Theory of the Hooligan Firm
By Bryan Caplan
There’s a lot of grist for the social science mill in the soccer hooligan drama Green Street Hooligans. Starring Elijah Wood, in a performance good enough to make you forget Frodo for the duration, it tells the story of an American journalism student who “goes native” after meeting a “firm” (=gang) of English soccer hooligans.
Soccer hooligan firms are an interesting counter-example to the theory that organized crime is just an economic response to prohibition. At least in the movie, the hooligan firms gruesomely fight each other for bragging points alone. There’s no money in it; in fact, even the head hooligan needs a square day job as a P.E. teacher to sustain his pugnacious lifestyle.
Of course, a blog-savvy hooligan might argue that bloggers are just cowardly hooligans. We’re fighting each other just for bragging points, too. We’re just too scared to do it the normal way!