The Story

We think the moment is right for a revival of time-tested values. Already the old Swiss knew the benefits of a strong sense of community when they came together more than 700 years ago to take their oath:

We want to be a single people of brethren,
never to part in danger nor distress.
We want to be free, as our fathers were,
and rather die than live in slavery.
We want to trust in the one highest God
and never be afraid of human power.

Here history tells us how a beneficial confederation of forward thinking minds can develop from their act of coming together to declare their independence.

This alliance of valley communities in the central Alps facilitated common interests, like trade, and secured the routes through the mountains.

The “Confoederatio Helvetica” (the official Latin name of Switzerland) today acts as a role model in the world, and its citizenship is highly regarded across the globe.

400 years after the legendary “Rütlischwur” in old Switzerland another loose confederacy was established in 1706 on New Providence island in the Bahamas:
The Republic of Pirates

Well, technically it wasn’t a formal “republic”. However, the former privateers governed by an informal “pirate code”, which empowered the crews to vote on the leadership of their ships and obligated them to treat other pirate crews as well as their prisoners with civility.

“Why are these Golden-Age pirates the perfect role models for anyone trying to make their mark in the twenty-first century? Well, they didn’t just break rules, they rewrote them. They didn’t just reject society, they reinvented it. They didn’t just tell tall tales, they told a story that shook the world. They didn’t just challenge the status quo, they challenged everything, and once the dust had settled, their alternative society and strategies changed the world for good.” Conniff, Sam. Be More Pirate.

We cannot agree more.

Jean Renggli. Oil on canvas.

The “Rütlischwur” is the legendary oath taken at the foundation of the Old Swiss Confederacy.

The Articles of Captain Bartholomew Roberts

The most successful pirate of the golden age!

1. Every man has a vote in affairs of moment; has equal title to the fresh provisions, or strong liquors, at any time seized, and may use them at pleasure, unless a scarcity makes it necessary, for the good of all, to vote a retrenchment.

2. Every man to be called fairly in turn, by list, on board of prizes because, (over and above their proper share) they were on these occasions allowed a shift of clothes: but if they defrauded the company to the value of a dollar in plate, jewels, or money, marooning was their punishment. If the robbery was only betwixt one another, they contented
themselves with slitting the ears and nose of him that was guilty, and set him on shore, not in an uninhabited place, but somewhere, where he was sure to encounter hardships.

3. No person to game at cards or dice for money.

4. The lights and candles to be put out at eight o’clock at night: if any of the crew, after that hour still remained inclined for drinking, they were to do it on the open deck.

5. To keep their piece, pistols, and cutlass clean and fit for service.

6. No boy or woman to be allowed amongst them. If any man were to be found seducing any of the latter sex, and carried her to sea, disguised, he was to suffer death;

7. To desert the ship or their quarters in battle, was punished with death or marooning.

8. No striking one another on board, but every man’s quarrels to be ended on shore, at sword and pistol.

9. No man to talk of breaking up their way of living, till each had shared one thousand pounds. If in order to this, any man should lose a limb, or become a cripple in their service, he was to have eight hundred dollars, out of the public stock, and for lesser hurts, proportionately.

10. The captain and quartermaster to receive two shares of a prize: the master, boatswain, and gunner, one share and a half, and other officers one and quarter.

11. The musicians to have rest on the Sabbath Day, but the other six days and nights, none without special favour.

Check the achievements of “Black Bart” here.
Read the original text on pages 230-232 below.