Were pirates pioneering socialists – or just filthy scallywags?

Published on: February 8 / 2023

In his uneven final book, anarchist theorist David Graeber argues that Madagascar’s long lost pirate utopia was a seedbed for democracy

Pirate Enlightenment, or the Real Libertalia review by Nikhil Krishnan, the Telegraph

The Malagasy coast in the early 18th century was teeming with pirate settlements. Tales of the pirates reached Europe in such (not wholly reliable) books as the 1724 volume A General History of the Pyrates. Its author, supposedly a “Captain Johnson” – possibly a pen-name used by Daniel Defoe – wrote of a faraway utopia in Madagascar. “Libertalia”, he said, was a democratic nation that had abolished both slavery and private property

Read more on davidgraeber.org

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