Watching what’s going on now, I’ve had just about enough of two responses:
“It’s just property”
Let’s say you’ve worked hard, and spent $40,000 on a car. Since the average median income is about $40,000, that’s a year out of your life (your math may vary; If you make $100,000 a year, imagine you bought a Range Rover). You can spread that out over 4 to 7 years with a loan – but it’s still got to get paid, which means you are still going to spend a year of your life to pay for that car.
Somebody steals or destroys it. That means they have taken the work from a whole year of your life.
Without paying you.
And saying “it’s covered by insurance“ is a copout; instead of appropriating the life and labor of one person, you’re spreading it out across everyone. Insurance against accidents and the vicissitudes of life is one thing; assuming insurance is there to pay for someone’s looting or crime spree is the same as saying “this group of people is entitled to that group of people’s labor, without compensation.”
Stealing and destroying things, and saying “someone else will pay for it“, whether it’s one person or hundreds of thousands, is no different than making them work for you for free.
If someone openly talked about forcing a group of people to work for them for free, what would you do?
If someone were coming at you with the explicit purpose of forcing you to work for them for free, what would you call it?
Hint: we fought a Civil War over it at one point.
The other saying: “Complaining about destruction of property is privilege”
Your G___damn right it is. It’s a “Privilege“ you, and I, and every chump Of every race, religion, gender and orientation who pays taxes to any level of government, earn, in full expectation that government will carry out its absolute minimum legitimate role.
Which is not “building bike paths” or “running resiliency departments” or even “making life happy and equitable”.
It is “ upholding the rule of law“.
Which all sounds very square, like the John Lithgow character in “Footloose”…
…until you remember that without some minimum standard of order – for example, knowing that the home you work to pay for and the business you work to build, and the community that you work to create, aren’t going to be stolen and destroyed arbitrarily – prosperity  is impossible.
And without prosperity, “freedom“ is irrelevant. What difference does it make if you can vote, if you are working from sunup to sundown to stave off famine and don’t have time to keep up on the news?
It is the same level of “privilege“, by the way, that leads one to legitimately expect the justice system to which we lend some of our freedoms to work, fairly and impartially, no matter who the defendants are.
I’m done with taking either of these arguments as anything but the abominations they are. Our entire society needs to be done with them both.
Excusing looting, whatever its motivations, is an attack on everybody’s freedom. It’s time to treat it as such.
 and by “prosperity“, I don’t mean “Jay-Z driving around in a Bentley“. I mean “most of us aren’t out working in a field from the sunrise until sunset, to earn a famine prone subsistence living, so we have time to read books and raise our kids and think about things other than trying not to starve“. Which, throughout millions of years if human history, has been the rule, not the exception. That is mankind‘s natural state, not this relative utopia we are living in today.