In Italian, “La Piovra”, means “The Octopus”. This is the title of an older Italian film series, which was quite popular in Europe in the nineteen-eighties. It ran on television for a few years at least and it portrayed rather effectively the business of La Cosa Nostra (The Italian Mafia).
I watched a few episodes in the past couple of weeks because when I first saw bits and pieces of this television series, I was still a kid and I did not fully understand what was going on. Re-watching it now though, I must say that “La Piovra” is a phenomenal attempt at describing for the general public, the relationship between organized crime, civil servants (politicians, law enforcement, etc.) and regular day-to-day people.
The series is brutally violent. Yet, that is a correct depiction. Where corruption thrives, violence is always present: people are killed; they kill themselves and so on. Nothing is far fetched ... You would have to live in the rabbit hole to know how tight it is. For those who do not live in the rabbit hole, “La Piovra” is a good representation.
What amazed me as I was watching the film, were the connections, or the similarities between what is going on in the pelicula (movie) and what is going on in our societies on a regular basis. It obviously stirred-up my thinking to the point that I had to write about it.
In “La Piovra”, politicians are paid-off by La Cosa Nostra members and through shady deals, the legal companies owned by the Mafioso business men end-up gaining government contracts relating to arms sales, building infrastructure, etc. At this point I stopped and though: “Shit ... is this not exactly what is happening in Montreal right now?”
More or less: yes. The Italian Mafia in Montreal, Quebec (Canada) has been collecting a 3% profit margin on almost every construction contract awarded by the government for endless years (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2012/11/15/quebec-corruption-inquiry-mob-threats.html). They do it just like in “La Piovra”: through intimidation, violence and corruption. Not much is different, even though one of these examples is a movie from the 80s and the other is life in our great Canadian city of Montreal, right this minute.
What can we expect? I keep saying this like a broken record: we cannot do the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.
If we allow politicians to turn their civil servant roles into life- long careers (the roles stop being servant roles and we become their servants); if we allow politicians and business men to mingle the way they do, becoming best friends and shifting each other around from their business suits to their politician suits ... then, how can we expect corruption not to flourish? Is anyone really surprised that our societies are crumbling to pieces when Mafia lobbies politicians and buys them out? Will anything change, I ask myself?
Yes. I believe things will change, when we decide we want change and that we will no longer put-up with crooked politicians and will no longer allow special interests to infiltrate in our governments. Until we make it clear that legal bribery (lobbying) and corruption will be severely punished and we make an example out of one or two politicians like the Greeks have (i.e. life in prison for corruption: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/28/world/europe/greek-ex-mayor-gets-life-in-prison-for-embezzlement.html?_r=0 ) we will keep banging our heads against the wall ...
At this point, I am just trying to raise awareness. People lost homes, life-savings, lively-hoods ... meanwhile banksters are buying out more Rolls Royce cars than ever before in the history of Rolls Royce. If You do not believe me, just read for yourself: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/feb/09/rolls-royce-record-profit
For me, it is mind-boggling how submissive most people are ... just mind-boggling ...
Note: My photograph, Mississagagon Lake, Ontario, December, 2012