2018년 1월 30일 화요일

[발췌: Some context] Codes of the Underworld

※ 발췌 (excerpts):

출처 1: Ray Fisman and Tim Sullivan, The Inner Lives of Markets,  Public Affairs, 2016. p. 68.

Why do gangs in particular resort to such extreme measures? ( ... ... ) Online shoppers have nothing on the aspiring criminal mastermind in their need for credible signals. Suppose you want to rob a bank and need someone on the inside to help you with the job. Or you want to trade a few spare bars of enriched uranium that you grabbed in the chaos of the Soviet Union's collapse for an appropriate sum of money. How do you figure out which bank teller will be a trustworthy partner and which will contact the police? Which prospective buyers are fronting for the North Koreans and which ones are fronting for interpol? As Gambetta writes , "Given these propensities, one wonders how criminals ever manage to do anything together."

출처 2: ­ Diego Gambetta, Codes of the Underworld: How Criminals Communicate, Princeton University Press, 2009. 구글도서.

 Introduction, pp.ⅷ~

( ... ... ) Yet economists, who have developed sophisticated theoretical means to model information, have enough troubles collecting data on the world of ordinary business to bother with the underworld.

The study of criminal communications has also fallen between the stools of two common views, which reinforce each other. One pertains to how communication is understood in general. It is still all too frequent, even among scholars, to think of communication as symbolic communication or, more narrowly still, as linguistic communication. Words are set in opposition to actions, thereby inserting a bogus demarcation, as if actions could be undertaken only for tangible purposes rather than or communicative ends. ( ... ... ) Yet, even violent acts, as I hope to show, often have communicative purpose.

Because of the nature of their business, criminals have a lot to lose by misreading signs or emitting signals that are misread (unless they want them to be misread). They are thus driven to draw from a large repertoire of communicative options, some of which will come as a surprise to law-abiding readers. For instance, an insurance salesman who wishes to know whether a certain establishment is already insured can just as. But a mafioso who wants to discover whether a certain bar or restaurant is already "mobbled up"─under someone's protection, that is─cannot risk asking directly. He must look for subtle signs. FBI agent Joe Pistone, who infiltrated the mob under the same Donnie Brasco, wrote that Benjamin "Lefty Guns" Ruggiero "would size the place up, look for little things":

( ... ... )

Criminals face severe constraints on communication imposed by the action of the law, and, unlike the rest of us, cannot easily develop institutions aimed at circumventing them. This central feature of criminal lives makes communication and above all ^reliable^ communication exceptionally hard to sustain. ( ... ... )

Chapter 2 The Power of Limits, pp.30~

The problem of trust faced by all kinds of businesses, intensified, haunts the underworld. How does one know whether to trust others, and, conversely how does one persuade others that one is trustworthy (whether this is true or not)? Both questions are ceaselessly pressing for criminals, and if the reader takes a mental step into a criminal's boots, it is not difficult to see why. First, criminals operate under greater ^constraints^ that can force them to default on their agreements even if they do not want to, simply because the end up in prison or have to go on the run. In this sense they are not so much untrustworthy as unreliable, more likely to have "accidents."  Next, they have greater ^opportunities^ to renege on their agreements. While the secrecy in which they operate acts as a constraint, it can also be turned to their advantage, as they can vanish more easily. Cheats, furthermore, do not have to fear the law when they dupe other criminals, for the dupes have no access to legal protection. Third, they are more likely to have ^motivations^ to defect than most ordinary people do, as they are driven by selfish goals and disregard the property or even the lives of others. Fourth, they are more likely to have the ^dispositions^ to defect, for they are more prone than most to take risks. They are alos likely to feel bound by norms and be deterred by punishment than law-abiding citizens are.

Thus, by solving the problem discussed in chapter 1 and identifying each other as bona fide criminals, they also unavoidably let each other know that they have those constraints, opportunities, motivations, and dispositions, thereby landing themselves in what we may call the villain's paradox: a criminal needs partners who are also criminals, but these are typically untrustworthy people to deal with when their self-interest is at stake. To be more precise, one may be able to trust a criminal partner in certain respect─to act rationally under pressure and keep his sangfroid, for example, and to respond violently or even kill if necessary. One can trust one's partner to be a competent robber. But when it comes to sharing the booty, when interests are in conflict, it is hard to trust one criminal to show concern for another. While citizens can hope to find trustworthy-making features in other people's characters, villains typically cannot. Criminals embody ^homo economicus^ at his rawest, and they know it. In keeping with the evidence that people who are untrustworthy are also more likely to think that others are untrustworthy,[주]1 criminals are more inclined to distrust each other than ordnary people do. ( ... ... ) for instance that 58 percent of inmates agreed with the statement "one cannot be too careful in one's dealing with other people," while in the control group only 28 percent agreed.[주]2

Crime fiction, whether in writing or film, often exploits the tensions that arise from distrust (which may further enhance distrust among real criminals, who, as we shall see in chapter 10, are affected by fiction).  ( ... ... )

The evidence for loyalty in the real underworld, however, is close to nonexistent. True, there is a bias due to the fact that when things go wrong we are more likely to hear about them than when they go smoothly. Yet the evidence of cheating and betrayal is just too large to think that the problem of untrustworthiness troubles the underworld in merely the same way as it does ordinary business. Criminals dupe each other, all too easily yielding to their raw self-interest. Among a group of bid drug dealers in the Netherlands who were the object of research based on a very large documentation, "betrayal and double-crossing were habitual for many of the criminal entrepreneurs, leading to mutual distrust and returning flicks of paranoia."[주]5  The lives of British career criminals recounted by Dick Hobbs are replete with episodes of mistrust and cheating.[주]6  When offered the right incentives, even many mafiosi, allegedly the most loyal of the lot, have turned state's evidence and betrayed their former friends, bothe in the United States and in Italy.

Given these propensities, one wonders how criminals can ever manage to do anything together. This puzzle has long been recognized. In Plato's ^Republic^ Socrates asks Trasymachus, who claims that injustice is a source of strength, "please [tell me] whether you think that a city, or an army, or a band of robbers or thieves, or any other company which pursue some unjust end in common, would be able to effect anything if they were unjust to one another?" If they had been thoroughly unjust─Socrates concludes─they could not have kept their hands off one another. Clearly they must have possessed justice of a sort, enough to keep them from exercising their injustice on each other at the same time as on their victms. ... the throrough villains who are perfectly unjust, are also perfectly incapable of action."[주]7  Yet, while many have raised the issue, the explanations of what could possibly support some "justice of a sort" are not often satisfactory, and merit a fresh look.

In this chapter I do not have the ambition to cover all the ways in which criminals solve or circumvent the problem of trust. Here I discuss mostly a very odd way in which a trustee can persuade a truster that it is in the trustee's own interest to be trustworthy─by displaying his own incompetence. In the next chapter, I will explore how the same goal can be achieved by revealing information about one's own bad deeds. First, however, I approach the matter from the point of view of the truster, the criminal who is worried about his partner's trustworthiness. What can he do?


( ... ... )

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