Steal This Book

Discussion in 'Beat and Hippie Books' started by jlah1009, Apr 5, 2007.

  1. jlah1009

    jlah1009 Member

    Anyone who has read abbie hoffman's classic know if any of his tips for living and eating free are paticularily relevant today? does anything in paticular work really well?
  2. cerridwen

    cerridwen in stitches

    I think most folks here are at least familiar with the book....

    A lot of what's in that book really apply to when it was written.

    If you're interested in that sort of thing, though, I suggest you first look into any local co-ops in your area.

    Besides, stealing is bad karma. Bad bad bad.
  3. crazylegs

    crazylegs Member

    I don't know if Abbie mentioned this one but don't have a car. It's a huge resources suck and could easily kill or maim you.
  4. Nalencer

    Nalencer Dig Yourself

    That depends on who you're stealing from. And karma is an illusion. Doesn't exist unless you believe it does.
  5. Willy_Wonka_27

    Willy_Wonka_27 Surrender to the Flow

    the book is pretty damn irrelevant today... but its still a fun read.

    personally i wouldn't waste the energy to steal it. i can read it once at the library, and again online. so even the title is out of date.
  6. cerridwen

    cerridwen in stitches

    Stealing is stealing. Taking something that isn't yours, is stealing. Whether that item is being stolen from the wealthiest or the poorest, it falls under the category of same-shit-different-pile.

    And by the way, not only do I believe in karma, I know it exists. Call it karma or having a moral compass or whatever, it's all the same. If you haven't earned it, then it's not rightfully yours to have, therefore you've not the right to take it.
  7. DancerAnnie

    DancerAnnie Resident Beach Bum

    90% of what's in that book is irrelevant today...
  8. Nalencer

    Nalencer Dig Yourself

    You know it exists because you've had personal experience with it, which you had because you believed in it.

    And it makes a huge difference who you steal from, because there is the issue of whether the people you're stealing from need it, and whether they deserve it. If the answer to both of those questions is no, it's fair game.
  9. crazylegs

    crazylegs Member

    Things have really tightened up in this country since then. Used to be you could sort of live that way. Now if you don't get your little corporate niche you're pretty much screwed. I once saw Abbie speak in a classroom at Northwestern U. He was one of the smartest and funniest people I have experienced ever.
  10. cerridwen

    cerridwen in stitches

    There's always an 'if'...

    If the person is poor, then somehow stealing is justified. That item is stolen whether the person takes it has money or not, whether they can afford it or not. Chances are, and this should be a sign, if you can't afford it, then you don't need it. If you're in a position where you're in need of something, there are facilities available that can help you, where donations or funding has been given to help. But stealing is stealing, irrigardless of the social status of the person who does it.

    And who are you or anyone else to decide whether or not someone deserves something? I've earned everything I have, and don't think it'd be fair if someone who has less than I do comes along and takes it. I've worked hard and long for what I have, therefore believe I deserve everything I have. For someone else, whether they know me or not, to come along and just decide that I don't deserve what I've got, that's not fair. And I can't make that judgement on others.

    It's like murder. There are varying degrees of it, I'll give you that ~ between cold blood killing through to self defense, but in any case, the person who got murdered still wound up dead, therefore it's still murder.
  11. dudenamedrob

    dudenamedrob peace lily

    I disagree with this statement. The facilities available to help you often times have regulations surrounding the amount of help that they will give. They do not solely provide all food and clothing to an individual in need. Just in order to sustain life sometimes a person will steal food, clothing, or medicine, I do feel that these basic requirements of human life do justify a need. While I believe that arguing the semantics of stealing is folly because the definition can vary based on personal opinion, I feel that when you are taking something in order to sustain life, it is not stealing, humanity trumps commerce.
  12. Nalencer

    Nalencer Dig Yourself

    I'm not talking about stealing something from a person. I'm talking about stealing from a corporation like Wal-Mart, which has hundreds of thousands of pouns of food and other items that people need, which they don't deserve. So, if you need it, take it from a place like Wal-Mart.
  13. cerridwen

    cerridwen in stitches

    Alright, I can empathize the arguement of needing the basic necessities.

    But then, one can also argue, that if someone ACTUALLY WENT OUT AND EARNED MONEY to spend on basic necessities, the need to steal it likely wouldn't be there.

    And besides, there are other alternatives to stealing necessities. There are dozens (at least) facilities in any given community that will help you with the basic ammenities of life if you're in a position where you're in need.

    Stealing is still stealing, whether it's from a person or corporation. The people who work at WalMart and other such stores have, at least, a job where they earn their keep. They won't be able to do that if they work for a business that looses money over stolen goods.

    You can rationalize it any way you want to, it's still stealing.
  14. Willy_Wonka_27

    Willy_Wonka_27 Surrender to the Flow

    true stealing is stealing, and i cant say whether its right or wrong.
    but i can say that a company such as wal-mart will never "lose money" in their investment. in the large business world, damaged goods, returns, and theft are all expected and adjusted for.
  15. Freewheelin Franklin

    Freewheelin Franklin Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

    Stealing is wrong, no matter who you steal from. That said, I first read Steal This Book when it first came out in 1971. I've had several copies stolen from me...haha. Still have one of the original volumes, though. As others have pointed out, much of the material is dated. But it's funny as hell. The chapter "Monkey Warfare" always leaves me laughing...worth reading to understand the Yippie point of view. You might also want to read Jerry Rubin's "Do It."
  16. dudenamedrob

    dudenamedrob peace lily

    Very good point, but for the sake of debate you must take into account that some people for whatever reason are unable to work.

    This is a gross misjudgement. We do not all live in large municipalities, or communities that are tolerant and giving in nature, so facilities are extremely limited. I know where I live, if you were to become homeless your only option is a single church that gives out food 2x a month. The closest large municipality is 2 hours away. We do not all have access to networks of charities.

    I empathize with what your saying in theory, however large corporocracies like Walmart are terrible examples because the amount of goods you would have to steal to even slightly affect total profits would be enormous.

    Well reality is subjective to individual perception. While the mainstream view tends to be black and white on issues of morality, I personally believe that theirs alot of gray areas that are not discussed, hence my earlier comment, humanity trumps commerce.
  17. Willy_Wonka_27

    Willy_Wonka_27 Surrender to the Flow

    I'm on the same wavelength as you, but i have to say that she is right, stealing is stealing, no mater how its rationalized. but you are also right, whether its right or wrong is subjective morality.
  18. cerridwen

    cerridwen in stitches

    (double post, sorry)
  19. cerridwen

    cerridwen in stitches

    Agreed. Some people aren't able to work, I do realize that. But job or no job, a person can't appoint unto themselves the right to decide whether or not stealing is the right way to support themselves. There's always an alternative that's more productive.

    Right... I forgot that the government doesn't mail welfare and social security checks and foodstamps to more urban addresses. My bad. Relying on a church donation to feed you twice a month is the only alternative that exists. [​IMG] (clearly sarcasm)

    The advantage of living in bigger municipalities is that there's easier access to soup kitchens and thrift stores. But if you find yourself in such a bind where you've no income coming in, there are financial aids available to everyone, irrigardless of where or how you live.

    Agreed. Realistically though, you can't honestly think that large corporate store chains only have one single person stealing small sums to minimize the dent in their profits.

    I've worked at stores where, despite the staff and security measures, people have been caught walking out of the store/mall with over $200 of merchandise, and this sort of thing happens more frequently than you think. I remember one summer ~ just a 2 month period ~ where security caught over 30 people stealing such large quantities of merchandise.

    Looking at how much money a single Walmart store makes, $200 may not be a big deal, but that same money pays for a part time employee during a regular pay period. If that money isn't there because it was lost due to shoplifting, then the store can't afford to keep said employee.

    I agree about the whole reality-is-subjective thing.

    On my end, I've seen retail stores (even big chain stores) lay off people and go through seasons working with minimal staff, often directly due to profit losses. There is a certain amout of product that gets broken and damaged to the point where it's unsellable, and these stores take that into account. But when a store is loosing hundreds of dollars a month due to theft, it's rather sad to see people laid off as a result. And believe you me, the people being laid off aren't the big corporate shareholders, it's people like the single mom who's working for minimum wage trying to support her kids by herself, or an older person who can't afford to retire because they have no pension. Profit losses affect these sorts of people much sooner than it does any shareholder.

    That's what I mean by karma. Karma may not directly kick you in the ass each time you walk out of a Walmart with stolen goods, but when it affects people you don't know, it's rather sad.
  20. dudenamedrob

    dudenamedrob peace lily

    Cerridwen, we're just going to have to agree to disagree..........I don't know if you've ever been homeless for a long length of time but I have, and sometimes circumstances prevent you from obtaining's not quite as easy as you seem to think it is.

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