchowljansky, better known to posterity asrnMeyer Lansky (or, to his friends and partners, temporary or otherwise,rnas “The Little Man”), may know that it was Meyer whornsaid it first. So crime experts Ralph Salerno and John S. Tompkinsrnreported in their 1969 book on the Mob, The Crime Confederation,rnand they also reported that “Mr. Lansky was beingrnmodest.” In 1967, the U.S. Steel Corporation enjoyed assets ofrnsome four billion dollars and profits of $172.5 million. Ne.xt tornthe crime confederation, U.S. Steel was a panhandler. ThernMob, Salerno and Tompkins wrote, “on the most conservativernbasis,” raked in a gross of no less than $40 billion a year, tenrntimes the value of the steelmakers and without the bothersomernoverhead of taxes, although, as they allowed, “payoffs and otherrnoverhead expenses do cut heavily into the gross.” On thernwhole, they calculated, “The corporate giant of crime annuallyrnenjoys a profit greater than General Motors, Standard Oil,rnFord, General Electric, and U.S. Steel combined. Its grossrnbusiness is larger than that of all American automobile companiesrnput together.” And, we might add, that was 30 years ago,rnbefore free trade and foreign competitors had gutted the steelrnand other American industries. Today, the Mob remains withrnus, even though its (somewhat) more law-abiding corporaterncousins have long since embarked for Mexico, Brazil, Thailand,rnand other locations where, as Hyman also remarked,rn”they really understand how to do business.”rnSamuel Francis is a contributing editor to Chronicles andrnauthor, most recently, of Revolufion from the Middlern(Middle American Press).rnBut analogies between the Mob—also known as La CosarnNostra (in New York), the Outfit (in Chicago), the Syndicatern(everywhere), and the Mafia (inaccurately except in Sicily) —rnand “legitimate” corporations are more than metaphors,rnwhether exaggerated or understated. Organized crime, as novelistsrnfrom Henry Fielding to Mario Puzo have glimpsed,rnreflects the political, social, and cultural trends of “legitimate”rnsociety. Puzo’s epigraph to The Godfather, “Behind every greatrnfortime there is a crime” (from Balzac), points directly to thernanalogies, and it is no coincidence that C. Wright Mills alsornquoted the same line in his study of corporate power and wealthrnin American society. The Power Elite. As with the myths ofrnprimitive cultures, the crime that lurks in the social underbrushrntells us something important about the nicer and cleaner worldrnthat sits on the front porch, except, as also with myth, the truthsrnit reveals are starker and less encumbered by the moral andrnrhetorical draperies with which the legitimate society on thernfront porch decorates itselfrnThe history of the Mob, the mainly Italian and Sicilian organizedrncrime syndicate that came to typify gangsters in thern1930’s, is in fact the history of American corporate business andrnof American society in the first part of the 20th century. Thernworld-historical process that James Burnham labeled “the managerialrnrevolufion” was not confined to American firms and thernU.S. government but also took place in the back parlors of winernshops and spaghetti houses in Brooklyn and the guest suites atrnthe Fontainebleau, and the same dynamic of organizationalrncolossalism, social and ethnic fragmentation, and internal bureaucratizationrnthat has overtaken American society because ofrnthe victory of the managers also snuck up on the godfathers andrnunderbosses. There are, of course, differences. The godfathersrnand underbosses do not enjoy the luxury, essenfial to corporaternoligarchs, of operating within the law, and they have to enforcerntheir contracts through administration of their own violence.rnMoreover, the mafiosi, even today, seem to retain more alle-rn14/CHRONICLESrnrnrn