Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Did Pirates Create The Credit Crunch?

Date:
October 15, 2008
Source:
University of Sunderland
Summary:
As the world’s money markets do their best to combat the Credit Crunch, a politics lecturer has discovered that the root of modern democracy’s money woes may lay with the first corporations – pirates.

Dr Peter Hayes, Senior Lecturer in politics at the University of Sunderland.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Sunderland

As the world’s money markets do their best to combat the Credit Crunch, a University of Sunderland politics lecturer has discovered that the root of modern democracy’s money woes may lay with the first corporations – pirates.

Related Articles


Dr Peter Hayes is Senior Lecturer in politics at the University of Sunderland. In his latest paper ‘Pirates, Privateers and the contract theories of Hobbes and Locke’ Dr Hayes argues that the roots of modern democracy were not in Britain or the USA, but were the ‘corporations’ which were created on pirate ships during the golden age of buccaneering.

Dr Hayes says: “Pirates elected their captain, voted on major decisions and distributed their booty in roughly equal shares, and there is something in the idea that a pirate ship is the equivalent of a modern corporation.

“In the 17th and 18th century privateers were backed by financiers, much like modern multi-national PLCs. The way that privateering was operating back in the golden age of buccaneering, is that a group of individuals come together, and agree to kit out a ship to sail the seven seas to see if they can pull in some gold. It was a global gamble for enormous rewards. These predatory voyages are the roots of modern venture capitalism, with these modern multi-national corporations out to get all they can get. That’s the sort privateering that led to the Credit Crunch.”

Dr Hayes argues that this raises troubling questions about whether rights in modern democratic states can truly be said to be human rights, as opposed to the rights held only by a select few corporations.

Dr Hayes says: “Pirates had a democratic structure, and relative equality, but they were doing all of this to violate the rights of other people. The idea of a social contract is that it protects human rights. But what if you create a social contact to say that we’ll observe rights towards each other, but we won’t observe rights for outsiders?”

Privateering was encouraged by governments including England where it was considered perfectly acceptable to capture a Spanish ship as long the Crown got a cut of the booty. Pirates even set up their own states in places like Madagascar, where they could hide their wealth from governments, and also share information – rather similar to offshore bank accounts for modern businesses.

Dr Hayes says: “Eventually the state stepped in to reward successful pirates, by calling them ‘privateers’ giving them knighthoods, and making them part of society, so it is more than likely that direct descendents of pirates like Henry Morgan are wandering around the ‘deck’ of modern companies today.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Sunderland. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hayes, Peter. Pirates, Privateers and the Contract Theories of Hobbes and Locke. History of Political Thought, Volume 29, Issue 3, autumn 2008 [link]

Cite This Page:

University of Sunderland. "Did Pirates Create The Credit Crunch?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081015110751.htm>.
University of Sunderland. (2008, October 15). Did Pirates Create The Credit Crunch?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081015110751.htm
University of Sunderland. "Did Pirates Create The Credit Crunch?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081015110751.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 19, 2014) The hacking attack on Sony Pictures has U.S. government officials weighing their response to the cyber-attack. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How 2014 Shaped The Future Of The Internet

How 2014 Shaped The Future Of The Internet

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) It has been a long, busy year for Net Neutrality. The stage is set for an expected landmark FCC decision sometime in 2015. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins