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Confronting Kleptocracy–Identifying The Looter Mentality


March 9th, 2010

Comments (25)

This article is written by James Wesley Rawles and was originally published at Survival Blog.

A recent opinion column The New York Times was titled: The Moral Ambiguity of Looting. Ambiguity? There is nothing ambiguous about it. Let’s have the moral courage to be forthright and uncompromising on this issue: Looting is the theft of property that lawfully belongs to another. There are no “ifs, ands, or buts”. Looting is unconscionable and cannot be tolerated in a civilized society. Once looting begins, it soon devolves into: “You have it, I want it, I’m taking it.” And once looting is sanctioned, then where is the dividing line on “acceptable” plunder? Do you draw the line at: Twinkies? Trinkets? Televisions? Teenage daughters? In essence, looting is pure, unmitigated anarchy in action. None of it is acceptable behavior.

It is noteworthy that much of the looting that went on in Chile was not about parents keeping their kids from starving. Rather, it was more about people wanting television sets. Every reader of this blog needs to make a moral choice: Do you tolerate looting or not? I pray that you don’t. If you assent to theft, then don’t be surprised if you come home someday to find your own house looted. As a Christian Libertarian, I’m an advocate of minimalist government. But a society needs some basic laws enforced, or it ceases to be classified as a civilized society. Its clear that law and order being re-established in Chile. But things were dicey there for a few days, and it took more than the just police and army to put the societal trolley back on its tracks.

I’m often asked about depopulation caused by pandemics–how that would be a time that would justify looting. That’s just speculative balderdash. Even in darkest days of The Black Death, when Europe and much of southern Asia lost half of its population, there were still “heirs and assigns.” (If you doubt that, then see William McNeil’s book “Plagues and Peoples”.) It would take a pandemic with a 90% lethality rate or more before that convention would become meaningless. So forget your “It’ll be just like Will Smith and his dog, in I Am Legend” fantasies. The chances of an event causing that level of depopulation, and the even smaller chance of you being one of the lucky few survivors are almost infinitesimal. In all other circumstances, there will be rightful owners or rightful heirs of every piece of land, every vehicle, every tool, every cow, and every larder on Earth. So discard any fanciful “foraging” musings that you might harbor. That’s nonsense.

SurvivalBlog reader William C. recently e-mailed me some thought, in warning about those that are planning to loot, in the aftermath of a disaster. He wrote: “To appraise and to steal someone’s goods incorporates two dilemmas. One is the immoral practice of stealing and the other is the immoral practice of coveting another’s goods. Both are addressed in the [Old Testament] Commandments and should be developed notions in the mind of a moral thinking man.” He is correct in that appraisal. There are moral absolutes, and “Thou shalt not steal” is one of them. I also recently got an e-mail from Geoff in Utah, who mentioned: ” I… find it disturbing the number of people that I’ve come across in my work on becoming self-reliant that feel entitled to what I and others have. For instance there is a Law enforcement officer in town that told me he didn’t need to keep a reserve of anything other than ammo because being an officer of the law he new who had what and he had more guns, ammo and training.”

If your “survival plan” is to loot (or, as I’ve heard it euphemistically put, “forage”), rather than to store in advance what you will need, then that’s not much of a plan. By failing to store substantial quantities of food, you will very quickly force yourself into the role of Vandal or Visiting Visigoth, after the onset of a disaster. And, odds are, you’ll end up in a shallow grave somewhere.

Consider this: The greatest threat we someday face might not be unprepared masses from the inner cities. No, it might be overweight armchair commandos from the suburbs, who’s only preparations were buying a set of camo fatigues and an AR-15. That is a nightmare just waiting to happen. If you have budgeted for guns but not food storage, then you are setting yourself up to have only one option, when things fall apart. Examine yourself, and your preparations. If you see that you lack balance in your preparations, then I pray that you re-set your priorities, immediately. Food storage should probably account for more than half of your family preparedness budget. If it doesn’t, then make it so!

This article is written by James Wesley Rawles and was originally published at Survival Blog.

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25 Comments...

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  1. Jonny v says:

    Religiosity aside, these comments are right on.  I think that many people will actually be bummed out when a disaster happens and they find themselves in an area where most everyone is armed, and a “barter economy” sees people through until the government (and order) are restored.  I think that there are many people actually praying for all out anarchy to ensue, just so they can get out their guns and shoot at their neighbors.  What they fail to consider is that the vast majority of people are NOT praying for anarchy, and when the looters come to our doors to take what is ours, we will not give in.  We’ll shoot their asses instead, and worry about it later.  Only when their numbers have been decimated will some folks realize how stupid ideas like “race war”, “civil war” and “foraging” are.

  2. Excellent read. …just like the book “How To Survive The End Of The World As We Know It” by the same author. (Thanks Mac!)

    My larder is quite deep. Its deeper since I’ve been reading JWR. I realized that any excess I store could always be handed out as charity or as trade. JWR asks, “If the little widow lady comes crawling to your door, are you prepared to turn her away empty handed so you can survive?” Real men don’t do that. You help. If you have to split what you have and go hungry a little sooner.

    One thing I’ve noticed about Americans, mostly urban and suburban: They are like hogs. They gorge themselves (food-wise and financial-wise) and then when its gone, they bitch and moan that the government should take care of them. This is why we have the government we have.

    Giordano Bruno says, “Collectivist police states cannot exist unless people BELIEVE they are reliant on the system. The more independent people there are, the weaker the control system becomes.”

    The road to independence and robbing the police state of its power starts with storing food and supplies. I go with the 3F principle: Food, Fuel, Firearms. Some people call it the 3B principle: Beans, Bandaids and Bullets. Store some food, people. Any amound is better than nothing. Once you have a few months worth of food, then start of fuel and firearms. Take your security, the whole picture seriously. I don’t want YOU to be one I have to shoot because you’re looting.

    History shows that a prepared people are a free people. I will put up a sign at the end of my 1/3 mile long driveway:

    LOOTERS WILL BE SHOT
    SURVIVORS WILL BE SHOT AGAIN
    PLEASE COME ARMED, WE LIKE NEW GUNS

  3. jonny v says:

    If you click on the “it was more about people wanting tv sets” link in the article, you’ll see a bunch of photos of the disaster, and the curious thing is that their society didn’t TOTALLY FALL APART.  In many ways, Chile is a first world nation, and if a major disaster hits the US, you can look forward to many of the same things you see in the photos of Chile.

    The people who are planning to loot, or sponge off of others, are people who have desired to loot and sponge all their lives.  It’s like the old saying “money only makes you more of what you already are”.  These folks who are looking to loot (like the cop in the article, or the sherriff in LA who’s doing the “end of the world drills”, or the LA cops who went in and shot peoples dogs after Katrina) are just plain old human trash.  The fact that they’ve been given these positions of “authority” is just amazing.  No one should feel bad in any way over having to shoot someone like this in a real emergency.  These people would shoot you in a second just to take your last can of cat food.  They are the worst people on earth, those who desire to survive at the expense of others, and who find glee in the suffering of others.

  4. Axel says:

    According to Mr. Rawles, the “theft of property that lawfully belongs to another” is always wrong.  This is because our world is teetering on the brink of anarchy, and any allowances we as citizens make will ostensibly push society off the proverbial ledge.  Right.

    In an alternate universe in which the slippery slope is not a logical fallacy, perhaps he’d be correct.  In the real world his article is as absurd as it is self-contradictory, particularly coming from someone who has stockpiled enough guns and ammunition to arm his own militia.  Now, I bring up the subject of guns because is it inextricably linked to the issue of looting, at least in survivalist circles (NetRanger’s proclamation that “LOOTERS WILL BE SHOT” is a good case in point).

    How can one unequivocally condemn stealing, yet condone the killing of another human being?  The self-righteousness in this brand of survivalism is quite disturbing. If stealing even to save one’s own life is wrong, then wouldn’t taking another’s life for the same purpose be wrong as well?  Not so, according to “Rawles’ Law”, which states that one’s right to continue living through “TEOTWAWKI” is commensurate with the amount of food, guns and ammunition one has stockpiled.  More specifically:

    Preppers have the right to do whatever it takes to ensure their own survival.  Note that this does not apply to PINOs (i.e., preppers-in-name-only), as they haven’t stockpiled much of anything.
    The sheeple (i.e., those who did not have the foresight to prepare for “TEOTWAWKI”) are shit out of luck and do not deserve to live.
    Preppers have free reign to kill any sheeple caught “trespassing”.

    Sadly, mainstream survivalism seems to have adopted “Rawles’ Rule” in favor of the Golden Rule.  We adopt this callous and morally bankrupt ideology at our own peril.

  5. michael says:

    Well Axel,
    if I think your thought all the way through to the end, nobody should be allowed to own private property, as he might try to defend it against somebody taking it, and while doing so might harm other human beings.
    Nice try however.

  6. grannyb says:

    Axel-before you condemn so completely, check out Rawles’ blog and site – he is a strong advocate of charity and caring for the people around you. Specifically, he advises his readers to stockpile not only for themselves but also for friends, family and others because it is the right thing to do. Were you to take the time to read more than just this one article I think you would find that your assessment has missed the mark. If you are interested in prepping, and I assume you are because you are reading info here, there is good information being shared at SurvivalBlog.com.

  7. grannyb says:

    And NetRanger – I like reading your posts. We think a lot alike, and very often I come away with a smile on my face ’cause you tell it like it is!  (I don’t ALWAYS agree with you, but pretty close most of the time!)

  8. Axel says:

    Michael,

    Which thought did you think “all the way through to the end”?  That it’s wrong to kill people who are stealing food because they’re starving?  That unapologetically condoning such an act has the paradoxical effect of trivializing murder and other violent crime?

    You don’t seem to grasp how nonsensical and self-contradictory it is to argue that stealing is always morally wrong, but that there are situations in which killing is acceptable.  I feel sorry for you.

    The rest of your post makes absolutely no sense.  Perhaps you should explain how you arrived at such an unusual conclusion.

  9. Axel says:

    Grannyb,

    Thank you for your thoughtful post.  I acknowledge the fact that my tone was overly condemnatory, but I stand by the basic premise of my post.

    My problem with mainstream survivalism in general is as follows: there seems to be an almost universal and vehement condemnation of people stealing to feed themselves and their families, but nary a murmur or complaint about the casual references to murder that are all common in survival literature.

  10. zukadu says:

    I appreciate the spirit of your thoughts Axel. You are clearly some one who considers the rights and welfare of others first. Good for you. Unfortunately the real world has shown us innumerable examples of individuals without that same selfless spirit.

    I’m talking about those individuals who believe that it is appropriate behavior to destroy automobiles, loot stores, and set fire to their neighborhood (and thus their neighbor’s house) just because their football team won the Superbowl, or basketball team won the Championship. Clearly they have no respect for the rights, welfare,  and property of others. These are also the same people who are walking down the street with TVs or whatever else they can carry if the lights go out, or the earth burps.

    Even so, I reconize the difference between say, those people in Haiti who were looting stores for food, water, and shelter; and those who were looting just to be looting. When a human life is at stake I believe there is a moral difference: thus my line between “foraging” and “looting”.

     Every human being has the right to live: to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That’s an unalienable right from our Creator.
    Still, I believe a time will come in America (and all over the world), about five years out, when those foraging for survival may threaten my survival and the survival of my family. And that’s where I draw the line. If they cross that line then they made the choice, not me, and they will have to accept the consequences of their actions.

    As much as I might like too, I can’t save everyone. I can only take responsibility for myself and my family. And if “foragers” become “looters” and cross the line that puts my survival and the survival of my family at stake, then I have the right and responsibility to protect our survival.

    There is a difference between murder and justifiable homicide.

  11. Phil says:

    This is for Axel.

    I do not understand the need to bring up an obvious contradiction regarding stealing and murder. People in general know stealing is wrong, murder is wrong. However, if a group of people have intent on stealing everything you have including your underwear and the only way to defend your life is to hurt them or maybe even kill them (just to stop their actions), then I am contradicting myself for believing in that philosophy? I’m a bad person for incapacitating somebody with intent on stealing my means of survival?

    I do not understand why that philosophy contradicts anything. It is only a contradiction BECAUSE at this very moment, we live in a state where we do NOT need to kill or steal to survive. We live in a society where those things are not necessary. However, when an event that pushes the masses to steal to survive, it is their right to try and survive in the way that suits their skill set and philosophy. Conversely, I have a right to try and survive in the way that suits MY skill set and philosophy. It is NOT a contradiction as you stated, it is actually very equal in a state of anarchy because you see, we all have those same rights. I will choose to ask for food rather than steal, but that is my choice because that is my nature but if another person chooses to steal then that is his right to try and survive and I do not fault him/her for it. However, it is my right to try survive too and if I do not have enough to share, you can bet I will put one in his chest and one is his head.

    But I guess it would be a stupid contradiction when a group of men comes for your daughter (to be sold as a sex slave) and you would just stand-by and smile at them as they gang rape her because “They” have a need to “survive” because trading her for food would mean they can survive, right? But oh no, if you stop them, you are guilty of murdering them by either denying them of their “food” or you kill them or incapacitate them.

    Isn’t arm chair philosophy fun?

  12. Phil – great comment.

    Axel – the operative issue being presented is the right to self-defense. Hyperbole aside, most here are congnizant of self defense rationally proportional to the threat presented. 

    With respect to what I will broadly paint as the entitlement mentality described in the post, familial and societal structures are what convey expected behaviors and apply the penalities when those expectations are not adhered to.  A community’s agreement on and its ability to enforce behavioral standards is, IMV, the key issue determining the proper functioning of the community or its complete breakdown. Along those lines, my comment on an earlier post regarding the concept of a ‘resilient community’ may be germaine:
    https://www.shtfplan.com/forecasting/what-if-the-doomers-are-wrong_03042010#comments

    Cheers!
    – TOTN

  13. Axel says:

    “However, when an event that pushes the masses to steal to survive, it is their right to try and survive in the way that suits their skill set and philosophy. Conversely, I have a right to try and survive in the way that suits MY skill set and philosophy.”
    BINGO, Phil.  You are absolutely correct in stating this.  In a “survival situation”, the normal rules are often thrown out the window.  For example, you seem to be completely comfortable with killing someone who wants to eat your food.  Fine.
    Unfortunately, you miss the mark entirely with your cute little reference to “arm chair philosophy”.  For an example of a real-life armchair philosopher, please look in the mirror: you condemn all looting whilst you yourself live in the lap of luxury.  You forget that most people on this planet simply do not have the resources or time to stockpile a year’s worth of food.  Go ahead and kill them, but please spare us the sanctimonious poppycock.

    Tom,
    I have no interest in debating the merits of self-defense, as it is tangential to what I’ve been discussing.  Suffice it to say that I strongly believe in a person’s right to defend him- or herself.

  14. Phil says:

    To Axel,

    Explain to me how I “condemn all looting”. You just agreed with me prior by saying Bingo. Then next paragraph  I sound like a fool because I “condemn all looting” but it’s because  I “live in the lap of luxury” and that is the reason why I condemn all looting. In the end, you are saying I am a Greedy hoarder and that is  my motive for not liking looters. In addition, not only am I an evil greedy hoarder, now I am an evil murderer for defending it. You make it sound so draconian. It’s not, that simple. You assume I am incapable of sharing if asked.

    That is why you are an arm chair philosopher yourself.

    Basically what you are saying is this. Those who wield the power condemn looting, for those who wield nothing, condone looting. You seem to want the best of both worlds, a clear conscience and moral high ground in an environment where morals mean little and a clear conscience is having a full belly. So, your philosophy for living in a post-catastrophic environment (coming to your doorstep soon)  is that everybody should loot and nobody can hurt each other while they loot from each other, because you know, trying to stop them is immoral.  Does that make ANY sense to you? Is that realistic? Based on my study of history, I know it is not realistic.

    You and I are both Arm-chair philosophers, no need to be-little me by asking me to “look in the mirror”.

  15. Axel says:

    Basically what you are saying is this. Those who wield the power condemn looting, for those who wield nothing, condone looting.


    No, Phil.  That’s not at all what I’m saying.  Once again, you completely miss the point.  Just to be clear, the point is as follows: only an affected and hypocritical value system would allow you to make excuses for killing, but not for stealing.  Period.  I wish you could grasp this simple fact, but perhaps my argument is too abstract for you to conceptualize.
     
    You seem to want the best of both worlds, a clear conscience and moral high ground in an environment where morals mean little and a clear conscience is having a full belly.
     
    Wrong again. The only thing I want is for you and others like you to acknowledge that killing another person is not moral behavior, just as you acknowledge that stealing is not moral behavior.  That’s it.  To quote Rawles, there is nothing ambiguous about it.
     
    So, your philosophy for living in a post-catastrophic environment (coming to your doorstep soon)  is that everybody should loot and nobody can hurt each other while they loot from each other, because you know, trying to stop them is immoral.  Does that make any sense to you?


    This is a straw man you’ve set up to misrepresent my position, so I wouldn’t expect it to make any sense.
     
    But I guess it would be a stupid contradiction when a group of men comes for your daughter (to be sold as a sex slave) and you would just stand-by and smile at them as they gang rape her because “They” have a need to “survive” because trading her for food would mean they can survive, right?


    Let me see if I understand your argument:
    1) Men need food to survive.
    2) Women can be traded as sex slaves for food; sex slaves are often gang raped.
    Therefore:
    3) Gang rape allows men to survive.

    That sounds like a sound argument to me!  In any case, I’m not sure why you even brought this topic up.  One can only assume that you’ve given it a great deal of thought.

  16. Axel says:

    Might as well fix the formatting.

    “Basically what you are saying is this.  Those who wield the power condemn looting, for those who wield nothing, condone looting.”

    No, Phil. That’s not at all what I’m saying.  Once again, you completely miss the point.  Just to be clear, the point is as follows: only an affected and hypocritical value system would allow you to make excuses for killing, but not for stealing.  Period.  I wish you could grasp this simple fact, but perhaps my argument is too abstract for you to conceptualize.

    “You seem to want the best of both worlds, a clear conscience and moral high ground in an environment where morals mean little and a clear conscience is having a full belly.”

    Wrong again.  The only thing I was is for you and others like you to acknowledge that killing another person is not moral behavior, just as you acknowledge that stealing is not moral behavior.  That’s it.  To quote Rawles, “there is nothing ambiguous about it.”

    “So, your philosophy for living in a post-catastrophic environment (coming to your doorstep soon) is that everybody should loot and nobody can hurt each other while they loot from each other, because you know, trying to stop them is immoral.  Does that make any sense to you?”

    This is a straw man you’ve set up to misrepresent my position, so I wouldn’t expect it to make any sense.

    “But I guess it would be a stupid contradiction when a group of men comes for your daughter (to be sold as a sex slave) and you just stand-by and smile at them as they gang rape her because “They” have a need to “survive” because trading her for food would mean they can survive, right?”

    Let me see if I understand your argument:
    1) Men need food to survive.
    2) Women can be traded as sex slaves for food; sex slaves are often gang raped.
    Therefore:
    3) Gang rape allows men to survive.

    That sure sounds like a sound argument to me!  In any case, I’m not sure why you even brought this topic up.  One can only assume that you’ve given it a great deal of thought.

  17. Jonny v says:

    Well, it looks like some people here have taken “Introduction to Logic” at the collegiate level at some point.  I think that some things are being taken for granted in the A+B=C argument that may not necessarily be true.
    I know that I have openly advocated for shooting certain types of people on this website.  However, in all fairness, I’m talking about shooting people who are a DIRECT and IMMEDIATE threat to your life.  I think that the tone of my post (third post from the top) may have contributed to this misunderstanding.  I don’t think that anyone here believes that it’s OK to just go out and shoot people.  Similarly, I don’t think that anyone here figures that it’s OK to just go out looting if you happen to run short on supplies.  Lastly, no one here thinks that gang rape is OK.  The problem with our arguments is that they always seem to be based on the worst case scenario.
    Most things we see in the media, including on this website, are based on worst case scenarios.  Does anyone really think that Obama can outlaw sport fishing?  Please, no one can be that stupid……NOTHING gets done in politics without every honcho and grand pooh-bah up and down the ladder signing off on every line.

    When we consider our dreamed up “situation” (looters running amok) we need to try and be as realistic as possible.

    If a great disaster does happen (lets use mine, just for fun), like the Cascadia subduction zone earthquake (9.0 for three to five minutes, Vancouver BC, Seattle, and Portland all suffer major damage, roads destroyed, power out for 3-6 months, tsunami), we still cannot expect the total failure of our local society.  Too many people want our society to succeed.  Most people will try to work together (neighborhood groups, family groups) to try and make it through.  Will there be violent looters (young punks)?  Sure there will.  The fact is that each person will have to use what they have stored up, or can barter for, to make it.

    I’m not looking forward to shooting anyone, and any other sane people aren’t either.  I am trained to do it however, by the best in the world.  If someone poses a threat to the survival of me or any of my family in a time of such great crisis, I’ll shoot them as many times as needed.  However, I will not go out looking for reasons to become embroiled in disputes that might lead to deadly action.

    Shooting people and stealing from people are BOTH wrong.  The difference is that one is an ELECTIVE ACTION, and one is FORCED ON YOU BY THE NUTCASE AT THE DOOR.

  18. Phil says:

    Just to repeat myself again. All examples, that I have given are in situations where your life is in extreme danger (as in you or your loved ones are going to die, get seriously hurt right then and there and even perhaps die hours later. Example will be somebody forcing you to give them your only jacket, it is raining and it is freezing cold, you know you can catch hypothermia and even die. You know, you have no access to blankets or other means of getting warmth or shelter.)

    I don’t know if anyone watched the movie “The Road” or read the book. There is a scene where the main character forces a man to strip naked and hand over all possessions after said man stole all his stuff. The character  and audience knows that man will die from either hypothermia or other means but the character is indifferent. Is that murder? In my opinion it is. It was unnecessary as he had no need of the man’s clothing. The man was no longer a threat to the main character.

    Axel says “Suffice it to say I strongly believe in a person’s right to defend him- or herself.”

    then Axel says “The only thing I was is for you and others like you to acknowledge that killing, just as you acknowledge that stealing is not moral behavior.  That’s it.”

    Everybody here, including you and MYSELF included, acknowledge that murder is wrong, it is immoral and I am against it. However, somehow you associated my interpretation of “defending ones self” is immoral in your eyes. Now, I am no longer defending myself, but a “killer”, but yet you advocate defending yourself. So please enlighten me with your incredible draconian logic. To defend or not to defend, that is the question. Define “defending yourself” because apparently I am far to dumb to understand you.hat I strongly believe in a person’s right to defend him- or herself.

  19. Axel says:

    Phil,

    By all means, keep repeating yourself.  Just know that your examples are as immaterial now as they always have been.  The subject of killing in self defense is only relevant to this discussion insofar as it demonstrates your willingness to make excuses.  My question for you is, why can’t you make excuses for stealing as well?  What if your family were starving, and the only way for you to feed them was to steal from someone else? Would you do so?  Or would you let your family waste away before your eyes?  What’s “draconian” is killing someone who has been forced to make this difficult decision.  I pray you never find yourself in either role.

    “To defend or not to defend, that is the question.  Define “defending yourself” because apparently I am far to dumb to understand you.”

    Your persistent attempts at misdirection (e.g., your “gang rape” fantasy) only serve to highlight your inability to participate in a philosophical discussion.  Now, I don’t know whether it’s due to a lack of intelligence on your part or if it’s simply a function of your perverse desire for people to “get what they deserve”.  Quite frankly, I don’t care either way.

  20. Phil says:

    My question for you is, why can’t you make excuses for stealing as well?  What if your family were starving, and the only way for you to feed them was to steal from someone else? Would you do so?

    In that very narrow scenario, You bet I will. It’s very obvious you do not actually understand a thing I said in my first post. Everybody has a right to life and if my family is starving and after I have tried everything else I could such as begging, planting, bartering, working for it etc. I will steal to feed them. Conversely, the other person I am stealing from has a right to defend it and if I get killed during the process, so be it.

    Right now, It is my responsibility to make sure that NEVER happens, but ofcourse that will probably be called “hoarding” in your brand of philosophy.

    Not once have I made excuses for myself so that I can murder people for the fun of it. You are very good at twisting examples I have given into “misdirections”. This is exactly what the media does. Examples, I have given are so that you can understand a little bit more about where I come from, but since you consider it as “misdirection” because it does not coincide with your brand of philosophy, I am now branded as being one with “lack of intelligence”.

    Where have I seen that happen? Oh yes, “911 truthers” are now called “conspiracy nuts” spin by the mass media. But of course I am only “misdirecting” you by giving you another example. Way to go chump.

    This debate ends now.

    However, I am sure there are more good people in this world than evil.

  21. Justin says:

    Here’s the thing.  The debate is interesting, but it’s all quite simple.  It’s all about choice and consequence. 

    Anyone has the option to choose to steal.  That is a choice.  Whether its Stealing vs. Starving, or Stealing vs. Going Without a Plasma TV, the choice to steal is made.  Right or wrong, it is a choice, and choices carry consequences.  A consequence might be getting shot.

    The person pulling the trigger has a choice to make.  Shooting vs. Losing property (the means to survive).  Shooting a human carries consequences in and of itself.  It is a choice.

    You can choose to steal.  That’s fine. Right or wrong is irrelevant.  You can choose to shoot.  Right or wrong is irrelevant. 

    What is relevant, in a world where the S has HTF, is consequences.  That brings us to risk vs. reward.  Is the 50% chance of getting shot worth stealing?  What about 70%?  90%?  10%?

    When the risk of stealing outweighs the reward, the theif will look for a weaker target.  Finding one, he steals.  Finding none, the theif is forced to PRODUCE to survive.  If the consequence of stealing was at or near 100% probability of death or maiming, theives would go out of business quickly and look for another line of work.  A productive one.  One that would not lead to being killed.

       I can tell you though, I will not allow the survival of my wife or six children to be threatened.  For any reason at all.  They ARE more valuable to me than any amount of others.  Call that selfish, call it what you will.  If I have to kill to protect them, I will.  If I was put in a position that required theft, I would weigh risk vs reward.  That’s why I am preparing.  So I won’t have to steal and possibly be shot (and being shot would endanger my family’s survival, a situation I have said I would avoid at all cost).

    Anyway, that’s my (rapidly depreciating) $.02.

    Justin

  22. In some situations looting and vandalizing could be acceptable and even honorable. Imagine yourself as a soviet citizen in 1941. The German Army is advancing at your town. The Red Army has already abandoned it. The stuff in the stores belongs to your government, but in a few hours it will belong to the enemy government. So steal or destroying government property actually helps your government. So you break into the store, steal as much stuff as you can, and set the rest on fire. If you later give some the stuff you have stolen to resistance, you probably deserve a medal.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Right on Phil, you are understood, don’t let a discombobulated manipulationattempt  throw you off.   I think “Axel” my be “Shogunle”

  24. Anonymous says:

    Axel (or Shogunle) isn’t near as convincing as he wants to be.  His argument sounds good only to himself.