[pp.int.general] Our ideology

Alex Foti alex.foti at gmail.com
Fri Jul 31 13:12:34 CEST 2009

just a quick rejoinder to Eric, to whom i suggest he read the story of
american freedom by another eric (foner), given that liberty was
frequently invoked by Dubya Bush and all kinds of witch-hunters before
him. Lincoln's republicanism was definitely on the progressive left
and was understood as such in its day (Garibaldi was supposed to fight
for the Union). Left/right divide is obsolete? Not until bankers get
trillions while employees get the pink slip.
freedom ciaos, lx

On Fri, Jul 31, 2009 at 1:02 PM, Eric
Priezkalns<eric.priezkalns at pirateparty.org.uk> wrote:
> I agree with Mikko.  The Pirate Party has no need to define itself as a
> party of the left.  I would go further, because I can imagine this debate
> will come up again and again.  The left-right spectrum is simplistic and
> unhelpful.  We should deliberately avoid placing ourselves on that spectrum.
>  It would be better to talk about the specific things we want to do and the
> principles that we have.  Talk about whether we are left or right is
> unlikely to explain what we stand for; it may only cause confusion.
> Some political theorists have conjectured that the left-right spectrum is
> better understood as a circle, rather than a line.  Keep going to the left,
> and you end up back at the right.  Anarchists can look like neo-cons.
>  Authoritarian communists can look like authoritarian fascists.  Even that
> is simplistic, but it helps to explain why positioning ourselves as a
> leftist party is not an effective way of communicating our concern for
> liberties.  There have been thinkers all over the spectrum who favour
> liberty.  In contrast, history shows us there have been plenty of repressive
> leftist governments, as well as repressive rightist governments.  The
> driving force in the formation of the US Republican Party was the abolition
> of slavery.  Robespierre was responsible for the Terror.
> The principles we deal with are very international, which is why we can see
> parties being formed all over.  But the meaning of 'left' and 'right', in
> normal conversation, gets twisted by local cultures.  Obama gets described
> as on the left of American politics, but he advocates policies that would be
> considered on the right in European countries.  Following the fall of the
> Soviet Union, Russian communists were sometimes described as being on the
> right, because they opposed liberalization of the market.  If parties in
> individual nations find it helpful to describe themselves as to the left, or
> to the right, let them do so.  But to describe the whole international
> movement as left or right risks failing to understand the impact that will
> have in different political cultures.
> Liberty is a grand enough principle to aim for, without needing to colour it
> as of the left or of the right.  If we can stay focused on that goal, many
> other aspects of policy will follow.  Voters can understand that.  They
> might even prefer to hear that.  Sometimes, the debate between left and
> right does not work.  Let us avoid it completely.
> Regards,
> Eric
> On 31 Jul 2009, at 11:22, Mikko Särelä wrote:
>> I don't share your view that the pirate party belongs to the left. It
>> seems to me rather that the pirate party gathers a group of people,
>> liberal and libertarian both from the left and the right. That is, all
>> those people who agree on the need for certain civil liberties (such as
>> freedom of speech and privacy).
>> We willingly set aside our differing views on other matters (such as
>> economic, social policy, etc.) because civil liberties are the foundations
>> on which our western democracies are built - and they are threatened.
>> One way, thus, to explain where we are is to use the political compass
>> (http://www.politicalcompass.org/analysis2 shows the figure). The choices
>> PP has made puts it down and encompasses both right and left.
>> As a curious note, historically, most parties have gathered both
>> libertarian and authoritarian people on the left to one (or several)
>> parties and on the right to one (or several) parties. This has scattered
>> the power of those people who believe in the basic individual liberties as
>> minorities in all the other parties. What I personally hope, is that the
>> PP can unite most (or even most) of those who share this non-authoritarian
>> mind set.
>> I hazard a guess that the above is something common to most people in
>> pirate party - that is, it is a shared common part of our individual
>> ideologies. And it is already a very big part of the Pirate Party goals
>> (again freedom of the speech and privacy). And thus part of the party's
>> ideology.
>> -Mikko
>> On Fri, 31 Jul 2009, Alex Foti wrote:
>>> it is, i believe, a widely shared view that the pirate party belongs
>>> to both the liberal and the libertarian left, as all freedom of speech
>>> movements before it. it is by no coincindence that it it sits on the
>>> left of the european parliament, no?
>>> ciao, lx
>>> On 7/30/09, Reinier Bakels <r.bakels at planet.nl> wrote:
>>>>> Still, I think this can be done - and this _needs_ to be done. Such
>>>>> openness is a prerequisite for limiting the power of corporate lobbying
>>>>> (which, I believe, is needed so that we can eventually get to the
>>>>> copyright reform). It should not be our primary 'populist' goal - as it
>>>>> does not get so many people worked up about. But it does fall in
>>>>> naturally
>>>>> with our other goals - and it shows that Pirate Party is not a one
>>>>> trick
>>>>> pony.
>>>> I guess that a very basic means to get more people involved in politics
>>>> is
>>>> better communication. No one knows what is happening in Brussels - so
>>>> European election results effectively are based on national politics. A
>>>> major theme at the last European elections was: are you in favour or
>>>> against
>>>> "more Europe"? That is NOT a decision of the European Parliament, but of
>>>> the
>>>> national parliaments. Politicians make a habit to spread lies. In more
>>>> polite words: the political "truth" is often different from the factual
>>>> truth. When our Minister of Justice told that in the past years, so that
>>>> we
>>>> need less prisons in the future, there is less and less severe crime,
>>>> right-wing politicians politicised this statement and said that only the
>>>> police should work harder. For political purposes, the difference
>>>> between
>>>> severe crime and feelings of unsafety on the street are deliberately
>>>> confused. A drunken hooligan is unpleasant, but it is not a severe
>>>> criminal.
>>>> Somehow, it is a checken-and-egg  problem. Newspapers and TV networks
>>>> spend
>>>> little attention to European themes, so no one knows about them, and no
>>>> one
>>>> is interested, so it is is not attractive to make newspaper articles or
>>>> TV
>>>> news items on EU politics. Perhaps there should be an (initially
>>>> subsidised)
>>>> European TV network - which should have full journalistic freedom,
>>>> except
>>>> that it should concentrate on "Brussels" and "Strassbourg".
>>>> One could learn from populists that they are often very good
>>>> communicators
>>>> (even if the means are occasionally questionable, like Berlusconi owning
>>>> TV
>>>> netwoirks himself). Wilders, a very dangerous fascist Dutch politican,
>>>> is a
>>>> genius in attracting media attention. Of course, PP should distinguish
>>>> itself from populists in the sense that it spreads *honest* messages.
>>>> Incidentally, in he aftermath of the EP elections, my (Dutch) newspaper
>>>> qualified the PP as "populist" from the perception that its sole purpose
>>>> was
>>>> to allow youngsters to download "illegal" content for free. Just a way
>>>> to
>>>> please spoilt children ...  Needless to say that is a stark
>>>> simplification
>>>> of the PP objectives!
>>>> reinier
>>>> ____________________________________________________
>>>> Pirate Parties International - General Talk
>>>> pp.international.general at lists.pirateweb.net
>>>> http://lists.pirateweb.net/mailman/listinfo/pp.international.general
>>> ____________________________________________________
>>> Pirate Parties International - General Talk
>>> pp.international.general at lists.pirateweb.net
>>> http://lists.pirateweb.net/mailman/listinfo/pp.international.general
>> --
>> Mikko Särelä
>> "It is through exchange that difference becomes a blessing, not a
>> curse", Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of Great Britain
>> ____________________________________________________
>> Pirate Parties International - General Talk
>> pp.international.general at lists.pirateweb.net
>> http://lists.pirateweb.net/mailman/listinfo/pp.international.general
> ____________________________________________________
> Pirate Parties International - General Talk
> pp.international.general at lists.pirateweb.net
> http://lists.pirateweb.net/mailman/listinfo/pp.international.general

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