Organized crime can be found around the world. The Italian American mafia, clearly illustrated in The Godfather; the Japanese Yakuzza, and of course the Russian Mafia, are all still prominent, if obscured. While in America the mafia has become more covert, the same cannot be said of the Russian Mafia. The Russian Mafia was prominent during the soviet-era, but the turmoil created during the transition from a communist to capitalist economy has opened the door to further mafia influence which is more in the open than ever before. By the 1970s the Russian mafia was already a prominent force, as protectors and beneficiaries of a shadow economy in the USSR. With the complete government control of the USSR, any transaction that did not involve the government was considered illegal, or black market. Where there is a black market, there is organized crime; just as there was during the United States prohibition period, or the illegal drugs of today. The government was unable to provide for the needs of the people, and the high demand turned the mafia into a major provider. The transition to a capitalist society did not come easily to all citizens of Russia. They had become accustomed to soviet rule and everything that came with it. The idea of private property was not only unknown, but considered illicit. As such, the infiltration of the mafia into business was simple, as people still didn’t see the owning of private property as being legitimate. Also, the organized mafia of the USSR was already prominent, affluent, and had the connections necessary to further their positions. As others saw them thriving in the new economy, it was a reasonable expectation that their power would increase, as would their numbers as others began working for the mafia in their own efforts to survive in their new world. It provided jobs where legitimate jobs were not available in the new Another important explanation for the prominence of the mafia following the...
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