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Author Compares Pirates To Big Business, Government

By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – We seem to have an on-going fascination with pirates, from Halloween costumes to movies, but a multi-media movement argues that they are a driving progressive force.

While movies often depict pirates as a bunch of swashbuckling thieves, J.P. Vergne, co-author of The Pirate Organization: Lessons from the Fringes of Capitalism says they constantly nibble at the edges of what big government, big business and big morality dictate.

“Pirate crews were the only ones at the time that would accept women or black people on board their ships and treat them as equal, and some of those people later ended up setting their home bases in the United States,” says Vergne, where ideas of equality trickled into the public.

Vergne says piracy, from Britain’s radio pirates of the 60’s to today’s internet pirates, is a counterweight to monopolies that want to control a valuable resource.

He says genetic information and mineral rights for asteroids or the moon present potential arenas for future similar clashes.

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