theoria, a buddy from my undergrad alma mater, has started an eponymous blog, after switching to Typepad from his LiveJournal, which I would like to welcome to the internets. (No relation to the popular Daily Kos participant by the same name.) theoria specializes in political philosophy. Many of my readers may find some of the style of philosophy rather off-putting, and I myself often find it either impenetrable or implying what are to me rather absurd results. But after having been reading his writing for a while, some of it makes sense, and some of it is fascinating.
His first few steps into non-LJ blogging are definitely on the fascinating side, where he contemplates parallels between pirates and terrorists and their moral and political status. Some of it includes details that quite surprise me, even though I suspect they shouldn't:
theoria: Pirate Democracy: First, pirates are the lowest of the low; the most disenfranchised; they chose a career path that leads to certain death -- i.e., piracy as capital offense -- in order to enter into war against "all mankind" or "all the world". Burgess, however, is happy to leave the point stated simply: it isn't the world understand in a particular way or "mankind" or "civilization" understood in a particular way; rather, it is the entire world and everyone living in it. Pirates aren't, as Burgess tells us, opposed to a particular constituted juridical order -- one, for instance, that would kill them for taking their disenfranchisement to its logical conclusion -- but are rather opposed to order as such. This is interesting given his second paragraph: he cites Sam Bellamy who claims, by virtue of capturing and commanding a ship, to be on the same level as anyone else possessing means of violence. Bellamy describes himself in two ways: as a "free prince" and as having "authority". Clearly, Bellamy isn't opposed to order at all: he understands order for what it is and wants a part of it. Finally, we come to the most troubling aspect of piracy for Burgess: "pirate democracy". Not only do some bands of pirates organize themselves around constitutions and democratic principles, they also create forms of social welfare approximately two hundred and some years before comparable schemes are governmentalized in the European states.
If you read the rest of the post, theoria is definitely not afraid to push the envelope and open himself to claims of sympathy with the Bad Guys, even when the claims are pretty illogical themselves (something that, between him and I, we wasted a heck of a lot of time fighting on another forum).
Anyway, welcome theoria.