April 25, 2006
With Friends Like These

James H. gets a no-prize he can't refuse for bringing us a rather novel proposal:

Provenzano’s “pizzini” reveal that the Mafia is meditating on the eventual need to resolve staffing problems by outsourcing crimes to occasional freelancers or by hiring Greek and Albanian thugs to fill gaps in the ranks. These are, frankly, stopgap solutions that underline its internal weakness and will eventually spell the end of the organization. Something similar happened at the decline of the Roman empire when the defense of the imperial borders was entrusted to barbarian mercenaries.

We understand the moral objections, but classic “realpolitik” suggests that it would be in Italy’s national interest to do something about the problem. There are already proposals to create a Mafia “theme park” at Corleone. It is hard to imagine a clearer symbol of increasing irrelevance or anything more shameful for what was an undoubted national glory than to see the children of real mafiosi making a living selling souvenirs and cotton candy to tourists.

Don't look at me, man. All I do is work on Italian cars!

Posted by scott at April 25, 2006 08:30 AM

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