Intellectual Self Defence

Brains are delicate things…

Criminals and Legitimate Businessmen

“Hold on, ” Bronson held up his own hand, fingers splayed like a traffic cop’s. “What do you mean, they don’t think they’re crooks?”
“They work for a living. They have an employer [the Mafia]; they pay income tax; they come under Social Security; they own their own homes and cars; they work in local industry. They know the corporation they work for engages in illegal activities, but they think what-the-hell, every corporation these days does, from tax-dodging through price-fixing to government bribing.”
“What’s that got to do with anything, Quill?” There was an undertone of warning in Bronson’s voice. He thought of himself exactly as Quill had described it. He wasn’t a crook. Bastards like Parker were crooks. Bronson thought of himself as a businessman. All right, he was a criminal, but everybody was more or less dishonest, particularly in business.

Richard Stark, The Outfit, page 109-110

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