In Defense of Looting is one of the most ridiculous books ever committed to print and would be laughable if the paper-thin philosophy behind it weren’t perniciously making its way into public life.
For most of human history, we have agreed that nicking other people’s stuff is bad. The Bible includes “thou shalt not steal” in the Ten Commandments alongside murder, blasphemy and adultery as things you shouldn’t be getting up to. Sharia law takes such a dim view of larceny that in its strictest interpretation lopping off thieves’ hands is de rigueur.
Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism also denounce pinching that which is not yours. It is illegal in some shape or form in every country on Earth. I’d wager even John Lennon, despite his crooning to “imagine no possessions,” would’ve been a bit ticked off if you made off with one of his guitars.
And yet, worse than simple bog-standard thievery, in most people’s eyes, is looting, the crime of stealing things during or after a riot or a disaster of some description. It is such a craven act that must, by definition, be profiteering off a bout of unrest or tragedy, further compounding the suffering of those affected. Any civilised person must surely conclude that looting is abhorrent, immoral and indicative of a societal decay that needs to be urgently addressed when it happens.
But apparently a trans woman named Vicky Osterweil disagrees with civilised society on this. The self-described editor, writer and agitator has written an entire book defending looting, imaginatively titled: In Defense of Looting. Credit where credit’s due, she is certainly nailing her colors to the mast with a title like that, although presumably she would have no issue if a mob decided to remove the aforementioned mast.
Apart from the noble act of getting people stuff they want for free, rioting and looting is apparently also a fantastic way of tackling that bane of our age “white supremacy” because, according to Osterweil, property is intrinsically white supremacist in nature. One imagines that the millions of black people who, you know, own things, will be stunned to discover that by having a car or a house they are contributing to their own oppression, but Osterweil insists that they are.
It is because of this fact that property is steeped in whiteness that looting is a force for good because it “strikes at the heart of property, of whiteness and of the police,” even Korean owned ones, apparently. I’m not sure what she makes of businesses owned by African-Americans, and whether they’re a legitimate target too. And let’s not forget it has the added bonus of being “joyous and liberatory.” That’s right, nicking stuff isn’t just virtuous and anti-racist, it’s also bloody good fun!
Osterweil is pro-looting any business, it doesn’t matter if it is a multinational corporation or a family store that is their sole livelihood. They are all exploiters to this Osterweil because, “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.” I mean, they provide jobs, a service and goods to the community, but none of that is “good stuff,” so just pillage everything to smash the patriarchy, or something.
It cannot be overstated how deranged the screed this leftist lunatic has produced is. I cannot believe anyone with an even vaguely functioning brain could think it was worth allowing Osterweil access to crayons and post-it notes, let alone giving her a publishing deal. Especially one with Hachette, the third largest trade and educational book publisher in the world. What on earth were they thinking? This kind of bollocks isn’t just misguided, it is dangerous and evil.A new book says looting’s fine as it’s fun and people get free stuff. It costs $27.57, but perhaps you can steal it instead