Ever wonder why people today become pirates? It’s a dirty and dangerous business just like it’s been for centuries. The only guarantee is that if you do it long enough, you’ll either wind up caught and serve heavy time in a foreign prison or you’ll be dead.
No doubt men end up in the business for more than one reason. There’s the chance of quick cash much like a bank robber hoping to score it big. Then there’s the destitute person with nowhere to turn. Chasing down a ship carrying goods worth more money than you’ll see in ten lifetimes is more than a little appealing. When you grow up in poverty with no way to feed your family, the lure of piracy becomes irresistible.
Probably most casual observers would attribute the motivation of pirates to plain and simple greed. But a closer look would show this to be only partially true. Illegal fishing off the coast of Somalia has actually helped to nurture piracy there. Rob men of their ability to make a living, and even decent men can be driven to the unthinkable.
In a country where there is little government or one that is more corrupt than the people it serves, desperate men will not hesitate to take extreme measures. That’s why coming to solutions about piracy requires an understanding of individuals and their particular circumstances.
Look at the pirates and privateers of the 17th century Caribbean. Many began their career with the blessings of the king of England. When they were no longer needed, they became problematic. What the hell do you do with a sea of pirates you sanctioned for years to attack your enemies’ ships? For the17th century pirates, unemployment was not an option. Continue reading →