The Socialist

The Socialist 23 September 2008

Their failure, their system: make the capitalists pay

Their failure, their system: make capitalists pay


Scrap tuition fees!

Students seek out socialists!

Education a 'them and us' system


New Labour flounders in face of economic crisis


Make the super-rich pay!

Merseyside CNWP calls for socialist policies


Protesting against Bush and Brown's wars

LibDems aping the Tories

Them & us

Jamie's school dinner staff threatened with privatisation

Fighting the racist BNP in Stoke

We won't take the RAP on pollution

Health Trust concessions on Swansea casualty unit

Salford councillors play blame game


Civil service strike ballot begins

Workers vow to fight Ford's closure plans

North Staffs NSSN launched


Revolution and counter-revolution in Bolivia


The Dark Knight: Batman's latest crime-buster

McMafia: Crime Without Borders

 
 

PO Box 24697, London, E11 1YD

020 8988 8777

editors@socialistparty.org.uk

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/549/6434

Seach this siteSearch the site

Printable versionPrintable version

Facebook

Twitter

Home   |   The Socialist 23 September 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

McMafia: Crime Without Borders

By Misha Glenny
Reviewed by Iain Dalton

As the title indicates, this book is a penetrating insight into the close co-existence of big business and organised crime throughout the world.

Glenny, a former BBC correspondent during the break-up of Yugoslavia, starts his journey through worldwide organised crime with where he knows best, the Balkans. He interviews law enforcement agencies and current and ex-criminals and describes the web of corruption in these newly capitalist states that have allowed smuggling to establish itself so strongly. He goes on to trace the explosion of organised crime worldwide.

Unlike other authors discussing the relation between organised crime and the break-up of the USSR, he doesn't see the rise of the mafiya in Russia as an aberration on its path to transforming into a full-blown free market economy. He demonstrates that the rise of the mafiya and the gangster capitalist society it brought with it were linked.

Mafiya bosses transformed themselves into 'legitimate' businessmen who would then cut and run with their new money and status to the west.

Glenny then examines the effect this transformation of the former Stalinist states had on other countries. He demonstrates how globalisation, in particular the deregulation of financial markets, has led to a bonanza for organised crime as the boundaries between legality and illegality have blurred.

He points out that the main recruiting sergeant for organised crime gangs and syndicates is capitalism's inability to provide even the hope of a decent future for many people, whether it be the street gangs in Mumbai, the Yakuza in Japan, drug mules in South Africa or coca growers in Colombia.

Maintaining 'order'

He also notes the role that organised crime plays in helping to maintain capitalist society in many countries - not just by occasionally doing big business' dirty work but also in maintaining 'order' through their own rule of terror that law enforcement agencies co-exist with rather than tackle.

An extreme example was when the boom in the Japanese economy ended, leaving several financial institutions with bad debts owed to the yakuza. To reclaim these debts the yakuza made an example of one leading banker by murdering him. To stop a crime wave setting off, instead of punishing the yakuza for this act, the government underwrote all the financial institution's bad debts, effectively buying the yakuza off.

The book offers no serious way forward. Instead Glenny is rather despondent, understanding that the financial and other loopholes that organised crime exploit are the same that benefit big business.

He says in the conclusion that: "The need for strong, well-equipped law-enforcement agencies to combat organised crime is axiomatic. But appeals like this, which offer solutions based on the greater engagement of the police or military alone, betray a profound abdication of political responsibility."

Getting halfway there, he then adds that these appeals "are the product of unimaginative politicians who lack either the vision or the interest to address the great structural inequalities in the global economy upon which crime and instability thrive."

Glenny explains that it is not in the interests of the major capitalist countries to do this but at this point he reaches his limits.

It is socialists who have both the vision and interest to tackle inequality and really begin a fight to eradicate crime.


In this issue

Their failure, their system: make capitalists pay


Socialist Students

Scrap tuition fees!

Students seek out socialists!

Education a 'them and us' system


Socialist Party editorial

New Labour flounders in face of economic crisis


Socialist Party feature

Make the super-rich pay!

Merseyside CNWP calls for socialist policies


Socialist Party campaigns

Protesting against Bush and Brown's wars

LibDems aping the Tories

Them & us

Jamie's school dinner staff threatened with privatisation

Fighting the racist BNP in Stoke

We won't take the RAP on pollution

Health Trust concessions on Swansea casualty unit

Salford councillors play blame game


Socialist Party workplace news

Civil service strike ballot begins

Workers vow to fight Ford's closure plans

North Staffs NSSN launched


International socialist news and analysis

Revolution and counter-revolution in Bolivia


Socialist Party review

The Dark Knight: Batman's latest crime-buster

McMafia: Crime Without Borders


 

Home   |   The Socialist 23 September 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999