The purpose of this article is to investigate about the differences and, if any, the similarities among the modern State and the mafia criminal organizations. In particular, starting from their definitions, I will try to find the differences between State and mafia, to then focus on the operational aspects of the functioning of these two organizations, with specific reference to the effect/impact that both these human constructs have on citizens’ existences, and especially on citizen’s economic lives. All this in order to understand whether it is possible to identify an objective difference – beside morals – between taxation by the modern State and extortion by criminal organizations. With this of course I do not want to argue that the mafia is in any way justifiable or absolvable, nor that it is better than the State. However, I want to investigate whether there is a real, logical reason why the State should be considered by the citizens more desirable than the criminal organizations oppressing Southern Italy, from a strictly logical point of view and not from the point of view of ethics and morality.