What I subsequently came to conclude, after posting this topic, was there is a need (for me at least) to better understand what the VSM has to offer by way of analysing this organised crime arena.
Organised crime, in my definition, can cover a broad set of antisocial activities -- wars of aggression even. However, in this case (below), and others like it, we can ask, perhaps, by way of the VSM, at a sustainable planetary scale, qui bono? -- i.e.
1) Can all systems (issues) be reconciled upwards in recursions to a single unified whole?
2) If so, then what is/are the relationships between the System 1s such that 'crime' can exist? Is this a necessary function, state or condition?
It seems to me that the core issues here, assuming the VSM is somewhat useful and accurate as a model to think with on this type/class of problem, must either revolve around sophistry or the question of whether is there really is dualistic reality (or dualism in reality)?
If sophistry, then we don't ultimately don't need to know more -- as it is only a mental passing of time.
However, if dualism, then we need to understand what makes criminality viable and how this viability is ultimately sustained? That is, by way of theory, and by way of praxis.
As you point out, rightly I believe, a key issue here, if not the
key issue, is where in the meta-system is this dualism: (a) located; (b) sustained; (c) balanced; (d) grounded in identity; (e deployed in policy; and finally (f) operationalised in action?
If the 'problem' is not in the meta-system per se, then how does it manifest in a viable universe -- i.e. it would seem that at least one System 1 must be at odds with another. Then it must be a System 3, 3* or 2 issue? Or the algedonic. Otherwise, it seems to me, we must refute the notion 'universe' and start developing 'multi verses' etc -- which it would seem the VSM cannot easily address by definition (it being a model leading towards a unitary synergy I assume).
Now I can subscribe to the opposing thumb (makes a hand) theory -- but I find it difficult to see this specific situation of concern (e.g. as per this case study) as anything other than either systemic failure and/or theory failure. I am working through Beer's books as fast as I can, it's a hard slog, but I have not yet seen anything on criminality. Does this exist?
I'm not interested in conflicts due to subsidiary system 'freedom fighting' issues. Nor am I interested in the viability of the mafia etc -- I assume the VSM simply applies as per normal. What I am interested in is the fuzzy boundary where S5-S4-S3 reconcile this issue logically and S3-S2-S1's in practice.
To ground this in the current thread: what is the commonality between these two case studies? (one focused on the virtual and the other on the very real). Systemic failure -- yes! But there is intent also, and not just neglect or ignorance? And at the highest levels of governance it seems!
In what is this intent grounded and how is it explained via the VSM?
I am aware of many tribal narratives that attempt to explain (away mostly) this issue -- and I'm sure Dr Watson and Sherlock H. will be chasing Moriarty forever -- but does the VSM offer any help in addressing this issue in the real world of (future) sustainable governance?
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Thanks for bringing this back to VSM specifics. This is a good example of the need for effective S5 of a global scope. It seems like this would be an appropriate focus for this group -- to articulate what that would look like -- and I emphasize "effective".
Doug McDavid[log in to unmask]
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It seems we have a significant systemic problem with our current approaches which require, to be 'viable', a dumping ground for toxic waste and toxic loans etc. It seems to be the same underlying problem with sustainality to me -- the Tragedy of the Commons.
In the case of Somalia (former) and Finance industry (latter) we see the outcome of a lack of good governace. In both cases it seems not having a working overwatch function is the problem (i.e. effective government and regulation) . Is this not related to the S5 level ultimately? Or do we target S3 & S3* -- or the whole rotten lot?
Somalia: 'Toxic waste' behind Somali piracy
Somali pirates have accused European firms of dumping toxic waste off the Somali coast and are demanding an $8m ransom for the return of a Ukranian ship they captured, saying the money will go towards cleaning up the waste.
The ransom demand is a means of "reacting to the toxic waste that has been continually dumped on the shores of our country for nearly 20 years", Januna Ali Jama, a spokesman for the pirates, based in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland, said.
. . . .
"European companies found it to be very cheap to get rid of the waste, costing as little as $2.50 a tonne, where waste disposal costs in Europe are something like $1000 a tonne.
"And the waste is many different kinds. There is uranium radioactive waste. There is lead, and heavy metals like cadmium and mercury. There is also industrial waste, and there are hospital wastes, chemical wastes – you name it."
. . . .
In 1992, a contract to secure the dumping of toxic waste was made by Swiss and Italian shipping firms Achair Partners and Progresso, with Nur Elmi Osman, a former official appointed to the government of Ali Mahdi Mohamed, one of many militia leaders involved in the ousting of Mohamed Siad Barre, Somalia's former president.
. . . .
However, Mustafa Tolba, the former UNEP executive director, told Al Jazeera that he discovered the firms were set up as fictitious companies by larger industrial firms to dispose of hazardous waste.
"At the time, it felt like we were dealing with the Mafia, or some sort of organised crime group, possibly working with these industrial firms," he said.
. . . .
The Italian mafia controls an estimated 30 per cent of Italy's waste disposal companies, including those that deal with toxic waste.
In 1998, Famiglia Cristiana, an Italian weekly magazine, claimed that although most of the waste-dumping took place after the start of the civil war in 1991, the activity actually began as early as 1989 under the Barre government. . . .