The words of the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes still hold true: for some, life remains "poor, nasty, brutish, and short".
A pirate's reward
The persistence of this group of pirates - their crew member was killed only after two attacks on the ship in the same day - shows how enticing piracy can be. Some of this is due to decades of lawlessness and instability in Somalia. The world has an obligation to help to address and contain these problems. Refusing to pay millions in ransom to that country's most thuggish elements is surely part of that effort.