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The book In Defense of Looting: A Riotous History of Uncivil Action has become emblematic of the times we’re living through. Its “thesis” for theft “argues” that looting is “joyous” and can produce “community cohesion.”

Shortly before the mad-hatter media became hip to the socially redeeming aspects of looting, I briefly blogged, on August 28, about In Defense of Looting not imagining it would become such a hit.

The reason for this early mention was the Economist. The news magazine—read religiously—had dignified author Vicky Osterweil’s argument from criminality, calling it “a live debate,” which is good English for, “We need to have a conversation.”

These usually smart people wrote:

A few radical activists, including some associated with Black Lives Matter in Chicago, argued that looting can be legitimate. One woman, protesting at a police station that held arrested looters, called it a form of ‘reparations’ for white oppression.

… Vicky Osterweil, author of ‘In Defense of Looting: A Riotous History of Uncivil Action,’ published this month, sets out the same argument at book length. Looting by the poor, black or otherwise repressed is a radical tactic that brings welcome change, in her view. Peaceful civil-rights demonstrations are too easily ignored, whereas ‘riots and looting are more effective at attracting attention to a cause.’ The shared experience of looting can also be ‘joyous,’ produce ‘community cohesion,’ count as a small act of ‘direct redistribution of wealth’ and, she reckons, does little harm to those who have insurance. She thinks it also leads people to question high levels of inequality.

To go by Osterweil’s “argument”: If looting a man’s property is morally legitimate, why not taking his life? Doesn’t he have life insurance?

When will murder be likewise mitigated with the same degenerate logic? For the specimen we’ve witnessed foaming at the mouth and in the faces of the police the act of murder fits on the same continuum of affirmation.

Not to appear as though they were prejudice about the perks of pelf and pillage, the Economist countered with judgment-free utilitarian economics:

[Osterweil’s] claims are unconvincing. Those who snatched swag from Gucci or Louis Vuitton in order to sell them on hardly share her anti-capitalist views. Nor is it clear that looting spreads solidarity in poor neighborhoods. The grandmother of the man shot by police condemned the looting. Ms. Osterweil might be right, however, that residents of poor areas, who rarely even set foot in the wealthy central parts of their city, are fed up. Looting is not a helpful way to respond, but the resentment at this disparity is real enough …

Here, the Economist joins the menagerie of morons that is the American media in considering and dignifying Osterweil’s political pornography.

Her considered readers were, however, on to her.

Late in August, In Defense of Looting still had all but two rotten reader-reviews on Amazon:

1. “Poorly written, poorly reasoned.” One star.
2. “Garbage: terrible ideas and a terrible book.” One star.

Yet it had a rather good Amazon rank. How, you wonder? The rank was likely not market-generated, but due to the corrupt enterprise of university book-buying. State subsidized university libraries have enormous budgets for indoctrination. Just as the colleges have abandoned their duty to educate, so too have publishing giants long since betrayed their mandate to publish quality books. These conglomerate quislings collude to ensure that a lot of dough is forked out for a lot of drek.

Down to its libraries, the American university is a corrupt enterprise. You’ll find “The joys of looting” safely ensconced at the Harvard Book Store, and likely other “elite” schools across the country.

China might control thinking on its campuses, but can you imagine the Chinese Communist Party instructing its apparatchiks to promote material meant to make the next generation thieving, dumb and decadent? Unlikely, considering that the Chinese have a wicked work ethic, low-crime rates and that criminality is severely punished.

Since that blog post, the book has become the toast of the towns not yet burned down by the putrefying left. Its author, Ms. Osterweil, a welcomed guest on many “probing” programs, presumably to explain her “provocative” “thesis” of theft.

Indeed, we inhabit a culture in which high-brow polemics are banned and banished from the public square by grubby, low-brow, social engineers, from Facebook functionaries to the once-august “Publishers Weekly”: It dubbed Osterweil’s debut a “bracing rethink” of something or another.

A new kind of Kafka confronts any author whose thoughts veer from those of the mono-cultural mainstream. Books that enlighten never see the light of day or are digitally burned by the Amazon monopoly; pamphleteers that dim debate find publishers and “respectable” reviewers.

Happily, however, Amazon reviewers were having none of the looter lady, who, mind you, merely “identifies as a woman,” which is not the same as being a woman (in my non-expert opinion). They have not reconsidered their “bracing” views about Osterweil’s immoral enterprise. These book reviews are a riot of hashtags like #violence, #steal, #stupid, #vicky, #waste:

I gave it 2 stars instead of 1 because, while it is empty headed garbage, it was a bargain since I shoplifted it.

Since Amazon doesn’t have a physical bookstore from which I can steal this book, will they please implement a virtual looting option? One star.

Sam says 1.0 out of 5 stars: “Garbage: terrible ideas and a terrible book.”

Understated, yet “Astounded” gives In Defense of Looting 1.0 out of 5 stars, writing, charitably, that it “seems rather shallow and malevolent.”

If you think these Amazon reviews are the work of Russian trolls acting for Trump, “Century Rider” provides a corrective cue: “Want another 4 years of Trump?”, writes the reviewer on August 29. “This is the kind of ‘reasoning’ that will get Trump re-elected.”


Clearly, the restoration of law and order and the reverence for private property rights are the most powerful principles with which to unite main-street America, left and right, in the ramp-up to the November election. This is what Republicans must remember, before they scamper down the judicial rabbit hole of abortion.

As to the book: Here’s the true disgrace of In Defense Of Looting: someone read the book, endorsed its publication, someone edited it, someone else set it in type, designed a cover, compiled an index, read the proofs. Now people are reviewing it.

Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian column since 1999. She’s the author of Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011) & The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed” (June, 2016). She’s currently on Gab, YouTube, Twitter & LinkedIn, but has been banned by Facebook.

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  1. Aking says:

    Lol. When minorities cry out “i cant breathe”, it becomes a law and order issue. When terrorists were killing people in China, or rioters trash the places all over in HK, it becomes a “ fight for freedom against totalitarianism”. Yeah, right.

    • Thanks: obvious
  2. Kerry C says:

    “China might control thinking on its campuses, but can you imagine the Chinese Communist Party instructing its apparatchiks to promote material meant to make the next generation thieving, dumb and decadent? Unlikely, considering that the Chinese have a wicked work ethic, low-crime rates and that criminality is severely punished.”

    Well put. I’m sure when you get to the very top – like with any government, the Communist Party in China is first and foremost self-serving to the elite leaders, but they are pro-Chinese people, you can’t say that of the USA. Over here looters are righteous and Jacob Blake is a hero.

  3. tanabear says:

    Kyle Rittenhouse should write the sequel, In Defense of Shooting: A Righteous History of Civil Action.

    • Agree: unit472
    • LOL: The Alarmist
  4. The Chinese have always realized the value of supporting their rank and file. They are pushing a middle class, with home ownership a keystone of policy. When a local mandarin gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar, he or she gets to shots to the back of the head. For these reasons, the people have much more faith in their government than the Zionist West. Having to bow down before the most odious of puppets is never going to be popular. The East rebelled, Vietnam comes to mind, over Western lackeys that at least reflected some kind of morality. Tranny, femnazis, lesbians… all with power over the working classes that will obviously destroy them should the standard of living drop to another Depression. If the Chinese ever enact legal reforms that protect the consumer, which a rising middle class will eventually demand, then the hegemony of the West will be over. The Chinese culture does not bullshit its inhabitants with ideals of military glory. Is preferable to have a small business. But with a Russian alliance, the need for an effective military will be reduced. Combine with the tech that the Dems under Clinton and Obama sold, and they Dragon Emperor Xi has little to worry about from GloboHomo

    • Agree: Bert
  5. Lee says:


    This is another example of how product reviews or reader comments on blogs can often be quite entertaining.

    I gave it 2 stars instead of 1 because, while it is empty headed garbage, it was a bargain since I shoplifted it.

    Since Amazon doesn’t have a physical bookstore from which I can steal this book, will they please implement a virtual looting option? One star.

  6. It is a paean to theft and corruption by a professional pervert.

    • Agree: Bro43rd
  7. Dr. Charles Fhandrich [AKA "Dr.C. Fhandrich"] says:

    It’s true. The first priority of human beings that are mentally sound, is the wish to be able to live a peaceful life in peaceful surroundings. The radicalized democratic party leadership that now uses violence as a too, to achieve its goals, is making Americans miserable in their own nation and making their wish for a peaceful life impossible.. It’s clear that the democratic party leaders now use violence as a default method of persuading the public to accept their vision of the nation. They are now forcing new rules on the American public, that are only followed when a war of some kind is being waged. We have a silent and not so silent war now going on in the U..S. that is waged by an enemy of decency and civil debate. Will the public continue to let this situation stand, or fold to the enemies radical demands?

  8. unit472 says:

    A note aside, Mercer raises and interesting point about university, public and school libraries. Its my guess Barack Obama’s literary masterpieces never sold more than a few dozen copies to the general public prior to 2008 but after he became the Democratic nominee every school library in America had to put his tomes on their shelves. That made him rich.

    In contrast Donald Trump’s ‘Art of the Deal’ was a well known and read book decades before he ran for President.

    Book sale figures should not include library purchases and no royalties should be given to authors holding high public office from such sales. We need to remember how House Speaker Jim Wright circumvented bribery laws by publishing ‘ Reflections of a Public Man’ and then selling cartons of this collection of his speeches to union bosses and lobbyists.

    • Agree: mark green
  9. Ko says:

    These days every entity practices for message more than substance. I truly doubt the book is selling much at all. Socialist Media (no longer called, Social Media) is only hastags and assface postings of relentlessness lying. Who in their right mind can trust ANY information from the left?

  10. … looting is “joyous” and can produce “community cohesion.”

    Funny, it’s not so joyous for my community, but people in my hood are starting to be more outspoken about doing something about it, so I guess it is good for community cohesion.

    To go by Osterweil’s “argument”: If looting a man’s property is morally legitimate, why not taking his life? Doesn’t he have life insurance?

    Why kill him, when you can take his life by enslaving him. That’s where they are really taking us.

  11. Phibbs says:

    Funny how Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s book, “Russians and Jews: 200 Years Together” gets banned even though it is an accurate account of Jewish culpability in the Russian Revolution.

  12. Wall Street Jewish looting from above, Da Street black looting from below.

    Welcome to America.

    • Agree: Realist
  13. Does this law and order also apply to true believers on Christ, Ms. Mercer? I know you support Zionism, but do you also support Noahide, which law number one says “idolators” aka believers on Jesus Christ, can be decapitated?

    Good post otherwise.

    • Replies: @imbroglio
  14. Begemot says:

    When will murder be likewise mitigated with the same degenerate logic?

    While a conservative would probably be appalled at a justification for murder domestically, they usually get all excited when the call is to murder some foreigners in a faraway country.

  15. (((Vicky Osterweil)))


    • Replies: @Haxo Angmark
  16. @Haxo Angmark

    and it so happens…that “Vicky” is actually

    Victor. Still a Jew though.

  17. jsinton says:

    If one is old enough to remember the riots of ’68, one would understand why riots, arson, and looting are a dead end. Most of the cities that were burned during that period never recovered. Large areas remained rubble for decades. Businesses never returned. Tax base was vanquished. White flight was a flood that never really ended. Crime soared.
    All that, and the riots of ’68 actually were based on more logical civil unrest: MLK and the Kennedys were murdered. The Vietnam war was drafting hundred of thousands. There really WAS an institutionally racist system.
    My guess is any city which endures these riots is a sure goner, never to return. The white people will flee to Florida or any place else they are allowed to defend themselves. The poor black neighborhoods will be even poorer and more dangerous. BLM could care less about black lives.

  18. Historically many insurance policies have quite specifically excluded coverage for losses suffered in rioting, looting and civil disturbances. This is probably one of the several reasons why so many businesses were never rebuilt after the mid 60s riots.

    • Agree: Jim Christian
    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  19. @Anita Patel

    They took the insurance and left. Even if their material losses were reimbursed, their labor spent rebuilding is/wasn’t. So most left. They aren’t going to rebuild 5 times a decade. This is the reason for food deserts in urban centers. It’s why CVS isn’t within ten miles of west Baltimore. And gasoline stations and Whole Foods and hospitals left Baltimore all because of BLM and Freddie Grey. And of course, they’re racist for leaving. These idiots do not understand insurance companies write exemptions to policies. So the insurance reimbursement arguments go by the wayside. And they don’t care, they just want free stuff now. Hence, the deserts.

  20. I’m surprised Vicki’s car isn’t vandalized every day. “It does little harm to people who have insurance.”

  21. I’m also surprised people don’t walk out of B&N with armloads of her books. “I’m looting. It’s OK.”

  22. imbroglio says:

    Re-read your Talmud. It’s only male Jewish believers and the proper translation of “their heads shall be removed” applies to the “caput familiae,” that is, they are removed as the head of the household and denied admittance to the prayer house.

  23. If you believe as I do that the left is a Great Reaction, a lurch back to the primitive, then it makes complete sense that the left supports reparations, a return to vengeance.

    The whole point of law courts and stuff was to come up with something better than vengeance.

    Problem with vengeance is that it comes with a pretty high butcher’s bill. Ask the Hatfields and the McCoys.

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