Is violence against thieves acceptable?

When we see videos of a purse snatcher or whatever people almost universally sympathize with the idea of beating that person until they learn not to do that.

But is that right? The only acceptable reason for violence is self defense but is theft offense? In the case of an armed robbery, sure, but theft in general? If a thief nonviolently steals food from someone and they starve they are just as dead as killing them. So, in that specific case, it is self defense to stop that specific thief with violence. But how does one know in advance if a victim will be left with enough to survive?

This is where the grey area is. A thief isn't going to be restraining themselves based on assurances that their victim can still survive afterwards. Their are no guardrails in a thief's mind to stop them from leaving someone for dead. Moreover, if a state has anything like a "social safety net" a thief will know they can take everything and the victim will survive - if they think f that at all. Of course, a social safety net should also mean the thief can't use desperate concern for their own needs as an excuse to steal - it is 100% greed driving them.

And that seems to be what's on the other side of the scale: how much can it be reasonably said that the thief is driven by greed weighed against how much can it be reasonably said that the thief restrained themselves from stealing more than their victim can bear. If it tilts towards greed then the scales of justice permit a beating.

All that said, how is it that rich people - who steal wages, land, and time from everyone driven by 100% greed with no regard whatsoever if whole countries die - aren't universally loathed? How is their push to buy up all the media and pay for a narrative that heralds them as "job creators" effective? We would beat a purse snatcher within an inch of their life without batting an eye but when a rich man steals a billion dollars through proven fraud, people line up to defend him, instead. I don't get it..

Is violence against thieves acceptable?
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