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22 Am. Inst. Crim. L. & Criminology 652 (1931-1932)
Some Observations Concerning Organized Crime

handle is hein.journals/jclc22 and id is 616 raw text is: SOME OBSERVATIONS CONCERI-NG
ORGANIZED CRIME
HENRY BARRETT CHAMBERLIN'
Organized crime is a manifestation of economic movement. In
its present form it is the result of an increasing intelligence on the
part of the criminal class-the application of the capitalistic system
by the predatory who are not openly protected by the forms of law.
Organized crime is as ancient as civilization. It begins at a
time older than recorded history. It is a tradition dating back farther
than the days when Hiram Abif, grand architect of the Temple of
Solomon, was slain by ruffians who attempted to wrest from him the
secret that would enable them to ply their vocation successfully in new
fields of endeavor. It is basically founded on an economic condition
and its historical aspects carry the student into almost every field
of human activity. It is only slightly less basic than the sex relation-
ship and those two other fundamentals with which mankind is most
concerned, the providing of food and a place of habitation.
A competent history of organized crime carried through to the
development of the movement under present day conditions, -with its
underlying sources and philosophy, would require a treatise dealing
with human relationships over the centuries.
It would concern the feudal system, the feats of the old buc-
caneers, the slave traders, the caravan highwaymen of the far east,
the smugglers, the mafia of Italy, the Molly Maguires of more recent
times and the many others of their ilk. It would ponder alliances
between those frowned upon by the law and the allegedly respectable
folk who profited by their misdeeds; it would note the frequent paraly-
sis of justice; and it would trace these characteristics of criminal
history in times agone down to the present day conditions and the
activities of the modern gangster and racketeer. It would concern
not only the material but the spiritual, with considerations of reli-
gion. environment and geographical mobility; the passions and the
greed of men; and it would lead logically to those operations of crim-
inal groups which we face today. And if there could be reached
an understanding of the mental processes of the individuals of the
various groups there could be had an understanding of the modern
gangster.
'Operating Director, Chicago Crime Commission.

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