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Nihilism, Futurist Traditionalism and Conservationism

Entitlement and its discontents

17 05 12 - 12:34

The common denominator among compulsive shoplifters is an acute sense of deprivation, whether or not money is scarce, according to Terrence Shulman, an attorney, psychotherapist, and author of Something for Nothing: Shoplifting Addiction and Recovery. A former shoplifter himself, Shulman also runs a recovery Web site at shopliftersanonymous.com. Through exchanges with almost 3,000 shoplifters, he has found that "people who steal have this feeling of: I have been taken from. The question they're asking is, 'How can I make up for what I feel has been taken from me?' Stealing offers—at least momentarily—relief, peace, and completion. For a few minutes, they've made life fair again."

This is true even among the rich and famous. "I can only speculate about Winona Ryder's personal issues," says Shulman, "but shoplifting is rarely about money." A celebrity is as capable as anyone else of feeling life hasn't treated her fairly, he explains. The content of the distress may be different from that of an ordinary person—"If I were just a little prettier, I would have gotten that role" or "Why didn't I win the Oscar?"—but the underlying feeling of being wounded, being deprived, is there. - OWN

Excellent metaphor for liberalism.