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[SCA Newcomers] Re: Democratic pirates?

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  • Jeff Gedney
    Ok, I know it s been a while, but life has had it in for me lately... Regarding the democracy of Pirates... It is quite probably true that they had a rather
    Message 1 of 10 , Mar 4, 2008
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      Ok,
      I know it's been a while, but life has had it in for me lately...

      Regarding the "democracy" of Pirates...
      It is quite probably true that they had a rather polite society,
      after it's own sort, and were frequently cited as egalitarian... But
      I think that is more an accident of the lifestyle than it is a
      conscious choice.

      When you have a bunch of people of differing cultures, all armed and
      ready to kill, all crowded together for days on end, In that
      situation rules and agreeements and especially courtesy in terms of
      listening and having your voice heard in council becomes more of a
      survival tool than a nicety.

      Shipboard life has always had a strong tendency towards rules and
      exacting social processes, particularly in the channels of
      interpersonal complaint and social justice, simply for the fact that
      small resentments become large problems when you cannot escape each
      other for months and sometimes years on end. Captains who ignore the
      voice of the smallest of the crew had better be planning on a short
      term voyage.

      Furthermore, since many "deep Sea" Pirates like those in the Golden
      Age of Carribean Piracy (1650 to 1750 - after period, BTW) were thus
      likely to be sailors who had been a part of, and used to, a highly
      regimented shipboard life, this adherence to form and courtesy is
      really not surprising.

      Politeness and sticking to social forms is, sociologically speaking,
      a particular indicator of a "society of dangerous people".
      It's not unlike the unfailing politeness recorded among barbarian
      tribes by historians like Heroditus, such as Scythian and (later)
      Hunnic hoardes, and even (much later) the Old US West.
      You see this same tendency in isolated tribal civilizations as well
      for much the same reason.

      Capt Elias
      DragonShip Haven
      East Kingdom
      Stratford, CT, USA
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