Topics: Mafia, Palermo, Benito Mussolini Pages: 4 (1464 words) Published: March 20, 2013
Chaos: Made Men’s Place in History
In Sicily, an island between Italy and North Africa, many different foreign invaders ruled. Groups formed to protect themselves from these invaders and later developed their own sense of justice; carrying out these acts secretly (Salvatore 9). Nineteenth and twentieth century southern Italy was a semi-feudal society. Similar to medieval Europe, it was a society where a ruler held land in exchange for service or labor (Salvatore 8). Large estates called “latifondismo” were controlled by their feudal owners to uphold their power. However by the 19th century, during disarray small private armies known as “mafia” took advantage of chaotic conditions in Sicily and extorted money from landowners (9). The word mafia became a term for the description of a criminal organization. These mafia families integrated seamlessly into the landholding power of the estates, which proved to be profoundly authoritative in Southern Italy (Dickie, 158). Mafiosi who held this power and best represented these landholders were Giuseppe Genco Russo and Don Calò Vizzini. Russo emerged as a political entity for the mafia in central Sicily after Benito Mussolini’s fascist movement was quelled, and after the first ‘War on Mafia’ landholding power declined and lead to a shifted paradigm of the way the Sicilian Mafia managed their activities during a postwar era. Russo was blatantly unflattering to others. He embodied the coarse life that Sicilians once lived (Dickie 220). He was a wealthy landowner, succeeded his boss Don Calò Vizzini as a central authority in the isolated central Sicily, and crowned himself ‘boss of bosses,’ which is a title that doesn’t exist. His disgusting habits involved keeping his mule in the house and a ‘toilet’ which was a hole in the ground with stone seats, outside (Dickie 220). Despite his treatment of others no matter what their position, Russo never posed hostility towards women or children. This moral code was what the first...
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