The way an Italian crime family works is not that different than how a typical family works.
Am I right?
The head of the family looks out for their children. Disputes are settled peacefully when possible. And along the way, everyone takes care of each other.
The biggest difference is that in a crime family, not everyone is related – and well, you know – the whole crime thing.
There was a certain civility to it all, if you want to know the truth.
My perspective though is, no doubt, clouded by the fifty times I have watched The Godfather I & II.
I regret nothing.
The Italian underworld would now be divided into five criminal families. Each family, which was really just an affiliation of like-minded thugs, would operate like a trade union. Low-level members of a family, soldiers, would pay the boss a percentage of their earnings, a tribute. In return, the soldier is protected—from other criminals, from cops. If a soldier from one family is wronged by a soldier from another family, he has someone to go to—his capo, a neighborhood leader, who may then bring the matter to a lieutenant, who may then bring it to the boss, who may then bring it to the boss of the rival family, quietly settling what might once have led to a bloody war. And if a soldier is arrested on family business, the family posts bail, hires a lawyer, fixes a judge. If a judge cannot be fixed, the soldier’s wife and kids are taken care of while the soldier does his time. It was a good system.
-Rich Cohen, Tough Jews