Big recommendation here, for all B&D fans who are interested in international politics, globalisation, organised crime and Libertarian solutions to world problems.
I've just finished reading Misha Glenny's 'McMafia'. What a storming read. This is one of the best non-fiction books I've read in a long time.
In a nutshell, Glenny is an expert on organised crime in the Balkans and Eastern Europe, but this isn't some turgid 'thugs and drugs' expose, this is an eloquently written, journalistic, comprehensive and through analysis of how organised crime flourished in the years following the onset of globalisation and the collapse of Communism at the end of the 80s and beginning of the '90s.
Glenny takes each chapter and crafts it into a historical, political and case study specific triumph, taking you on a sort of dark Wicker's World tour of some of the darkest, sin and crime ridden places across the globe.
Starting off with Eastern Europe, Russia and the Balkans, Glenny takes you on a grim and fascinating journey through the underworlds of South Africa, Columbia, China, Brazil and the Middle East, explaining how our choices as consumers feed into the multi-trillion dollar organised crime rackets which eat away at the fabric of societies everywhere. Coke leaves a trail of red, not white, and the more you read the more sinister is the truth.
One of the most powerful messages to come from his book relates to drugs and the so-called 'War on Drugs'. Misha Glenny explains why this attempt, principally by the US, has failed and how the billions spent every year in combating drugs empires are wasted. He shows that the industry is so powerful and the demand so huge, that to truly counter drugs, drugs must themselves cease to be illegal and therefore cease to be controlled by the murky world of gangsters and criminal enterprises. He, wittingly or unwittingly, sets out a brilliant Libertarian argument for how nation states can deal with drugs; bringing about a real solution to modern crime.
Just as you're starting to consider some of his points quite anti-capitalist and Guardian-ish, he comes up with points that knock down this illusion. He is immensely balanced, and smashes into the old socialist models with more gusto than he does the free market ideals.
His views on drugs are brilliantly Libertarian, and his writing is infused with humanity and reason. Not a soppy, wet, pious liberal sense of humanity and reason, but a proper and sincere sense, which leaves you realising that not all anti-globalisation folks out there are stuck up lefty wankers like Johann Hari and the rest of the shower of shite that propagandise for the liberal print media.
So, without further ado, I thoroughly implore you to go out and buy this book. You won't regret it, and no, I'm not a relative of his and I don't get a cut.
Till next time, dear Boaty & D readers. And to those folks that oft visit, thanks for coming back and staying loyal.