Monday, September 2, 2019

Mafia as Government Essay -- essays papers

Mafia as Government History and Introduction The history of the Mafia began in the ninth century, when a secret society was formed to protect the people of Sicily. Sicily was occupied by Arab forces. A group of Sicilians fled into the countryside to escape, and later to fight, the encroaching forces. This group became the Mafia The group’s original intentions were to create a sense of loyalty and respect for tradition, culture and family. The Mafia protected its' members interests and promoted protected individuals and businesses in exchange for loyalty and monetary tribute. As time passed, and the Mafia expanded to the Americas, the Mafia became more â€Å"criminal†, engaging in provision of illegal services and collection of taxes in defiance of the â€Å"legitimate† government. It is the purpose of this work to argue that the Mafia, a â€Å"criminal† organization, meets the criteria to be considered a government. The terms Mafia or mob used in this work should be considered to be synonymous and to refer to the American Mafia. The Mafia’s structure is similar in nature to a feudal government system, with agents reporting to regional governors, who in turn report to the organization’s leader. While the mob may or may not possess an overall head, individual regions of the mob may be thought of as a form of local government. The Mafia, as it is currently being discussed, exists within the confines of the United States, and thus may be in competition with, or at least overlapping the geographic areas of other government systems. Definitions of Government Ayn Rand has much to say on the â€Å"proper function† of government, but it is unclear as to what she considers a formal definitionon of what exactly categorizes an organization as a government. Her most specific response to the question appears in the opening sentence of â€Å"The Nature of Government†. The opinion is that the use of force and the enforcement of rules should be limited to government. (Rand) Randall Holcombe references Robert Dahl and Max Weber, summarizing their points of view that a monopoly on the use of force in a given area is the defining characteristic of government, thus adding a spatial characteristic to the definition. Holcombe further points out that obviously a monopoly on the use of coercive force is not required as can be seen from examples of ov... ...orms of government will â€Å"die out† over time, then the Mafia must be relatively efficient. Regardless, efficiency is quite obviously NOT a requirement to be considered a government. Conclusion Of course any number of normative arguments may be raised as to the relative â€Å"fairness† of Mafia governance. That it lacks some air of legitamacy or morality is not at issue. The Mafia lacks a constitution, thus enabling a wide range of government action. Rights are accorded to citizens at the whim of government agents, laws may unknown and erratically enforced, shifts within the leadership of government may be violent and have unstabilizing effects on the region. However, none of these points are at issue here. The argument here is not that the Mafia is the best government, or even a good government. It is simply that it meets an objective criteria to be considered as a government. Bibliography: Holcombe, Randall G., â€Å"The Distinction Between Clubs and Governments,† in The Economic Foundations of Government, New York: New York University Press, 1994 (Chapter 5) Rand, Ayn, â€Å"The Nature of Government,† The Virtue of Selfishness. New York: Signet Books, 1964, pp 107-115

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