[pp.int.general] Our ideology

Eric Priezkalns eric.priezkalns at pirateparty.org.uk
Wed Jul 29 20:41:55 CEST 2009

On 29 Jul 2009, at 19:23, Philip Hunt wrote:

> 2009/7/29 Philip Hunt <cabalamat at googlemail.com>:
>> 2009/7/29 Rodrigo Pereira <rodrigo at partidopirata.org>:
>>> But this page http://www.pp-international.net/node/1 propose to  
>>> create a
>>> ideological text. Can we develop the international pirate ideology  
>>> to
>>> coordinate international action? "Pirate Party" is only a strategy  
>>> or we
>>> have a "system of ideas" too?
>> I did write a long email in reply to this, but I've decided to split
>> it down into three sections, each of which will have a separate  
>> email:
>> 1. our core ideology on digital rights
>> 1.1. how computer software/hardware can facilitate this
>> 2. our ideology on other matters
> Section 2:
> Do we have an ideology regarding other issues? We don't at present. I
> don't think that PPI should have an ideology on these issues, because
> we'd never all agree on one, and we'd instead waste a lot of time
> arguing about it.
> Individual pirate parties are likely over time to have policies on
> issues ourside our core issues. It'll be interesting to see how that
> develops. And it's also a potential danger to us, because every time
> we have such policies, we are potentially alienating some voters. For
> example, if we present ourselves as an explicitly left-wing party, we
> lose half our voters; if we present ourselves as an explicitly
> right-wing-party, the same thing happens.
> So I think our policies on non digital rights issues should be guided
> by these principles:
> 1. don't needlessly alienate voters.
> 2. in particular, don't be explicitly left-wing or right-wing.
> 3. it follows from the above that we will be roughly politically
> centrist.Since we hope to form coalitions with other parties, it's
> best if we are able to work with them

Is there not another kind of inference we can draw?  We could go down  
the path of wanting to return as much power to individuals as we can.   
That means decentralization, local decisions made by local people, not  
imposing ideology but listening to real communities and giving them  
the authority to make their own decisions as far as they like,  
devolution... there are many names for this, and many ways of phrasing  
this, that can be tailored to suit each culture.

In some countries a policy of power to the people (as opposed to a  
centralized state) will be painted as right-wing thinking.  In others,  
as left-wing.  That is because, on an intellectual level, there are  
political ideologies all over the right-left spectrum which aim to  
minimize central authority, and emphasize having decision-making as  
close to individuals as far as possible.

I see this as a natural fit for the core principles (freedom from  
being spied upon, reducing powers of big business etc) which neatly  
explains why we don't need to have a standardized set of policies in  
other areas.  In fact, those standardized policies would be a  
contradiction of wanting to devolve power and allow different  
communities to govern themselves.

Going down this route allows us to have a 'broad church' where people  
who define themselves as on the right, or on the left, could feel  
included in the PP program, without any contradiction.  It is not so  
much a case of being centrist, more of being moderate.  However, it  
means tolerance for communities to make decisions that they like, even  
if we, as individuals, would not always agree with those decisions.
> 4. try to have policies that will have widespread support. For
> example, if the govenrment is doing something incompetently (in the UK
> this applies to most large-scale public sector IT projects), say how
> we'd do it more competently. Actually I think one of the main themes
> we can use in campaigning is "The big parties don't understand
> computers. This leads to bad policies. We do understand computers;
> this leads to good policies."
> -- 
> Philip Hunt, <cabalamat at googlemail.com>
> Campaigns Officer / Press Officer, Pirate Party UK
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