Our civilization is the most successful species in the history of the earth. The reason for it would be many such as our brain, our ability to move thumbs, and more, but for me, it would be organizing our tasks. This was the major dividend between humans and chimpanzees, who are par with us in many aspects.
The organization enhances productivity at an unprecedented rate for any sector, and crime is no exception. Just like other forces of society, crimes are also getting organized under a big umbrella.
Maybe you haven’t felt it, but it is no new concept if you have heard Mafia. The term is a headache for major countries, including the United States and Japan. If you are wondering what it is, Mafia? Justice defines them as criminal groups. The cinema portrays them as anti-hero judicial forces which fight against injustice.
The truth about both claims is tricky because the truth is hiding in nuances, and here it is, the history of the Mafia.
Mafia: Origin of Word
The Mafia is an umbrella term for crimes in an organized manner with a common motive. This is not new to the world; throughout history, instances of organized crime have been recorded. In ancient times, Publius Clodius Pulcher and Titus Annius Milo were known for their criminal organization.
However, because of limited reach, less communication, and various resistance, organized crimes were never a real threat to society. More accurately, organized crime never explicitly came to light in front of society.
The origin of word Mafia comes from the Sicilian adjectival word mafioso, which loosely translates to “swagger” but can also imply “boldness” or “bravado.” And that gave rise to the word “Mafia.”
The roots of the Mafia go through various regions of the world; however, modern understanding of the Mafia is much linked to the Italian Mafia. Because the Italian Mafia was the first instance where the world witnessed the rise of organized crime; before it, we found traces of organized crime and criminal organizations throughout the world, but nothing has intact information, unlike the Italian Mafia.
Such a group’s main function would be to organize and enforce illegal agreements between criminals by using violence or the threat of it, as well as to arbitrate disagreements amongst criminals.
Mafia: History of Injustice
The history of the Mafia is an interesting tale because the reason for the mafia uprising consists of the historical, cultural blend of justice and oppression. The reason for their rise can be traces of the socio-economic situations of society.
Even in Italy, a specific region is meant to be the origin of the Mafia, i.e., Sicily. Sicily was under rulers from diverse backgrounds; historically, it was under the Roman Empire, inevitably influenced by the roman tradition.
Because Islam was an essential part of the Arab Emirates, in 826 AD, Sicily fell to an Arabic conquest and became an Islamic Emirate. The culture and the tradition were directed in a new direction with substantial Arabic influence. During this period, Sicily developed the Arab notion of internal justice.
After the fall of the Arabic government, the Norman conquest occurred in Sicily. Norman annexed Sicily in the 11th century, and their presence magnified feudalism, i.e., feudal system and landlords. This was an increase in the centralization of power. The power accumulated in the hands of a few. Along with the normal judicial failure to balance justice all over, the people of Sicily started to dissatisfy with the judiciary.
In 1300 AD, the Spanish conquest Sicily. During this period, the founding stone for the Mafia was laid down. Spanish allowed the feudal system of the Norman ages to continue with a significant difference in taxation.
The Spanish limited the information flow to the island and introduced censorship, and their judicial system’s inefficiency wasn’t a secret. In addition to it, the taxation was also partially based on their social standing. The powerful Christians got their taxes to lift, ever lift, and most of the population was levied at hefty tax rates.
The rising dissatisfaction was explicit; mixing with the increase of the Italian Renaissance and the drive for internal justice led them to organize themselves against the Spanish rule that resistance in the form of crime was an early form of the Mafia.
In 1500 AD, the feudal system of the area lacked local representation. Thus it was natural and inevitable that it faced resistance from the local population. Because of the rigged government, people started indulging in organized criminal activities.
In addition to the local population, the bandits of Sicily were also dissatisfied with the feudal system, which is when bandits joined hands with them. With the rise of banditry (early Mafia) in Sicily, the idea of “omerta” was created to omit any information leak. Combined with the pre-acquired notion of internal justice, criminal organizations ran a parallel government within themselves, and the mafia framework slowly started developing. It was the foundation of the Mafia.
An in-depth analysis of the relationship between the Mafia and the history of Sicily is recorded in the article.
In Japan, yakuza arose due to political instability fall of society into the clutches of the criminal, and crime became a means to survive. Another mafia uprising around the world was similar. During that, the organization of the yakuza came to light to fight against the rigged system in a rigged manner.
However, from its beginning, the Mafia is adapted and changed with every passing day; the Mafia exists now much more, in fact, a completely different entity than it was then.
Mafia and the Change
From the uprising of the Mafia to this date, the networks, the working nature, and the mafia structure itself keep changing constantly.
The initial phase of the Mafia was around making money and establishing influence in the region. It is not a surprise because the organization’s main objective was to fight the battle against the government’s oppression and keep it constantly going; funding is necessary. The money comes from various illegal activities, and taking the instability of the government into account, money against the rules set by the oppressors wasn’t a bad idea for these fighters.
However, in recent times money from criminal activities has reduced significantly. The reason for it might be the increased efficiency of government bodies. The mafia business becoming the opposite of social acceptance is also a reason for it. Moreover, because of the increase in democracy around the world, we can conclude now the Mafia is actually against the majority of the country instead of just a bunch of aristocrats.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that Mafia is an extent. This line is for you if you believe that the Mafia is going extinct.
“The greatest trick devil ever pulled is convincing everyone that he doesn’t exist.”
The reality is not even close; they are transforming instead of dying. Instead of accepting, they avoid the public until they get acknowledgment and recognition. But how would they do that? What do you think?
It might be a tough pill to swallow, but it is what it is. The question of how they gain acknowledgment is not that hard if you think about it. The most common type is investing in startups, hospitals, education, and the entertainment sector and getting a return from it. Managing to find the loopholes in the law and comply with their investment per it is a common way to earn for mafias.
Because of all these reasons, we can say that Mafia is now becoming more acceptable and unnoticeable. Moreover, they are hiding beneath the new technology and new society. But how?
World Within Mafia-Tech
In recent times, technological advancement has done at an unprecedented rate; this is the world’s new reality. We have made more innovations in the past two decades than in the past two centuries. This, however, is affecting everyone and even criminals & crimes aren’t an exception.
Both government organizations and criminals are now involved in technical help than blunt weapons. For instance, take the cryptocurrency and technology of the blockchains. Blockchains are based on the technology where only data addition is allowed, not data manipulation.
In recent years, blockchains are covering the whole world market and news. The most prominent example of the blockchain application is a cryptocurrency, now with cryptocurrency (where only owners of cryptocurrencies are encoded, not the transaction personals) is a haven for illegal transactions worldwide.
Thus, it was not out of the blue that the Mafia started using blockchains as their currency for managing the funds. This increases the headache of every government around the globe equally why because tracking the money is much easier than the flow of cryptocurrency circulation.
Furthermore, the increase in the crypto craze is also a good source of income for the government (directly or indirectly). Therefore, it is difficult to abolish crypto unilaterally.
And this is just the begging of the game, where the traditional Mafia would come into the virtual world and even force society to think about the definition of the Mafia itself.
Mafia in Future
From the beginning, the Mafia was always a major force in social variables, but now the question is whether it will be the same.
The ways & ethics of the traditional Mafia are on the verge of downfall. However, that downfall shouldn’t be misjudged as the Mafia’s downfall. Unlike the traditional Mafia, which was quite explicit in showcasing its power, it now operates much more latently.
Investigation agencies around the world have pointed out their change in nature. The shifts of the stronghold are due to the crunch of money in traditional conduct. It is important to understand how the new Mafia will work and their conduct ethics.
Whether it is now or the future, one thing will always be common in the; drug business. The unexceptional method of generating money with the least cost is always an evergreen business for mafias until a scientist invents a drug controller.
The instance of extortion will reduce with time in the future because, with increasing social media, the voice raised will increase significantly, making the authorities more accountable. Thus extortion with the engagement of guards will be a tough bullet to bite in the future.
Based on the current world, which is in the midst of a transition between the digital world and the non-digital world, we can predict various crime patterns in the future. As of now, crimes are evolving. The current crimes are more digital and are a mix of psychological and sociological crimes.
For instance, individuals initially carried out online scams worldwide; however, now there are dedicated call centers solely devoted to scamming people; this might be a similar case for the early footholds of the Mafia.
In the future, there will be a set of technologies that will be prevalent.
Even now, we can hear the roar of it; how? Think about the various technologies that are changing our daily life. The technologies such as Genomics and Drones are becoming more prevalent and expanding like never before.
Drones are incurred in our daily life to quite an extent, and the way drones are utilized as weapons, the day isn’t far when physical attacks of the mafia group will be conducted with drones.
In the future, the financial backbone of the mafia groups will shift from traditional extortion to creating supply for various unmet demands. Because of the various increase in technologies, the use of certain technologies in certain sectors will be limited.
Take the case of genomics. Initially, the budget for gene sequencing costs around 3 billion dollars; however, today, gene sequencing costs around 1000 dollars, and the cost of genomics sequencing is decreasing with everyday advancement.
In the future, it would be normal for every parent to have the best for the best genes; however, will it be ethical? I don’t think so, and as of the current beliefs, the law would be imposed on the manipulating genes of the embryo. In this scenario, the Mafia would be there to meet the supply in exchange for a hefty amount.
The level of organization segregates the random thug and the mafia members. While on the surface, they may seem like personal attacks, on a deeper level, they all belong to one organization and can’t be more interrelated. With every technology, the Mafia would either use it to their benefit to earn money or to kill someone.
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