In several parts of the world Feudalism
has mutated into a secret world of criminals who levy unofficial
"taxes" on both legitimate and illegal businesses,
thus preventing capital accumulating with people who would reinvest
it. Also called Organized Crime. India
has Criminal Tribes, people outside the settled social systems.
Probably most cultures have hereditary criminal families of one
kind and another.
Mafia is characteristic of areas of stagnation such as southern
Italy; Northern Ireland;
New York City. Also found in Japan
(Yakuza); and in Chinese communities (Triads). The Communist
Party of the USSR and other countries can be considered to have
evolved into a kind of Mafia. In Japan the deep depression is
giving the Yakuza more power.
Colombia and several
other South American countries are dominated by a Mafia problem,
connected with the illegal drugs industry.
Is there a cure for Mafia? States dominated by criminal societies
find it difficult to run a democratic political system, as the
criminals buy the politicians. The money from drug smuggling
makes them richer than all but the largest industrial companies.
Democracy is supposed to eliminate criminals from power, but
in several countries this doesn't happen. In Italy the Fascists
are said to have suppressed it, but perhaps all the Mafiosi
were in the Party - Mussolini nationalized the Mafia, and like
Hitler, made crime a state monopoly.
It may be that Mafia is the result, as in Russia,
of the market without regulation by a civil society, sometimes
called Anarcho-Capitalism - business without law as in the former
Is Mafia's presence in the United States also a sign of lack
of democracy? This can be argued, especially as the relationship
between the unelected J. Edgar Hoover's partial dictatorship
and the official government (6 Presidents) becomes clearer. He
appears to have protected the mafia as a result of their power
over him (they knew of his probable homosexuality and his cross dressing).
Mafia is also the monarchic or
dynastic principle operating within
a pluralistic society.
Mafia may turn out to be one of the most serious political
problems, as its money can buy almost any legitimate business
and political system. Pessimists (such as Denis Healey) argue
that the real future of Europe will be decided by a battle between
the Sicilian and Moskva mafias.