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“In Defense of Looting”? Seriously, Leftist Author Went There

“In Defense of Looting”? Seriously, Leftist Author Went There

“It’s actually a Republican myth that has, over the last 20 years, really crawled into even leftist discourse: that the small business owner must be respected, that the small business owner creates jobs and is part of the community.”

The lunacy of the left has no boundaries. Taxpayer-funded National Public Radio recently interviewed a writer who has written a book which defends looting as a legitimate form of protest.

This is an open defense of crime.

This is from Natalie Escobar at NPR:

One Author’s Argument ‘In Defense Of Looting’

In the past months of demonstrations for Black lives, there has been a lot of hand-wringing about looting. Whether it was New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo saying that stealing purses and sneakers from high-end stores in Manhattan was “inexcusable,” or St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter saying looters were “destroy[ing] our community,” police officers, government officials and pundits alike have bemoaned the property damage and demanded an end to the riots.

And just this week, rioters have burned buildings and looted stores in Kenosha, Wis., following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, to which Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson has said: “Peaceful protesting is a constitutionally protected form of free speech. Rioting is not.”

Writer Vicky Osterweil’s book, In Defense of Looting, came out on Tuesday. When she finished it, back in April, she wrote (rather presciently) that “a new energy of resistance is building across the country.” Now, as protests and riots continue to grip cities, she argues that looting is a powerful tool to bring about real, lasting change in society.

The rioters who smash windows and take items from stores, she says, are engaging in a powerful tactic that questions the justice of “law and order,” and the distribution of property and wealth in an unequal society.

This is being partially funded with our tax dollars:

Can you talk about rioting as a tactic? What are the reasons people deploy it as a strategy?

It does a number of important things. 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—which, during COVID times, is widely unreliable or, particularly in these communities is often not available, or it comes at great risk. That’s looting’s most basic tactical power as a political mode of action.

It also attacks the very way in which food and things are distributed. It attacks the idea of property, and it attacks 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.

At one point the author comes right out and says that small business owners do not deserve respect, do not create jobs, and are not part of the community:

What would you say to people who are concerned about essential places like grocery stores or pharmacies being attacked in those communities?

When it comes to small business, family owned business or locally owned business, they are no more likely to provide worker protections. They are no more likely to have to provide good stuff for the community than big businesses.

It’s actually a Republican myth that has, over the last 20 years, really crawled into even leftist discourse: that the small business owner must be respected, that the small business owner creates jobs and is part of the community. But that’s actually a right-wing myth.

The author just assumes that there will always be goods available for the taking. People who think like this have never known real hardship. They take the convenience of everyday life for granted.

I recently asked this question on Twitter:

Some people on the left know how bad this look is for their side:

Other people have noted the irony:

ACAB is an expression used by Antifa members. It stands for ‘All Cops Are Bastards.’

It’s time to defund NPR.

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This is an opportunistic reissue of the same book from 2014, when “she” was still a he. Their spouse is the lady who promoted abolishing the family to further feminism.

And they’re both trust-fund radicals in the mold of Bill Ayers.

    e pluribus unum in reply to jeffweimer. | September 2, 2020 at 6:26 pm

    Yes, this person has difficulty acknowledging his own biology, yet we are supposed to take him seriously about theft being a good thing? Not bloody likely!

This may seem off-topic but really isn’t due to its all-encompassing grasp of the problem. And it’s written by a prominent black former athlete and former ESPN personality Jason Whitlock:–lkJ71pl5J2-9aoEg&utm_content=AmericanSportsJulAug&utm_source=email

I haven’t seen anyone capture the problem this way so far. It cuts right to the illegitimacy of the BLM and how China via Nike has co-opted American sports to become the most powerful tool of all for undermining the US society.

There are lots of black intellectuals, academics, and deep thinkers contributing to save our country. The problem is getting them heard without getting them killed.

I imagine many people here subscribe to Imprimis’ free monthly issues. If not, you should.

legacyrepublican | August 30, 2020 at 10:30 am

Does this give me license to loot the DNC because they are stealing my American Dream?

    mochajava76 in reply to legacyrepublican. | August 30, 2020 at 10:43 am

    You can only loot the DNC if you are poor, as the left believes your property should go to someone less well off

    I’d like to see a marginalized poor person steal everything Osterweil owns (house, car, everything) to see how she reacts. I seriously doubt she would be consistent with her screed

    GitOffMahLawn in reply to legacyrepublican. | August 31, 2020 at 8:56 am

    Most certainly. But I’m more interested in visiting the domicile of the author of this book, and feeling the joyful liberation of emptying her house of any and all valuable possessions.

    In short – if looting is “defensible” and “joyful” then you first, toots.

      No need to loot her house*. Just copy her book and distribute it free of charge.

      (* Well, yeah, I actually think it should be looted, too.)

Many small businesses in poorer neighborhoods will not be able to recover. Vacant store fronts and decay remain.

In a related theme, “food deserts” result from theivery and looting. It’s not worth doing business if the profits are gone.

    Before the LA Rodney King riots, these depressed neighborhoods complained about the lack of stores and other businesses in their neighborhoods. After the riots, there were far fewer and they were back to the days of liquor stores and quickie marts only. I’m sure the insurance companies covered much of the loss for the business owners and other investors who dare to help. Besides, federal, state and local government had not yet partnered with the rioters and looters.

    Today, I wonder if the insurance companies are even liable since these riots are beyond being “acts of God”. Rather, they are government-endorsed terrorism acting targeting society itself at the highest and deepest level. Who will want to insure whatever these criminals decide to build afterwards?

    THAT is why regentrification works. Allow people willing to invest and build and populate the neighborhoods to do so, and insurance companies will cover the associated insurable risks. Bring back the anti-social derelict parasites and the old slums return.

    Antifa/BLM are destroying neighborhoods to reclaim “their” territory arguing that it’s all part of “reparations” and besides, the insurance companies will pay for it. Okay. Now that? Those neighborhoods are destroyed. Probably permanently this time. Good thinking!

      dunce1239 in reply to Pasadena Phil. | August 30, 2020 at 5:39 pm

      Insurance is a form of socialism. Losses are shared equally however profits are guaranteed and only shared by the owners of the insurance company. Rates are administered by government agencies that allow rates to rise with losses.Insurance is a cost of doing business and when costs are very high no business can operate. Eventually property values and insurance claims decline to a point where some business can eek out a profit and capitalism returns or as some might call it gentrification. Eventually might be many years under bad government practices.

    Even when there isn’t any rioting going on, you get food and retail deserts in urban areas because of rampant shoplifting.

    Of course, the argument goes that there are food and retail deserts because of racism. But when presented with the counterargument that retailers would go into those areas if they could take measures to prevent shoplifting and also if shoplifters were caught they would be prosecuted, that’s racism too.

      I live in one of the very safest neighborhoods in Pasadena. But the last 2 months has witnessed a sharp rise in auto and home break-ins.

      We also had an officer-involved shooting which led to a few disturbing developments in city government including an ambitious “vice mayor” (who knew?) undercutting the mayor and calling for the immediate firing of the officer. Pasadena BLM was ready from the very first moment to pounce and has been promoting and recruiting in the LA protests.

      Now, the city has been put on notice by the feds that since they failed to fulfill some very audacious terms tied to some federal HUD funding, the Pasadena budget will soon be under the control of some country-wide authority (major build out of low-rent housing). Rent control has already been imposed. This is what Mark Levin has been warning us about for years. It’s happening here, a very well-managed city, so you know it’s gaining steam elsewhere too.

      It’s all falling apart really fast. The time for talking is rapidly running out. It’s time to act.

      ConradCA in reply to p. | August 30, 2020 at 4:12 pm

      In California they treat theft of under $960 as a misdemeanor and progressive fascist DAs refuse to prosecute. Our homeless have been dressing nicer with new tents and camping gear! We also have the same type of no bail system that they have in NY. Talked to some cops about insane homeless people and they said there is nothing that they can do.

“… the Bolsheviks had made up their minds to gain control of the countryside by inciting one part of the rural population against the other, unleashing a civil war among citizens living peacefully side by side.

The assault troops were to consist of urban workers as well as poor and landless peasants; the ‘enemy’ was the ‘kulaks,’ the rural ‘bourgeoisie.'”

— Richard Pipes, A Concise History of the Russian Revolution

“When I met Lenin, my most vivid impressions were of bigotry and cruelty. When I put a question to him about socialism in agriculture, he explained with glee how he had incited the poorer peasants against the richer ones, ‘and they soon hanged them from the nearest tree – ha! ha! ha!’ His guffaw at the thought of those massacred made my blood run cold.”

— Bertrand Russell, “Eminent Men I Have Known”

I’m no lawyer, just thinking out loud…

Every time someone promotes this book, that person risks being charged with one count of incitement to riot.

Unless incitement to riot falls under free speech…

    Milhouse in reply to Rab. | August 30, 2020 at 11:00 am

    I was just considering that question too. The answer, I think, is no. The author of the book is pretty clearly not guilty of incitement. She’s engaging in advocacy, which is absolutely protected by the first amendment. The NPR reporter interviewing her, or the author for what she says in the interview, or anyone promoting the book, is a closer question, but I think the answer is still no.

    To charge them with incitement not only would it have to be likely that someone hearing the interview would go out immediately and loot something, but that would also have to be their intention — and the prosecution would have to prove all three of these elements beyond reasonable doubt. That seems like an impossible burden.

      Dennis in reply to Milhouse. | August 30, 2020 at 11:29 am

      Yeah, for the most part the people doing the looting probably aren’t book readers or Public Radio listeners. I’m guessing Vicky Osterweil’s target audience isn’t so much potential rioters as it is lefty Democrat voters and politicians who influence how the police respond to such incidents.

      BierceAmbrose in reply to Milhouse. | August 30, 2020 at 11:46 am

      Legally, I think yr right.

      But, this isn’t just about a convivial set of laws. It’s a political operation, an insurrection-but-you-can’t-convict-me, and a blatant, my team beats your team program.

      Lawfare is a thing, and just as one arbitrary example, bringing a whole university’s weight onto a local mom n pop is just one example. Lose, lose, n lose, but drag it out so the patriarch you targeted dies before its resolved. Offer a “settlement” on a contrived valuation of $0.37 … hardly serious, but it drug out the abuse some more. Call in yr media flying monkies to try some doxxing by proxy.

      It ain’t abuse of process if there’s “reasonable” argument that there’s an issue at issue. “Resonable” has. een established as a.pretty low bar. Is it the issue, or administering punishment by process? Who can see into someone else’s heart? Prove it. That’ll take a while, too.

    dunce1239 in reply to Rab. | August 30, 2020 at 5:43 pm

    The vast majority of the rioters and looters don’t read books.

The Friendly Grizzly | August 30, 2020 at 10:45 am

One result of all of this: I see more and more retailers turning to delivery-only service. Curb-side at the very most. No more displays, no more shelf stock.

    And coupled with that trend is the trend of delivery drivers refusing to go into areas of town that are infested with anarcho terrorists.

      The Friendly Grizzly in reply to Paul. | August 30, 2020 at 11:03 am

      Delivery deserts. A good idea, and, an alliterative phrase!

      amatuerwrangler in reply to Paul. | August 30, 2020 at 1:24 pm

      Its been happening for a long time. Delivery of transportation, AKA taxi. Many cab companies would not send cabs for pickups in “troubled” neighborhoods, especially after dark; many cities made ordinances requiring cabs to make those pickups or lose their permits.

      Similar ordinances were created to ban restaurants from requiring patrons to “show them the money” before offering service, in efforts to stem the dine-and-dash trend.

      So local governments have been underwriting various species of street crime for many a decade, to my recollection.

      CorkyAgain in reply to Paul. | August 30, 2020 at 2:59 pm

      Recalls a viral video from a few months ago, showing an Amazon delivery van being looted in a black neighborhood.

    Portland’s new city council person is vocally against any retail stores using front door video and facial recognition software because it will unfairly target people of color. probably clueless as to what she just admitted her peeps were doing. But it is more the homeless that are the issue, and at some point I think Safeway and Freddies (Kroger) will go to a membership option like COSTCO. COSTCO was smart because they built their business on only offering memberships through other companies to their employees, both guaranteeing that people coming in had money (a job) and had been identified to get their card. We have a local chain Bi-Mart which only charges $5 for a membership but does require a bank account. Not sure how they handle the benefits cards. The point though is that retailers are going to be taking steps to limit their vulnerability, and a lot of them are using covid to their advantage with regard to theft by return.

I’ve been saying for a while that we are verging closer and closer to a civil war.

The left are filled with anarchists and Marxists who are teaming up together to overthrow the government. They are working to dismantle every shred of society, all with the goal in mind that they will replace government with their own brand of totalitarianism, as most people will not want to join in with their tyranny.

Violence is rising. People are being killed. The division is becoming more stark. The left is losing people, so they are pushing forward with their goals of civil war believing that we won’t fight back.

We have cities that have abandoned the laws of society. These cities need to be cut off from the rest of the country, and those pushing this revolution arrested. If this doesn’t happen, then it’s war. We are at the breaking point.

There is video from Portland of the shooter wandering around, looking for prey, shooting, and then walking away.

We should pay attention to what the Democrats at the national level, the ANTIFA publications and chants, and their apologists say. They are saying they want blood in our streets, and they will have it, if we let them.

Meanwhile, rioters charged with violent offenses are bailed out immediately.

Adolph Hitler wrote in advance about his plans for his adopted country, Germany. He didn’t hide it, and people refused to believe it. We should not make the same mistake, here.

PSA: ANTIFA is an old organization that competed with the Nazis for control of Germany, with the same goals in mind. Their words and actions are crystalized evil.

    NoFlow in reply to Valerie. | August 30, 2020 at 1:29 pm

    Nazis are Nazis whatever they call themselves….

      CorkyAgain in reply to NoFlow. | August 30, 2020 at 3:09 pm

      The word “Nazi” no longer seems to have anything but the vaguest connection to the NSDAP, but instead is being loosely applied to anyone who advocates and practices repression and violence in the streets.

      In the interest of clear thinking, it is useful to recall that Hitler’s brownshirts (the SA) battled their leftwing counterparts (already known as Antifa) in the streets of Berlin. Calling the presentday BLM/Antifa rioters “Nazis” obscures their connection to the Communist left and therefore should be avoided.

        DaveGinOly in reply to CorkyAgain. | August 30, 2020 at 5:27 pm

        Referring to the Nazis battling their “left wing counterparts,” the communists, obscures the nature of Nazism. Nazi is literally from the German for “National Socialist,” from the complete name of the party the “German Workers National Socialist Party.” Many of Hitler’s early supporters were from the Communist Party. Those supporters did not “switch sides” (from Left to Right), they merely switched their allegiance from Soviet-dominated international communism to the home-grown socialism offered by Herr Hitler. This was Hitler’s purpose in creating the Nazi party – to provide the German people with a German alternative to Soviet-dominated international communism. Germany had just fought a war against Russia (and won); Hitler didn’t want the German loss against the West to result in Germany becoming a puppet of the USSR. The battles between the Nazis and the communists were not battles of Right v. Left, they were battles between two ideologically similar political parties, one nationalist (and socialist) and the other internationalist (communist, and controlled by a foreign government).

          CorkyAgain in reply to DaveGinOly. | August 30, 2020 at 7:18 pm

          I didn’t intend to suggest that the NSDAP wasn’t socialist.

          Some people have claimed that “socialism” had a very different meaning for them than it did for the communists, but I don’t know enough that to judge the validity of the claim. I think it’s enough to distinguish between the NSDAP’s nationalist version and the internationalist or globalist communist version.

          But my main point was to emphasize the connection between presentday BLM/Antifa and Trotskyite communism — and also to rebut the implication that it was only Hitler’s SA that was fighting in the streets during the 30’s. The Reds have their own history of thuggery!

        battled their leftER wing counterparts

I find it interesting that the author came into this world as “Wille Osterweil.” Or are we not supposed to notice that a large percentage of people pushing anarchy and chaos are delusional lunatics?

    “I’m so confused about myself that I cut my penis off. Now let me tell you how the world should work!”

    “Hello? Hello! Is anyone listening?”

    PostLiberal in reply to Anonamom. | August 30, 2020 at 11:52 am

    An image search shows that Willie and Vickie look alike. The only difference is that Vickie has longer hair. From 2015, there is a Daily Mail article that references “In Defense of Looting,” with Willie Osterweil as the author.
    Daily Mail 2015: Looting is ‘righteous tactic’: Black Lives Matter leader compares Ferguson rioters to those behind Boston Tea Party.

    The provocatively-titled article, In Defense of Looting, by Willie Osterweil, was one of several pieces recommended by McKesson for students to read, including a New York Times piece entitled Our Demand Is Simple: Stop Killing Us.
    In the piece, Osterweil says it is looters who turned Michael Brown’s killing into a national issue. He wrote: ‘If protesters hadn’t looted and burnt down that QuikTrip on the second day of protests, would Ferguson be a point of worldwide attention?’
    He concludes by praising looters for ‘getting to the heart of’ protests against heavy-handed policing. He wrote: ‘When, in the midst of an anti-police protest movement, people loot, they aren’t acting non-politically, they aren’t distracting from the issue of police violence and domination, nor are they fanning the flames of an always-already racist media discourse.
    ‘Instead, they are getting straight to the heart of the problem of the police, property, and white supremacy.’

    When you click at the link at “In Defense of Looting,” the author is not Willie Osterweil, but Vicky Osterweil. Update, perhaps.

If you use this reasoning you can justify anything. There is no right or wrong.

“In those days there was no king in Israel; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.”

Which came first – the Chicken or the Egg?

Which came first – police brutality against the black community or a culture that encourages deviant and criminal behavior which invites police activity?

My first thought after reading this tripe was how closely it mirrors our divider-in-chief’s infamous “You Didn’t Build That”.

2smartforlibs | August 30, 2020 at 11:12 am

For decades the left has claim you should have a say if you don’t have skin in the game. Well, this LOW IQ propagandist obviously never owned a small business or for that matter ever took Econ. SO keep you uninformed take to yourself LOSER.

They reduce a neighborhood to charred barren ground and then complain about not having what suburban areas have. One looting…one business…one time. To those that complain about lack of businesses…. You didn’t built that.

A thought experiment:
Carrying a big empty canvas bag, you come to a home or business of a liberal apologist for looting. You announce to the apologist that you feel deprived, but would feel much better if they put certain prize possessions in your bag to take away. Assuming that there are still police in the apologist’s neighborhood, does he/she/it

1. call the cops?
2. load the bag?
3. beat you up?
4. plead for mercy?

    alaskabob in reply to RAM500. | August 30, 2020 at 11:51 am

    Remember to remind them…it’s only property.

    I watched an interview with an incarcerated 13 year old murderer. 13! He had no emotion about killing and robbery of others but became angry about stealing from him.

    The “whiteness” list created by the AA Museum of the Smithsonian pretty much captured the built in failure outcome that guides that portion of society which embraces such logic. Not everyone can live in Wakanda but they act like they do.

      TX-rifraph in reply to alaskabob. | August 30, 2020 at 1:37 pm

      He had no emotion about killing “a member of an abstract group.” He did not see his victim as a human being, as a unique individual. Groups are fundamental to Marxism. Then, everything is political, including murder.

      Marxism is evil as are its soldiers.

    dunce1239 in reply to RAM500. | August 30, 2020 at 5:59 pm

    Capitalism is founded on the ten commandments. Thou shall not steal is recognition of private property. Thou shall not lie is recognition on contract law.

“ When she finished it, back in April, she wrote (rather presciently) that “a new energy of resistance is building across the country.”

Presciently, or all part of a plan?

Remember the Sanders staffer who said back in January that Milwaukee would burn and that it would spread to other cities?

    RAM500 in reply to Ironman. | August 30, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    The radical mindset is that the system has to fail. So a true radical would want to make sure Biden loses, to convince others that there’s no hope short of revolution.

    Dennis in reply to Rab. | August 30, 2020 at 1:39 pm

    “Willie Osterweil, 25, an aspiring novelist who graduated magna cum laude from Cornell in 2009, found himself sweeping Brooklyn movie theaters for $7.25 an hour.”

    Yep, that sounds about right.

Oh, a new energy of resistance is definitely building across the country. Look for the new book “in defense of the defense of looting”, a book about why shooting looters actually does society some good.

The threshold to internet broadcasting is very low, kids can do this from their bedroom with their home computer.. Why are we still funding NPR?

I’m so tired of being oppressed by cops and the gov’t.

From now on, I’m driving on the left hand side of the road.

How long before “lives” takes the place of “property,” and apologia are written in defense of the “oppressed” who take them?

“which means that they are capable of living and reproducing their lives without having to rely on jobs or a wage”

What does “reproducing their lives” mean?

There is ALWAYS genocide under fascist regimes.

What is looting to people who would commit genocide?

soros is spending tons of money to get DA’s to let them slide.

California DA Says Cops Must Consider if Looters ‘Needed’ Stolen Property Before They Can Charge Them With Looting

Businesses (of any size) are not worthy of respect, so it’s perfectly okay to destroy them and/or take all of their stuff.

Looting is a tactical way to achieve change in society, what a dumb theory. This not about George Floyd, it, however, part of a strategy to first destabilize with the goal of changing our political and economic framework.

The majority of people do not want extreme change. Anyone who understands economic theory realizes that Marxism or Socialism knows that in the application that it is a system that results in failure, economically, politically, and socially.

The reaction to Antifa and mob rule and those who support their actions may not be accepted it will be revulsion and prosecution. If the chaos continues and spreads it could conceivably result in a declaration of insurrection.

Somewhere in that clap trap ranting of a disturbed mind he/she also states that the looters did not destroy or loot a small business book store. Ponder that one, they didn’t loot BOOKS.
The expression “a mind is a terrible thing to waste” can now be updated to read ” a wasted mind is a terrible thing”