A reflection on Pirate Party policy and politics

As the German Pirate Party hit double digits in a nationwide poll in Germany:

The Pirate Parties worldwide are in the process of going from “party for tech people” to “party that demands privacy, accountability and transparency, and support for a connected lifestyle”. This is a lifestyle that the oldparties don’t live, and therefore, they don’t — can’t — understand it.

Excerpted from Rick Falkvinge:

“Here are a few examples of things that have emerged as probable policies for the worldwide Pirate Parties:

The job market will turn completely upside down. There are no lifetime employments and barely any fixed employments at all. There are barely any workplaces. Rather, people work where they like with what they like. In cafés, from home. Some projects give money. Others don’t. As long as people get enough money to put food on the plate, most work will be in for other kinds of rewards — peer recognition or impact. This is what I refer to as “the Swarm Economy”, and a precursor is clearly visible in the Open Source economy. Extrapolate it to the entire society. This has three major effects. First, there is no requirement to be loyal to an employer. Second, the strong unions in Europe stand to lose all of their power because of the dismantlement of the structures they depend on — just like there would be no more need for quit-smoking aids if tobacco would disappear overnight. Therefore, the unions will strongly resist these changes, as their current power is more sweet than their ultimate political goal. (Humanity in a nutshell.) Third, we will see some kind of Basic Unconditional Income that rethinks the value of work, recognizing that much of society already depends on unpaid volunteer work. For example, the two key mobile operating systems — iOS and Android — are both built on volunteer work, BSD UNIX and GNU/Linux, respectively. Yet, this volunteer work which builds our entire next-generation industries is not counted as production.

New, stronger and more anti-corruption safeguards. More than ever, there is an understanding — no, an expectation – that power corrupts. We are not immune. No one is.

Energy policy will be rewritten. With some legacy from the Greens and mixing in our own demands for transparency, accountability and evidence-based policymaking, I believe in solar, water, wind, and thorium power; not so much in traditional nuclear uranium power. (Biofuel is an abomination — taking food from the starving to put it in the diesel engines of the rich?) I also believe in strong decentralization of the energy production, both for energy-resilience reasons and anti-corruption ditto. This means that government needs to re-regulate off-grid production to incentivize decentralization; as it is written today in Sweden, at the request of Big Energy (of course), there is no financial incentive at all to make your own energy.

Military doctrine will have to be rewritten. It needs to assume that nothing can be kept secret, with the exception of personal cryptokeys. This is basically a complete rewriting, rethinking and rebuilding of the entire military. And of the diplomatic corps (hello, WikiLeaks). It also implies that accountability to the public will soar to new highs.

As cities have roads and light, so will they have net. It is perfectly reasonable to demand that municipalities provide wireless networking wherever there is already streetlighting. The cost of Wi-Fi is lower than that of streetlighting, and the masts (lampposts) are already there. Some old telcos will protest this, citing unfair competition from the public, to which I say a strong “meh“. The Fire Brigade was once private, too; evolving society realized it was a common interest, and the private fire brigades disappeared. Infrastructure (roads, etc) has always been a public interest.

Tax policy will have to be rethought inside out. In the near future, governments won’t be able to see the wealth, income, or transactions of their citizens. We need to come up with new tax bases, reusing old ones or introducing entirely new ones.”

1 Comment A reflection on Pirate Party policy and politics

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