POWER PLAY IN COUNTY
It's nice to see the blog carrying on without much input from me. Reading the debates and discussions in the comments section is like hanging out on the street and listening to the OGs talking. No anger or harsh words. Just strong opinion backed up by experience and tempered by time.
I like the idea expressed by a commenter that this place is like buffet. You don't have to like everything on the table. But there's a lot to choose from. And you'll never go away hungry.
Here's something to munch on. I won't mention names, but some of you are plugged in enough to figure it out. It seems that the balance of power in LA County jail is being upset by a recent arrival -- a shot caller from San Fer. The guy has been kicking up dust, rearranging collection conduits and has put at least one guy we know for sure in the hat over a nothing deal. Prior to his arrival, the center of gravity was located around a couple of EasLos and Northeast brothers who seemed to run County along traditional lines -- low profile, smooth and professional. The money flowed up without too many beefs and the only people who had to watch their backs were the Mayates and tax resistors. This new arrival seems to be brooming the established order, disrespecting some solid camaradas and just throwing muscle around not because he has to but because he can. There's a rumor that a senior resident from the BAY was even sent to County on a bogus subpoena just to check this guy's play. Can't verify that one but it's out there being discussed.
All of this leads me to ponder a notion that was brought up by TJ Jailer in one of his recent comments and then remarked upon by other readers -- the notion that the brotherhood's internal politics will keep it from ever growing into the sort of organization on a par with the LCN, at one time the gold standard of criminal enterprises. There's no denying that the LCN had a great run for a long time and they made a lot of money and achieved a tremendous amount of legitimate and quasi-legitimate power and all of it without putting too many bodies in ditches.
To date, the brothers don't seem able to pull off anything remotely similar to the LCN template. A large part of that, I suspect, has to do with the inability to shake off the street gang mentality and replace it with something more structured. Basically it means that people who don't like being told what to do have to start learning to do what they're told. Which is a big obstacle for people who are essentially anti-authoritarian. To implement that sort of change will probably require a charismatic visionary. A gangster version of Mao, Che or Fidel. Okay, I'll concede that Mao, Che and Fidel are (were) gangsters but you can't deny that they got a lot of people to pull the cart in the same direction. Even if that direction was over a cliff.
The potential is there. There's a huge street organization already in place. What's lacking to push the entire enterprise to the next level is a leadership that's less concerned with back stabbing and politics and more focused on a bigger picture.