You all know what is the world’s oldest profession. When it comes to second oldest, there are always so many contenders, so let me add one more: thuggery.
They have had different names, like “robbers” and “pirates”, in different times and places. Their nature of business, i.e. robbing people of blood or money or both, has not changed much. What has changed is fulfillment of their desire for legitimacy.
Thugs have always sought legitimacy. Since time immemorial, they were treated as outcasts except for when people were under their direct threat. Thugs never appreciated it and treated it as social aberration.
The first type of thugs who got legitimacy were dictators. This explains the huge popular vote whenever referendums were done during a dictator’s direct rule. Who would like to put his/her life at risk by sticking his or her head out? This is the reason dictators in Pakistan always swept elections.
The second type who got legitimacy in a select group of people were Robin Hoods. Though Robin Hood itself is a fictional character, every culture has had its fair share of Robin Hoods. I remember my grand mother mentioning one decoit who was very kind to poor people. It is good to be kind to poor but what Robin Hoods do is to use this kindness to mask their cruel acts.
It is important to pay attention to the second type as in modern society, only this “Robin Hood” type of thugs are thriving. The first type is almost extinct due to the spread of democracy. In contrast, modern democratic societies provide a perfect breeding ground for Robin Hoods. Now, they can live in society, they can get educated and they can wear suits. They use the legal system which to part is created to protect the weak to weaken the strong.
Who do these modern thugs target in the name of helping the poor and downtrodden? Their targets are small businesses, the real downtrodden class in America. Look at any doughnut shop or salon in America and try to do a back-of-the-envelope financial calculation for them. You will be surprised to see how tough it is to make profit every month. The only way for them to sustain is when only family members work there. Think what happens to them when wolves show up at their door wearing suits and calling themselves plaintiff/PI lawyers.