Photograph via snooOG

This is a space dedicated to both bridging the gap between the various flavors of Libertarianism/Anarchism and the facilitation of discussion and cooperation among us. Crack a beer, make a friend, and seize the day! Long live liberty!


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Pirates were (partly) libertarians

Pirates of the Golden Age of Piracy were organized criminals. As well as having crew members assigned certain duties, pirates found a way to reduce conflict among themselves and maximize profits. They used a democratic system, spelled out by written "articles of agreement", to limit the captain's power and to keep order on board the ship.

Articles of agreement See also: Pirate code Pirate articles were based on the chasse-partie created on buccaneer ships in the 17th century. The chasse-partie determined the division of plunder among the crew as well as other rules. 18th-century pirates built upon this concept and created their own version of "Articles of Agreement." Before setting out on their expedition, pirates wrote their articles alongside the election of a captain or quartermaster. The articles needed the consent of every crew member, and "all [pirates] swore to 'em" sometimes on a Bible or whatever was at hand.[6] During the election of a new captain, men who wanted another leader often drew up separate articles and sailed away from their former crew-mates. Pirate democracy was flexible but unable to deal with long-term dissent from the crew.[7]

One description of the ritual of the pirate's code was in Alexandre Exquemelin's Buccaneers of America, published in 1678. Pirates called a first council (which included all crew members) to decide where to get provisions. Then they raided for supplies. Afterward, food rations were determined (with the captain receiving no more than any man). A second council decided on the articles of agreement, which were put in writing.[8]

These articles of agreement served four purposes:

They specifically designated shares of the plunder for each crew member. Shares of the plunder were spelled out on the basis of each crew member's skills and duties. Captain and quartermaster typically received one and a half or two shares; gunners, boatswains, shipmates, carpenters, and doctors typically received one and a quarter or one and a half shares, and all others one share each.[9] Some of the plunder went into a "common fund" to provide for severely injured men (who had lost their sight or their limbs). This, in turn, promoted loyalty among the crew because they knew they would be taken care of.[10] If the value of the plunder was questionable, they would sell it before dividing the money among themselves. This prevented conflict between crew members and also prevented the quartermaster from hoarding the most valuable items.[6] The articles prohibited activities that would cause conflict between crew members, such as excessive drinking, gambling, stealing, and bringing women (or boys) on board. Some, like Bartholomew Roberts' articles, also prevented crew members from settling arguments with duels while on board the ship. They outlined punishments for various offenses. Punishments included marooning, whipping, slitting of ears and noses, and for severe crimes, death. They created rules for the general safety of the ship. Usually, articles also required members to keep their weapons in good working order. Also, since fire was especially dangerous on ships, some pirate articles forbade activities such as firing guns or smoking in areas of the ship that carried flammable goods, such as gunpowder.[6] Articles also described incentives like bonuses for productive crew members and thus prevented each man from allowing everyone else to pick up the slack.[6]

Counter-culture to normal maritime life and labor Piracy was usually voluntarily chosen, and it was a way of life that challenged the society pirates left behind. Most pirates came from the lowest social classes and went out to sea in search of a better life as well as loot and treasure.[13] As well as these pragmatic and economic reasons, the "spirit of revolt against common oppressors", the oppressors being the governments and societies of nations, helped create pirate democracy. Pirate democracy was a counter-culture, created by common sailors, to the traditional organization of maritime life and labor.[14]

On most merchant and Navy vessels, there was a hierarchy with captains holding the highest authority, then officers and at the bottom, ordinary sailors. On these ships, a captain had complete control over every aspect of life on his ship, including the division of food, wages, labor assignment and discipline. Thus, it was easy for a captain to become abusive and use his authority to take advantage of his crew.[6] John Archer, who sailed with Edward Teach, before his execution explained his stint as a pirate: "I could wish that Masters of Vessels would not use their Men with so much Severity, as many of them do, which exposes us to many Temptations."[15]

Colonel Benjamin Bennet wrote of pirates to the Council of Trade and Plantations in 1718: "I fear they will soon multiply for so many are willing to joyn with them when taken." Sailors on seized ships joined pirates because of the appealing "prospect of plunder and 'ready money,' the food and the drink, the camaraderie, the democracy, equality, and justice, and the promise of care for the injured."[16]

Another appeal of piracy came in the limiting of the captain's power over the crew. Pirate Francis Kennedy puts it succinctly: "most pirates, 'having suffered formerly from the ill-treatment of their officers, provided carefully against such evil' once they arranged their own command."[17] Thus, pirate democracy came with a series of checks and balances that protected the rights of the crew.

Checks and balances Piratical checks and balances proved quite successful. According to Captain Charles Johnson, owing to the institution of the quartermaster, aboard pirate ships "the Captain can undertake nothing which the Quarter-Master does not approve. We may say, the Quarter-Master is a humble Imitation of the Roman Tribune of the People; he speaks for, and looks after the Interest of the Crew."[6]

The dual executive was a distinctive feature of pirate organization.[18] A quartermaster, along with the captain, was elected by the crew. The presence of the quartermaster divided the immediate authority on the ship into two, so one man couldn't have complete control over the crew. Also, the captain had to keep in mind that he only ruled because his crew allowed him to. A captain could be pulled from his position by a majority vote of the crew for various reasons, including: cowardice, poor judgment, abusive or controlling behavior (called predation) and other behavior that the crew believed infringed on their interests. The captain also lived like the rest of the crew; he had no privileges in lodgings or food and drink.[6]

However, the ultimate, highest authority on the ship was the pirate council, a group that included every man on the ship. The council determined where to go for the best prizes and how arguments were to be resolved.[19] Also, discipline was dealt out on the basis on "what Punishment the Captain and the Majority of the Company [believed] fit."[10]

Pirates took their democracy beyond their ship as well. Upon seizing a prize, pirates administered the "distribution of justice" and asked the crew of the captured ship about their captain's nature. If the crew complained that their captain had been cruel, the pirates tortured and then executed the captain. A kind captain was often released and rewarded.[20]

Brotherhood on the seas For the most part, Western pirates did not prey on one another and were always willing to help out fellow pirates. For example, in April 1719, Howell Davis and his crew sailed into the Sierra Leone River, alarming the pirates commanded by Thomas Cocklyn until they saw the Jolly Roger. After a while, they saluted each other with cannon. Other crews “often invoked an unwritten code of hospitality to forge spontaneous alliances.”[22]

The Jolly Roger, the most famous symbol of every pirate's experience of death, violence and limited time on Earth, was used to terrify targets but also to identify fellow pirates.[23] Pirate fraternity was further expressed by threats and acts of revenge against nations targeting pirates.[24]

Anti-libertarian part:

Forced labour Not all people on board were there voluntarily or had voting rights. Almost all pirate ships would have a considerable amount of forced labourers on board (usually 10%-60%). Typically captives from ships that refused to join and sign the code, but were of some use to the crew. These were practically slaves and did not have voting rights.[21]

19:35 UTC


Remake I found of Gadsden Flag.

16:34 UTC


History of gazden flag

The flag is named after Christopher Gadsden, a South Carolinian delegate to the Continental Congress and brigadier general in the Continental Army,[4][5] who designed the flag in 1775 during the American Revolution.[6] He gave the flag to Commodore Esek Hopkins, and it was unfurled on the main mast of Hopkins's flagship USS Alfred on December 20, 1775.[5][7] Two days later, Congress made Hopkins commander-in-chief of the Continental Navy.[8] He adopted the Gadsden banner as his personal flag, flying it from the mainmast of the flagship while he was aboard.[5] The Continental Marines also flew the flag during the early part of the war.[6].

Christopher Gadsden (February 16, 1724 – August 28, 1805) was an American politician who was the principal leader of the South Carolina Patriot movement during the American Revolution. He was a delegate to the Continental Congress, a brigadier general in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina, a merchant, and the designer of the Gadsden flag. He is a signatory to the Continental Association.

While Gadsden vehemently supported John Adams, who was opposed to slavery and promoted a gradual approach to abolition, the U.S. National Park Service writes that "by 1774, Christopher Gadsden owned four stores, several merchant vessels, two rice plantations, a residential district in Charleston called Gadsdenboro, and a large wharf on the Cooper River."[2] Of all the colonies, South Carolina received the highest number of slaves from Africa, and most of these came ashore on Gadsden's Wharf.[3] Gadsden himself held slaves, as did many rice plantation owners in South Carolina who used the labor of enslaved Africans to grow and sell agricultural products. In A Forgotten Founder: The Life and Legacy of Christopher Gadsden, Kelcey Eldridge states that, "at the time of his death, he owned enough slaves to 'divide my Estate real and personal as well as my negroes as otherwise into nineteen equal parts or shares'"; but it is unknown just how many enslaved people he purchased, owned, or used.[4]

Conclusion: Gazden flag has very anti-libertarian orgins: creator was slave owner, trader and general in the army, and flag was used for warships.


11:55 UTC


Is orginal meaning of symbol important?

For example is using symbol, which was authoritarian/supremacist/fascist ok if used with other meaning?

View Poll

12:32 UTC


Who should control law, police, military, courts, prisons etc.?

09:59 UTC


I’ve lost faith in the US

I have lost faith in my country’s government to preserve our liberty, and I feel as though policies will only get more authoritarian as time goes on. I feel neither left or right libertarians will have a place in United States politics. Even if we bought land and tried to form libertarian communities together, we would eventually be labeled as terrorists, and the media would do they’re best to convince the public libertarianism is a dangerous ideology.

They would plant fake evidence of weapons and plans to attack government buildings and officials, and use these claims to push for more gun control and surveillance, threatening our ability to defend ourselves.

I want to believe in a brighter, more free future, but I just don’t see it. Voting doesn’t do shit. So here’s my question. How do you all envision we can preserve our rights and form libertarian communities, rejecting the unconstitutional system we live under now?

22:18 UTC


This But Unironically?

10:34 UTC


What do you think about nation-states?

Most people (at least in the West) take for granted the dominant European model of sovereign states representing particular national communities. The nation-state is so entrenched today, many people don't realize other models of political organization are possible.

Do you think nation-states can be changed to become more ethical and free? Or is there a better way?

09:06 UTC



I'm not good at it. I apologize for some super sarcastic and deadpan posts I've made, I can absolutely see how one would take them poorly. I got a huge kick out of Dyson's post where he explains why nobody is libertarian, and just was trying to inject a bit of siliness of my own.

Because ultimately, while I try to keep myself educated on economics and other practicalities(lots of folks here are wayyyyy more knowledgable), it's not what drives my personal ideology.

I basically just want to put my back into a world that values freedom more. I don't like a lot of what I see in our current society. Being good to and cooperating with others is just common sense to me. I kinda push for the idea that it really can be that simple, which is why I really like the concept of unity between libertarians.

I also like being challenged on the particulars. I like being forced to evaluate the real life applications. This is a good sub for that.

1 Comment
21:29 UTC


Anarchists stick together :D

17:09 UTC


Let's face it...

Libertarians of various flavors will just never get along. A bunch of dead guys already made all the sub-genres and the rest is set in stone. We may even be practically in agreement, but alas the theory, it cannot be denied! So say a bunch of dead outsiders and failed revolutionaries from like 5 countries.

edit: Just for clarification I was indeed trying to be sarcastic. I think strict adherence to ideological dogma is stupid and anti-unity and many of the original philosophies aren't even up to date for modern society. That is all!

I apologize to people who thought I was trying to stir some shit up or promote defeatism.

07:04 UTC


Introducing Dysontarianism (ideology in comments)

20:09 UTC



19:59 UTC


Tell me what type of libertarian/anarchist you are and I'll tell you why it's not true libertarianism/anarchism

doesnt matter what the ideology is lol ill do it

20:13 UTC


Are you willing to cooperate with neoliberals?

separated between Americans + Canadians and non-Americans because Americans have drastically different definitions of neoliberalism compared to us (I mean we all do but...).

View Poll

19:32 UTC


Socialism and state communism are two branches of the same family, resorting to different approaches in order to exercise their power over man. - Nestor Makhno

00:49 UTC


Snoo was suspended rejoice

what an asshole, finally hopefully he can stop karma farming. on here and other subreddits.

21:12 UTC


Left-libertarians and right-libertarians, don’t share the same definition of libertarianism

We’re both “libertarians”, according to our own definitions of the term.

But neither left-libertarians nor right-libertarians actually qualify as “libertarian” at all, according to each other’s definition.

See, the fundamental issue is that right-libertarianism is based on a non-aggression principle, and left-libertarianism is based on a non-coercion principle.

Anarcho-capitalists oppose taxation because taxation is an initiation of force.

But left-anarchists oppose taxation because taxation is coercive, and imposed upon the taxpayer against their will.

Force and coercion are distinct concepts.

Force can exist without coercion, and vice versa.

Force is a physical concept, coercion is a psychological concept.

There is a difference between shooting someone and taking their money, vs threatening to shoot someone if they don’t give their money by choice.

The first is force, the second is coercion, which in this case is using the threat of force.

But coercion can be entirely non-violent.

Sextortion scams which blackmail people into giving up their money under the threat of their nudes being leaked, require absolutely no physical force at all to extract compliance.

Hopefully this post clears up some of the confusion as to who the “real libertarians” are.

We’re both libertarian, but we’re using different definitions of the word.

09:19 UTC


One thing I think people sometimes don't think about with libertarianism

I think people forget how much libertarianism by nature is not rigid compared to other political ideologies. Plans for a path forward don't have to be perfectly worked out. If we can find some common ground and remove even some minor elements of big government, we can call that a victory, but it doesn't have to be seen as the final victory. We aren't searching for control, we just want a better life, more personal freedom, and more room to prosper. This is an eternal goal. There will always be something more to strive towards.

More authoritarian styles of government need everything to lock in place just right to "work." But we have the ability to work in the opposite direction. We take what we have to work with now, and get rid of what we don't need.

07:20 UTC


LibUnity mascot?

Librights have snakes and liblefts have cats but I've noticed that libertarian unity doesn't really have a mascot on its own. What do you guys think a mascot could be?

20:16 UTC


The Libertarian Party and the Green Party agree on today's hottest political issue

Should the US continue to fund Israel's war on Gaza?

The Libertarian Party and the Green Party, the two biggest 3rd parties in the US, agree that the US government should stop funding Israel. Their approaches are different - the LP is more isolationist, whereas the Green Party explicitly supports Gaza. However, both parties want to stop giving Israel military and economic aid.

The Libertarian Party platform says "American foreign policy should emphasize peace with all nations, entangling alliances with none. We would end the current U.S. government policies of foreign intervention including military and economic aid."

The Green Party platform says "We call on the U.S. President and Congress to suspend all military and foreign aid, including loans and grants, to Israel until Israel withdraws from the Occupied Territories, dismantles the separation wall in the Occupied West Bank including East Jerusalem, ends its siege of Gaza and dismantles settler colonies and systemic apartheid toward its non-Jewish citizens."

With Biden facing major pushback for his handling of Israel's war on Gaza, 3rd parties could see a surge of support this year. I think the Green Party will benefit the most, because many of Israel's critics are on the left. However, the Libertarian Party could also benefit.

06:20 UTC

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