What. On September 12, 2012 there are national elections for the seats in the Lower House (de Tweede Kamer) of Parliament of the Netherlands (NL) . Twenty (20 !) political parties have submitted candidates and have published their political program. Full of very appealing but rather vague proposals, promises, long term visions and short term high profile issues, sure. Most of the chiefs presenting themselves to the population, fail to offer a vision to solve the crisis problems vis-a-vis the very worried middle class electorate, problems visible since 5 years 😦 Nor do the chiefs seem to show that they have a clue about the importance, implications or possibilities of the upcoming global Network Society which connects more than 6 billion digerati on this planet. The “Piraten Partij” however does show a way ahead out of the triple dip CRISIS of 2008 – 2012, by taking away a number of obstacles to the future. An ultrashort cartoon presentation of some of their program points:
Gifted artist Sandra de Haan made this cartoon and allowed me to show it here, she can be reached at www.SandraDeHaan.nl The full text of the Piratenpartij (NL) program is online available (in Dutch) on: https://www.piratenpartij.nl and they can be reached by Twitter at Piratenpartij NLD
Why: The ideologists of the P2P Foundation have identified the core obstacle to the transition to a new society and economy as follows. In the production-consumer society which is showing that it reached its limits the core assumptions where A: that physical raw materials and energy where not scarce and could be taken from nature in limitless amounts and B: knowledge was a very scarce resource made by authors and had to be packaged, published and distributed in its end form by physical information carriers by publishers etc. The Internet and its new ICT tools and social network collaborative systems for the creative class are showing however that both A and B are no longer valid, but even more relevant it is now the other way around. A. raw materials and energy are scarce resources and B. is abundant and can be copied without deminishing its value. As prof. Lessig and others have explained the fight of the old age physical distributors against digital copying of music and video’s is a hopeless battle against de facto possibilities. It is even harmful since it prevents new uses and business models to appear that can create value, jobs and prosperity.
How: The Pirate Parties started their movement and I think in Sweden for the first time established a formal political in a rebellion against very aggresssive and disproportional legal actions against online sharing of copyright protected content. Therefore they want “Copy Freedom”. The laws applied in the recent conflicts are no longer connected to the up-to-date technological realities unfolding and can even be understood to be in conflict with the fundamental human rights of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) stating:
Article 19 Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Article 10 ECHR (1950): Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. this right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.
IMHO this should be read in the present time of Internet & mobile phone technology, ICT tools and social network systems as the Information Society Freedom: the Freedom of: expression, online publication, P2P communication, conferring, cooperation, constructive sharing, re-use and combination of information items. In other words: those activities supported by networks that create value by synthesis and create new forms of work (JOBS!) by synergy are vital to society and economy in the Network Age, should not be forbidden, obstructed or restricted without having to ask permission to anyone. Information should flow and things and people must be able to (inter) connect. This is way more important than any other interests. And as shown in the fierce and swift actions in a number of parliaments, the digerati of the Pirate Parties take these freedoms very seriously indeed. Freedom of communication is important and should be safeguarded in laws.
Who: Yes this all sounds a bit disobedient. And maybe it is. Just like the generation jump that was made in 1968 now remembered by the Baby Boomers as the Flower Power Revolution we now are faced with a similar necessary transition of generation power from the old to the young, when the pre-war mindsets and recipes of the old failed to offer solutions. The Pirate parties are much more than a single issue lobby that will fade away soon. They are part of a worldwide power movement which makes “nation states’ and their borders less relevant, just like the information flows on which our communities depend do not stop at borders.
Just like the X-Spring and Occupy demonstration movements the Pirate Party members are politically active local as well as global (trans-national), and they are non-violent. And the core of their members are young online active enterpreneurs, authors and creators of value.
Action: Based on the amount of party members registered and on response in social media and other gatherings I expect that at least one member of this new party dedicated to the digital network age will be elected on september 12.
Do you want to be part of the “Internet Revolution of 2012”, (yes a real Wende) then vote for the Pirate Party nearest to you ASAP.
Jaap van Till, Connectivist
Here are some of the other pirate parties outside The Netherlands (NL) listed:
- Verenigd Koninkrijk
- Verenigde Staten