It's more re-emergence of a phenomenon in Italy and Sicily because the Mafia - in either its Italian or Sicilian forms - has been filling the role of situational strongman for around for a hundred years if not more.Easy_C said:So....Let me put on my dusty old Military “Advisor” hat here.“Mafia bosses consider their cities as their own fiefdom,” Gratteri said. “The bosses know very well that in order to govern, they need to take care of the people in their territory. And they do it by exploiting the situation to their advantage. In the people’s eyes, a boss who knocks on the door offering free food is a hero. And the boss knows that he can then count on the support of these families when necessary, when, for example, the mafia sponsors a politician for election who will further their criminal interests.”
This is bad news. VERY bad news.
The reason why the Afghan government failed had a lot of factors but it came down to one end result: they were unable to take care of their population even remotely as well as the Taliban did which meant that people, villages, and tribes would almost always side with the Taliban if forced to choose and were far more loyal to the Taliban.
So cross of one more pre-requisite condition needed to reach the “Western civilization collapsed” state of affairs. Said condition is: People are more loyal local strongmen than they are the society.
In the first half of the 19th century, Italy had its chaotic and disorganised version of the French Revolution in what was called the Risorgamento, the fusing of all the small Italian duchies, city-states, and the Papal States into the single nation of Italy, mainly out of the fact they'd had about enough of being ruled by the Austrians.
It wasn't anywhere near as clean or simple a process as, say, the US breakaway from England, or the French revolution, because Italian provinces were much more independently-minded and had their own cultures to some extent. That's why you can go across Italy and find literally fifty different ways of doing a pasta sauce; it's because the bonds between people of the same province override wider patriotism, ask an Italian what the word paisano means and you'll get a sense of it.
As said, it wasn't clean, and it took the fall of noble houses which had been in authority over different areas for hundreds of years. (see the Sicilian novel The Leopard for a good look at the period). And there was chaos. Out of this chaos came the Mafia: the Cosa Nostra as they call themselves in Sicily, groups of former bandits and criminals hired to keep order when nobody else could, or who formed to keep order when no one else could.
So if the Mafia is back in business as foodrunners, that is not too different from how they originated back in Western Sicily.