The Carnivalesque Rebellion Issue

Euphoric Looting

Hooliganism or sophisticated image attack?
Protestor smashing a corporate storefront

Perhaps the greatest attack on the image of consumerism happens in these frenzied moments when a tsunami of euphoric looting bursts through the windows of megacorporate stores. In a blitz, property is communized – and all take freely what each desires. Local, independent and mom-and-pop stores are conspicuously spared in these times of calculated plundering because what is happening here is an intentional strategy of expropriating the expropriators, of overthrowing the law of scarcity with the creed of surplus and, as Sotirios Bahtsetzis observes, of “rendering visible the emptiness and random replaceability of consumerist goods.” It is on this last point, that acts of looting become like sophisticated image attacks. Elated pillagers present the megacorporations with a lose-lose conundrum: either stand by while pictures of their ransacked stores show the world how they are despised; or renovate their premises, restock their shelves, pretend as if nothing happened and admit to the farce of consumerism by demonstrating that consumer goods are worthless because they are not unique, because they may be identically replaced with ease.


What can we do to pull off sophisticated image attacks this Carnivalesque Rebellion Nov. 22–28?


Micah White

44 comments on the article “Euphoric Looting”

Displaying 31 - 40 of 44

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Micah White

Hi Nick,

In reply to: "You should know that this picture was taken from the student protest on the tenth of November"

The above article originally appeared in Adbusters #92, published prior to the UK student protests, and the picture that it was paired with was different, but the action was the same: an anonymous individual kicking through a window.

Actually, I originally wrote the article with the looting of the Levi's store in Barcelona in mind. But we've selected the picture from the UK protest as an iconic picture of fury smashing through a window.

Micah White

Hi Nick,

In reply to: "You should know that this picture was taken from the student protest on the tenth of November"

The above article originally appeared in Adbusters #92, published prior to the UK student protests, and the picture that it was paired with was different, but the action was the same: an anonymous individual kicking through a window.

Actually, I originally wrote the article with the looting of the Levi's store in Barcelona in mind. But we've selected the picture from the UK protest as an iconic picture of fury smashing through a window.

Anonymous

Looting is still stealing. And you don't steal from 'megacorporate stores', you steal from people. Individuals still have to pay in many ways for the damages done and despite the motives of looters, they are not respecting the rights that individuals have to their property. People don't suddenly own nothing simply because a small group of people decide for themselves that it should be so. Means far less destructive than looting can be taken to give the same message.

Anonymous

Looting is still stealing. And you don't steal from 'megacorporate stores', you steal from people. Individuals still have to pay in many ways for the damages done and despite the motives of looters, they are not respecting the rights that individuals have to their property. People don't suddenly own nothing simply because a small group of people decide for themselves that it should be so. Means far less destructive than looting can be taken to give the same message.

Hippster in the...

The few responders that hit on the idea of everyone paying for looting is spot on. Corporations work for profit. If they lose goods due to a lone looting incident, it is more than made up by adding a small percentage to the price of the next pile of goods. This is not how to stop this financial rape on the common man (or woman).
The only way, to me, is to refuse to use their goods, Hell, we ALL have far too much shit in our lives ! Buy local when you can. Hoard. Can. Save. Stand on your own two feet for once.
Refuse to use credit. Pay Cash.Refuse to comply.
There are thousands of ways to make this a better planet than being a mini-terrorist.
Anger begats anger. Hate begats hate. To become what you hate is worse than living as a slave.
At least a slave has the dignity of being honest.

Hippster in the...

The few responders that hit on the idea of everyone paying for looting is spot on. Corporations work for profit. If they lose goods due to a lone looting incident, it is more than made up by adding a small percentage to the price of the next pile of goods. This is not how to stop this financial rape on the common man (or woman).
The only way, to me, is to refuse to use their goods, Hell, we ALL have far too much shit in our lives ! Buy local when you can. Hoard. Can. Save. Stand on your own two feet for once.
Refuse to use credit. Pay Cash.Refuse to comply.
There are thousands of ways to make this a better planet than being a mini-terrorist.
Anger begats anger. Hate begats hate. To become what you hate is worse than living as a slave.
At least a slave has the dignity of being honest.

tweetybird

The beauty of capitalism is you can opt out. Just don't buy. Unfortunately for Europeans government imposition is becoming more and more prevalent as neighboring successful countries must bail out one that cannot support themselves. This sort of forced system is the one that pushes groups we see to revolt. Thankfully for Adbuster the EU is continuing to ruin shit, and Portugal and Spain will be next to join in the anger and frustration of broken systems.

Pretending that frustration with government is part of the "carnivalesque" rebellion is kind of sad. These people are in the streets protesting, if they kick in a store window its just because it close by.

tweetybird

The beauty of capitalism is you can opt out. Just don't buy. Unfortunately for Europeans government imposition is becoming more and more prevalent as neighboring successful countries must bail out one that cannot support themselves. This sort of forced system is the one that pushes groups we see to revolt. Thankfully for Adbuster the EU is continuing to ruin shit, and Portugal and Spain will be next to join in the anger and frustration of broken systems.

Pretending that frustration with government is part of the "carnivalesque" rebellion is kind of sad. These people are in the streets protesting, if they kick in a store window its just because it close by.

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