The Unbearable Bulldozers of Walmart

A theory about the mafia that was advanced in these pages by the late Samuel Francis about 15 years ago explains how Walmart, Costco, and Home Depot drive out your corner grocery, the local pharmacist, and Joe’s Hardware.  The national expansion of these blights isn’t free enterprise.  It’s more akin to the nationwide expansion of organized crime a century ago.

Francis pointed out how organized crime originally was concentrated in local areas, where the mafias, camorras, and triads could bribe local politicians and police.  Each mafia exploited its own territory and had difficulty expanding to a distant, unfamiliar area.  The mafia’s main criminal enterprises—prostitution, strong-arming, and gambling—were not commodities that could cross state lines, with the exception of the occasional major boxing match or the 1919 “Black Sox” World Series.

Alcohol was prohibited only in states in the South and Midwest, where Methodists, Baptists, and other teetotaling denominations predominated.  Prohibition did not exist in the major cities of the Northeast because the dominant religions were Catholicism, Lutheranism, Episcopalianism, and other bibbing denominations, as well as Judaism.  So alcohol smuggling meant rural good ol’ boys in the South tending to a still in the woods and bootlegging it to customers...

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