Henry Dampier calls them state-sanctioned riots:
The police and the national guard aren’t there to protect the townspeople. They’re there to protect the rioters from people who would defend their property with lethal force.
America has ceded what used to be the prerogative of militia to professional standing armies and police forces. The result is that public defense gets left to parties who have a limited direct stake in the town itself. The soldiers don’t care because they are not from the town, are not culturally linked to the town, and could arguably care less about whether everyone there lived or died. This is the same for the democratically elected civilian governors who are in and out of office in a matter of years rather than lifetimes.
Out of the many businesses burned to the ground in Ferguson, MO over the last two days, it seems that the official military organizations have been both unwilling and unable to retaliate or act pre-emptively in such a way as to discourage future destruction.
Republican government is a joke-concept if there is no militia made up of citizens, if the rights of citizenry aren’t directly connected with the people who actually need to enforce the law directly. To the extent that citizens cede law enforcement to standing armies, they cede their governing ability. To say that citizens ‘govern’ and are ‘sovereign’ when outside parties actually implement governance without any authority higher than they are is to say something false, or at the very least to water down the word ‘citizen’ to the point to which it is meaningless.
It’s certain that, given that the most influential national press organs are supporting riots, excusing the destruction of property, that those riots will continue to spread until they are met with real physical resistance. Given that the law is an insufficient tool for progressives to achieve their goals, they are using their influence to suppress the state’s own fighting-forces, and instead relying on mobs of thugs to intimidate what remains of their scattered opposition into submission.
It’s a demonstration of power, to be able to destroy a town with impunity, at any time, using nothing but incitement to the mob, and entangling competing security forces with absurd rules of engagement which prevent them from providing an effective defense.
This is likely to continue and become worse, because to the extent that looting goes unpunished with the appropriately lethal severity, it begins a positive feedback loop. Even an auto parts shop like the one in your home town might be holding hundreds of thousands of dollars in inventory that can be easily re-sold on the internet to buyers indifferent to where they came from. There’s real plunder to be had from the American middle class, and not all of it can be seized directly from a 401(k) account at the press of a button.