@civodul I find arguments like these to be dangerous. Why can't the author be against both?

Protests against the death of George Floyd, police brutality, racism, and the like are a good thing. Some level of civil disobedience can even be a good thing. But violence? This undermines their cause and chills legitimate speech because proper protestors don't want to risk being affiliated with such actions.


I live in a suburb of Buffalo NY, and looting is happening here. My wife's friend had to have her husband drive her car home because people are smashing windows in. A state of emergency and curfew have been issued in our county not because of peaceful protestors, but because of groups coming into Buffalo to incite violence, to push whatever agenda they may have.

Yes, we should absolutely condemn looting without the damn wordplay. Just because I disagree with corporate policies and greed doesn't mean I think they should be looted, just as I don't think people should shoplift. And further, many of the damaged businesses were _local_, small businesses, not just the Targets of the world.

The author has instead dismissed these disgusting acts and in doing so has legitimized them.

@mikegerwitz To me, the virtue of this article is to highlight forms of “looting” that are too easily swept under the carpet. But I agree with you that attacking, for example, small local shops is unhelpful and even counterproductive.

@civodul @mikegerwitz to add an perspective from a post‑soviet country: there’s looting in general and there’s looting in response to/triggered by injustice.

Yes, losing propriety sucks, violence sucks, but when our government makes our life worthless there’s nothing to lose, there’s nothing to reason about.

Not every peaceful protest is effective, not every violent protest is effective but some of them are. Ludovic’s probably an expert here 😺†.


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