Article from For Liberty by Norm Leahy.
National Public Radio’s interview with Vicki Osterweil, a “self-described writer, editor and agitator” and author of the book “In Defense of Looting,” has caused a stir. Enough so that NPR has had to add more “context” to its interview so listeners could “fully assess some of the controversial opinions discussed.”
Among Osterweil’s opinions:
When I use the word looting, I mean the mass expropriation of property, mass shoplifting during a moment of upheaval or riot. That’s the thing I’m defending. I’m not defending any situation in which property is stolen by force. It’s not a home invasion either. It’s about a certain kind of action that’s taken during protests and riots.
Regardless of how it’s described, looting is illegal. Setting illegality aside for just a moment – is anything Osterweil says about looting defensible? Steven Greenhut writes that Osterweil’s entire premise is “nuts.” But it’s also childish:
When my oldest daughter was very young, she asked why we have to pay for things. “Why can’t everything be free?” I explained that if everything were free, no one would work or produce anything or invest in factories and stores. In almost no time, we’d be staring down vast shortages—and people would go hungry. Violent thugs would rob and pillage. Society would collapse. That was a great question from a 6-year-old, but Osterweil is an adult.
Bottom line: looting is a crime…and no amount of Orwellian rationalization can justify it.
Image Caption: Fires roar and a loan laser beam pierces the lingering tear gas outside the Mark Hatfield U.S. Courthouse in Portland, Oregon, July 22, 2020. Photo: Tedder/Wikimedia Commons.