If your movement opposes property rights, then you must “occupy” the consequences!

My latest column for Townhall discusses why the Occupy Wall Street protests have been havens for rapists, thieves, child molesters, and the like:

Reports of rape, theft, sexual assault (even against children), and other such crimes taking place within the Occupy tent villages have begun to surface. The Baltimore Sun is reporting that Occupy Baltimore has sent a memo out discouraging protesters who are sexually assaulted by fellow protesters from contacting police, but rather to let the movement handle it internally.

Put starkly, it is extremely dangerous to live in tents with a bunch of people who oppose individual rights of life, liberty, and property. Female protesters are especially at risk. Naifs with $5,500 laptops and other high-dollar items who are protesting “the rich” are also asking for trouble. Parents who mindlessly drone “think of the children” should do exactly that and leave them at home. …

From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs. That is their cherished creed. It always suits because they always see themselves as the needy, not the able.

There’s not a Niemoller in the bunch to realize where that belief is taking them. A philosophy that makes ownership subjective to perceived need invites violence upon itself, not just the rich.

“Needs” aren’t just pecuniary. Protesting guys have needs, too, and that attractive sociology student in the nearby tent looks like her body has the right “ability.” The common good needs my continued presence, and my continued presence needs satisfaction, so I’m taking some. Some protesters can’t afford the designer tents the others have, but look at that laptop over there — that and a nearby pawnshop would take care of that need. The theft can be justified to serve the common good.

Once those needs have been filled — in ways fully keeping with their mutually agreed-upon idea of social justice, mind you — other needs arise. The movement needs to keep its rapes, thefts, molestations, and sexual assaults out of the news. Nothing must be reported that would make the movement appear bad. So your body is once again disregarded, a collective rape after the individual one.

One thing I didn’t make explicit in my column (because I figured it would be obvious) is that none of these things afflicted Tea Party rallies precisely because it was inspired by a movement based on those foundational rights.

Jon Sanders / Director of Regulatory Studies

Jon Sanders studies regulatory policy, a veritable kudzu of invasive government and unintended consequences. As director of regulatory studies at the John Locke Foundation, Jo...

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