They'd like you to think so. The mob is much more business like these days and they own a lot of *legitimate* businesses funded by ilicit activity. There's a difference between organized crime families and gangsters. Gangsters are much more organized than they used to be but they're very violent and not very savvy about businesses outside of the drug trade.

The mafia runs everything from unions to garbage hauling companies. If there's a buck to be made they'll be sniffing around and if they decide they like the action they'll put the competition out of business or force them to pay protection money (sort of like an insurance policy).

The mafia operates like a government with its own laws, code of ethics, and its own little army. They actually consider themselves to be the good guys ("goodfellas") and say that they're just trying to do business under a repressive, heavy handed, over taxing goverment.

Their hatred for government goes back to the days when Sicily was under French domination and French soldiers used to rape Sicilian women. That's about the worst thing you can do to a Sicilian man. So they fought back with their vindictive hit squads and created a highly organized underground economy. The Serbs did something similar and the Serbian Black Hand society is still around and still very feared.

In the old days mafia soldiers had to go through a rather painful ritual to become a made man but now all the Dons do is say a few words and light a ball of tissue paper in your hand which you promptly crush out with a grip. At least that's what I'm told.