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19 Jul, 2014 10:21

Episode 035

The Mafia has been with us well over a century and immortalised in countless films and TV shows; glamorously in the Godfather, less so in Goodfellas and not at all in The Sopranos.Although originating in Sicily the "Mafia" has become a by-word for organised crime of all ethnicities and has much in common with our current ruling class, except the Mafia usually drew the line at murdering women and children. But when it comes to plunder extortion corruption and the casual deployment of murder to achieve their ends the Mafia are just the roughest end of capitalism.Professor John Dickie, author, historian and academic joins Sputnik this week to explain how Sicily's Cosa Nostra, the Camorra from Naples, and the mysterious 'Ndrangheta from Calabria have all grown in global power and wealth.

And in part two John Baxell, author of the critically acclaimed “Unlikely Warriers” joins Sputnik to talk about the Spanish Civil War and the army of international volunteers who fought in it.When General Franco launched a fascist putsch in Spain in 1936 it could have remained a little “local difficulty" instead, it became a dress rehearsal for the Second World War.As the western democracies stood idly by even imposing an arms embargo on the legitimate government of Spain huge numbers of international volunteers from all over the world came to Spain’s aid.Overwhelmingly, from modest working class backgrounds, they left behind their livelihoods and their families to fight in a brutal civil war on foreign soil.

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