The 'Hidden Catch' in the Invisible Hook
6 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2010
Date Written: April 28, 2010
In The Invisible Hook, Leeson argues that by devising a complex system of rules (called the “pirate code”) and procedures for electing their leaders, pirate societies created governance structures where the leaders were strong enough to “control the governed” but were not strong enough to break the constraints that bound them. There is, however, a “hidden catch” within The Invisible Hook. There are important differences between pirate crews and societies, between pirate captains and political leaders, and between the pirate code and constitutions. Moreover, understanding these differences is critical for understanding how criminal bands were able to accomplish a feat that still proves problematic for many societies.
Keywords: Leeson, Pirates, Spontaneous Orders, Self-Governance
JEL Classification: D23, D02
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation