Syndicates trend to the extreme over time because, as their wares become worthless or evolve to become common fare inside the market, the syndicate must handle more and more exotic forms of commerce, in order to capitalize upon their real value.
When Prohibition ended in 1933, the extant bootleg networks did not simply say, ‘Well done everyone. We can all go home now.’ To the contrary, they escalated their game. The value of a syndicate after all resides not in its illicit product, but rather in the strength and reach of the syndicate itself.
Several years ago my firm had the good fortune to be engaged to survey regions of North Carolina and Virginia for candidate locations where a major sporting goods manufacturer might consider locating their regional operations. The optimization models had all been run, and as is common in this type of discrete optimization, the degrees of freedom on the answer were very forgiving in terms of geography. This simply meant that the company could locate really anywhere they wanted within reason – and further then base their location selection upon subjective and qualitative factors, not hard heuristic-academic math. Most academics fail to grasp the fact that this is how the preponderance of real life, business, and science works. One must actually go there, immerse themself in the subject and observe for a period of time – not simply sit in a cubicle running mildly inductive Bayesian statistics, before attempting to drive home a conclusion. We have long ago lost the ethic to go there, poke it with a stick, and keenly observe. This as much an outcome of our pseudo-intellectual cultural push, as it is a form of syndicated action in itself. But that is the subject of another article entirely.
Skepticism is unrelenting, disciplined, incremental, and critical path foolishness.
It is the eye of neutrality, inside the mercenary tempest of curious passion.
I did not know. I went and looked. Everything else was vanity.
Now of course this style of community selection we execute on behalf of a client, involves balancing decision factors which include community demographic strength, existence of similar industry players, existence of a strong base of freight and rail carriers whose nodes are economically leveraged, the availability of higher and technical education, available and negotiated tiered state incentives, Right to Work laws, community lifestyle, along with the overall positive impact the new entity will have on the local community and its true rate of unemployment (not the fake ‘economic’ statistic).
Foremost in this decision process however, is an assessment as to the makeup and feel of the local populace. What are the people in the community like? What does the working class value? Who are their dependents? How many people will show up to interview for a new job opening and how often will the average successful applicant turnover in that type of position? Such evaluations can only be ascertained by having an experienced professional actually go there and gain a feel for the community. I was fortunate that, in this instance that professional was me.
When 400 people showed up to interview for the first ten job openings at the site which we ultimately elected to implement, I got a lump in my throat – taking the impact to heart. The community was starved of such development. Finally, more opportunity lay in store for young persons than simply a challenging career in crystal meth.
Consolidation and extraction of earnings to elite paper-trading cronies and The Party’s socialist taxmasters, requires no business or governance skills at all. This is not ‘capitalism’, nor is it democracy. These are simply the unethical, nay diabolical actions of detached, hidden, and unaccountable Royalty. A syndicate itself, and nothing more.
The despair of a nation subject to such unethical Archons, is both palpable and measurable in terms of innocent lives.
Accordingly, I took 7 days to travel through the region and gain a feel for several candidate communities the team had identified. In order to protect the confidential nature of the expansion strategy my team had just developed for this client, I elected to tour the countryside under the auspices of ‘looking for good places to fly fish’. Although unlike my grandfather who taught me to tie flies and fly fish, I did not bear the rough-hewn hands of a fly fisherman. I was hoping to recapture that past hobby nonetheless. This constituted disinformation of course, in that while it was indeed true, it was not the ‘whole truth’. The whole truth in fact, was that I had been bound by a non-disclosure agreement with the client, from surrendering the whole truth in the first place.
It was during this journey that I bore the good fortune of staying at an Inn in Saluda, North Carolina called The Orchard Inn. Originally built by the Brotherhood of Clerks for Southern Railway in 1926, the farm-house style lodging named ‘The Mountain Home of Southern Railway Clerks’ was purportedly created as a “summer getaway for railroad employees and their families.” Although lacking actual accommodation for ‘families’ at the time, the lodge was also a convenient staging point around and respite from alcohol and spirits Prohibition laws which had been enacted under the Volstead Act in January of 1919.1 Both the Inn’s location along a famous Bootlegging Highway (Hwy 176 from South Carolina and into North Carolina, along which resides the infamous ‘dead-man’s curve’) and the fact that the lowest level of the lodge consisted of a series of garage doors to conceal and protect bootleg vehicles overnight, were no accident. The Inn is now reputed to be haunted, and possibly even circumstantially connected with several murders in the area, ‘back in the day’.
The Clerks’ Inn is now this elegant mountain retreat called The Orchard Inn (depicted by the color sketch at the top of this article), and is on the National Register of Historic Places.2 The proprietors of the Inn were gracious enough to stay up late with my curious self, and expound upon the entire history of the Inn, replete with old black and white photos of the lodge as it had transitioned through the last nine decades. The night air was cool and of low humidity, making our time on the outside wrap around deck rather enjoyable. My stay at the Inn was both a wonderful and informative experience. The community of Saluda itself ranked highly on our list of final candidates for my client’s regional operations and offices.
Daniel Okrent, in his book ‘Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition’, outlines that once Prohibition was repealed in 1933, very few bootleggers were actually released from prison. In fact, most of these mafia, syndicate, and graft network members were imprisoned for trafficking more than simply booze.3 In the end, the bootlegging networks themselves became the further genesis of mafia and finally drug dealing networks of today. You see, it was never about the ‘product’ in the first place. It is always indeed about the syndicate.
The paradox and point of this article resides in the following principle. The value of a syndicate is never in the product they hawk. The value of the syndicate resides in the strength, reach, and bribed benefactors of the syndicate itself. Once its product becomes accepted or moot, then the syndicate must graduate to even more extreme goods, more extreme forms, and even more extremist agenda. In actuality, they could care less about the people or causes they exploit for gain in this masquerade. Their ’causes’ are simply prima facie. After all, they are there to develop and groom the basis of power for their mafia, their party, their agency.
The syndicate soon realizes that it must escalate from alcohol to drugs, from tax evasion to money laundering, from faith to proscription, from freedom to fanaticism, from registration to control to embargo, from administration of standards to cartel activity, from mercy to profiting from trauma, from pharmaceuticals to removal of human rights, from profit to extraction, from choice to compulsion, from billionaire to trillionaire, from strip clubs to child pornography and sex trafficking, or from equal rights for all, to the moral supremacy of anyone who promotes aberrant behavior – no matter how harmful may be their difference of choice.
The syndicate is performing a puppeteer act for your amazement. They could care less about any of the causes or victims they adorn as badge-of-honor. That is why any form of extremism, the next shocking thing, will always suffice.
This is what a syndicate does after all, it escalates to the extreme as a reaction in keeping with its need to wrest and maintain power from out of the hands of a constitutionally represented populace. Such pretense constitutes our current state as a nation. As an ethical skeptic, I oppose rule by mafia, syndicate, cathedral, cabal, cartel, and finally and especially, The Party.
There was a dream which was America. This is not it. This is …not …it.
The Ethical Skeptic, “Why Syndicates Trend to the Extreme Over Time”; The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 26 May 2022; Web, https://theethicalskeptic.com/?p=66000
- Wikipedia: Volstead Act; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volstead_Act
- Saluda Historic Depot: History of Saluda and The Saluda Railroad; http://www.saludahistoricdepot.com/history-of-saluda-railroad/
- Orkent, Daniel, ‘Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition’; 31 May 2011; https://www.amazon.com/Last-Call-Rise-Fall-Prohibition/dp/074327704X/ref=asc_df_074327704X?tag=bngsmtphsnus-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=80058307777685&hvnetw=s&hvqmt=e&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=&hvtargid=pla-4583657835302385&psc=1
becoming aware… the depth of the party, is astonishing.
The reach of the syndicates is now well into all aspects of our lives. I am constantly amazed at the resources my employer puts into activities that have no discernible impact on the manufacture, distribution and sales of our products. This all appears to pay homage to the virtue syndicates. I have yet to see how the accolades from various tribally aligned groups and making the top inclusive employer lists helps out the stock price when the investors all point that our fundamentals of our business are still the same as they ever where. I’m uncertain that when cyclic nature… Read more »
I have to wonder how robust current syndicates might be in the face of frequently-failing power grids and internet. I actually wonder this fairly often. Being more personally prepared for such eventualities brings to mind the further implications and ramifications. Would it be the case that being the right-sized-and-distanced rural community would be better than being in a city, or on a remote “doomstead”? My modest little homestead is a 2 hour drive from Austin, from San Antonio, from Houston, and farther from Dallas, has good soil, moderate weather, 6000 people, a railroad, mixed economy, and so on. It has… Read more »
The ultimate destiny of all syndicates is to be broken. Usually through war.
But now I think most of them will rot from the inside out. We will see this with academia over the coming 30 years.
I always found this Substack attempt to coin a new epigraph annoying. Your opening paragraph explains why.
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P(A|B) = [P(A)*P(B|A)]/P(B), all the rest is commentary.
This blog and my Substack only serve to piss off the exact people who are its target. If the shoe fits…
TES – My wording was unintentionally ambiguous. It seemed to make sense when I pasted the link and it was formatted. My apologies for the lack of precision.
Your blog entry brought clarity to my annoyance with the Astral Codex epigraph using Bayes as the arbitrator of knowledge.
Ohhhhh Ramkumar! My apologies as well. I should have detected the ambiguity and asked for clarity. Now I get it fully.
And yes, you are correct!
It seems to be heading towards a crescendo. They excallated the Cold War to preemptive strikes and had to control the media to manage that. To hold the debt mountain together they have to break up Russia and extract its assets. They are now all in on that. covid was escalated to support the take over if the media and implement the control grid on people. How to stop this natural process of step by step, just one more, need more to stand still. Do we break up all power structures every seven years. Who takes charge of that. ?… Read more »