New Criticals

In my study of the history of capitalism, I became increasingly familiar with a recurrent historical subject who co-produces new norms of conduct in the uncharted territories of capitalist expansion. I called that subject the pirate organization (for a quick historical overview, see the video below, produced prior to the Snowden revelations). In a nutshell, pirate organizations are groups of individuals who become active when capitalist economies transition into the unknown – the high seas in the 17th century, the airwaves in the 20th century, cyberspace nowadays. During such transitional periods, established value systems become ineffective at categorizing events, leading to apparent paradoxes. Traitor or hero? Occupy or Tea Party? Regulating the private sector or banning government interference? During these periods, pirate organizations represent what social scientists would call an ‘endogenous’ source of change, or what philosophers with a Deleuzian inclination would call a ‘fold’ in capitalism’s ‘plane of immanence’. Pirate organizations typically oppose governments and their protected oligopolies in industries located at the vanguard of the economy.