Sympathy For The Mafia
Remember The Godfather, Good Fellas, even the old Al Capone movies? The romanticism of how a group of thugs ruling the world in secret, through crime and murder. Remember? Dabbling in the idea is fun, but suppose you needed a good hard look in what it really means to be human within a few episodes. Wouldn’t you peek in with the lowest of the low to see what God allows to exist, under his grace? Someone with a conscience, someone who will sin, and someone who can fight to live?
In Project Italy, I wrote that Joshua Ayala worked for the Mafia as a bodyguard for his Boss’ daughter. The idea was to exhibit the standards of morals in a private circle. These days, we find that capital punishment is the only right reason to prove executions justifiable. But in feudal eras around the world, taking action on your own was normal. So if one did not live in the modern legal system, what system would they actually follow? That is, if they ever did have a need for such a thing.
Across the globe, old feudal governments have left remnants of the old world in not just artifacts and artworks, but with certain societies themselves. In Japan, the old Samurais roam as the Yakuza, functioning as a criminal syndicate to fortify their centuries’ old traditions; in Italy, the old Crusaders function as a Mafia in Sicily, commiting crimes in a global scale secretly through “Cosa Nostra”; Hell’s Angels do the same, and many others too go by their old code of honor, or chivalry as our history books call it, in one shape or form. Their purpose is defending their tradition, even if it means to sabotage the new ones. It’s kinda like Religion, but with a little more theft going on.
To associate Ayala with people like the Mafia was to give a more complex sense of humanity for the character’s development. Imagine who it must be to uphold honor in the face of the law, even if it was illegal. Would your sense of loyalty falter, or would you fight to save your family? The government wouldn’t understand. The depth of the syndicate digs deeper than just one heist – they wouldn’t know what fighting to stay alive meant, or how many people rely on your family’s dignity to function their culture, as a family, as a tribe, as a Society. You would be a fool to destroy it. The new government finds all of the Mafia’s ancient properties invalid, and Politics have demolished the old world – the same world that your family needs to live traditionally and socially.
To put it in a better perspective, we no longer have slavery as a norm in the western world. Abolishing slaves killed the Blue Bloods’ way of life for a couple of centuries, and now they have to pay the new standard wages to keep a Nanny – when the wages in the 1800s weren’t even half the amount comparitively by conversion or tax-wise. It’s inflated, by far! I mean, if servants were paid with our salary nowadays, almost half the population would’ve paid off their debt as slaves, and would be walking as free men before the end of the Civil War. Now, old money circulates between the Blue Bloods alone, and the new ones die with every recession our country suffers – though replenishes quite well afterwards.
But nonetheless, the Mafia go to Church, do community charity work, and kill anyone that gets in the way of their livelihood. To them family comes first, even if it means Prison. They will do whatever it takes to keep their chivalrous way of life alive. Anything beyond that is judgment under God. Anarchy at its best!