(From Hayward by way of Mike – copied in it’s entirety )
Yet another from Hayward that is going to give me trouble deciding where to stop excerpting.
The moral logic of rioting and looting is built upon such assumptions. My cause is so righteous that your pitiful property rights are swept away, like so much chaff in the wind of my fury. Any complaint you might tender is selfish and petty. In fact, if you insist on keeping your store intact, shopping at a mall without facing an intimidating mob of protesters, or making lawful use of a public road at a time like this, you’re part of the problem, man.
Let me advance the contrary proposition: property is peace. A full measure of respect for property rights is indispensable for social harmony. Strife always results when the ownership of property is not respected. You might notice that decades of socialist wealth redistribution hasn’t created a more harmonious society. On the contrary, it has arguably made things worse. Thomas Sowell makes this argument frequently, citing historical evidence from around the globe that poverty does not automatically breed lawlessness and racial strife, until activist government is added to the mix. In fact, the sort of strife routinely associated with “racism” in the United States has been known to occur among racially homogeneous societies, with the introduction of welfare-state politics. All you really need to brew up decades of seemingly insoluble society-rending strife is a victim class, plus powerful politicians eager to pander to it. Racial politics are a helpful ingredient, but not strictly required.
“Powerful politicians” means Big Government, which means the atrophy of property rights. The State can only grow huge by claiming a big chunk of every dollar, becoming a partner in every business, and asserting primal rights over capital. The modern American Left transmits a very strong sense – stated explicitly with increasing frequency – that the government owns everything, acting as the collective agent of The People, and generously “allows” us to keep whatever it chooses not to tax and regulate away. All of the hot liberal social and economic theories presume an effectively unlimited collectivist claim on property; the government restrains itself from seizing everything not because such action would be unconstitutional or morally unacceptable, but because it would be counter-productive to strangle the geese that lay all those golden eggs.
The Michael Brown incident began with a property crime: Brown’s theft of a box of cigarillos. He grew violent with the storekeeper who tried to stop him, got even more violent when approached by Officer Darren Wilson, and was ultimately killed. The shop he stole the cigarillos from was looted during last week’s riots. None of those events would have transpired without the original act of theft.
And if Brown had managed to get hold of Wilson’s gun and murdered him as he intended, it would have been a minor local-news story none of us in the nation at large would have ever heard of; word of it wouldn’t have gotten any further than the police-station locker rooms of East St Louis, probably. (end)
Income redistribution, anyone?
The Declaration of Independence originally read Life, Liberty and PROPERTY. There was a legitimate reason for that.
THIS JUST IN – the center protest sign was reportedly photoshopped, and the original reads something innocuous about going out. Of course, if you are going out to commit strong arm robbery and assault a police officer to take his sidearm, the message remains the same.