2006-07-02

Why the pirate movement needs to organize

On May 1, 2004, the Swedish Justice Department released a report by the name of Digitala klyftor – förr, nu och i framtiden (Digital rifts - past, present and future). It investigated the rifts in society between those that are attuned to and able to benifit from the new technology and those that can not, made from a perspective of age groups, gender and social classes. It concluded a very interesting thing:

Age can, at a superficial concideration, look like an important factor. The reason, however, that people over the age of 65 are using the Internet less than those that are younger, is mainly because they were not introduced to the use of Internet during their professional lives. They were already retired when the Internet came. The age cleft will thus shrink as the new senior citizens will have a habit of using the Internet in their professions. People doesn't stop using the Internet because they retire.

[...]

Thus we see that the age cleft is significant in a short-term perspective, but it will diminish. It can only be diminished by a lesser extent from economical measures, however social networks can have a positive effect for those that already lacks these from the time prior to retirement.


This is an important conclusion, and one that works on several levels, the political level nontheless.

In the 19th century, freedom and equality for all was something that was seen as radical and was continued to be radical untill well into the last century. Although the struggle of popular movements and democracy projects have been vital for the breakthrough of democracy and its values in the western world, it would have been virtually impossible to make much progress in, say, the early 1800's, no matter how organized the democracy movement would have been.

The younger generations in any given time has always been very well attuned to new ideas and the flows of change, and the general regards for political ideas is something youths have brought with them into adulthood. Although the ideas might change in practice during the process of maturing and over time, this has almost without exception had the effect that the next generation "in power" has always had a slightly different onlook than the preceding one. This is simply how the political evolution has worked throughout western history - a youthfull radicalism has merged with maturity to a blend that the people have taken with them and worked to accomplish when it has been their turn to dominate their society.

Thus, for example, the democratisation of the western world, the civil rights movement and other important developments, have happened, simply because it has been a natural step for the generations that live during those eras have worked to carry them through.

So, it will be with us as well.

Right now, the things that the pirate movement is working for, from a long-term perspective the polical adaption of the world in which we live, based on our level of technology and conditions of life, seems quite radical. It is also often expressed by radical means.

With time, however, the generation that has seen the maturing of the internet, the pioneering, the rapid technological development, and all that it implies and means and holds for the future, will be the ones that dominate society. There is no reason to assume that we will not follow the same patterns as our ancestors.

Our radicalism will meet with our maturity, and the ideas that we hold will be the ideas that we carry through to influence the society that we are to give to our heirs.

Thus, time is on our side - eventually we WILL win the war against those that try to limit information exchange and personal integrity and our rights to freedom, simply because that is something that concerns this generation much more than traditional western parliamentary politics. The trends of waning voting percentages and decreasing party memberships shows this very clearly.

The problem, however, is the amount of ferocity that the now established part of society tries to fight this new development, simply because these ideas are not in tune with ours. This is leading, in our case, to a very strong movement against us from established society, a development takes place towards more control, and more limitations.

One of our most important jobs is to stop these limitations untill we are taking over, making sure that our ideas are not being made formally impossible within the current system (something that we risk to see happening, at the rate things are going). And our other, equally important job, is to bring our ideals up on the daily agenda, and preparing the kind of future that we want to see.

We're not the only ones with ideas and dreams of the future, and in a society that still has democracy, all groups with ideas will pull every string to realize their aims, and we must do this as well. This is why there is a need for pirates to organise. Not because we necessarily want to wipe the floor with those that does not share our ideals and values, but to make our voices heard along with the rest.

3 comments:

Danyael X said...

Thats the most sober thing I've read about this mess so far. You are right of course, and then in the futre say in 20 to 30 years from now, We the young radical generation will be oposing something that our children percive as perfectly natural =)

eller som Plato sa: Aldrig tidigare har dagens ungdom varit så hemsk som nu =)

Thaumiel said...

It is highly probably - we'll work our asses off to pull the world in a direction we feel is best. Our next generation will have other ways to pull it, based on their perception, their knowledge and their ideas, and we will probably try to hinder them.

Don't forget that if all the young radicals were allowed to pull society without any form of restriction we'd probably cause the end of civilisation, and as would every generation.

As Rick said on his speech on the TPB demonstration, quote the Bible: "There is nothing new under the sun."

When I was younger I was very much a marxist. What made me doubt the marxist theory was an obvious flaw in its dialectics - society will always be divided into at least an upper class and a lower clas, and those classes will always fight; untill we get a marxist rule, and history and its principles will suddenly change. There won't be any classes and no more struggle, but eternal peace, freedom and prosperity. This was such a theoretic flaw that after I figure that one out, I had to doubt the entire theory.

Same goes with us - we can't believe that we're creating an eternal utopia, and that we will change all historical prerequisits for ever. We will probably follow the same patterns as everyone else.

DCRC said...

OMG, WORD. Piracy-Unlimited forever!! Spread links to this blog if you believe in a world where information should be free!