Going on the Account: Avast! Segel zum Steuerbord! Bereiten Sie sich vor zu wohnen!

Truth to tell, I’d never heard of Klaus Störtebeker before this piece about Stralsund’s favorite son was published today in the NY TIMES.  It seems interesting that in desperation for national heroes under  de-Nazification, that the East Germans would turn to a pirate of all things…

 

No, this remark isn’t meant to be flippant; it’s just mind-boggling that a Communist country would hold up as an ideal a person in a profession that bleeds free market enterprise taken to the nth degree.  In many ways, pirates in all eras are the ultimate capitalists; they assess the value of goods they come across, then try to convert these into usable capital, often through offering them to a market that will give them as close to that value as possible.  And more often than not, what you end up with at the end of the operation is a trading venture that just happened to have involved a major element of violence.

 

Mind you, sometimes it goes badly.  The Cilician pirates kidnapping Gaius Iulius comes to mind as a bad move, as does the Somali seizure of the Faina, which is still in holding.

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