While the institutionalization of theft as an economic practice is centuries old, its enshrinement in international law since the founding of the United Nations in 1945 has increasingly lent legalized larceny an air of inevitability if not legitimacy. Yet, as UN-backed austerity measures sweep the planet, the globalization of poverty generated by institutionalized theft is creating the conditions for a vast mobilization of resentment. While institutions and affiliated networks work hand in glove with markets to consolidate theft as a way of life, the environmental, pro-democracy and indigenous peoples movements are finding common ground in opposing this colossal fraud. Even as institutions market the glorification of theft and its icons like Microsoft and the Open Society Institute, they are finding it difficult to contain the indignant rage of the world aimed at tax-dodging, money-laundering market entities dependent on the policies of institutionalized theft. As the breakdown of modern states accelerates in large part due to institutionalized theft, there is a window of opportunity for indigenous nations to take the lead in reversing this corrosion of human values. As the delinquents of institutionalized theft are slowly called to account, networks of integrity are positioned to recreate the international regime in ways that return a public sense of theft as the ultimate sin.
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