Wages Of Crime Essay

2210 words - 9 pages

Wages of Crime: Black Markets, Illegal Finance, and the Underworld Economy is a book by R. T. Naylor based on his views of organized crime and the government’s stance and involvement. Naylor writes from a mostly democratic point of view and presents his thesis quite clearly. Naylor's thesis in this book is that organized crime is a convenient myth handed to society by the government. In this book Naylor sets up four important concepts: first on the black market operations of guerrilla groups, second on the modern arms market, then on money laundering, and finally the underworld trade in gold. Throughout the book he talks about the critique of the public perceptions of ...view middle of the document...

“Although the seeds were sown before the end of the Cold War,” free market liberalism has made this disproportionate distribution of income a trend of sorts. “Traditional forms of protectionism economic and social, have disappeared in the face of the “free” international movement of commodities, services and money, while fiscal restraints have made it all the more difficult to mitigate the effects.” (pg. 86) Increasingly the state has declined to provide social and economic security to the population. This seems to be the sure path that leads to the population expressing their needs in an aggressive and violent forms as in through these guerrilla groups which are steadily gaining power, income and favor from those in need.
That shifting of favor, and the slow turn towards violence is perfect transition into chapter three which discusses commerce and underground finance in the modern arms black market. “Around the world, a similar symbiosis of political insurgency, contraband trade and arms proliferation has occurred…” (pg.88). Naylor believes that as the Cold war is now over, and the world weapons trade seems to be in decline or it should be at least. But he goes on to state that is not a reality. He argues that now sellers vie for technology and making sophisticated weapons with that knowledge. Second that even though the sales of arms may of gone down but the use is now different, while during the Cold war it was for show, now the buyers are in it to use what they buy and not just to display. Thirdly Naylor points out that a part of the reduction that has been seen post-Cold War is not due to lower quantity or arms being bought and sold but lower prices at which they are being sold. Also he argues that for strategic and political reasons governments underreport “even their legitimate arms trade, not to mention their trade in components and technology for unconventional weapons.” (pg. 89)
Black market buyers are no longer just the insurgents. They are also formally recognized countries that for logistical, strategic or financial reasons cannot or will not buy openly as Naylor states. On the supply-side, theoretically all newly produced arms flowing onto the market are subject to control. However, the restriction of end-users and the curbing of secondary trafficking are undermined by a combination of commercial greed, political corruption and the sheer mass of weaponry. Middlemen who are not just in the gun trade are like warehouse salesmen connect the buyers and suppliers for any verity of things from rubies and guns. “In the past, the profession of gunrunner tended to draw heavily from the ranks of former intelligence agents, veteran military personnel and ex-arms company executives, today, they also include veteran cigarette smugglers, toxic waste brokers, metal traders, and drug traffickers.” (pg. 105) The result is dizzying; weapons might be sold for cash, exchanged for hostages, bartered for heroin or religious artifacts, or...

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