Ethical Host, Prudent Host. Can You Steal from a Thief?

Main Article Content

Przemysław Rotengruber


Two parallel problems come under close scrutiny in my paper. First of them concerns the question whether victims of a (politically or economically) stronger thief are ethically entitled to steal their property in revenge? I argue that this kind of theft could be seen as a hidden form of protection because the symbolic relation between the first aggressor and his victim is extremely unequal. An ordinary man usually has no public means to oppose corporation or political institution. He has then to decide whether he chooses ethical perfection, which would stop him from doing anything; or he is ready, by himself, to inflict punishment on an (institutionalized) thief. The other problem concerns the consequences of the acceptance of ‘the balancing strategy.’ The case of modern state shows how hidden fighting against a stronger thief brings about opposite results. On one hand, an unfair political institution is deprived of its rights. But, on the other hand, the insubordinate citizen, who plays the part of the only owner of the criterion of fairness, destroys the rules of common life.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Rotengruber, P. (2015). Ethical Host, Prudent Host. Can You Steal from a Thief?. Journal of Applied Cultural Studies, 1, 47-56.


  1. Amin S., Obsolescent Capitalism: Contemporary Politics and Global Disorder, London & New York 2003.
  2. Arendt H., On Violence, Orlando 1970.
  3. Bourdieu P., Wacquant L. J. D., An Invitation to Reflexive Sociology, Chicago 1992.
  4. Blau P. M., Approaches to the Study of Social Structure, New York 1975.
  5. Blau P. M., Wymiana nagród społecznych, in Współczesne teorie wymiany, eds M. Kempny, J. Szmatka, Warsaw 1993.
  6. Camus A., The Rebel, tranls. A. Bower, New York 1991.
  7. Dworkin R., Taking Rights Seriously, New York 1997.
  8. Foucault M., Society Must Be Defended Lectures at the Collège de France, 1975-1976, transl. D. Macey, New York 2003.
  9. Frieske K. W., Socjologia w działaniu. Nadzieje i rozczarowania, Warsaw 1990.
  10. Giddens A., Modernity and Self-identity: Self and Society in the Late Modern Age, Stanford 1991.
  11. Gilson E., History of Christian Philosophy in the Middle Ages, London 1995.
  12. Habermas J., The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Cambridge 1991.
  13. Hankiss E., Pułapki społeczne, Warsaw 1986.
  14. Hindess B., Discourses of Power: from Hobbes to Foucault, Oxford 1996.
  15. Hobbes T., Leviathan, or the Matter, Form, and Power of a Commonwealth, Ecclesiastical and Civil, New York 2008.
  16. Klein N., No Logo, New York 2002.
  17. Laertius D., Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, London 1853.
  18. Majka J., Katolicka nauka społeczna, Warsaw 1988.
  19. Mannheim K., Ideology and Utopia, London 1968.
  20. Philp M., Michel Foucault, in The Return of Grand Theory in the Human Sciences, ed. Q. Skinner, Cambridge 1990.
  21. Rifkin J., The Age of Access: The New Culture of Hypercapitalism, Where All of Life Is a Paid-Far Experience, New York 2000.
  22. Rotengruber P., Ideologia, anarchia, etyka. Dyskurs ponowoczesny a “dialog,” Poznań 2000.
  23. Rotengruber P., Perspektywy społecznego porozumienia. Pragmatyka dyskursu władzy, Poznań 2006.
  24. Samuelson P. A., Nordhaus W. D., Economics, Columbus 2009.
  25. Stiglitz J., Globalization and Its Discontents, London 2002.
  26. Szahaj A., J. Habermasa teoria działania komunikacyjnego, in Wokół teorii krytycznej Jürgena Habermasa, eds A. M. Kaniowski, A. Szahaj, Warsaw 1987.