Shoplifting as a radical political strategy is nonsense. Shoplifting to survive makes actually sense sometimes as a tactic but not as a long term way of life. I don’t get people who think they are radical, leftist or anarchist because they shoplift. Some of the points below are even more appalling from a progressive and emancipatory point of view.
So don’t get me wrong,
I will be the first to clap when capitalism gets abolished and nobody needs to starve anymore. Shoplifting actually reinforces capitalism
though. Capitalism is about stealing from others (property is theft). There are two ways of stealing. The first one, more prevalent is about trickery. It happens when Nike pays its Chinese workers below one cent per shoe but sells them for 200 Dollars. They steal legally because they have the power to. Also they paid them so you can’t even call them thieves officially. It’s about structural violence. Capitalists have the power to do that.
Then there is the more direct way of stealing where capitalism is more raw and even less civilized. Capitalists will for instance in some cases take your work’s worth and don’t pay you anything. In China forced labor by political prisoners is common for instance.
As you see only the strong can do that. In most cases they take from the weak. Now consider shoplifting. Shoplifters behave like the latter capitalists. They are strong enough to steal as they either can run away fast enough, pay a lawyer or beat down the shop employee. Imagine a single mother with kids shoplifting or a disabled person. These people probably would need the stuff much more than the angry black-clad pseudo anarchists who support shoplifting. Can they get away with it as easily? No.
It’s also about the society we want to build after capitalism. Will it be one of solidarity and commons or one of violence and “only the strong will survive” mentality?
People who get used to shoplifting won’t stop once capitalism is over. They will take from the weak as they always did.
People who shoplift out of political naiveté and not sheer necessity come up with idiotic rules like “Only steal items you support”. I know a small leftist book shop where the owner told me that books about anarchism get stolen more frequently than others because the people think it’s radical to take from others.
This is the problem with cliche anarchism. Many people nowadays think being radical is about smashing windows, shoplifting and wearing black. They’ve watched too much CNN. Read at least one book about anarchism you idiots.
In an egalitarian (or anarchist) society shoplifters would be expelled.
On the economical level shoplifting only reinforces exploitation. The workers get paid even less so that the money lost for stolen goods returns to the capitalists.
Who is so short-sighted to believe that s/he can shoplift or steal without hurting the workers and support capitalism as a whole?
You want to do something radical?
create a collective
grow your own food
trade your goods and services in a money-less time bank
prevent evictions in your area
share spaces and tools
do some actual political activism on the local level
organize neighboorhood assemblies
Capitalism can break any day. It almost did btw. during the current crisis. When it does you will need all these above to support yourself, others and to fend off the capitalists who will try to steal from you.
I am going to court tomorrow morning because my friend was caught shoplifting while I was with her. I am anti-shoplifting. Makes sense to me. There are better, legal ways to boycott corporations, like not buying things from their stores. I don’t mean to be a bitch but shoplifting is…
There is a certain white privilege that goes along with shoplifting. For people of color, it is much risky because they are most likely already being watched and if they do get caught than the sentence is harsher.
Even though I see that, I grew up shop lifting and I think its fun as fuck. But honestly, I wouldn’t get away with it as easily if I wasn’t white. I’m not speaking for all people of color, but I have a few radical POC that explained this to me.
But, if you are going to shoplift, be ethical:
1. Don’t steal from small business/community locations.
2. Only steal items you support, because the manufacturer still gets paid for that item and the store will have to buy more, which supports the products business.
defines legal abortion as a procedure “carried out by a physician or through a substance used under the direction of a physician.” Anything else that terminates a pregnancy is now defined as illegal abortion - including miscarriages.
states that “The killing or attempted killing of a live unborn child in a manner that is not abortion shall be punished as…criminal homicide.” (emphasis mine)
removes existing immunity from criminal prosecution for women “who seek to have or obtain an abortion” or “upon whom a partial birth abortion is performed.”
applies the legal standard of an “intentional, knowing or reckless act of the woman” as punishable as criminal homicide.
Translation: If a woman has a miscarriage but didn’t know that she was pregnant, she cannot be charged with criminal homicide. Beyond that, almost anything could leave a woman at risk for criminal prosecution.
Think it couldn’t possibly be that bad? The ACLU of Utah is pretty sure that it could. In their letter appealing to Utah Governor Gary Herbert to veto the bill (Spoiler: He won’t!), the ACLU said:
Practically speaking however, this bill changes the presumption that abortions obtained in this state are legal. If this bill is signed into law, women in this state will essentially be in the uncomfortable and unfortunate position of having to prove that abortions they obtain (or miscarriages that they suffer) are not unlawful.
In fact, it’s the “recklessness” standard that may pose the greatest threat. Again, from the ACLU:
A woman who fails to wear a seatbelt and is in a car accident could be charged with reckless homicide, should she miscarry. Likewise, a woman who has a substance abuse problem is likely to forego necessary prenatal care out of fear that she could be prosecuted for “knowing” or “reckless” homicide by continuing to use illegal substances while pregnant.
The problems don’t stop there. Women in physically abusive relationships could be criminally liable for not leaving their partner, regardless of their ability to do so safely or securely. Women seeking lawful abortion may be guilty of criminal homicide if her physician failed to follow exact procedures set forth in the law.
For a law designed to discourage illegal abortion, Utah’s “Criminal Miscarriage” law will only drive abortion further underground for those who cannot safely seek or afford legal medical abortion care.
“More and more I heard the words: ‘Stop what you are doing now – all this luxury and consumerism – and start your real life’," he said. "I had the feeling I was working as a slave for things that I did not wish for or need.”—Austrian millionaire Karl Rabeder is giving away his fortune
Do you want to be part of a imperialist, racist, and misogynist organization of violence, but being queer is getting in the way?
Well, worry no more! (hopefully)
I’m all for equal rights, people, but come on, fuck the military. Only twice in the entire history of our nation have we been attacked in our land, and yet we have double the military capacity of the second largest military because the military-industrial complex is a very real thing. Women in the military are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than they are to be injured in the course of duty. We fight racist wars for imperialist reasons. So please, gay or straight, don’t join the military. There are better things to fight for.
The stale “guns don’t kill, people kill” argument doesn’t get right by repetition. Just take a look at the gun paradise the US is. There are many more murders and killings than in Canada or the UK where most people don’t own guns.
“Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that’s it.
In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.
When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force. The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gangbanger, and a single gay guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.
There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations. These are the people who think that we’d be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only true if the mugger’s potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat—it has no validity when most of a mugger’s potential marks are armed. People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that’s the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.
Then there’s the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser. People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don’t constitute lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level. The gun is the only weapon that’s as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weightlifter. It simply wouldn’t work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn’t both lethal and easily employable.
When I carry a gun, I don’t do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I’m looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don’t carry it because I’m afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn’t limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation…and that’s why carrying a gun is a civilized act”