FYS Research Paper
April 11th, 2010
Mafia vs. U.S. Government
Crime is prevalent everywhere. No matter where we turn it’s among us whether in the midst of shadow of an unknown party or on the fifty-inch TV broadcasting the State of the Union speech. Yet, we are oblivious to the crimes occurring around us. We are unable to envision the tremendous corruption resting around the lurking street corners contributed by the Mafia. At the same time we cannot ponder that idea elected officials are too worthy to be labeled criminals. Even though, many citizens are oblivious to both distinctive groups of criminals, there is a great similarity between both parties. The hierarchy and structure of the Mafia and the U.S. Government are identical and correlate to equal success of both factions. Both groups are capable of completing crime through this system and become undiscovered, given there isn’t a flaw within the system. Many would argue that the U.S. Government and the Mafia’s crimes are not on the same plateau, but given the power and prestige of the government they should be held to higher standards when sentencing is decided. The Mafia is portrayed as a secret faction that keeps strong ties to its group while raising mischief within the community in order to promote lucrative living conditions. Their consistent secrecy and ruthlessness has been the motivating factor for its success in producing video games such as, Grand Theft Auto IV, where a player can live the lives of the Mafia by shooting disgruntled associates, picking up hookers, or visiting the boss. The Mafia’s fame has landed the TV show Sopranos. The show tells the story of the life of a crime boss of the DiMeo family, Tony Soprano, who robs, kills, and lies, to everyone around him. Also, the movie The Godfather, which is the second placed ranked film of all-time, portrays the life of Don Corleone and how he has built the largest Mafia empire and sticks to the morals of the family. This incredible popularity of the Mafia portrayal can be deciphered by analyzing the structure and loyalty of the gang. During the arrest of Salvatore Lo Piccolo, Italian officials were able to discover a list of Mafia commandments. The Ten Commandments or “Omerta” of the mafia included: “I swear to be faithful to La Cosa Nostra should I betray my flesh would burn.”
“1. No-one can present himself directly to another of our friends. There must be a third person to do it. 2. Never look at the wives of friends.
3. Never be seen with cops.
4. Don’t go to pubs and clubs.
5. Always being available for Cosa Nostra is a duty - even if your wife’s about to give birth. 6. Appointments must absolutely be respected.
7. Wives must be treated with respect.
8. When asked for any information, the answer must be the truth. 9. Money cannot be appropriated if it belongs to others or to other families. 10. People who can’t be part of La Cosa Nostra: anyone who has a close relative in the police, anyone with a two-timing relative in the family, anyone who behaves badly and doesn’t hold to moral values.”
These rules give testament to the Mafia’s strict loyalty and basis for a firm structure. By establishing a stern policy the family is ingrained in faithfulness to the family code. The fear of immediate death is the driving factor that would keep members in the family aware of its rules and keep it flawless. This truthfulness to the Mafia commandments is clearly portrayed in the movie The Road to Perdition. Tom Hanks plays the role of Michael Sullivan who is a soldier to John Rooney, his mafia crime boss who adopts Sullivan at an early age and acts as his father figure. Sullivan grows into the Mafia family and completes numerous tasks for Rooney, his father and boss. However, one-day Sullivan’s son Mike Jr. witnesses his dad and Connor Rooney, a capo commit a murder. Although Michael Sullivan swears his son to secrecy to...