There isn't much money in street crime. Unloading stolen goods is dead. Who wants a partly broken used car stereo? Any TV one person can lift is worthless. Used computers are E-waste. The old-line criminal organizations are either being bypassed or are moving into more profitable areas. Initial coin offerings, binary options, FOREX, and payday loans are the new big moneymakers.
Street crime has simply moved on: From pirated movies to hacked phone cards to peddling forged goods trough legitimate-looking online fonts.
Peddling drugs is as lucrative as ever just like the various side-shows of gambling/red light district incomes, where there's often a very fluid line between commercialized "security services" and organized gang crime.
And let's not even start with "Internet crime" which is basically the new "street crime" not because it's that much more lucrative but because it's that much more convenient and less dangerous than physical involvement.
> Initial coin offerings, binary options, FOREX, and payday loans are the new big moneymakers.
That's what the Yakuza actually started out as: White collar CEO Gangsters.
As I understand it the only reason the Kantō Rengō can now take over that role is because Japanese anti-Gang laws increasingly cracking down on the established old-school Yakuza, thus creating a power vacuum these Kantō Rengō are filling.
They might be less traditional in their ways, but they are pretty much running the same racket the Yakuza have been running.
Phones are easy to steal, people just start using them and lose focus on their surroundings, thieves can just grab and run, they are easy to conceal and a lot of people want to own an iPhone and can't afford it, there is a market.
I know there are ways to brick the device to make it unusable after it is stolen but most people are unaware of how that works.
The closest I can think of is the original Dracula, a story about a group of young, tech savvy people using all the latest gadgets, networks and information technology to fight off a threat to the urbanized world. But that is not often identified as cyberpunk and what it lacks in dystopia it certainly makes up in nightmare.
It already has everything that steampunk can be, except for the subtext of condescending mockery that often happens when current writers look at the historical technology.
Ummm i disagree. There has never been more money in drugs than today. Opioid crisis anyone? Just americans spend over 100billion dollars per year on drugs. Drugs fund a lot of things in this world.
>These criminals don’t belong to established yakuza groups, but they don’t have legitimate employment either. They make their living from violence or engage in crime on the side, in addition to their main job.
It seems to be saying they are part time criminals with real jobs, but it also says "they don't have legitimate employment".
Basically you trade off being more effective for being more robust. When any member can be arrested at any time it makes sense to retain only loose organization even though you won't get as much done.
Recently I've been reading about Vancouver's gang wars and it strikes me just how persistent Hells Angels seem to be compared to other groups that have all but disappeared off the radar or become friendly to Hells Angels.
Perhaps decentralization is the new organized crime paradigm...we won't be seeing supercartels like Cali anymore
(Interesting side note, gay leatherman culture grew out of specific gay biker gangs, and mainstream biker groups like Hell's Angels have a positive view of leather culture despite their macho image.)
Based on what I've read, in any country demobilized soldiers are a challenge; they are trained in violence, and are often traumatized, have trouble fitting in with civilians, and lack valuable civilian skills. In some places they become violent insurgents (a recent example is Iraq), in some the government finds a war for them (I've read that that was a motivation for the Crusades), and in the U.S. post-WWII it appears that some became biker gangs, a sort of vigilante for a peaceful society.
I've read it many times about many countries, current and historical. Find resources serious and detailed enough to deal with that kind of policy issue. There is abundant discussion in the U.S. press (e.g., the NY Times) of the demobilization of the Iraqi army after the Iraq War.
> or about the possible motivation for the crusades
Sorry, not off the top of my head, but it's a relatively well-known theory and I read it more than once. As I wrote, I've read that theory; I didn't say such things happened. That's because I don't recall whether the source was based on serious research and expertise or was repeating a semi-popular 'wisdom'.
Motorbike gangs like the Hells Angels got outlawed or severely restricted and violent youths on welfare looking to get involved in crime didn't have the money for expensive Harleys either way.
They started street gangs involved in drugs and fought with brutal violence for control over the nightlife and prostitution, as they had nothing to lose either way.