Book: The Godfather
Author: Mario Puzo
I have seen many movie adaptations of books. Mostly, they are poor adaptations. The Godfather is an exception. The movie was as great as the book.
The book challenges our current system as being just as arbitrary and unjust as any power structure The Mafia might have. When The Don is dispensing retribution against someone who has violated his trust, is this anymore meaningful than juries convicting their fellow citizen? I am hard pressed to come up with an answer for that.
In some ways our legal system seems even more unjust. So much of a trial hinges on irrelevant factors apart from the crime in question. Eye witness testimony has been proven to be unreliable. The incarceration rates suggest that minorities are given harsher sentences than white people. And the money. People with money and connections often seem able to out run justice.
The 2008 financial crisis left thousands of Americans without homes and jobs. It wiped out retirement funds. That crisis had a measurable impact on millions of Americans. No one went to jail. Haven’t we arbitrarily decided that those misdeeds don’t deserve jail time?
I was just talking with a friend a few nights ago. We agreed that everything is a hustle. We dress accountants up in nice suits, but this time of year they are all breaking the spirit of tax law if not the letter. How is that more admirable than the panhandler up the street selling cigarettes? It’s not. We’ve just labeled it as such.