The orange side of organized crime

Our brain flashes gruesome images when we imagine crime. It is not our brain’s fault. We feed those images into our brains when we consume news and other sources that report a crime. Most of the crime that is reported happens to be a sensational event. Something uncommon or rare that can draw eyeballs, hence the media reports it. Crime quintessentially means murder, rape or some form of harm to humans. Very few people are able to imagine crime beyond violence and the razzmatazz that comes with it. But again, that is not our fault. We are limited by imagination because the crime that doesn’t involve violence is inadequately reported, at least in the popular media.

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Money laundering, smuggling of goods, bribery, forgery, vandalism, welfare fraud, white Collar crime are all disproportionately reported unless off-course the shit hits the fan or they achieve the proportion that draws national attention. Given this reality, organized crime remains largely underplayed despite the fact that it is more rampant than other crimes.

I am also amazed by the term  “organized”. Having read the Godfather, I can totally relate it to how an organization functions. There is a Capo Regimo or captain. Then there are under-bosses and associates. These organizations have goals and missions. Perhaps objectives to expand in certain geographies. They have strategies to spread their network. Franchisee model to collect revenues. Strategic partnerships with corrupt politicians and financial institutions. They have to manage logistics and collections. They have to deal with the engagement of employees, retention and hiring new talent. It gets so mundane that the media simply doesn’t find it interesting to report. Unless off-course the shit hits the fan. Read Pablo Escobar.

But look at the orange side( I won’t call it the bright side) of organized crime. Is it not an entrepreneurial pursuit?

So what are the core competencies of a typical mafia recruit?

  1. First and foremost he must be risk-taking. This risk-taking attitude mostly comes from ignorance rather than a natural ability to calculate probabilities of winning. *I am using “He” given the skewed gender diversity in organized crime.
  2. Ability to follow orders.
  3. Ability to commit while keeping a positive attitude.
  4. Last but not the least, strong networking and influencing skills.

I can go on. But you get the point. There is not a big difference between the success skills that are required in the corporate/entrepreneurial world and the crime world.

Survival skills for humans on this planet remain same irrespective of the choices they make in life. Organized crime is no different. It is just an industry poised to explore the weakest chain of law and order.

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