The Anarchist Case for Small Business Reply

Remember that Commies have always denounced anarchists as “petite bourgeoisie.”

By Will Collins

The American Conservative

It’s been a brutal year for locally owned shops and restaurants. The COVID-19 outbreak and the accompanying lockdowns shuttered storefronts and exiled customers. Pandemic relief efforts aimed at small businesses were ruthlessly exploited by big corporations. According to the New York Times, a third of New York City’s locally owned businesses may never reopen after quarantine is lifted.

Then came the riots. From Minneapolis to Portland to Kenosha, small business owners have borne the brunt of recent disorders. According to a lawsuit, armed vigilantes in the short-lived Seattle autonomous zone threatened local shop owners. Tearful day-after videos from dispossessed restaurateurs and clips of violent confrontations between shopkeepers and looters routinely circulate on social media. Many independent stores will never reopen. Target has the financial and logistical wherewithal to rebuild, but your local bakery or takeout place may not be so lucky.

Media coverage of small business losses has been largely unsympathetic. CNN chyrons characterize violent protests as “mostly peaceful.” Property damage, even the wholesale destruction of shops and restaurants, is disparaged as trivial compared to police killings (never mind the fact that property destruction and violence go hand in hand). National Public Radio recently published a credulous interview with the author of In Defense of Looting, who seems to think that vandals carefully distinguish between independently owned shops and national chains when running riot through a neighborhood.

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