Charles Tilly on War
Source Ian Murray
Date 02/12/03/01:35

"If protection rackets represent organized crime at its smoothest, then
war making and state making - quintessential protection rackets with the
advantage of legitimacy - qualify as our largest examples of organized
crime...[C]onsider the definition of a racketeer as someone who creates a
threat and then charges for its reduction. Governments' provision of
protection, by this standard, often qualifies as racketeering. To the
extent that the threats against which a given government protects its
citizens are imaginary or are consequences of its own activities, the
government has organized a protection racket. Since governments themselves
commonly simulate, stimulate, or even fabricate threats of external war
and since the repressive or extractive activities of governments often
constitute the largest current threats to the livelihood of their own
citizens, many governments operate in essentially the same way as
racketeers." [Charles Tilly]

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