CHAPTER XIV
FROM THE GANG TO ORGANIZED CRIME

Although there is a drift to the mercenary yet the political feudal system interlocks with the gangs which are organized on the feudal basis; organized upon loyalties, friendships and dependability. Personal loyalty is above the law in these associations. -- CHAMBERLIN

Tendencies to play and to associate with one another in games are universal in childhood. Groups are formed for these purposes and they easily become clubs, societies, or gangs that serve the purpose of satisfying the social motives of the individuals when they are not actually engaged in plays and games. The formation of these clubs occurs at a time when young men, especially in early adolescence, are beginning to declare their independence of their parents. Their allegiance is to the organization and, once they have thoroughly identified themselves with it, they will stand with it and for it in any emergency.

It is this intense group-spiritedness that is capitalized in the Boy Scouts and similar organizations everywhere in the interest of good citizenship. Boys are taken into the organization at a time when they are moving out for companionship beyond the home; interest in other folk is awakening; when their emotional life is at high tension; and when on all these accounts their behavior is the more readily conditioned to other people and even to what they think about other people. So when the boy is warmly feeling his association with the scouts, the leader by indirections keeps him keyed up to doing the appropriate things along with his fellows. The situation is particularly favorable for developing attitudes such as we have discussed in another chapter: the attitude of helpfulness and fair play, for example, and thus the organization becomes both directly and indirectly an agency of strong social control.

We have said that the Boy Scout movement capitalizes the nature of the adolescent. Without such organizations the not wholly discriminating youth accepts what leadership comes in his way. His play or game group may become a gang that, in the intervals between games, follows its own devices and these may be of any degree of questionable character. The robber knight, the pirate chief, or

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