Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tunisia: the first Pirate revolution?

Back in January, Phil Hunt prophetically posted this on Amused Cynicism:

Do recent events in Tunisia constitute the first Pirate-inspired revolution? Certainly, one of the first things the new government has done is announced “the complete liberty of information”, which is an important Pirate principle.

And if Piratism does become the main revolutionary ideology in the Maghreb and the wider Arab and Muslim world, it’ll be a welcome improvement over Islamist extremism, which has brought a civil war in Algeria that killed 150,000, suicide killings and blown-up mosques in Iraq, rigged elections and repression in Iran, a government that made it a crime to educate girls in Afghanistan, and has brought Pakistan to the brink of being a failed state. I think if I was a Tunisian, I would have a distinct lack of enthusiasm for those results.

By contrast, what does the Pirate Party stand for? Modernity, freedom of speech on the Internet, wealth creation through new technology. Most of all, an end to the stifling global intellectual property regime that America is trying to force on the world (WIPO treaty, ACTA treaty, etc) which denies people life-saving drugs because of patents, and generally acts against the interests of middle-income countries such as Tunisia. (It also acts against the interests of most Americans, but that’s another story).

Furthermore, Piratism is an ideology that inspires people throughout the world, not just in Arab and Muslim countries. ...

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Additional pirate-related content:

“Shoot the Pirate” Copyright Campaign Descends Into Real Violence
While observers criticize Western companies for their ‘aggressive’ anti-piracy campaigns, elements of the creative industries in South Africa are taking things to a whole new level. With their “Shoot the Pirate” campaign, music and TV industry players have taken to the streets with threats to “fight violence with violence.” Hacks into Sony computers to obtain content and warnings of a blood bath only add to the bizarre mix.

ISPs: Blocking The Pirate Bay Violates Freedom of Expression
Two of the largest Internet providers in the Netherlands clashed in court with the local anti-piracy outfit BREIN today. The ISPs argued that blocking The Pirate Bay would be useless, even dangerous, as it could take down the entire network. In addition they feel that this type of censorship violates basic human rights such as freedom of expression. BREIN disputed these concerns and said that the ISPs want to keep The Pirate Bay online because they profit from the site.

The 7 Most Terrifying Pirates from History
Between Johnny Depp and numerous sports logos, pirates have become cartoon characters in modern culture. It's easy to forget that the real thing did exist, and that in many cases they were much more badass than the Hollywood version.

Pirates, Messiahs, and Movie Stars: Fictional archetype and its role in personal reinvention and the migration of culture
Defoe created in the familiar image of the Pirate an icon that conflates both personal reinvention and political resistance...the pirate is a potent symbol of the political and social self-definition central to modern individualism. In a certain sense, he is in an early immigrant, sacrificing citizenship in his own country in favor of a new nation state beyond the reach of colonial authority. He is also an early example, in the case of mutiny, of unionization, employees banding together to demand better work conditions and a greater share of the profits. Democracy, the freeing of slaves, even the political emancipation of women is manifested to a certain degree in the societies pirates created for themselves, particularly in the America’s at the start of the Eighteenth Century. Also, like migrants and others seeking reinvention, the pirates shaped themselves in the image of already existing iconography.

The calculus of piratical consent: the myth of the mythof social contract by Peter T. Leeson
Is a genuine social contract mythical? I argue that pirates created genuine social contracts that established a system of constitutional democracy based on the same decision-making calculus Link
and with the same effects that Buchanan and Tullock’s contractarian theory of government describes in The Calculus of Consent. Pirates’ constitutional democracy is the “holy grail” of social contract theory. It demonstrates that the contractarian basis of constitutional democracy is more than a mere analytic device or hypothetical explanationof how such a government could emerge. In pirates’ case, Buchanan and Tullock’s social contract theory describes how constitutional democracy actually did emerge.

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