The Corner

Talking about Pirates

Did you know that, unlike today’s pirates, the pirates who roamed the seas in the late 17th and early 18th centuries were pioneers of democracy? That’s what George Mason University professor Peter Leeson argues in his new book The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates.

Peter, who is a great writer and a brilliant economist (in fact, many people argue that he might very well be the new Milton Friedman) explains how in the book. For a good article about Peter’s theory, read this Boston Globe piece:

Long before they made their way into the workings of modern government, the democratic tenets we hold so dear were used to great effect on pirate ships. Checks and balances. Social insurance. Freedom of expression.

And for the book go here.

Oh, and by the way, Leeson proposed to his girlfriend in the preface of his book. Read here.

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