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I finished watching the trilogy of “The Godfather” during the holiday. Although the critics of this kind of classic film are already numerous, but I want to talk about the godfather from other angles.


“The Godfather 1” is mainly about the succession of the 1st and 2nd generation godfathers, but the plots of the other two parts are mainly the story of the second generation godfather Mike who gradually wants to wash the white family industry into the mainstream Baidao. This reminds people of “Water Margin”-the first half is about 108 heroes Liangshan Juyi, to the middle and later are the stories of Zhao’an and Zhao’an making contributions to the country-and neither of them ends in the end. Be happy. So the question is: Why can’t the godfathers and the Liangshan heroes stick to their underworld careers, but desperately try to whiten themselves and cater to the mainstream value identity? Maybe it will end up better if you stick to yourself.

Regardless of whether the literary works must conform to the main theme, even in reality, the gangsters finally whitewash themselves are still a mainstream choice, not a literary fiction. From a macro-statistical point of view, people living in society will sooner or later succumb to mainstream social consensus and do what the mainstream consensus considers to be “just” instead of persisting in becoming renegades for a long time-this may be the human community Biological reasons that can stabilize.

This is quite subtle. In fact, there are a lot of dark sides in many so-called mainstream Baidao careers-finance, politics, law and other careers are all recognized by the mainstream, but intrigue and even extreme crimes are no less than the underworld, but why are they still regarded as the right way? Favored by the public? When the public distinguishes black and white, it is not based on the number of criminal behaviors in the process, but on the consistency of “career” and “social overall development goals.” If the goal of an undertaking is consistent with social development, it is given “legitimateness”, but the misconduct in the process needs to be corrected and regulated; on the contrary, if a cause does not matter how well-behaved its process seems, if it is Violation of the overall value of society will still be regarded as a gangster.

For most existing industries, this judgment of “consistent with the overall development goals of society” belongs to the social consensus (that is, the overlapping area of ​​the judgments of a large number of individuals), rather than the exclusive judgment of a small number of people, or even It is not the judgment of the ruling class (but to a certain extent the ruling class has the ability to influence). This kind of social consensus has been formed long before there is legislation, and the national legislation is only a formal confirmation afterwards. If the powerful ruling class wants to violate this consensus to force legislation, it will face the dilemma of not being able to implement it. From the perspective of political practice, industries that belong to the “white road” are likely to be “supervised”, that is, to establish rules of conduct on the basis of recognizing their legitimacy; on the contrary, industries that belong to the “underworld” are the targets of “banned” and deny them. Legitimacy and crack down.

Of course, due to the different historical, geographical and public conditions of various societies, the overall consensus formed is not exactly the same, and even the same society will iteratively update its consensus results over time. A “underworld” industry in country A may be allowed and regulated in country B. For example, the states in the United States have recently begun to have a certain degree of legalization and supervision of drugs. This is not a whim of legislators, but a deep social foundation.

As for how this consensus is formed, this is a complicated issue of social evolution. The current universal value judgment system in human society is the surviving product of repeated screening and verification over a long period of time. The result of this evolution is even in common among all independently evolving ethnic groups-ethnic groups whose ethical value system has not evolved in this specific direction Annihilation, the remaining ethnic groups will converge. As for whether this evolutionary process is based on constant meta-rules such as “freedom first”, it is an open philosophical issue that will not be discussed here.

The common industries operated by the Mafia, such as gambling and pornography, are denied by the consensus in almost any mature ethnic society. Therefore, organizations contaminated with these industries are not destined to be regarded as white by the consensus. This kind of evolutionary result cannot be formed by a single generation, let alone a few people can decide, so no matter how powerful and powerful the triad leader is, it cannot be changed.

On the contrary, the provision of a universal and stable overall social order by the “fixed ruling class” is the result of the co-evolution of all ethnic groups, and thus becomes the value pursuit goal of the society as a whole, and accordingly has become the standard of the “White Way”. A gang that started violently, if it can gradually meet the above conditions, will become a representative of the “white road”, otherwise it will be a “underworld.” Therefore, the two often originate from the same source, but the development path has diverged. Those who become “white roads” must abandon some short-term benefits (especially those profitable industries that are denied by the social value system), and adhere to the mainstream recognition of the society. Long-term order (which means restraint on one’s own behavior). The rulers and the aristocracy of the Middle Ages started out as violent gangs, and then evolved into representatives of the Baidao order, achieving “legitimacy” in the sense of social consensus.


Returning to the “Godfather” universe, the Corleone family runs a business that is typically regarded as a “underworld”, despite the guise of a legal business like the olive oil trade. Although the first-generation godfather kept the bottom line and did not engage in the worst drug business, he knew that the current family business had the original sin, and he never concealed himself as an innocent saint.

The reason why Godfather started his business with these businesses is due to the environment of the times. The overall time span of the three “Godfathers”, if counted from the time when the first generation of the godfather Vito made his fortune in the United States (that is, the plot of “The Godfather 2” flashback), it is about from the 1920s to the 1990s. In the past few decades, the United States The society has undergone earth-shaking changes. During the First World War, the overall scale of the ZF was small and its ability to govern the society was backward, so the underworld had a great living space. They were an alternative mode outside the ZF that maintained a specific public order. The first generation of Godfather Vito lived in the Italian immigrant community (at the margin of American society at the time) that ZF paid little attention to when he was young, so he succeeded in making his fortune in response to the historical process and personal hard work. In other words, Vito started not only by running those underworld businesses, but also (in the absence of ZF) to provide public services such as “order” to the Italian immigrant community.

But in the era of the main storyline of “The Godfather 1” (that is, the 1940s after World War II), society was a different scene. The start of the all-out war has made the state apparatus more powerful, and correspondingly greatly compressed the soil for the survival of the underworld. Due to the overall expansion of the general order provided by ZF, the local order established by the underworld was gradually destroyed, so its operation was forced to shrink compared to more than 20 years ago. Therefore, the first generation godfather has made a different arrangement when arranging the succession of the sons. The second-generation godfather Mike’s choice to join the army is a road towards mainstream American society (many points in the play suggest that joining the army is not only Mike’s idea, but also Vito’s arrangement). After that, it was mostly used to enter the political world and establish an honesty on the white road. “New identity”. However, due to a series of occasional emergencies that caused the plan to die, Mike was still dragged back to his family’s underworld to take over. This also makes Mike in “The Godfather 2&3” still have to spend his entire life leading the family back on the road to the original plan. The Mafia label on his body is still despised by the Baidao class even if he is rich, and even his wife chooses to abandon the family because of this. Even as an Italian immigrant community in the land of Longxing, in the new era, it no longer depends on the order established by the underworld, but also regards them as “chamber pots”.

The identity crisis of “rich but not expensive” underworld is extremely common in reality, especially in the era when the country can smoothly govern the society and eliminate the soil of the underworld. Chiang Kai-shek joined the Qing Gang when he was in despair, but later he had to stand firm in the military and political circles and he had to take the initiative to fade the status of the Qing Gang; when Chiang became a commissioner and KMT also became the representative of the country’s legal power, according to Du Yuesheng’s words, it was “to take the Qing Gang. Treat it as a chamber pot, and it will smell stinky when used up.” But after all, Du’s history in the underworld is too deep to be whitewashed, and Jiang, who is represented by the Baidao, is finally three points short in his momentum. No matter how he criticizes Jiang Yingen for being guilty, it will not help. After all, the social consensus is insurmountable.

A contemporary example is the Japanese underworld gangs, which are even a completely legal special form of association, which is 10,000 times more legal than crypto trading in China, not to mention that they have made historical contributions to the Japanese nation. Today’s Japanese gangs have rarely carried out illegal businesses and are strictly controlled by the ZF, but they are still despised and rejected by the mainstream society. The new generation of young people will never consider joining, and serious companies are not willing to do business with them. This embarrassing situation has nothing to do with the illegality of gangs. It is just the result of the unwritten social consensus on value. Obviously, gangs are at or near the bottom of the value contempt chain.

The behavioral rules of gangs are completely different from those of mainstream society. Members are highly dependent and surrender to the organization. It is impossible to establish equal civil and commercial relations like ordinary labor and management. Organizations can also take disciplinary measures beyond common sense. This relationship away from the general rules of society originated from the lifelong dependency relationship between the ancient Japanese samurai and the lord. However, a warrior who does not belong to any lord loses his status as a warrior and can only become a ronin. Therefore, it is impossible for the two to establish and dissolve the relationship freely like modern labor and management (at most, they only bear economic responsibilities). Obviously, its old model has been abandoned by the current era, and can only exist in special groups such as the underworld-in fact, underworld organizations in other countries are similar, but they are not legalized like their Japanese counterparts.

In “The Godfather 2”, shortly after the opening, the second generation of Godfather Mike was ruthlessly humiliated face to face by the state senator. The senator may be inferior to some gangs in terms of character and conduct, but he can rely on his prominent position on the white road to arrogantly despise the Corleone family’s gang status. Although Mike verbally fought back and set a trap to allow the Senate to admit it, he could not change the social “judgment” of the Corleone family’s class status. Afterwards, a series of actions were to seek whitewashing so that family members could escape this kind of social judgment, including clearing out underworld industries such as gambling, and cooperating with the Vatican consortium.

It can be seen that although Mike has the courage and strategy to subdue a senator, he is powerless to confront the consensus of the entire society. People can resist the oppression of a few rulers, and even if they fail to resist, they will receive the sympathy of the public; but if what oppresses you is the value consensus of the society as a whole, then there is no room for resistance, even the ruler dare not be in such a situation . The oppression of the ruler is like a heavy object on the body, and the strength is enough to push it away; and the overall consensus of the society is an invisible big net, and more resistance will only make the net tighter. Mike clearly understands this truth. He never thought of fighting against social consensus and justifying the family industry. Instead, he chose to actively obey the consensus and get away from those evil industries, so that the society after one or two generations will no longer treat Ke Ke. The Lyon family is connected with the underworld.

It is similar to Song Jiang’s initiative to Zhaoan, who is to give all his fortune just to seek the identity of a mainstream society. Although most of the Liangshan heroes were killed and injured, Song Jiang was eventually given poisoned wine by the imperial court, but it must be said that in the end Song Jiang successfully achieved this goal by voluntarily dying, and sublimated the “Water Margin”-in the ending, Song Huizong “sell Song Jiang as an edict.” The loyal and loyal righteous and the Lord still gave money to Liangshanpo, built temples, built an ancestral hall, and made up the statues of many generals and gods who died in the king’s affairs.” It can be regarded as an oriental version of Romeo Juliet’s complete drama. end. In “The Godfather”, Mike ultimately lost his daughter. The open plot did not follow up on whether his family’s whitewashing career was successful (Vincent should be regarded as independent and continue to be a gangster), which is basically a tragic ending.


The organization rules and business activities of the underworld have long been denied and criticized by the social value system in history, and are part of the overall consensus of the society; however, some new things, whose advantages and disadvantages have not yet been fully revealed and verified, have been targeted. With a label like “underworld”, this kind of unsuspecting disaster is much worse than the Corleone family.

In the process of development and evolution of human society, some new things will continue to emerge. The original social value evaluation system has not yet been covered, and at the same time, a new value evaluation system will not be established in time. The evaluation of the value of these new things is not smooth sailing, but is like a military position, which is repeatedly competing between different groups, especially between groups with damaged vested interests and groups that benefit from new things.

When the old Rockefeller first established the oil trust, on the one hand, it brought a more efficient corporate management system and lower product costs. On the other hand, it was also accused of using a strong position to squeeze upstream and downstream, resulting in the concept of “antitrust”. It has become an enduring subject in the study of the economic law system. With the promulgation of the “Sherman Act”, Standard Oil became the first victim and was split into a number of independent oil companies. Since then, industry giants such as Microsoft have been subject to antitrust investigations and penalties. Today, Internet giants regard the antitrust laws of various countries as the sword of Damocles hanging over their heads.

When the overall consensus of society has not yet made judgments on such new things, modern politics has a place to guide and influence public opinions. Strong ZF can form an arbitrary judgment on new things extremely quickly. However, due to the complexity of things, long-term verification is usually required to fully measure the pros and cons of various aspects. Therefore, the judgment of national will formed in the short-term may be verified as wrong after many years. In addition, the news media is also a pioneer in making preconceived judgments. Because they are not subject to the cumbersome process of legislation, the news media draws conclusions even more hurriedly and hurriedly conduct public opinion trials before seeing things clearly. Even in some countries, the ZF mastering the gun and the news media mastering the pen are integrated. Regardless of which one, the formation of negative value judgments far exceeds positive judgments-media judges negative things more easily to attract attention, while the state is more likely to expand power in the name of “protection” for negative things.

Therefore, emerging things, especially emerging industries based on technological development, are always at risk of being stigmatized at any time. On the one hand, the society as a whole has not yet settled a sufficiently solid value consensus, on the other hand, the state power and the media are gearing up. Anxious to judge them. Many emerging industries may be labelled as guilty just like the Corleone family just after they were born, so they are forced to prove their innocence-but the Corleone family at least admits that their business can’t make it onto the table, so they will take the initiative to bow their heads; Obviously, the emerging industries will not feel such guilt in their hearts. If you try something new that no one has done before, it is hurriedly judged as a treason, and human society can only follow the old ways.

There was a paragraph that said: If a pyramid schemer hears that you are engaged in *** business in China, they will exclaim, “This is illegal.” Although a bit exaggerated, it humorously shows the situation of the industry. In other countries, it is an ascendant business, but in China it is an industry that has been eliminated. It is still in the embryonic stage and has already enjoyed the treatment of the Corleone family.

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