In his article, “Global Organized Crime” James Mittleman describes the progression of organized crime. He attributes this progression to globalization. Mittleman’s purpose of this essay was to enlighten readers as to how globalization affects organized crime in order to hopefully put a stop to this type of crime in the future. The example that Mittleman uses that I find most helpful in understanding his overall message is the example about Chinese emigration. Mittleman states, “Triads have smuggled people to America since the California gold rush in the 1840s” (Mittleman 226). Clearly, emigration is much more than a problem of the past. The author relates this back to globalization by saying, “This crisis has fueled rural resentment and peasant uprisings in some parts of China, perhaps constituting an early stage of a Polanyian backlash” (Mittleman 227). Mittleman uses these different examples to form a comprehensive picture showing how organized crime is affected by globalization. His approach is very strong because it ties in factors like technology that are also extremely affected by globalization (Mittleman 226). The main weak point that I found with Mittleman’s essay is the fact that he did not relate it back to the United States as much as he should have. It would have been in Mittleman’s favor to use examples from a wide range of places in order to show the true effect of globalization. In addition, I personally would have been able to relate to the essay much easier if he had talked about crime in the United States. I believe that key ideas and examples from Mittleman’s essay can be used to extend Anthony Giddens’ writing.
In our latest reading of Giddens’ works, Giddens compares modernity to a juggernaut (Giddens 151). According to Merriam-Webster: a juggernaut is “something (such as a force, campaign, or movement) that is extremely large and powerful and cannot be stopped.” This specific portion of Giddens’ writings reminded me a lot of Mittleman’s in the sense that both authors acknowledge how profound of an effect that globalization truly has. Giddens, however, seems to overcomplicate basic ideologies surrounding globalization, whereas Mittleman is much more straightforward about them. For example, Giddens questions the term “money” and it’s relation to globalization. While Giddens almost undermines the importance of money, Mittleman on the other hands discusses it thoroughly, therefore strengthening his overall argument. To exemplify, Mittleman discusses the economic involvement with organized crime and how the importance on money is furthering at the same time as organized crime (Mittleman 228). I do not mean to undermine the work of Giddens in any way, as I see his idea to be insightful and correct in many ways. My belief lies that if Giddens and Mittleman were to combine writings and styles, that the product would be much more detailed and easier to comprehend. Mittleman’s work is much more concise, yet can lack the depth that Giddens always provides. For this reason, I think that Giddens would somewhat disagree with the extent that Mittleman believes that globalization affects organized crime. To conclude, I think that both authors bring to the table insightful ideas that, when put together, create a clear picture of globalization.