The State writ small

“…the State is nothing more nor less than a bandit gang writ large” -Murray Rothbard, The Ethics of Liberty

If Murray was right, then the reverse would also be true-namely, the mafia is merely the State writ small. Certainly, they both do watch out for each other.

Take a look at the latest mafia news. Apparently, John Gotti just got a mistrial. Fancy that! And, as always, it was on a technicality-namely, that his last act of racketeering was more than five years before the trial date. A jury was hung on the question-undoubtedly because some of them had either been bought or threatened. You would think that the government’s prosecutor would have more jurisprudential savvy than to bring a case to trial in such a manner that would give the mafia plenty of room to maneuver… but then again, let’s not forget that the government has a lot of money to be made by working with organized crime. In fact, two cops in New York seem to have done just that, by moonlighting as hitmen and providing tips to the Luchese crime family.

The two institutions are really one and the same. They both demand “protection money” if you live on their turf. They both will ruin countless lives with their “turf wars” and quietly demand monopolies on drugs and prostitution in their “turf.” Hell, for that matter they’re both into providing welfare-yes, even the likes of Al Capone were bleeding heart New Dealers. And now, by the looks of it, these two crime syndicates are allies in the War on People.

posted by Stuart Richards
  • Daniel

    Are mobsters anarcho-capitalists? Isn’t the mafia a kind of private government where there is private “justice” and use of force?

  • http://www.bradspangler.com/blog/ Brad Spangler

    @Daniel:

    Perhaps the best treatment of that topic is Bob Murphy’s “Should We Love or Loathe the Mafia?”. The article is a book review and Murphy corrects several misconceptions the author of the book in question had on the topic.

  • Daniel

    Wow, Brad, that is a fascinating article, especially the last sentence of this paragraph:

    “We must also keep in mind that (except for pacifists) it is not the use of violence per se that is improper, but rather the use of violence against innocent people. Thus, even if we view protection agencies as firms that employ violence, this alone does not prove that they will be criminal in free market anarchy. Again, it is useless to point to mafia behavior in the present system as evidence for this, just as it would be foolish to argue that the case of Al Capone proves that alcohol sellers would be evil under anarchy.”

    I am startng to view anarcho-capitalism in a whole new light.

  • http://happyslave.blogspot.com/ Bryan

    Mafia-style “government” is an inevitable consequence of any form of “anarcho” state–we are primates. Thoroughly free competition ultimately becomes nothing other than a fight among local warlords. A disinterested party to whom appeals can be made without requiring one pay said party off is always to some extent necessary. Anarchism, including anarcho-capitalism, partakes of the same magical thinking as does Marxism. “No True Scotsman”, anyone? The interesting thing is that “running government like a business” only ends up making it even more explicitly like the Mafia. A legitimate business theoretically cannot claim authority of coercion or demand payment at gunpoint regardless of non-use of goods or services.

  • Nicholas Sarwark

    First, all mistrials are based on technicalities; a mistrial is a procedural error sufficiently serious as to violate a defendant’s right to due process. If a defendant goes free based on the evidence being too flimsy, that’s an acquittal.

    Second, I don’t see how baseless speculation that the jury was hung because of bribes or threats adds anything to your post. Let the facts stand by themselves, without piling on with guesses.

  • Ian C

    In another forum altogether… something interesting with the AZ Gubernatorial race…

    http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0314political-insider0314.html

    I could make witticisms, but this one stands alone.

  • http://www.bradspangler.com/blog/ Brad Spangler

    @Bryan:

    Mafia-style “government” is an inevitable consequence of any form of “anarcho” state–we are primates.

    This is a rather authoritative statement, yet it is not accompanied by any supporting details beyond the zoologoical one quoted — which isn’t relevant for those of us who don’t sit around eating the fleas out of our relatives fur as other primates do either. Instead, we just get another unsupported assertion:

    Thoroughly free competition ultimately becomes nothing other than a fight among local warlords.

    This confuses freedom and competition with aggression. Unless the poster is an advocate of total state socialism and wants to outlaw all free enterprise, he ought to know better.

  • http://www.bradspangler.com/blog/ Brad Spangler

    @Bryan:

    A disinterested party to whom appeals can be made without requiring one pay said party off is always to some extent necessary.

    Apparently you’re either unaware of the relevant bodies of work concerning arbitration or to pig-headed to read for actual comprehension. Market anarchists specifically advocate arbitration of disputes by disinterested third parties.

    Notable also is the choice of words “pay… off” rather than simply “pay”. This is a subtle smear and implied distortion of what market anarchists advocate, trying to make a simple payment for professional services sound like a bribe. The poster undoubtedly doesn’t demand that government judges serve without pay, yet the poster naively assumes government judges can hear cases fairly when the government is a party to a suit. Hypocrisy.

  • http://www.bradspangler.com/blog/ Brad Spangler

    @Bryan:
    For crying out loud — if you’re going to argue against market anarchism, at least take the time to familiarize yourself with and understand the relevant body of work (here’s a start) instead of just spouting off a knee jerk response based on the statist myths we’ve all been propagandized with since childhood. I’m utterly sick of smug but ignorant people who keep repeating the same old statist nonsense that we’ve all — including anarchists — heard before. Anarchists not so stupid as to not be aware of the things you’re saying. We’ve examined them closer than you have, and found them to be utter bullshit.

  • http://happyslave.blogspot.com/ Bryan

    I am quite suspicious of any plan for Heaven on Earth. They all end up in mass murder.