Proposal for preamble, first part of discussion

Hello, I have been appointed to moderate the preamble of the program. I am Anders Erkéus from the Stockholm Pirate Party, Sweden. I would like to see folks from all the member parties here so we can come together on how we will start presenting us to the coming voters and other Europeans who may read it, wanting to know about us.

You see the present preamble in a topic next to this, and a discussion of that will of course be part of the work. - see there.

Added to that I would like a discussion on an idea to include a description/presentation in the preamble of who we are as a pirate movement., where did we come from, including how come we have this strange name :slight_smile: I think such a common presentation would be of great value even if we would not choose to include it here. I mean how did we start, what made some people in the different countries start a pirate party. Since I happen to be from Sweden I know how it started here, as the first one, but what made it spread? Maybe you have something in your respective programs on that, or some people who remember well. So what are your general reactions to this idea of including such a presentation? And what is your starting history-as a pirate party and why, in short?


A comment on the existing beginning: I find it a bit confusing summary of the Union’s nature, as a division between states and citizens, together with a statement that it “should” be that. A “state” should be a tool for its citizens, I suppose?

Apart from that the existing beginning is hard to understand for the average reader, and not very exiting, a more correct description in my view would be that the system is based on the politics and organisation laid out in the democratically (at least formally) ratified treaties, and the Commission with the task to propose implementations of those policies before the European Parliament and the The Council of the European Union to decide upon, for secondary implementation in the member states. (Yes, not easier or more catchy, but truer. “Everyone” seem to forget the role of the Treaties)

However, I bring from a meeting in Sweden the idea to start the preamble in another way, as I wrote, that is with a presentation of us, of the Pirate Movement, who are we, where did we come from. Here are three possible beginnings (from various text in Sweden)

  1. The Pirate Parties represent (constitutes?) a new global movement, formed as a reply to (consequence of) the new world, where the Internet has changed the way we live.

  2. The Pirate Parties emerged as a representation of strong opinions to defend the Internet as a new, free global meeting place.

  3. The early internet opened up a totally new global democratic meeting place for all. It offered a possibility to freely exchange messages around the world and became a tool for a unique exchange of knowledge and creative products. (etc … later presenting the conflict and Pirates as the reaction)

Which of these do you prefer (if any), or do you have another proposal?

To the extent that some of you in other parties than us Swedes don’t see your parties as emerging from policies for the Internet, please give another similar statement, and I will try to integrate it in the preamble.

OK, after some looking and listening around, here is a text for you to react to as a start of the preamble work: Bracketed stuff I am a bit hesitative about.

The birth of a movement [for the future]

The early internet opened up a totally new global democratic meeting place for all. It became a tool for a unique exchange of knowledge and creative products, without involvement of money. Advanced computer programs for all needs, expositions of people’s favourite themes, debates, music, video and stories were shared freely. [We saw a possible tool for a new, open and shared world that even may be needed for us as a humanity to survive with quality and dignity]. [We saw a possible tool for a new, open and shared world with a new political development, overcoming top-down, one-way communication.]

However, this new freedom and shared creativity on a larger scale made existing power centres worried about what could be shared without control. At first global entertainment companies feared loss of copyright money, since people sometimes shared and used already recorded material. They called the exchange piracy (from copying material goods). Legislation against the free exchange was introduced, websites were outlawed and people were put in jail and had to pay heavy fines. Then governments on their side feared criminal behaviour, democratic critique, and in some cases even uprisings, when people freely shared their ideas. More restrictions and far reaching surveillance of citizens were introduced, with no care for people’s dignity and right to privacy.

Creativity and sharing had been encouraged as human virtues since long back; this crackdown on the Internet became a shock for all who had started to feel at home in the new, open and free global community. A global outcry emerged - a new movement was born. It took the name that its critics wanted to give them, The Pirate parties. It became a voice for support for sharing of knowledge, culture and experiences and the right to privacy and integrity. As such, apart from protecting the internet, reacting to the trends of the day, it grew naturally into promoting of all fundamental rights, democratization, political transparency and responsible self empowerment in all areas. And promoting creativity and sharing also outside the internet.

Since the old political parties seem unable to deal with topics such as the rapid and sometimes thoughtless digitalisation in general, the backsides of the present internet, the environmental problems and the social disruptions caused by increased polarisation, the Pirate parties see also these topics as important. Finding the reasons for and the solutions to war, inflation - including finding a new economy - and psychological distress, are tasks for the political future that may need new perspectives, and the pirate movement is ready to take them on. We are now around 50(?) Pirate parties established across the world, among them 20ish (+) in Europe

[are there other important triggers/values for pirate parties that should be mentioned? Or stuff that should be taken out?
To what degree do you agree with the contents? If you want a shorter version, how would that look?]

Something on the EU and pirate values could follow then. What do you think should be said about that? (I have an idea about the EU not being able to recognise the Internet as a place for the growth of a new global culture of creativity and sharing, due to its focus on money exchange (“the digital market” ) and its restricted formal means of acting on “cultural politics”. Comments on that?

One possible introductive description of the EU:
The European Union is a unique international project, based on policies laid down in in the Treaties, approved by all member states. In its first paragraph it pledges adherence to a process of European integration undertaken with the establishment of the European Communities in the 1950:s. The foundation is an economic integration, introducing commercial freedoms. At the same time there is a goal creating an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe. Political integration have been added, and as a new thing, A Charter of Fundamental Rights was included in 2009.

Critics in the present preamble:
It seems mainly to be about the imperfect democracy , and also the need for protecting of diversity. The need for informed citizens with influence on the decisions in an EU-wide debate is stressed.

Concrete subjects I see are the freedom of the Internet ( for political development, overcoming top-down, one-way communication ) and protection of Human Rights, specially against discrimination.

In Europe, we are x Pirate Parties that stand behind this program for the EU, to be pursued through the European Parliament and the ministers in the Council.

I think this is too much history. This would fit better into a “what is the Pirate Party” than into an election program.

We should use a more forward looking text for the program.

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Well, from my experience, when addressing voters in election times, (We have these little “stations” in the street, where people come to get information), maybe the most common question we get is “Who are you”, sometimes people think we are “some kind of joke” (“Pirates??”). And this in Sweden, where the Pirates started. :frowning: I know this is not the case in some other countries, where “the barrier has broken” and we are relatively known. But maybe some additional info of this kind could be useful anyway?

In my first topic I asked for comments on the idea of presenting us in the beginning of the preamble. (liked by three) I would like to hear from people from more countries how they/you look upon such a possible need fore a general presentation, including an explanation of our pirate name, which I have found a useful thing. And how did other parties start?

I note what you are putting forward, awaiting more input. Can you mention some things you want in there? What you mean by “forward” for example. Clearer visions? For now - looking at the text apart from its possible role in the preamble, what do you think about it? How to improve it as a presentation of the Pirate parties, including history and some core values? (Since such a text could find its place somewhere else if not here.)

Ideas for shortening are also welcome,

Definitely we need more input. This makes no sense if just the two of us write the program…

Yes, with forward looking I mean some kind of vision. A common idea of how a future society should look like.

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Visions of the future are fun . To me there is one hiding in my text maybe. :slight_smile: I see a few slightly different directions in how visions are presented. Some are mostly focused on the external organisation of society, structures, ruling laws, production, tools, ways of energy transformations , transportations, digitalisation etc. Some are more focused on cultural changes, new values, inner developments, how we could live and act together, amongst ourselves, nature and our material things. Both are valid perspectives of course, and they interact. And different directions can be pointed to among both of them.

Some possible expressions of visions of the two kinds that came up for me (basically from what I learned from the life on internet :

Cultural/inner: Self empowerment, Creativity, Knowledge and Sharing ethos
Structural/outer: Economic security, human rights, basic democracy, free internet


So, I have something of a proposal, after killing some darlings and choosing different language here and there. First some thoughts:

Who is it for? -

Everyone who may put or get the question: Who are the Pirates? Where do they come from? What kind of name for a serious party is that? These may be friends or foes, all may need to know more.

Maybe for some PP members – an effort to formulate in a short way a common background, a common task

Maybe for the really hostile persons who have strange aversions against pirates, would never vote but may spread false rumours about who we are (thieves etc, you know)

Who is it not for? Maybe not for those already involved in a more or less internal EU debate, I want to refrain from EU lingo and choose as fresh a language as possible that may inspire to actual reading.

What will it contain?

Presenting the pirate parties – answering the question, who are they, where do they come from (a question often raised by interested people in Sweden, at least)

:Explaining how we got ”the strange name” that people often react negatively to initially

Presenting some of the essential perspectives and visions online and offline

Presenting a relationship between the main EU commercial agenda and the sharing culture on the internet.

Rounding it with a hope for the future of human rights created by the Charter and the Court and the need for the fundamental democratisation in general.

So here is what I have now, let us take time for an online event and discuss it. It will take place 5 of april 18:30 on jitsi. See you there!

A movement for the third millenium

The pirate parties are children of the internet. The internet meant a breakthrough for a unique exchange of knowledge and creative products around the world, without involvement of money. Advanced computer programs for all needs, debates, music, video , stories and all kinds of information were shared freely, and still are, even if the exchange is under challenge. A new culture of creativity and sharing is growing. The existing political parties and powerful structures sees it mostly as a threat. Legislations against the new culture were put in place, calling the free sharing “piracy”. The determination of the internet users in many countries made them start a political movement, taking the name their adversaries gave them, he Pirate Parties, as a symbol of freedom and independence.

.The pirates became a voice for support for free sharing of knowledge, culture and experiences and the right to privacy and integrity, on the internet and offline. As a new movement from and for the third millennium the Pirates deal naturally with the modern problems that the established parties often fails to handle. The rapid and sometimes thoughtless digitalisation in general has the potential to compromise freedom, privacy, and dignity in unprecedented scale, if not treated with care and insight. The downsides to the present internet, triggered by the influence of the BigTech companies and their greed for users and money, bring out our most primitive sides contributing to growing social polarisation. The environmental problems abound as we practice “going on as usual”. The pirates embrace protection of all fundamental rights, the rule of law, justice, non-discrimination, democratization and political transparency. Responsible self empowerment in all areas is promoted. .

The pirates and the EU
The EU was created as a tool for international exchange through trade, creating an efficient internal market for goods and services. These aims are engraved in founding treaties, that prescribes the policies to perform or abstain from.

On that background, today the EU sees the internet as a new but traditional marketplace, the digital market. The impact of the sharing economy and the global scale of the exchange on the internet as part of a new culture have been unnoticed or disregarded. The EU sided naturally with the big entertainment companies and the governments introducing restrictions on the sharing culture, including mass surveillance and removing messages without trial. .

However, in 2009 the EU got a Charter of Human Rights that promoted the freedom of expression and privacy of communications. Based on that, the Court of Justice has tried to stop indiscriminate mass surveillance, a development supported by the pirates.

The Pirates work for moving decisions closer to the citizens and for transparent political procedures. The need for informed citizens with influence on the decisions in an EU-wide debate is vital. The EU:s stated ambition to create an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe is still waiting for its fulfilment, and ways of achieving that is up to debate.

The Pirate movement is ready to take on the pressing problems of today and the future and promote the possibilities of a real and sustainable cultural and social development, in a free and open society for responsible citizens. There are now around 50 Pirate Parties established across the world, among them 18 in the common organisation in Europe. This is their common program for the EU-elections 2024 and beyond.

I still think this is better suited for an article than as a preamble for our program.

The preamble should define the main outlines of our values and intentions.

Likely I will not make it to the session tomorrow, at least not in time, will be definitely online for the next one at 20:30.

OK, much what I heard before. And you know that presenting us was the very first thing I said I wanted to do. (Got some stars on that). Can you say something about what is wrong to you more in detail. What is wrong with an article? Or more exact, what is it about an article that you don’t think is fit here? I think some of the other texts are like articles, often quite long ones. Mine is shorter than many others. To me an article is about a logic stream through the text, I might have failed, but I don’t think that is what you think is wrong? Actually I can tell that one (1) person in Sweden thought an earlier version was too much like some festive speech. Because of that I took away quite a few adjectives and superlatives, I think it is more to the point now.

And is there something special you “fear” will follow from presenting who we are at the beginning. You find it unnecessary? Does it mean that you think people already know?. That it is not necessary to know? Have you never heard anyone demonstrate that they don’t know who we are more than maybe some computer freaks that want to download stuff for free? I want to try to take that away from those folks. Especially tell why we have the name. To my experience in Sweden the name is a big hurdle for a start.

What are the concrete things you are missing? Please tell. Some visions you think should be in there , an option would be to include them.

How would you like to start the text?

But of course, if the idea about presenting us is only mine, it will go.

Nothing wrong with the idea to present us, but is dwelling too much on the past for a preamble of the program and talking not enough about what we want to do and what we stand for. It mostly explains the circumstances that lead to the founding of the pirate party.

The founding story should be more compact and tell more about out goals and motivations (i.e. old parties not up to the job should come much sooner than at the end of the first half).

And then more focus on our vision of a free society, open data etc.

In another thread I did have a text that was listing more of our general goals.

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See what I can do…

One of the ideas I want to put forward is the concept of a new culture of creativity, knowledge and sharing (with or without money) rising through the internet , and we want to protect and develop it. What do you think about that perspective?

Compared to the sometimes extreme details in other chapters, I think that the length as such can be tolerable.

Can you guide me to the text you refer to?

Yes, that is a defining thing for the Pirate movement.

We should try to combine the founding story with clear positions what we are aiming for and what our core values are.

Here is the text again that I did basically translate (and adapt) from the German preamble. We could use it for text modules to combine the two texts:

Despite promises from all political directions the digital revolution of all aspects of our life has the potential to compromise freedom, privacy, and dignity in unprecedented scale.
This happens with a speed that overwhelms the processes of forming fact based public opinion and policy making. At the same time the options to control and design this process by democratic means continues to slip out of reach for single nations.

The digital globalization of knowledge and culture of all mankind puts all established legal, economic, and social mechanisms in question. Wrong solutions for these challenges threaten to install a global totalitarian surveillance society. Fear of international terrorism leads to give up freedom for perceived security and mutes many voices in defense for freedom.

Informational sovereingty, free access to knowledge and culture, and the protection of privacy are the founding pillars for digital society.

Only this basis allows a global society based on democracy, social equality, and freedom.

The Pirate Party is part of the international movement that aims to design the future for the benefit of all mankind.

The vision of the Pirates is a society that free, fair, and sustainable.

Free means a society in which each individual has the freedom to develop their potential, only limited but also supported by the common wellbeing of the society. Freedom and responsibility are two sides of the same coin.

Fair are society and economy that provide participation and living in dignity.

Sustainable is when material and immaterial resources of nature and society are handled in a way that is not destroying, depleting, or degrading them.

Freedom, fairness, and sustainability are universal standards and we want to make sure they are established world wide. We want to make sure that future generations have the means for living in freedom and dignity.

no objections to the contents of that text…

I made some revisions, in the light of your comments, not so big, but can you see them? My idea is that the policies and visions should appear in the description of the “who we are” - thing…

I could easily put in some of your presented German Pirates formulations, maybe a little more compact, to keep the style similar. (I don’t explain much about some things , but the more detailed formulations should appear somewhere among the topical texts at least, methinks.)

One thing is what we think about the EU and where we want to go with that. I have a feeling there are quite different visions on that among the parties? So we should tread wiht some carefulness on that. What do you think about the EU-part of my text?

In the Preambule we would like a summary with our agreed principles and our general stand on current crisis to teases the reader to read more of the program. We can use 2019 preambule as a draft to update on for 2024.

Please drop the text into a pad and find a date for an online meeting to discuss.

For the latest version, see under “Proposal for a preamble after Strasbourg meeting”