Mass looting is democracy in action. In its bureaucratic form, the looting is formalized, with a careful cultivation of attitudes on the citizens to make them acquiesce to the looting.
In primitive cultures, this is done through potlatch exchanges, in which tribes exchange symbolic and real gifts to ward off war between tribes. In democracy, we have bureaucratic redistribution programs between population groups, calcified by moral language into seemingly permanent political fixtures.
When potlatch breaks down, war must usually follow, because when exchanges of gifts are needed to prevent warfare, it’s a sign of mutual antipathy between groups rather than real fellow-feeling. In a more modern context, we have the maxim “if goods don’t cross borders, armies will,” used to illustrate the point that trade provides incentives to both parties to avoid conflict with one another. Democratic systems like the one in the United States lessens these incentives, in part because the temporary rulers of the government are only tenant caretakers of the system as a whole, rather than owners with a long term interest.
Indeed, their material interest is to loot the polity as much as they can for their party and their personal retinue while in power. When their destructive actions turn the mob against their party, the next party steps in on a wave of popular acclaim. Afterwards, they get to taking everything that’s not nailed down, also, until another wave of revulsion sets in.
In democracy, property rarely remains secure, and moral principles around absolute property rights tend to be untenable. If the will of the mob is to be respected, then if it’s the will of the mob to eat the members of the smaller mob that opposes it, then it must be done, damn whatever squalling about abstract rights that there might be.
When the state creates classes of dependents, those dependents fall out of the market system except as consumers. They are not usually producers, and are only occasionally market intermediaries. These intermediaries have no direct incentive to preserve the capital infrastructure of society that they rely on — in fact, the only way for them to retain their positions in that democratic society is to be able to stand in as a threat, and as a pitiful justification for those same dependency-generating programs.
The masses of dependents provide occasion for expressions of public piety and pity — the rich, especially, love to preen over how much they are doing to ‘help’ the masses, through the instrument of the state. That those masses are mostly predating on the middle class is little remarked on, especially because the better sorts of middle class people in a democracy do their best to mimic the moral performance art of their betters.
Because the doctrine of equality prevents people from seeing that the poor are often morally dissolute as well as destitute, the project of moral improvement is abandoned, and higher classes turn to imitating the worse ones, and the whole of society descends into the mire, becoming more equal in turpitude if not in wealth.