The Zanetti Clan Philosophy -- How To Live and Die by Power
Updated: Feb 9
The Zanetti Empire is a fictional criminal organization from the game known as "Beatdown: Fists of Vengeance". If you refuse studying and reflecting upon its philosophy on power and conflict, just because its from a video game, feel free to leave now. For those who don't mind as much, let us begin studying what true strength means.
This criminal empire was lead by a philosopher-king of sorts, known as Mr. Zanetti. He established his organization on a very extreme form of meritocracy, where merit is based on strength. That strength isn't excluded to brute force alone, but also the strength to overcome your own co-workers. The weak are weeded out, while the strong preservere. As such, if you are told to kill your own members, for whatever reason, you are supposed to do just that, or else you'll be regarded as a weakling. And weaklings, as well as cowards, are of no use to the Zanetti Drug Empire.
It is the natural order of things, to evolve through war and conflict, according to Mr. Zanetti. It's known as the conflict theory. Conflict isn't something to be avoided at all costs, but rather, something to embrace and accept as part of reality. Conflicts are tests of merit, nothing more, even if they contain whatever extant of danger. Those who fear and run away from it, are cowards according to the Zanetti Clan Philosophy.
Your worth and relevance are only determined by your ability to be powerful. It is how you raise up the ranks and even be deemed worthy, in accordance, to inherit the Clan throne. Within the clan, you don't have friends. Friends are a liability, especially if you are ordered to kill them if, for example, they are too powerful for their own good.
Such was the case with Aaron, one of Zanetti's children. He was tasked by his father to kill his group of elite soldiers because Mr. Zanetti believed them to be a threat on his own throne. Aaron refused, so his father deemed him too weak to be deemed a successor, and disowned him.
Later on, Zanetti attempted to kill him and his group by setting up a trap, lead by his new successor, Eugene. Eugene failed to kill the group, and that group ended up, ultimately, finishing off the entire Empire as revenge for their betrayal.
For the kingpin, all of this was nothing more than the logical thing to do. Be too weak and you're useless. Be too strong and you reach a state where you threathen the power of those stronger than you. When you're too powerful, you are then tasked with proving your worth, by eliminating currently those in the position of power. Should you fail, you'll die. Should you succeed, you will inherit their position. Beyond whatever it makes you feel, dear readers, it's not that hard to understand. That's what happens when you lack a humane moral compass, and look at reality without much emotion (if at all).
A similar concept exist in Sith philosophy, known as "The Rule of Two"
For psychopaths like Zanetti, it's just business. The suffering, the pain, the bloodshed, it's just part of the natural order of things, the premise of the Zanetti Philosophy: The strong have the right to rule over the weak. It is similar in nature the same as it is similar in human civilization, where empires dictated what is right and wrong, where might made right. The weak died off, the moderately strong where subordinate, and the strong were given by both the right to lead them.
In the Zanetti organization, you are best to survive in the middle. Desire power and you can get more in life, but you will be at greater risk as if you were in the lower layer of the heirarchy. Should you sacrifice your longevity in the name of privilage? You technically can as well in real life. Just make sure you can protect yourself from those who want that power to themselves.
Mr. Zanetti's power was threathened by that elite group of mobsters. However, he wasn't afraid of the feelings he felt. No. He accepted them as natural, as just a feature in his natural order. By the same token, he had no problem trying to kill off his opponents. He was just doing his job by plotting their demise.
Later on, that group slowly demolished his empire. They killed off his best assassin, Ignacy, and later on, his successor Eugene. Finally, they sabotaged his narcotics factory, which served as a primary financial lifeline.
When they came to his office, an undisclosed hotel room, he remained stoic in character. The deaths of his best men, loyal or otherwise, didn't matter to him as much. After all, if they failed to stop the rebels, then perhaps they were too weak for their own good, and thus, deserved to be defeated.
Two decades after I was introduced to this game by the Rubinshtein Clan heads, unsuspecting of what it contained, I have realized a few insights:
Many of us are weaklings and cowards, more than we may allow ourselves to admit. Sure, we do not have to kill our friends in order to survive and thrive, but what about far less? Deep inside, you have fears that do not even amount to anything revolving murder... or even survival? These impractical fears are making you weak, and hinder you from becoming a better version of yourselves.
We may promote niceness because we are afraid of rudeness and other types of unease.
Accepting conflict as natural can make us stronger, at least mentally. The same goes for our emotions.
We need to distinguish between our relations towards emotion and between the information it may indicate. True or otherwise.
Allow me to further explain number 4. Zanetti does not fear emotion, like many of us do. How can one manage a criminal empire when one cannot even manage his mental state? He lived and died by his code of power. Physical, financial, political, you name it. If his intuition indicated to him that his throne was under a potential opposition, and if he trusted his intuition, then he would do anything he can to remain in power. It's that simple. He may relate to emotion the same as an animal in the wilderness may do, or a solider at war: Nothing more than an indication regarding the external world.
Mr. Zanetti himself is a machismo man, perhaps too much for his own good. As you can see he views the world in a very simplistic and primitive way. He managed his empire as if it was a pack of chimpanzees, with him as the "alpha male".
A core element present in hyper masculine men is testosterone. This hormone that's present dominantly in men, can make us aggressive, assertive and even more muscular, as is the case with myself, a guy who only lifts groceries.
Deep inside I know why some of you may be afraid of negative or violent emotions, even though they are a natural part of our reality. Deep inside, some of you might be too weak to accept them as inevitable in human interactions, and as such, you might try running away from them. Run away into the realms of comfort, niceness and politeness.
But, in the end, your desire for comfort might as well be a cover for your fear of discomfort. Unease is an inevitable feature in power, because power leads to conflict from time to time. Not as extreme as a "civil war" within a business empire, yes? But struggles you can find within any organization: Be it in the office, in the classroom, and even in a reception room.
People may argue and yell at each other everywhere because they attempt to assert their dominance. Their gender does not matter, even though men are seen as more of a threat, especially to many women. The point is that power struggles are inevitable in any human company as potentials and thus the attempt to run away from them will never get you the serenity you're looking for.
The weaker may attempt to force a regime of sensitivity over society because they, too, want power, whether they admit it or not. Otherwise they would not call to repress the insensitive. Do you see, then, how essential and basic power is in human society? We all need it. So, we compete, directly or otherwise, for it. As such, the call to be more polite and empathetic can be seen as the attempt of the sensitive to get/preserve their power.
The question is, why should you submit to them when you can overcome their power by becoming a more complete verison of yourself? A verison that does not care to walk on eggshells? A verison that knows other people's vulnerabilities are not his or her problem, considering they can be worked on?
Submit to the weak, and you will be giving them power. Sensitive/vulnerable or any other kind of weakness. You will be giving power to those who are weak against their own sensitivities. Should it change the "natural order"? Because on the long term, this will not change the very premise of the Zanetti Clan Philosophy:
"The strong have the right to rule over the weak"
I will contemplate this philosophy, when the time to hand over my article empire, will arrive.