adding page this day – clip on nika and david‘s new pirate book (pirate enlightenment):

okay, so I’ve not been in tip-top shape, but I haven’t forgotten #a4all. Here’s all about our next project, after kings, all about pirates:

Here’s the youtube version

https://t.co/HzwzX2cAjh via @YouTube 

and here’s the patreon


Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/davidgraeber/status/1299445122757779457

5 min video:

2 min – interesting thing about pirates is they were rebels.. pirates were basically outlaws.. in the sense that anybody had the right to kill them

3 min – they were usually mutineers.. i’m distinguishing here between pirates and pirateers.. from 1600s.. mostly people who’d mutinied.. a lot had been kidnapped.. that’s why they were on the ship.. they’d grab people on the street and make them sailors..

so they’re guys who’d been kidnapped.. rose up against the oppressive captain.. but they knew that by doing that there was basically no place they could go.. they were wanted everywhere.. there were all these mutual agreements

so they would raise a flag and say.. ok fine.. we declare a war on all of the world.. and in fact that’s what the pirate flag meant.. the jolly roger.. a skull w an hour glass.. and hour glass implied.. it’s just a matter of time.. not that you’re going to die.. but that we’re going to die.. but we don’t care.. we’re the living dead.. living on borrowed time.. but we don’t mind that.. we’re going to have fun w it.. the thing about it that’s even scarier in a way

4 min – but .. in keeping themselves alive.. which they often times did manage to do.. a lot of them ended up retiring to madagascar actually and their descendants are still there.. i knew some of them when i was (there) 20 yrs ago

they managed to do it (keep selves alive) by the manipulation of stories.. they actually managed to convince people there was a pirate kingdom in madagascar for ie.. which was sending out phony ambassadors all over europe .. they were basically amazing scam artists.. and they were constantly telling these crazy stories.. both to scare people and entrance people about (?) experiments.. about terrible acts of violence

5 min – and to this day it’s impossible to know what’s true.. but they were good at what they did.. at the art of propaganda.. that we’re still telling those stories now.. so in a way.. that’s the story that i want to tell.. how it is these essentially ordinary people.. just guys they grabbed off the street.. put in extraordinary situation.. became these geniuses of narrative who managed to change our entire shape of history and what’s possible in it.. and tell these stories so compelling.. we’re still telling them.. just as a way to survive


Free access to the Pirates of the Lights

In memory of David Graeber, here is free access to the ePub (813 kb) and PDF (1.2 mb zip) files of his latest work, The Pirates of the Lights or the true story of Libertalia .

Pour saluer David Graeber (1961-2020).

Voici, en accès libre, les fichiers ePubs et PDF du livre “Les Pirates des Lumières ou la véritable histoire de Libertalia”.


@nikadubrovsky https://t.co/gAG8OESBki

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/LibertaliaLivre/status/1301848130217009157

dang.. can’t get it to load in english


m of care – feb 7 – rediker on pirates..

m of care – mar 7 – snelders on pirates..

nika & noam on pirates





alexa clay and power of misfits et al


Piracy is an act of robbery or criminal violence by ship or boat-borne attackers upon another ship or a coastal area, typically with the goal of stealing cargo and other valuable items or properties. Those who engage in acts of piracy are called pirates, while dedicated ships that are used by them are called pirate ships. The earliest documented instances of piracy were in the 14th century BC, when the Sea Peoples, a group of ocean raiders, attacked the ships of the Aegean and Mediterranean civilizations. Narrow channels which funnel shipping into predictable routes have long created opportunities for piracy, as well as for privateering and commerce raiding. Historic examples include the waters of Gibraltar, the Strait of Malacca, Madagascar, the Gulf of Aden, and the English Channel, whose geographic structures facilitated pirate attacks.  A land-based parallel is the ambushing of travelers by bandits and brigands in highways and mountain passes. Privateering uses similar methods to piracy, but the captain acts under orders of the state authorizing the capture of merchant ships belonging to an enemy nation, making it a legitimate form of war-like activity by non-state actors.

While the term can include acts committed in the air, on land (especially across national borders or in connection with taking over and robbing a car or train), or in other major bodies of water or on a shore, in cyberspace, as well as the fictional possibility of space piracy, it generally refers to maritime piracy. It does not normally include crimes committed against people traveling on the same vessel as the perpetrator (e.g. one passenger stealing from others on the same vessel). Piracy or pirating is the name of a specific crime under customary international law and also the name of a number of crimes under the municipal law of a number of states. In the early 21st century, seaborne piracy against transport vessels remains a significant issue (with estimated worldwide losses of US$16 billion per year in 2004), particularly in the waters between the Red Sea and Indian Ocean, off the Somali coast, and also in the Strait of Malacca and Singapore.

Today, pirates armed with automatic weapons, such as assault rifles, and machine guns, grenades and rocket propelled grenades use small motorboats to attack and board ships, a tactic that takes advantage of the small number of crew members on modern cargo vessels and transport ships. They also use larger vessels, known as “mother ships”, to supply the smaller motorboats. The international community is facing many challenges in bringing modern pirates to justice, as these attacks often occur in international waters. Some nations have used their naval forces to protect private ships from pirate attacks and to pursue pirates, and some private vessels use armed security guards, high-pressure water cannons, or sound cannons to repel boarders, and use radar to avoid potential threats.