Pink Panthers & Capitalism

Police in southern France have arrested a member of the “Pink Panther” gang of jewel thieves, who had been on the run since he escaped from a Swiss prison three months ago. – ABC NEWS

I love reading about these real-life French diamond thieves, “The Pink Panthers“. They are straight out of a Hollywood film – pulling hundred-million-dollar heists on the French Riviera & breaking out of prison with helicopters. I imagine George Clooney, Frank Sinatra or Robert DeNiro is leading them. I’d love to see what goes on in an outfit like this. Are they really professional, smart guys like DeNiro in HEAT or Ocean’s Eleven? Or just a bunch of thugs?

According to Interpol they have snatched over 330 million euros ($436 million) since 1999.

They certainly sound pretty suave.

In a recent heist, a member of the gang threatened to blow up a high-end jewellery store in Cannes with a hand-grenade. While his accomplice points a gun at staff, the robber filled a sport holdall with expensive watches and headed for the door. Suddenly, he stopped and turned. “Desolé,” he said to the terrified sales staff, “C’est la crise.” (Sorry, it’s the economic crisis). – The Guardian

I think this kind of heist is capitalism at its purest. The guys with the most capital to spend – on weapons, anti-security equipment, lawyers, fences, fake identities, etc, or, if you’re on the other side, on layers of security – wins. It’s a dog-eat-dog world, my friends, a battle for who can steal the most resources and get away with it.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be that way. Some of us yearn for a world where people treat each other in a kinder way, realizing it’s in our own best self-interests to have a world where people are healthy, happy, well-educated and able to provide for their families. That’s the promise of socialism. Is it going to be hard to get there from here? Certainly. Should we stop trying just because it’s hard? I don’t think so.

If you’re interested in reading more about the Pink Panther gang, check out the work of David Samuels.

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