Editor’s Note – Theft

Theft is a powerful, loaded word. It carries a sense of betrayal, injustice and outrage, and for the perpetrator, the unquiet knowledge that they have violated the primal, intuitive distinction between right and wrong. In this issue we wanted to explore the infinite permutations of what it means to take what isn’t yours, or to have something taken from you without your consent.

Today, when long cherished notions of morality are constantly being questioned and revised, ideas about what constitutes theft are more relevant than ever.

In reading and editing this issue, we encountered a vital, substratum layer of human experience, the place where the wrong done to us, what is taken from us personally, economically, politically, and culturally, remains raw and burning, to the point that it becomes assimilated into our identity.

As you read through these selections, we invite you to think both about the way theft is somehow an integral part of the human condition, and what that might mean as we struggle with the same problems of ethics that have troubled every age of humanity.