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How can the American mob retain its power into the 21st century?


A mutant who sees multiple futures has predicted that the world will be invaded by aliens. Every future ends disastrously for the human race with us being wiped out. The only one in which we survive is one in which the American mob retains its power into the modern age and plays a vital role in our survival, and determines that the criminal organization is somehow the only hope of our species.

Unfortunately, the mob is on the decline. The useless degenerate John Gotti, along with the RICO statutes and other missteps, have led to the loss of much of its power. The time traveler decides to send a criminal known as Sylar back to the early 1960's where the mob in NYC was in its heyday, and gives him one single mission:

Save the mafia, save the world

Sylar arrives back in time, but is unable to divulge what he knows about the future. He ruthlessly rises to the top of the Gambino crime family and becomes the most powerful mob boss in America. He then eliminates all the people who would be instrumental in the organization's downfall (John Gotti, Rudy Guiliani, Donnie Brasco, etc). However, he realizes that killing people would be curing the symptoms of a disease rather than getting at the root of the problems. These people can simply be replaced by others in history, leading to the same situation the mob faces in the future. What can he do to ensure the secret society that the mafia has built and prepare them for the future to ensure survival?
That's easy. Have Mobsters infiltrate the American political system at every level. Have them infiltrate the Federal Reserve. Then, buy or infiltrate the local police, FBI, CIA, US Marshalls, NSA, etc. (the NSA was instituted post 1960). If they *are* the politicians, they then also control the US Armed Forces. Install them as CEOs of major banks and multinational businesses. Then, infiltrate other countries' political systems and repeat. (Not exactly fiction, sorry to say.) As long as Wall Street and other markets keep their shareholders happy, and the mobsters ARE the politicians, they should stay in power for a very long time. Citizens probably wouldn't notice the difference in the lack of accountability or lack of transparency.

I would venture to say, if the 1960s is the turning point in your WIP, you *might* want to write a version of History wherein President JFK is NOT assassinated, and civil rights/ social welfare was broadened rapidly...and the Vietnam War did not happen at all, or the U.S. did not get involved. I cite these events specifically because, if Mobsters were really, really smart they would keep the Citizens HAPPY and distracted from the fact that they were... you know... 'in the family.'

The assassination of JFK and entry into the Vietnam War changed people's opinions, and ultimately faith/trust in US institutions forever. If mobsters stepped in, fixed some social injustices, and then *never* betrayed the People's trust, they'd be in Business.

Socially, they'd probably want to lift drug/substance prohibitions and legalize everything. Counter-intuitive, as drug dealing is prime mafia territory, but it would essentially turn 'gangsters' into respectable business men overnight. Weapons running, prostitution, etc., all the other bread and butter rackets wouldn't be illegal anymore either. If your customers aren't afraid of jail time for using your products and services, business is good.

I would also imagine mobsters abolishing the IRS entirely, and most forms of taxation, or really re-inventing the tax codes. Maybe, institute other means of collecting revenue aka protection money and other rackets to keep the U.S. functioning. Probably, they would want to control the production, supply and distribution of trades and commodities. Likely, they would enact tariffs and trade deals to funnel money into their coffers.

If mobsters get into power, and re-write the laws so they aren't 'criminals' anymore... very interesting things are possible. Normalize the abnormal slowly over time and happy people probably won't notice.

Mobsters could infiltrate in secret, or very openly depending on the political climate. Gangsters would need to thoroughly be the "better" option to the voters. But, if all the candidates are pre-approved by the Mob, elections are mostly just razzle-dazzle anyway.

...Are we sure we're talking about fiction? ;)

I do see mobsters needing a lot of convincing to go to the moon and invest in a national space program. Maybe, if you get gangsters REALLY interested in exploring/ exploiting outer space (like, commissioning weaponized satellites due to the Cold War and Cuban Missle Crisis and then ransoming money from other countries to 'not be blown up') that could BE the reason why gangsters save the planet: they invested in a 'weaponized' space program and kept funding scientists and NASA for subsequent decades? A huge and powerful space force and publicly funded technologies might help you thwart some future alien invaders....

Miles Lacey

If the Mafia ends up taking over everything then it's no longer an organised crime secret society. It's part of the Establishment and that effectively negates the very thing that would give the Mafia the ability to defeat the aliens: their secrecy.

Instead have Sylar infiltrate the Mafia at a point where, if he plays his cards right, he ends up running one of the big five crime families. He convinces the other families not only to stay out of the drugs trade but he sets up a counter-intelligence agency that is assigned the job of monitoring the police, the FBI and other organisations entrusted with dealing with organised crime. The agency will also have another function: the policing of the Mafia itself. It would have specialist operatives whose job would include the elimination of all who break the code of silence or creates the conditions that the code of silence could be breached. This agency would also eliminate those who have indulged in personal vendettas, psychopaths and prima donnas who like the limelight. The new agency could be called something like the Cani da Guardia (Watchdogs) who operate similar to the Organizzazione per la Vigilanza e la Repressione dell'Antifascismo (OVRA) - Mussolini's secret police.

By using tried and true secret police methods including phone tapping and mail interception, making certain troublemakers "disappear" and framing John Gotti, Rudy Guiliani, Donnie Brasco and others like them so trust in law enforcement plummets he keeps the Mafia one step ahead of the law enforcement agencies and people trying to bring them down, keeps the various Mafia families in line and maintains the secrecy the Mafia will critically need when the aliens arrive.
You also would want to eliminate any and all the old rackets like shaking down stores for protection, running the booking wire joints, possibly eliminate them selling drugs, and anything else you think is to political or publicly frowned upon a have them move towards more back room deals, identity theft, mortgage schemes and stuff that keeps their foot soldiers from getting pinched and rolling over on small stuff and wrapping up the whole crew
Maybe emulate what the Italian mafia did to retain massive power into the current day. Which they did mostly by just… becoming legal businessmen. There comes a point when you have so much money that the most effective way to protect it is to invest, trade, etc. and by that point, the blood money you are laundering through your business is actually less than what the business itself makes legitimately. And blood money has risk and extra steps attached so eventually it makes the most sense to just… stop doing crime. At that point, doing crime is actually more expensive than just being a cutthroat business. No more drive-bys or blowing up stores who don’t pay; if you gave the loan on the store, and they don’t pay, that’s just legally your store now. Evict them and use it yourself. No property damage required, and no messy business of beating them up; they are now homeless and jobless and you did nothing illegal, so no cops. Is a certain journalist getting too close? Get their social security number and bank details, and have a professional identity thief completely ruin their finances. Sure everyone knows it’s you, so it sends a very strong message, but identity theft is a much, much harder crime to investigate than a murder, and has a less severe punishment. Crime pays, but only up to a certain point.