#PPEU foundation, what I learned

If something was clear during that foundation session, it is that the Pirates won’t be fundamentally different from the Greens.

The first reason one could advance is that those parties are ideologically close. They already are part of the same group inside the European Parliament. Their members globally tend to have the same ideological positioning, that is left without being deeply anti-capitalist. Anarcho-capitalist or really libertarian positions constitute a minority even if they do exist.

A second more structural reason would be that European pirates parties have a strong associative culture, just like the Greens. It allows them to be close to civil society, at least to those who claim to represent it. It could be seen at the composition of the panels which held conferences after the voting session. Mostly NGOs close to the party’s ideology were represented, what also explains the fact that the benches were almost empty at the end of the afternoon: the public was already convinced. I am insisting on that point because the pregnancy of this associative net is not always widespread or welcomed in other party congresses.

But first and foremost, it was to be remarked that European pirate parties created some kind of a federation of associations by sending delegates and organizing themselves as associations in their respective countries. It is the reason why the simple members or sympathizers of most national parties had no voice in the election on the members of the PPEU and has been criticized by some german pirates that deplore the lack of simple members’ participation to the foundation of the PPEU while the motto of the party is «Basisdemokratie».

As a matter of fact, it was the chief candidate for the Piratenpartei who chaired the vote leading to the foundation of the PPEU (Pirate Party of Europe). It was Amelia Andersdotter, the Pirate MEP, who was elected chairwoman of the PPEU. This gives the tone: the Pirate Party is a German-Swedish party, what mirrors the demographic truth, just like the composition of the electoral college: there were four delegates and votes for Germany and mostly one for other countries. Even that representation is disproportionate in regard to the size of pirate parties.

It remains true that one could find ironical that:

If we let aside the whole sloppy facade on democratic good will, decentralization and Europeanness that don’t stand facts, we discover that this party is principally the branch dedicated to electoral representation of a relatively marginal and alternative population which is primarily interested in its «Internet quality of life». The dynamic is the same as that of the Greens at their time, when they churned out edifying speeches on democracy but ended up fighting primarily for a better urban quality of life. On that point, one can only recognize the lucidity of the established politician that Martin Ehrenhauser is concerning whom he is addressing, maybe committing the fault of saying it.

I too can be part of the pirate constituents. I consider their themes essentials. I belong to those who wish for a free and fast Internet access in order to communicate as fast and freely as possible with my fellows. I am addicted to my daily endorphin dose when I am mentioned on social networks. Meanwhile I am no more part of the party and I contemplate a bit sceptically the magnificent speeches on democracy, diversity and decentralization when what I observe is 500 Germans in a room deciding on the future of an «election brand» that they are thereby making their own. Doocracy is no democracy.

The beauty of Rick Falkvinge’s gesture was to launch a movement that belonged no one, just like occupy or the indignados. This succeeded well as long as the vast majority of budding politicians considered he was fighting for a lost cause, as he is explaining himself very well in his book Swarmwise.

Yet, because of its sheer nature, such a movement decays as soon as it becomes institutionalized and gains consideration. Institutionalization forces it to provides itself with a colloquial hierarchical structure so as to have legal and media representatives, as is normal. The consideration gains attract lot of young wolves wanting to take over the movement asap.

Two years ago, some probably ranked me among such puppies when I was part of the French pirate party and proposed some tracks to build a European pirate party. Without any doubt, I would give tit for tat to many of them who survived me and are eager to be swiftly elected here and there. Apart from that, it is pretty obvious that in that cat and mouse game everybody loses quickly because by essence the goal of a party is to take the power. Any militant desires to gain some weight at his/her scale. The difference between militants is their ability to monopolize the keys and their resilience before giving them up.

The institutionalization of the party is not necessarily a bad thing in itself. As a voter, I even wish for it. As a citizen, much less. As much as I, as a voter, think it is important that some themes be correctly approached at every level of political life, as much I, as a citizen, consider that our occidental societies, like so many, are much too hierarchical, centralized and locked by our States.

The constituent that I am wants to be represented on the political map by people close to my values. He agrees when a last minute makeshift job assures financial founding and an honorable exit door, just in case, to his present representatives. He understands that politics is a full time job and votes for people who know the inside working of a Parliament, typically those who already proved their worth and were intelligent enough to be well surrounded.

The citizen in me dreams of Switzerland, distrusts parties and laughs to tears when he is being talked about representation in Europe and particularly in France. He favors norms, regulations and social welfare nets but distrusts power concentration and is convinced that giving to a sole and unique entity called State the responsibility of the enforcement of those protections ends up more often than not at the inverse, not accounting for the fact that it gives politics a deliciously archaic old-fashion taste.

Yet, a movement that decently aspires to honestly fighting this burden of the patron State cannot afford being too much «old-school» institutionnalised. And that is precisely what is happening at the Pirate party and what I observed in vivo on this Friday.

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