It’s Talk Like a Pirate Day over at The Mudd, and elsewhere.

Perhaps you should celebrate by reading Peter Leeson’s The Invisible Hook, an economic analysis of piratical organization.  Or perhaps the JPE piece it was based on. Or even one of its many favorable reviews.

Here’s the gist:

The idea of the invisible hook is that pirates, though they’re criminals, are still driven by their self-interest. So they were driven to build systems of government and social structures that allowed them to better pursue their criminal ends.

I read this over the summer and found it interesting that the classic pirates created reasonably democratic governance structures with built-in checks and balances, whereas most organized crime we think of today — including modern-day pirates, I’d guess — is more conventionally hierarchical.