[pp.int.general] Should Pirate Parties include the coming Swarm Economy as policy?

Ikke Ikke at piratenpartij.nl
Fri Mar 18 15:46:39 CET 2011

On Fri, 18 Mar 2011 12:22:53 +0100, "Rick Falkvinge (Piratpartiet)"
<rick at piratpartiet.se> wrote:
> Dear colleagues,
> after long thinking, I have arrived at the conclusion that Pirate
> Parties may be in a unique situation to catalyze change from today's
> industrial-age way of measuring value.
> In today's terms, GNU/Linux and Wikipedia count as nonvalue and
> nonproduction, but somebody slacking off on a paid job counts as
> production.
> Contributions to industry-fundamental components on a global scale by
> world-class skilled craftsmen don't count towards production simply
> because the craftsmen weren't paid by somebody to do it. That is INSANE.
> I am doing a bit of thinking in this blog post, and would welcome your
> take on the subject.
> Cheers,
> Rick

Why don't we fix it whole scale while we're at it. The problem is not the
economy, it's what we consider economic. By far the greatest portion of the
economy is engaged in activities that produce no goods at all. 80% works in
the tertiary sector, the service sector, and then an unhealthy share of the
people in the first and secondary sectors (resource extraction and
industry), don't actually produce something tangible either. It in these
conditions increasingly absurd that societal organisation should be founded
on economical principles. 

If, just for a moment, we entertain considering only economic what actually
produces tangible goods - we would be talking about how many hours we need
to work on our weekly workday, rather than how many days of the week. It is
only by ever increasing the economy to encompass all forms of human
activity, from culture, to education, to taking care of your elders, to
governance which is done by bureaucrats rather than democratic assemblies,
that the economy can continue to grow. All these things which used to bind
people together are now in the calculating invisible hands of the market.

And by swallowing up all human interaction it makes people's lives poorer,
as competition requires specialisation and excellence, therefore requiring
the individual to keep perfecting a handful of activities. And besides that
handful of activities where one excels, all others are taken by other
specialists. In ecology, as an ecosystem advances it's agents become
increasingly specialised, and it's balance increasingly fragile. 
Rather than leaving the elders in the loving hands of their progeny, a few
specialised care-specialists take care of all the elders, who to this later
group are just an anonymous mass, the working material of their job. If
both these care-workers and the aforementioned progeny would not be
constantly occupied, this situation needs not exist.

The present 'economy' is not organised to either capitalistic models or
communist models, rather it takes the worst of both. The capitalistic
arguments against communism - no incentive, planned economics, a small
elite that dominates with no regard for the people- are all applicable to
the modern corporation. On the other hand, the communist arguments against
capitalism - alienation, a glorified war of each against all, capital
accumulation at the top, hold true as well. If any economic theory is
applicable, it is that corporate fascism. 

Both left and right project upon this reality all they decry of the
opposing system, oblivious to the fact that it is not capitalism or
communism that's being practised, but whatever mix of the 2 that best suits
corporations and their owners. And they have taken it all in waves of
privatisation. First the public services, like transportation and energy,
then the social services like healthcare and education, and now they wish
to privatise security and military as well. And they will, but they can
only succeed on the precondition that we continue to consider all these
activities labour to be done for wage.

Now what can we do about this politically?

First off, the corporation got this powerful by virtue of being
multinational and thus the countries have to compete with one another to
provide the corporation the best conditions. But if we were to make an
international front to oppose them, we can start taking control back of
them. At present, corporations pay virtually no tax, cause if any country
were to enforce taxes, the corporation simply leaves for another country. I
would like to point out the recent example of vodafone in the UK here as
example of just how far this tax dodging goes, while the burdens are placed
on the shoulders of the working man.

Secondly, we need to, bit by bit, push back the sphere of what is economic
from the realm of human experience. Put differently, a human can only do so
many different sorts of activities in his life, lets call this whole set X.
Now of this set there is a number of activities considered economic, lets
call that Y. What we need to do is to ensure that the imaginary graph of
X/Y stops spiralling downward as the need for economic growth further
occupies human life, and stabilises. Then, from there on, we start pushing
it up.

Thirdly, all power is dependant on centralisation. This is a historic
principle and it will hold true as long as power exists. We need to
decentralise the power, inverse the hierarchy of power, so that furthering
the hold on society of these corporation is no longer a matter of lobbying
a few politicians on Brussels, but getting everyone on whom it will be
imposed to agree.

Fourthly, we need to stop the educational system from conditioning children
from the age of 8 to 18 to sit still, listen and do what they're told.
Education for the larger part is not about knowledge transfer, it is about
conditioning this passive role of acceptance. Is it any wonder our
democracy goes to hell, when what should be free citizens are taught from
infancy that they can do nothing about their predicament, and should just
do what they are told and be happy to please their masters?

Lastly, and most crucially, we need to stop the formation of the present
police state. The police state presently forming is worse than any other
before it, cause it is not the state that will enforce it, but privately
held entities under no restrictions from the moral obligations of
statecraft. Even the worst dictators could not completely ignore that
without breaking the uniting image of nationhood.

Thus we need to strive for a reversal of the present situation: no longer
must countries band together for the interest of a corporate elite, but
against it, on the other hand we need to reinforce the power of the
individual to be the master of his own destiny, rather than a consumer that
picks from the options for the future presented to him.

Well, that's quite a long mail already, I think I'll leave it at this, I
could go on for hours but your interest by now should have begun to waver,
and if not, then do something about the points mentioned above.

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