The current rash of smash, grab, and loot attacks on stores suggests a new form of Christmas shopping that even Santa and his elves could not envision.
The woke left is reacting by defending looting as a form of wealth and property redistribution, rather than as the violent criminal act it is, and police are following suit by generally looking the other way.
The left’s push to decriminalize looting — and, indeed, to justify it — reached new lows in a 2020 book by Vicky Osterweil, In Defense of Looting.
She defends looting as “a powerful tool to bring about real, lasting change in society. She says that “rioters who smash windows and take items from stores are engaging in a powerful tactic that questions the justice of ‘law and order’ and the distribution of property and wealth in and wealth in an unequal society.”
Osterweil defines looting as the “mass expropriation of property, mass shoplifting during a moment of upheaval or riot.” As such, she takes pains to distinguish it from random burglary or home invasion.
It has the advantage, she says, that “It gets people what they need for free immediately, which means that they are capable of living and reproducing their lives without having to rely on jobs or a wage.” She adds that looting is a protest against the “idea that in order for someone to have a roof over their head or have a meal ticket, they have to work for a boss, in order to buy things that people just like them somewhere else in the world had to make under the same conditions.”
She says that “The very basis of property in the U.S. is derived through whiteness and through Black oppression.” She says riots and looting are “joyous and celebratory.”
Saying that “most stores are insured” she says that looting is “just hurting insurance companies on some level. It’s just money. It’s just property. It’s not actually hurting any people.”
Good Lord, what trip! How are goods supposed to get to the stores to be looted? Do they spontaneously grow like weeds of plants in the store windows? How are the stores themselves to survive? And the workers? The insurance company stockowners and pensioners?
In her book, Statecraft, Margaret Thatcher makes it clear that unless people can be assured that their labor will generate income that they can keep and spend, everyone will stop working, just as they did under communism.
We must be sure that the casual attitude that segments of our society take toward “victimless crimes” does not grow to include looting. Otherwise, there will be no stores to loot, no products to steal, and nothing to plunder.
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