Gabriel Kuhn, who was born in 1972, is a political writer and translator who now resides in Sweden.
Kuhn was born in Innsbruck, Austria, although he spent his childhood and adolescence living in several other countries, including Turkey, England, and the United States of America, among others. In the 1980s, Kuhn developed an interest in politics and, at the age of sixteen, got involved in straight edge and radical groups.
After completing his post-secondary education in Austria and the United States, Kuhn spent some time living in the Middle East and the South Pacific Islands.
Gabriel Kuhn has called Sweden his home ever since he moved there in 2005. Kuhn has a Doctor of Philosophy degree, with a concentration on poststructuralism as his area of study. His way of thinking has been shaped by his exposure to classical anarchism as well as Anglo-American Cultural Studies. Bridging the divide between theory and practice has been one of Kuhn’s primary focuses in his political activism throughout the years. The idea of community in Kuhn’s work is founded on the principle of sympathy for oppressed peoples. In the past, in addition to being involved in politics and social issues, Kuhn has also played soccer on a semi-professional level.
After being refused permission to travel by United States officials in 2010, Kuhn was forced to abandon a three-month speaking tour that was scheduled to take place in the United States. Kuhn is under the impression that he was included on the “No Fly List.”
Gabriel Kuhn Working Experience
Since 1989, Kuhn has been engaged in political activity, and the majority of his published work, which was developed in that context, is geared toward left-wing activists as well as academics. During the 1990s, he was an employee of both the Vienna anarchist publisher Monte Verita as well as the Austrian autonomist journal TATblatt.
Alpine Anarchist Productions (AAP) is a do-it-yourself publishing project that was established by Kuhn in the year 2000. AAP has been responsible for the publication of several pamphlets, the majority of which were written by Kuhn using a variety of aliases. The Anarchist Football (Soccer) Manual quickly rose to prominence as the most widely read volume in the series.
Since 2005, Kuhn has contributed a significant number of publications to the German radical publisher Unrast Verlag. Tier-Werden, Schwarz-Werden, Frau-Werden. Along with the book “Neuer Anarchismus in den USA,” the work “Eine Einführung in die politische Philosophize des Poststrukturalismus” from 2005 has developed into a de facto standard for providing a left-wing introduction to poststructuralism. The Seattle and the Consequences (2008) anthology, which is an annotated collection of contemporary American anarchism and features translations from authors ranging from David Graeber and the CrimethInc. Collective to John Zerzan and Ward Churchill was selected as the “Book of the Year” by Berlin’s Bibliothek der Freien. His writings on anarchism are collected and published as Vielfalt, Bewegung, Widerstand (2009) and Anarchismus und Revolution (2017).
Kuhn has been working alongside PM Press on a variety of projects ever since the year 2008. His work on piracy is continued in his book, “Life Under the Jolly Roger: Reflections on Golden Age Piracy,” which was published in 2010. An anthology published in 2010, titled “Sober Living for the Revolution: Hardcore Punk, Straight Edge, and Radical Politics,” Sober Living for the Revolution is dedicated to documenting the radical currents that are present within the straight edge hardcore scene. Both Reformation and Other Writings (2010) by Gustav Stigler and Liberating Society from the State as well as other Writings (2011) by Erich Mühsam are collections of writings published by two of the most influential anarchists to come out of Germany. Antifascism, Sports, and Sobriety: Forging a Militant Working-Class Culture (2017), Playing as if the World Mattered: An Illustrated History of Activism in Sports (2015), and Soccer vs. the State: Tackling Football and Radical Politics (2011) are three books that examine the political dimensions of sports from a left-wing point of view.
In addition, Kuhn has made contributions to a wide variety of zines and journals, including Brand in Sweden and Direkte Aktion in Germany. His body of work has been rendered into a greater number of tongues than ten.
A Critical Analysis of May Day Books’s “Life Under the Jolly Roger”
This study examines piracy, buccaneering, and privateering in the Caribbean, Atlantic, and Indian waters throughout the late 1600s and early 1700s from both a political and an anthropological point of view. This is not some exciting story about treasure chests, parrots, and peg legs, even though actual pirates have always enjoyed having a good time. Although anarchists and many other people have taken great joy in reading about the exploits of these pirates, Kuhn takes the time to analyze what life was like for them. This connection between the anarchist black flag and the Jolly Roger design of a black skull and crossbones persists to this day. The anarchist black flag may have been inspired by the Jolly Roger. Therefore, Kuhn also analyzes the pirate heritage in the current day, since certain direct-action environmental organizations like Sea Shepard continue to exploit it.
Kuhn gives a detailed account of the many European figures that lived in the Caribbean, Madagascar, and Central America during this period, as well as their temporary bases in Tortuga, Nassau, and Madagascar, as well as their acts and beliefs.
Privateers were mercenaries who were employed by different nations to carry out attacks on opposing ships. The land-based ‘primitives’ known as buccaneers and log-cutters were people who had abandoned the service of any country and were living on islands and beaches. Privateers and buccaneers who embarked on their solo careers as sea robbers were known as pirates. Pirates targeted affluent merchant ships from Spain, Britain, France, and any other nation. They weren’t much interested in taking advantage of commoners or smaller fish. Because of this, many regular islanders and coastal residents in the United States began to see them as a modern-day version of Robin Hood. Surprisingly, it was the conclusion of the wars that were waged between the countries of Europe that resulted in the transition of certain government privateers into free-lance pirates.
THE PIRATE PLUSES
They were a motley crew of people who had been indentured slaves in the past, people who had been sailors in the past, criminals, bankrupts, adventurers, and the flotsam and jetsam of many European countries who chose to join a Brotherhood that was hostile to all nations. Their vulgar language and their youthful exuberance were in full force. The name “The Brethren of the Coast” was given to an early variant of the pirate group. The Jolly Roger itself was a symbol of their freedom, in which they renounced allegiance to monarchs, governments, and nationality on several occasions. On board, democratic rule prevailed, with captains and other so-called “leaders” of the vessels being elected democratically by their respective crews. The booty was split up nearly exactly in half. Targets were voted on. Vote-based decisions might potentially be used to oust captains and reorganize personnel. In contrast to the courts in Europe and the United States, they administered justice on a more level playing field. The pirates obeyed this requirement since it was a component of the “code” that they followed, which consisted of many articles of agreement that were written down aboard each ship. As a result of the clothing laws that prohibited commoners from wearing good materials, pirates dressed in the most vibrant apparel they could find while using the nicest clothing they could steal.
Kuhn draws parallels between these tiny communities and “primitive communism” because money was not accumulated or hoarded in any of the groupings. After landing ashore, pirates spent their doubloons quickly via activities such as drinking, visiting prostitutes, gambling, dancing, listening to music, and other similar activities. They found refuge or partial refuge in places such as Tortuga and Nassau, the Mosquito Coast, Madagascar, and even the east coast of the United States. Even the commanders of the ships did not become wealthy, proving that the stories told about “treasure chests” are untrue. Given their history of dealing with ruthless merchant ship commanders, no pirate ever wanted to be told what to do, unless it was necessary. Kuhn extols the virtues of an “anti-authoritarian” stance on the part of free persons. They hated to work, except when it was essential, and they focused all of their energy on making the most of the limited time they had left. They had a standard of living that was orders of magnitude higher than that of the Royal Navy or any other demeaning employment aboard a commercial merchant ship or whaler of the day.
In his investigation of pirate practices, including warfare, Kuhn, ever the intellectual, refers to the works of Foucault, Guevara, Mao, Guattari, Deleuze, Hobsbawm, and Nietzsche. The concept of guerrilla warfare was adapted for use on the high seas by the pirates. Acquire a thorough understanding of the terrain and water, move fast, inflict fear, use surprise and light weapons, battle viciously, and then vanish. The main difference between this and a socialist guerrilla war is that they never established a true “base” among the islands or coastal dwellers or anybody else, which is why their resistance was only somewhat successful. They avoided women for any reason other than sexual activity, thus their inability to ‘breed’ did not assist their case either.
What are the drawbacks? Kuhn puts an end to the idea that there was a comparable number of indigenous and African pirates on board the ships. Even if their lives would be better off aboard a pirate ship than at a sugar cane plantation or being slaughtered by Spaniards, it is not quite apparent whether many of these people were servants or slaves. However, it seems likely that many of them were. A significant percentage of pirates were involved in the trading of slaves, which was one of the reasons why governments were upset with them — since they were rivals. The establishment of bases in west Africa and Madagascar was partially motivated by this consideration. The Malagasy locals were finally successful in driving the well-armed pirates out of their colony on the island of Madagascar.
On occasion, Mosquito Indians from the coast of Nicaragua were on ships as fishermen, warriors, and guides; however, there is no evidence to suggest that they were stationed there permanently as pirates. Nor did the pirates have the goal of freeing everyone who was being oppressed by colonialism or joining with island-based Maroons (those who were once enslaved). This is a fallacy that is debunked in the superb pirate series “Black Sails,” which is a very good example of a pirate series. They did not have the capacity for that level of foresight or organization. There is also very little documentation of female pirates; just two are known to have existed, and both of them had to act nearly exactly like males. This fraternity consisted of almost only men.
Because the pirates have never created anything, any suggestions that they are members of the “proletariat” are completely incorrect. They supported themselves by taking a cut from the profits of colonial businesses and using those profits to fund their lifestyle. The term “lumpen-proletarian” could describe it more accurately. It would not be surprising if, after reading this, you were brought back to the “gangs” of today, whether they be motorcycle or otherwise.
A complete investigation of the Book
The 1690s saw the beginning of the so-called “golden period of piracy,” which lasted until the 1720s, when the most successful captain, Bartholomew Roberts, and his enormous crew were executed by hanging. At the height of their activity during the golden period, it is believed that there were at least 4,000 pirates. As European (and American) merchant capitalism grew and expanded, the nations that had once tolerated pirate activities because it hurt their competitors and brought trade items, as well as gold and silver, into their communities, turned against it. The nations that had once tolerated pirate activities because it brought trade items into their communities also turned against it. Freebooting pirates that roamed the seas like this could no longer be allowed in a more organized economic framework, therefore national warships flooded the waters of the world’s oceans and seas in an effort to kill, convert, or capture the seafaring rogues.
According to Kuhn, their legacy may be seen in things like “pirating” movies, even though the Disney Corporation would not be pleased if someone stole “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Pirates inhabited transitory locations, and they are recreated in a variety of short-lived “independent” zones, such as George Floyd Square in Minneapolis or other ephemeral counter-culture sites. Pirates used temporary spaces because they were able to profit from them. In 2009, the so-called “Pirate Party” was successful in garnering votes and winning seats in the European Parliament. This ancient gang is responsible for the term “bootlegger,” which is often used to refer to rum runners. Sea Shepard, an ocean-going environmental organization that fights illegal fishing and whaling, continues to this day to fly their own interpretation of the Jolly Roger flag aboard their ships. Then there is always culture, whether it be Keith Richards, who likes to portray himself as a rock-and-roll pirate, or Johnny Depp, who acts as his silly shadow. It would seem that the pirates are living on…
Kuhn has read every available source on pirates, despite the fact that the histories lack a great deal of specific information. This is a wonderful introduction as well as a compilation on this lefty and anarchist fore and aft-runners written from the perspective of the left.