"And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names."
Pirates to this day are creatures of opportunity. They thrive in war-torn areas whose sea lanes are inadequately patrolled and sail from ports that either have weak governments beset by lawlessness or ones sympathetic to their goals.
The anarchist philosopher Hakim Bey, better know as Peter Lamborn Wilson, coined the term Temporary Autonomus Zone (TAZ) for an area where governmental control is weak. In his book, T.A.Z.: The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism, Wilson talks about the anarchist leanings of pirates and their desire to live in pirate utopias, free of governmental control.
He quotes North American pirate Captain Charles Bellamy's speech to one Captain Beers. Here is the quote published in 1824 by Thomas Carey in The General History of the Pirates.
The quote reads, "I cannot pass by in silence, Captain Bellamy's speech to Capt. Beer. / am sorry they won't let you have your sloop again, for I scorn to do any one a mischief, when it is not for my advantage ; the sloop, we must sink her, and she might be of use to you. Though you are a sneaking puppy, and so are all those who will submit to be governed by laws which rich men have made for their own security; for the cowardly whelps have not the courage otherwise to defend what they get by their knavery ; but ye altogether : them for a pack of crafty rascals, and you,who serve them, for a pared of hen-hearted numskulls. They vilify us, the scoundrels do, when there is only this difference, they rob the poor under the cover of law, forsooth, and me plunder the rich under the protection of our own courage. Had you not better make one of us, than sneak after these villains for employment ?
"Capt. Beer told him, that his conscience would not allow him to break through the laws of God and man.
"You are a devilish conscience rascal, replied Bellamy ; I am a free prince, and I have as much authority to •make war on the whole world, as he who has a hundred sail of ships at sea, and an army of 100,000 men ;.in the field ; and this my conscience tells me : but there is no arguing with such snivelling puppies, who allow superiors to kick them about deck at leisure."
The notion of a "free prince," someone who is an unfettered law unto himself, is at the heart of lawlessness. This attitude agrees with the powers of darkness and helps them establish a stronghold of lawlessness over a region and perpetuates strife that weakens governmental authority. The famous passage in Ephesians 6:12 reminds us of this demonic opposition: "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. "
These powers were known long before the Christian era. In Hesiod's Theogony, the second generation of gods includes Strife (Eris) who is the mother to 15 awful progeny including Lawlessness (Dysnomia),
If there is a spirit of piracy that serves the house of Eris and her demon brood, who could oppose them and their human allies?
We can look to 2 Thessalonians 2:7, "For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way."
I think the best explanation is the restraint comes from active opposition of the Holy Spirit through believers and by heavenly means chosen by God until the day the Antichrist is revealed.
What could such opposition look like? Read Black Flag, Black Ship to find out!