An-arghhh-y: Pirate Organization

Questions to Ponder:
1. Does the presence of government stifle self-governing initiative?
2. Do people only self govern when they have no choice? = lazy
3. Does capitalism i.e. the protection of property automatically lead to hierarchy and control situations?
4. Can democracy really survive in a capitalists system?
Republican Rome only lasted 200 years, and you can argue that the US is turning into an empire rather than a republic, as we speak.

5. Are pirates capitalist?
6. Are capitalistic systems piratical?
7. Would pirate organization have been even more efficient if they could have relied on government [autocratic] authority?

Debate Question:

Are democracy and capitalism compatible systems?

Choose a side:
Team A) Yes, of course. Capitalism is a democratic institution, leaving individuals free to pursue wealth on the strength of their merits. It’s been working well for at least 200 years.
Team B) They can, but they are uneasy bedfellows. Capitalism is structurally authoritarian, and democracy at its best is a level playing field.
Team C) Moderator.
Team D) Yes. If capitalist institutions are based on merit and equally distribute resources, they are compatible with democracy.
Team E) No. Capitalism is structurally authoritarian, and democracy is about the equal sharing of power. Capitalism is actually most efficient as a system in a situation of inequality. The US is a good example of democratic institutions sliding into hierarchical ones.
Team F) ___. _________________________.

An-arrgh-chy: The Law and Economics of Pirate Organization, From the Chicago Journal of Political Economy

Hsinchu Discussion of Pirates

Participants:  Wilson, Peter Wang, Kevin, Robert, Angela

It doesn’t work because the person in power needs to be able to distribute resources to stay in power. The king gets the trust of his dukes by bestowing resources. The pirates can’t work because the quartermaster is separate.

But nobody wants to work for bad boss. Need guarantees of no abuse, guarantees that the money would be shared fairly, so: electibility of leaders.

Trust and reliability.

The captain have the capability to lead the pirate ship to earn the money. But he hasn’t the authority to control all of the ship, because the sailor don’t necessarily to rely on the captain. The captain only leads to earn the money. The captain also needs the sailors to work for him. The relationship is equal, only the responsibility is not the same.

You’re saying if the captain and the quartermaster are the same group, then they can work efficiently. If they have...

The most important thing is that every sailor has their own power. They all have rights to the ship. That’s the fundamental basis, the radical thing of all this.

But if you look at history, most places are kings, not democracy. Why did only pirate ships have it?

You’re all together on the ship. The US was kind of like a pirate ship when it started,

In Ireland, anyone who lives there, even if they are not citizens, can vote, and can also run for public office. So it’s similar to the pirate ship. If you’re there, you can participate.

I’m team d. Capitalism if very effective to go for the maximum benefit, but they sometimes don’t take care of the weak side. But society doesn’t function well, so we have to have democracy. It’s not efficient, but we have to cover the strong side or the weak side.

It’s compatible because you need both.

You have to make a mixture to get the best benefit of both.

I also choose team d. I agree, the capitalist maybe have the responsibility to distribute the resources to the weak side., for instance social welfare. But on another issue, our society have a different tax rate. If you earn more, you have to pay more, it’s a kind of equality. If you earn money from this society, then you have to contribute. So capitalism they earn money, then they pay more money to society to support the wealth.

Okay, I will chose the team b. I don’t think the team d the possibility will realize, so basically I think team b is, I think the capitalism is a must way to achieve the maximum benefits or profits or a whole organization, and I think the democracy, so according to the statement in the articles, pirates organization seems the earliest prototype for modern democracy. Of course, if sometimes change the contents or the democracy, so, of course in the future, we hope the democracy and the capitalism reach the balance point, but somehow, part of team e, because it is same as US. Honestly I’m not really catch up why the US is a good example

I’m more with team b. it’s difficult but they can somehow work together at a certain level. Because true democracy does not exist. But if we want to make true democracy work, maybe we have to make a grading system.


So you have to choose a leader, and if the scale of the country is bigger, so the scale of it is harder to work with.

If it’s a smaller scale, a direct democracy could work. But a larger scale, I don’t have a better system as compared to now.

So maybe at a better scale. Capitalism can exist in a country running democracy, but maybe we can put our view at a different level. The gvt can be run on the principle of democracy, but there is no true democracy, so we have to make things work…

So it’s an ideal to work towards, rather than something to attain. I think capitalism is based on economic interest. So it gives every individual freedom to pursue economic interests. But the idea is different in democracy. So it’s still possible at a certain level.