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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Elements of Privateering

Privateering and Smuggling

Elements of Privateering

Original Definition:
Legalized theft and warfare against commerce on the high seas.
Modern Defintion
Usurpation of Government or public functions for private profit

Privateers engage in the following:

  1. Filibustering/Privatized Warfare/
  2. Private warfare against unorganized places or countries the country the privateer is at war with. Privateers also were frequently mercenaries in service to anyone who would pay them. In modern times they often masque as providing contracts to "train" or "assist" often hostile foreign governments.
  3. Smuggling
  4. Usually private sea captains would do legal trade with whoever they could. But often privateers would engage in illegal smuggling if it made them money. Modern privateers smuggle. For example, arms to South America and Drugs back to the USA.
  5. Slave Trade
  6. Privateers often combined private warfare elements with smuggling by grabbing people for sale like they were any other good for sale. The Navies would even recruit their own sailors by grabbing them from ports and "pressing them" to service. Privateer sailors were often little better than slaves. Privateering always has involved abusing people. Nowadays it is often women and young kids for adoption scams or prostitution.
  7. Piracy
  8. One reason that the saying "Dead men Tell no tales" is that if a privateer took a prize of a ship not at war, if nobody survived to rat them out, and no evidence could be found of a crime, the now pirate could continue to pretend to be a privateer. This led to some confusion among pirate captains. The famous Captain Kidd of the 1700s went to England to argue his case that he had been a legal privateer, not a pirate. He was hung as a pirate. Many pirate/privateers got away with that. A Ship would go "on the hunt" even in peacetime. Most successful pirates avoided the courts.
  9. Private government and colonization.
  10. Private government was always an element in privateering. King James granted them the East India Company charter in 1600. This was the real beginning of the Tory Party and of the movement to modern Privateering. But when Christopher Columbus got his permission to sail west, it was with the aim of establishing private government in the lands he discovered.
  11. Corruption and Bribery
  12. Pirates succeeded because piracy was lucrative. One of the original purposes of Admiralty courts was to adjudicate the sail of "prizes" and shipwrecks. A legal pirate, a privateer, could make himself and the courts, wealthy by selling his prize at auction. Often he would keep a portion of the loot with the prize so that it would look legal. If the prize was not legal he could bribe judges and Port Officials. Bad pirates got hung. Successful ones built Churches or colonies.
  13. Banking and Finance
  14. Privateering and Banking were related. Successful pirates had loot to lend against. So they often founded banks and invested in voyages. Privateering, shipping and smuggling was dangerous and so successful pirates were heavily involved in insuring legal cargos and ships. Insuring and Banking go together as banks don't like to risk their own money and so either use derivative instruments (notes) or create derivative instruments (insurance and exchanges of promises) to spread risk.
  15. Wealth and Pirates
  16. Scratch a wealthy family and you find a pirate or mercenary at the founding; or someone who made money off of pirates, smugglers and mercenaries, as the founder.
  17. Money Laundering and Pirates
  18. Banks and wealthy criminals need to convert traceable loot to "clean" money. This is called money laundering. US banks, financiers and monied people are experts at doing this.
    Updated with this link:Article on Money Laundering
For more Information on this history:
Origins of the East India Company

Piracy, Privateering and Smuggling = "Sea Dogs"

It is well documented that "sea dogs", many of whom were both pirates, privateers and smugglers, were heavily involved in the "Triangular Trade", but they also were involved in the "China Trade", which sought riches from long voyages to the "far east", China, Burma, Thailand and India. Both trades were heavily mixed up in smuggling and piracy. Privateers smuggled slaves and other trade goods in the Triangular trade between the Americas, Africa and Europe. But they smuggled drugs and other trade goods in the "China Trade." Wars were fought over these trades. Wars between rival trading companies and merchants, wars between rival trading countries and wars on the trading partners to enforce inequitable contracts or steal trade goods (loot) to sell elsewhere. These "Sea Dogs" were little different from land Mafias. And the Sea Dog Tradition is at the foundation of many American and British "noble" families. Nobles were discouraged from working for a living. But for many of the European and British Gentry it was perfectly "honorable" to engage in sea trade and/or steal wealth. At least as long as you didn't get caught.

Further Reading and Previous Posts

Privateering and Drug Smuggling
Privateering and Piracy
Many Kinds of Privateering
An Ideology of Privateering
Many forms of Freebooting
Pirates and Privateers/Privatizing History
Origins of the East India Company
Bretton Woods, NeoColonialism and the "Money Men."
Origins of the East India Company
Corrupt Court and Undue Influence
East India Company and Islamic Jihad
Utility Versus the Pirates
Tribunals Admiralty Courts & Privateers
Abusive Contracts:
Hart And Holmström Win Nobel Prize In Economics For Contract Theory
Irving Fisher
Irving Fisher and his outlines of a solution
First Post on Stamp Scripts & Irving Fisher
Second Post on Stamp Scripts: []
Readings on Money
Actual Book; "Money, Whence It Came, Where It Went, c1975"
Hamilton On Money
Franklin on Money
This guy Gary North, claims that the famous franklin quote is bogus []
But Franklin's speech to Parliament refutes any idea that Franklin accepted Parliament's authority to prohibit paper money:
Attributes of a Virtuous Commonwealth
Commonwealth According to Locke"
The Concept of Commonwealth as antidote to Tyranny
Why Social Programs are an Investment

Our Common Plank Ideas

The Bogus Wall Street Article "Price Tag of Bernie Sanders’s Proposals: $18 Trillion":
Derivative Business Insider Article:
Robert Reich's Article:
Forbes: Can America Afford Sanders' Agenda? by John T. Harvey:
Quantum of Power by Arslan Ibrahim
I started this post back in September 28, 2015 as part of a review of the book "Innocent Fraud" and some reading I'd done on James Galbraith and Irving Fisher. I was intending to finish it as a pseudo academic work pointing to the evils of aristocracy and what to do about them. But then we elected Donald Trump.

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