[pp.int.general] Our ideology

Alex Foti alex.foti at gmail.com
Fri Jul 31 15:49:15 CEST 2009

hey, but this is a treatise! let's fast forward to the 80s: the
freemarket right (not friedman, though, but reagan and thatcher and
progeny definitely) has consistently been for copyright censorship
increased security and surveillance. the left either sank with
communism, which dragged down with itself socialism and social
democracy, or -- in a european or north american context, since latin
america depeloped indio politics and bolivarianism -- was reborn as
the libertarian strands of the antiglobalization movement, in which no
copyright, free software and free media theory and praxis have figured
prominently. pirate parties shall not alienate these pirates as well
as free-market libertarians, traditional liberals, teen filesharers
and what other constituencies we have in mind when we talk about
pirate party ideology. sorry for the ping pong but i just had to post
these basic thoughts. will lurk for a while;) ciao, lx

On Fri, Jul 31, 2009 at 3:34 PM, Eric
Priezkalns<eric.priezkalns at pirateparty.org.uk> wrote:
> Go back further and the distinction between left and right is different
> again.
> left = reduce power of the monarch (and other institutions, like the church)
> right = retain power for the monarch
> The original categorization between left and right came from France and the
> upheaval of the French Revolution.  It was originally about how much power
> you thought the King should have, with people favouring the King sitting
> more to the right.  This explains why it is possible to associate the 'left'
> with freedom.  However, you quickly morph the debate into one about
> 'positive' and 'negative' freedoms, what freedom really means and hence
> whether freedom means nobody having power over anyone else or freedom means
> somebody having power over other people in order to secure freedom.  Freedom
> can mean laissez-faire capitalism, which ends up looking like what you now
> call the political right, though its roots were in liberating individuals,
> and hence markets, from impositions of an arbitrary ruler.  The British
> Whigs were nominally on the left (by the standards of that time) because
> they wanted to reduce the power of the King, and the USA's Whigs called
> themselves Whigs because they were opposed to concentrating power in a
> President.  Stepping back a little earlier, the American Revolutionaries
> were radicals who removed the power of the British King to impose taxes on
> their economic activity, and they consequently believed in strictly limiting
> the power of the state to intervene in all aspects of civil society, whether
> economic or personal freedoms.  The result is considered, by European
> standards, to be a constitution and civil society that is now weighted
> heavily to the right of the political spectrum!  So in the American
> revolution, 'leftist' thinking ended up with a conclusion that is now
> described as being on the 'right' because of the freedom given to the
> market.
> It can go the other way too, when it comes to leftism and freedom.  J.J.
> Rousseau was a leftist thinker.  He influenced the French and American
> revolutions, and emphasized the delivery of freedom via a social contract,
> where some freedoms must be given up in order to secure other freedoms.
>  Robespierre, who tried to implement the philosophy of Rousseau, interpreted
> this as a mandate to kill his political opponents on the basis that they
> were essentially rejecting the social contract, and hence were a threat to
> it.  Robespierre's political enemies were hence killed, without this being
> seen as a violation of the principles of freedom!  Hence, you can go full
> circle, and argue that you need authority - and further still, you need
> authoritarian powers - in order to secure freedoms.  In this way, you go
> from the left being the pole in favour of freedom (from the King) to the
> left being represented by a government that will kill people opposed to its
> will.  Sad to say, Robespierre was not the last leftist politician to treat
> his enemies as enemies of the people, and hence to justify the need for
> repression in order to secure freedom.
> I prefer Aristotle's analysis to the left-right categorization that came out
> of the French Revolution.  Aristotle thought governments either reflected
> the will of the many, the will of a few, or the will of one.  He said if it
> was a good government, the government of one was best, but if bad, the
> government of one was worst.  In contrast, he said the government of many
> was least best if good, least worst if bad.  In balancing freedoms in the
> real world, that analysis does a lot to explain why democracy, the least bad
> of the bad governments, the least good of the good governments, is so
> successful.  Karl Popper's analysis in the Open Society and its Enemies
> includes a critique of Aristotle's counterpart, Plato.  Popper argues that
> authoritarian systems are not derived from a left-right division, but from
> an unwillingness to tolerate alternative points of view and an insistence
> that one point of view can be shown to be comprehensively right, with no
> possibility of revision or of allowing people to change their minds.  That
> can equally well occur with Kings, or with those who claim to speak on
> behalf of 'the people'.   On this analysis, trying to link the political
> left with increasing freedom, and the political right with reducing freedom,
> is fundamentally flawed.
> Cheers,
> E
> On 31 Jul 2009, at 13:25, Reinier Bakels wrote:
>> tranditionally:
>> left = believers in government intervention for more justice in the
>> devision of power and income.
>> right = believers in the free market
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