[pp.int.general] Stances on different ideologies (was: Current state of Piratenpartei Deutschland in general)
kaj.sotala at piraattipuolue.fi
Tue Nov 11 17:30:50 CET 2008
On Fri, Nov 7, 2008 at 4:26 PM, Max Moritz Sievers
<m.sievers at piratenpartei-hessen.de> wrote:
> Gagis wrote:
>> Get education from Swedes or Finns on how to include different
>> ideologies in a single unified Pirate Party.
> Is there educational material about this in English or German?
The reasoning of the Finnish Pirate Party has been roughly the following:
The pirate ideology is one that cuts across the whole political
spectrum. We have the potential to get all kinds of supporters, from
young kids that are active file-sharers to older people who have a
true appreciation for concepts such as privacy and freedom of speech.
At the same time, however, each of them is bound to have political
opinions about things not related to the pirate agenda. Exactly
because our cause is such a broad-ranging one, it'd be foolish to
expect that we can expect to arrive at a consensus about such issues.
If there was an immense correlation between the pirate ideology and
e.g. libertarianism, then libertarian views could possibly be
incorporated to the agenda without fear of trouble. I say possibly,
because if this were the case, then we'd need to be active in outreach
and try to spread our thoughts beyond just libertarian circles in
order to gain a noticable influence.
Fortunately, however, that isn't the case. We have the potential to
awaken, not just libertarians, but everyone - or at least everyone in
the generations that are now reaching voting age. In doing that, we
need to realize that every political stance we take will scare
somebody away. If we decide that we are socialist, we'll drive away
our capitalist voters; if we decide that we are capitalist, we'll
drive away our socialist voters. It's not just a question of
attracting outside voters - as we have seen, taking unnecessary
political stances will also threaten to split the party leadership
apart. Unless the parties stay strictly neutral to all such matters,
the pirate scene will become splintered. Instead of having the Finnish
Pirate Party or the German Pirate Party, we will have the Finnish
Socialdemocratic Pirate Party, the Finnish Communist Pirate Party and
the Finnish Libertarian Pirate Party. No Pirate Party can survive that
- our resources are spread hopelessly thin as it is.
And the great thing is - we don't even *need* to take stances on
economic issues - or drug-related issues, or foreign policy-related
issues, or whatever - in order to be successful. If we needed to, we'd
be doomed. The traditional parties have built themselves entirely
around those issues: we have no hope of trying to sway voters who've
already chosen their party allegiance according to those issues. What
could we give to them that the traditional parties don't? If we tried
to face them on their own terms, we'd surely lose - they have much
more experience and expertise about these matters than we do.
If there are pirates who are truly passionate about a certain, say,
economic issue, they'd do better joining one of the traditional
parties. I'm not saying this as an insult, for that can be valuable
work as well. Join the traditional parties, take advantage of their
existing organization and supporters, and work to sway them to our
views from the within. It might not feel as glorious as contributing
to a rebel independent pirate party, but in the long run, we need to
persuade them as well. Stealing their voters is one way, but
persuading them from the inside is another, and it is one that is just
But for those who aren't interested in that option... instead of
trying to sway voters who are deeply committed to specific economic
ideologies, we can work to establish the Pirate ideology as one
entirely orthogonal to the traditional issues. The seeds for that
ideology were sown many years before Rick founded the first Pirate
Party, back when the Open Source movement was born, back when people
started using the Internet and found an environment where culture and
knowledge were truly free. Our core issues are the freedom of culture
and knowledge, freedom from Big Brother schemes, freedom from big
artificial monopolies. That is a flag we can rally people under, a new
ideology that none of the traditional parties have an existing
And for as long as we don't incorporate into it unnecessary elements,
it will eventually spread to *all* the traditional parties.
Historically, that happened with the movement for abolishing slavery
and with the women's rights movement, and it is to a certain extent
happening today with the Green movement. Today, you won't find many
parties (at least in the West) who'd advocate slavery or reducing
women's rights, and the traditional parties are increasingly becoming
more environmentally aware. Eventually, the Pirate ideology will be
found in every part of society - very few people will explictly name
themselves as its supporters, as the general assumption is that all
While I do not think that progress can be easily stopped - at least
not in democratic, non-fascist nations - it can certainly be delayed.
Pirates taking stances on questions outside the pirate ideology will
slow it down. Pirates who label themselves anarchists or socialists
will make outsiders associate anarchism or socialism with the pirate
ideology, and reject it because they reject anarchism or socialism. We
don't want that.
So let's make the Pirate Parties about the Pirate Ideology, and leave
the rest to the other parties.
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