We are almost all taught that stealing is wrong. In some cases, it really is. Stealing from your dear old grandmother’s purse is wrong (unless she’s mean). Do not sneak into town to steal gifts from poor kids on Christmas Eve. That guy in high school who stole my portable CD player just after I got the thing for my birthday—that guy was wrong. Seriously, don’t be a dick about it.
But the head of Walmart is not your grandmother. Stealing from a corrupt class of corporate elites who would rather a thousand Bangladeshis die horrific deaths in burning sweatshops than see profits fall half a percent, for example, is not wrong at all. Indeed, taking from the unjustly rich and giving back to the undeservedly poor, even if that’s just you and your own, is the most morally upright thing one can do in an age of multinational robber barons exploiting and polluting the commons.
At The New Inquiry, Charles Davis discusses stealing from evil corporations and although I see the point (corporations don’t always play by the rules, so why should we?), I don’t see how it makes walking into a retail store and stealing a flatscreen TV an OK thing to do, although “Corporations Steal, So I’m Stealing This TV” would make a pretty good #slatepitches piece. [Thanks to Jon for the link.]
Photo: Rusty Clark