The purpose of this paper is to analyze the legal, ethical, and economic implications of governmentally criminalized graffiti. First the paper presents the act of graffiti as a minor form of rebellion against an unjust government according to the criteria of just war theory. Once finding graffiti to pass the just war test, the paper moves on to consider the relationship between graffiti and property, offering second best solutions, discussing the implications of homesteading, and finally demonstrating the economic process of graffiti painting in the absence of an illegitimate government. It is found that there is a logical impossibility for graffiti to be placed on private property. Leaving only illegitimate public space as potential graffiti targets, the paper by definition implies that the criminalization of graffiti by the illegitimate state is unjust. To the best of the author's knowledge no other research has offered a theory of graffiti (a noticeable and prevalent social phenomenon), grounded in private property rights and economics incentives.
Find the article at the Mises Institute or Emerald.