May 4, 2016

The "historic" decision of the Italian court is "right and pertinent" and based on an idea that has "informed the Western world for centuries — it is called humanity."

Proclaimed Italiaglobale.it, celebrating the ruling in favor of a homeless man who was convicted of theft for taking $4.50 worth of cheese and sausage from a supermarket.
"The condition of the defendant and the circumstances in which the seizure of merchandise took place prove that he took possession of that small amount of food in the face of an immediate and essential need for nourishment, acting therefore in a state of necessity," wrote the court.
The BBC headline is: "Italian court rules food theft 'not a crime' if hungry."

30 comments:

damikesc said...

Yeah, courts protecting property rights.

So, if I REALLY need a job and my car broke down, I can just steal a car in Italy?

Yeah, Rome has collapses something fierce, hasn't it?

AllenS said...

What if you're horny? Can you just have/take sex with anyone you want?

damikesc said...

The logic seems to be that more and more Italians are becoming poor so theft shouldn't be illegal if you "really" need something. Ignoring that this will do nothing more than insure that even MORE Italians become poor (I doubt that the shop owner that was impacted is ROLLING in cash). Eventually, shops will just shutter their doors because why risk your money when theft is OK if the thief "really" needs something.

Mike Sylwester said...

This is what happens when Scientific Progressives become judges.

Terry said...

As long as it is someone else's food that is stolen, why not?
You don't suppose that any of the Italian judges will begin to allow homeless people to stay with them, do you? In the name of humanity?

exhelodrvr1 said...

Cool - so looting is OK, if someone really needs that bigger TV.

Mike Sylwester said...

I suppose this judgment was based on the Italian Constitution's emanations and penumbras.

Tank said...

Dude just cut out the middleman.

Why give gov't a cut? Just take other peoples' stuff yourself.

Efficiency.

CarlF said...

I hope he steals the judge's lunch.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Italian prisons feed their prisoners, right? Problem solved.

Lucien said...

Unless there was something unusual about the circumstances the fault seems to lie with the decision to spend resources of the state prosecuting this fellow.

Darrell said...

The Irish are suddenly very thirsty.

Jaske said...

The Aztecs used to plant corn along public roads so the destitute could eat without stealing.

buwaya puti said...

This is a Victor Hugo situation - it's just the rhetorical trope used by the leftists of the 19th century - not just by Hugo, but constantly. It was the Alinski tactic of the day.
Is it immoral for the starving to steal bread, and is it immoral for society to punish people driven to desperation?
The 19th century political solution was welfare.

CarlF said...

Jaske, similar to the Biblical injunction at Leviticus 23:22:
"When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the LORD your God."

Amadeus 48 said...

Hmmmm...so I guess the European welfare state model isn't turning out so well. There are lots of mid-level bureaucrats who are leading comfortable and well-paid lives making sure this fellow has enough to eat. What could have gone wrong?

Owen said...

What if the store owner *really* needs to punch the crap out of people who steal his stuff?

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

There seems to be a changing consensus as to whether we evolved in scarcity or in abundance.

Not sure the inquiry is of much consequence.

One time, many years ago at the dinner table, I took seconds and my younger brother said, scornfully, "Don't waste food!"

Hilarious to anyone familiar with our totally fucked-up family.

cubanbob said...

In a way this ruling isn't surprising given that tax evasion (and justified for similar reasons)is the national sport of Italy.

Fernandinande said...

Jaske said...
The Aztecs used to plant corn along public roads so the destitute could eat without stealing.


"Sahagún confesses he was aghast at the fact that, during the first month of the year, the child sacrifices were approved by their own parents, who also ate their children.

Paleo diet.

Jaske said...

@Fernandinande

The Aztecs were definitely one of the weirder civilizations. Highly intelligent, artistic, mathematicians and astronomers, all under a patina of gore.

mockturtle said...

As with Jean Valjean and the bishop's candlesticks, we are asked to make a moral judgment in the thief's favor. Sorry. Begging your neighbor for cheese and sausages is OK. Theft is not.

mockturtle said...

What if you're horny? Can you just have/take sex with anyone you want?

Recently, an Iraqui 'refugee' in Austria who raped a 10-year-old boy in a swimming pool defended himself by calling it a 'sexual emergency'.

mockturtle said...

Sorry: Iraqi, not Iraqui. So used to the u following the q.

Fernandinande said...

Jaske said...
@Fernandinande
The Aztecs were definitely one of the weirder civilizations. Highly intelligent, artistic, mathematicians and astronomers, all under a patina of gore.


I'll grant the excellent art, but their mathematics consisted of not much more than addition and calculating the areas of plots of land, and their astronomy was equivalent to astrology.

Marc Puckett said...

The manualists (the academic Catholic moralists of their day, in the 17th-early 20th centuries) almost all asked this specific question, i.e. does someone who is starving (not someone who is in want because of laziness or some other moral fault, but actually starving) commit a mortal sin when he steals food for himself or his family? My recollection is that there were two general categories of answers. One, no, not at all, because in that case the universal destination of goods intended by the Creator takes precedence of the laws preserving private rights in property (nobody or almost nobody was arguing that those laws weren't just, only that in that specific case the man's right to not be starving trumped them, so to speak). The second sort of answer was that, yes, he commits a mortal sin but his subjective culpability is much or totally diminished because his freedom to make the choice is so terribly compromised.

I haven't yet read the linked article or any of the Italian press discussing the court decision.

n.n said...

Or they could rule for community service, so that the integrity of society is preserved, and the homeless can become productive members of the community, while receiving earned room and board, and a meal.

Dr Weevil said...

Am I the only one who noticed that theological and political casuists argue over stealing bread to feed your kids, but this guy stole cheese and sausage to feed only himself? He could have saved the store quite a bit of money and filled his belly quite a bit fuller by stealing a loaf of bread.

William said...

I'm sympathetic to a hungry man who steals Italian food, but I draw th line at Indian food. There are some anthroplogists who claim that Indian food evolved in such a way so that hungry people on the Indian subcontinent would not mind starving to death.

Misinforminimalism said...

Property is theft, so this is just replevin.