Friday, June 02, 2006
Pirates are "in" - see Jon B-M's recent action in Canada. Why suddenly do so many of us catch the stench of privateering as it wafts from the harbour across the campuses... echoed in Mick Taussig's course last term at Columbia on pirates too, and more
Posthegemony: "piracy, nomadism, and the state
The complexity and confusion regarding piracy's political economy leads to, is amplified in, and exacerbates a similar set of confusions regarding piracy's relation to the state. Moreover, an added complication here concerns first, the range of piratical activities and the nomenclature used to describe them, and second the historical vicissitudes of piracy from at least the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries, in other words precisely during the period of the European state's consolidation, and imperial expansion. Take the issue of nomenclature. Though sometimes all non-state maritime violence is considered under the label of piracy, the series of differing terms employed at other times indicates multiple attempts (often finally frustrated) to distinguish between different forms of violence, or more strictly its different degrees of legitimacy. Pirate, buccaneer, privateer, private man-of-war, corsair, filibuster, freebooter, coastal raider. . . all these terms indicate subtle differentiations, of which by far the most important is that between privateer and pirate."