Pirate party makes a raid on German politics

Apr 29, 2012 By JUERGEN BAETZ , Associated Press
Pirate party makes a raid on German politics (AP)
Members of the Pirates party sit next to a poster reading "Free Music for Free People" during their party convention in Neumuenster, northern Germany, Saturday, April 28, 2012. Pirates are capturing Germany's political system: The party started as a marginal club of computer nerds and hackers, but its appeal as an anti-establishment movement has lured many young voters to the ballot boxes, gaining it parliamentary seats in two consecutive state elections. (AP Photo/dapd, Clemens Bilan)

(AP) -- Pirates are capturing Germany's political system. The party with the outlaw name started as a marginal club of computer nerds and hackers demanding online freedom, but its appeal as an antiestablishment movement has lured many young voters to the ballot boxes, catapulting it into two state parliaments in less than a year.

The all-volunteer offer little ideology and focus on promoting their flagship policies of near-total transparency and an unrestricted Internet. But polls show them as the country's third-strongest political force, leapfrogging over more established parties.

The tremendous success has doubled the Pirates' membership to 25,000, but it also has handed them a crucial challenge set to dominate its convention starting Saturday: A party founded as a rebellious upstart must reckon with its new political power and its promise of a voice for all its members.

About 1,500 members gathered in the northern city of Neumuenster to discuss the group's growth. New polls predicted it would win seats in two more state legislatures in May, with forecasters expecting it to secure about 9 percent of the vote in both states.

"Many vote for the Pirates as a sign of protest. It is not directed against democracy, but it's based on the unhappiness with the functioning of the established parties," said Alexander Hensel, a political scientist who studies the Pirates at the Goettingen Institute for Democracy Research.

Analysts say that despite the nation's robust economy and low unemployment, many Germans are disenchanted with the established parties, fueled by outrage over seeing the government bailing out banks and businesses to save the economy from collapsing in the wake of the .

Thousands in Germany took to the streets last year in rallies during the worldwide Occupy movement, but it has now all but fizzled out - with the Pirates appearing to inherit the votes of the disenchanted.

While the mainstream parties in Europe's biggest economy are struggling to come up with a response to the continent's debt crisis, the Pirates cheerfully admit they have no answers. Nor do they have a stance on whether German troops should continue to fight in Afghanistan.

But many voters welcome their blunt acknowledgment as a sign of honesty in the political arena. Instead of taking a stand on the pressing issues that more mainstream parties are forced to address, the Pirates speak up against copyright laws, demand free public transportation, and say every citizen should be paid a basic income without having to work.

"The Pirates are elected less because of what they stand for than by disappointment with the established parties and for their unconventional methods," Hensel said.

The party's core pledge of transparency and participation - live transmission of all meetings and the online involvement of all party members in its decisions, countless Twitter debates and email chains - is reaching the limit of feasibility as the number of party members has mushroomed.

The question is: Will the Pirates change Germany's political system, or will the system crack the Pirates?

Hensel said the growing volunteer party will be challenged in its organization and leadership.

Its outgoing managing director, Marina Weisband, 24, collapsed last week between two TV appearances. She was briefly hospitalized, saying she was just heavily overworked. She and other Pirates now advocate having professional party leaders with more say in policy decisions.

But to grassroots Pirates, those calls amount to mutiny.

"The Pirates' opinion is created by the party members, not dictated by the chairman," outgoing party leader Sebastian Nerz said. "The individual's freedom stands at the top."

Nerz, 28, favored expanding the board from seven to nine members to give it a more professional structure, but wasn't re-elected Saturday, losing to his deputy, Bernd Schloemer, 41.

Recently the party has been marred by a scandal over how to handle the far-right past of some of its members, with many Pirates refusing to exclude anyone from membership. But on Saturday, party members overwhelmingly approved a motion saying that any effort to deny or minimize the Holocaust would be against the party's fundamental values, German news agency dapd reported.

Soon the party will need more professional politicians, if pollsters are right: In North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany's most populous state with 18 million inhabitants, the Pirates can expect to get 9 percent of the vote in mid-May, according to Emnid, which surveyed 1,001 people for Focus magazine this week.

Another poll for public broadcaster ARD published Friday also found the party securing about 9 percent of the vote in Schleswig-Hollstein state's May 7 election.

Pirate parties are now present in several European countries, but only in Germany have they skyrocketed to such success. In Sweden, where the movement originated, the party won 7 percent of the vote in European Parliament elections in 2009 but less than 1 percent in national elections the next year, making it a marginal party, albeit with a strong voice on cyber issues.

Germany's political establishment now sees the Pirates as poised to be in four of the country's 16 state legislatures within a month.

"They are an interesting appearance. And we don't know yet how that will develop," conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel told Saturday's edition of the daily Leipziger Volkszeitung.

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antialias_physorg
4 / 5 (6) Apr 29, 2012
I'm thinking of going to meetingt of the local chapter...find out first hand what they're all about.

Some items on their list sound crazy, while others are something I've been waiting for the other parties (especially the greens) to go for for a long time.
bluehigh
1.4 / 5 (10) Apr 29, 2012
You thinking was prohibited from start. Now you want to actually listen to the crazy cyber criminals and give them the time of day? Add you to the No-Fly list too and your a good candidate for extradition or rendition.

Give Kim Dotcom a call, he has lots of green.

Code_Warrior
4.7 / 5 (11) Apr 29, 2012
the Pirates speak up against copyright laws, demand free public transportation, and say every citizen should be paid a basic income without having to work.

Do they also believe in perpetual motion? Please demonstrate an economic system that will operate indefinitely where EVERYONE can get paid without ANYONE having to work.

People who think this way expect that there will always be people working who are willing to support those that aren't working. However, such ideas do not account for human nature. Greed, envy, ethics, and justice are always part of the human equation. Utopian dreamers implicitly assume they can overcome greed and envy with ethics and justice, but find themselves stymied instead, leading to ever more draconian justice until they morph into dictatorships where the Utopian planners become the 1% and subjugate everyone else to the hell they call Utopia.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (6) Apr 29, 2012
You thinking was prohibited from start. Now you want to actually listen to the crazy cyber criminals and give them the time of day?

I think you're confusing "Die Piraten" with "Anonymous". The two are not identical (or even affiliated).
IronhorseA
5 / 5 (1) Apr 29, 2012
the Pirates speak up against copyright laws, demand free public transportation, and say every citizen should be paid a basic income without having to work.

Do they also believe in perpetual motion? Please demonstrate an economic system that will operate indefinitely where EVERYONE can get paid without ANYONE having to work.



True. Only the Medici's can get paid without having to work. ;P

tommytalks77
3.7 / 5 (6) Apr 29, 2012
Nowhere on the text or on the Pirates ideology it is said that everyone can get paid without anyone having to work.
They are talking about social security, they are talking about being paid a minimum amount to survive for those without work, you know, like it is supposed to be...
Most people, by large, will prefer to work and get paid much more and have a much better standard of living than those getting money from the system you know, just like IT IS in countries that are a few decades more advanced in their social structures, like Switzerland (I lived there for 5 years and that is exactly what they have: if you don't have work to do you get a minimum wage from the social system and very few people actually prefer to live like that, most people work for their money).

droid001
1 / 5 (1) Apr 29, 2012
"every citizen should be paid a basic income without having to work"
This is inevitable.
How can you not realize this?
Terriva
1 / 5 (1) Apr 29, 2012
The profit of multimedia companies increases yearly by 280%. They don't get poorer in the time of Internet sharing, but richer in much faster way.
kaasinees
2.6 / 5 (5) Apr 29, 2012
how many bureacrats get payed tons if not millions without hard work?

In my country they froze bureacrat salaries and they got up to 4 billion.

They are also investigating many bureacrats for fraud.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.3 / 5 (14) Apr 29, 2012
I think you're confusing "Die Piraten" with "Anonymous". The two are not identical (or even affiliated).
I am sure someone in your glorious country has made this obvious connection?
http://en.wikiped...otenkopf

-The jolly roger/deathshead has a long and mystical history. American rebels faced the deathshead in boston:
http://en.wikiped..._Lancers

-And of course we have heard much of this little group:
http://en.wikiped...nd_Bones

Buccaneers in the employ of the french and british were used to 'capture' much of the gold being recovered by spain in the americas. This dangerous commodity needed to be shared among all the powers, and 'capturing' it was the only legitimate way of doing this among 'enemies'. Controlled attacks by privateers served to improve and fortify all navies.

We might conclude that this symbol represents one Agency, working in different Capacities in much the same Way as the mafia, the jesuits, or the freemasons. Empire.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.3 / 5 (14) Apr 29, 2012
The truly secret Societies are the ones you never hear about.
http://en.wikiped...ly_Roger
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.1 / 5 (15) Apr 29, 2012
"every citizen should be paid a basic income without having to work"
This is inevitable.
How can you not realize this?
BECAUSE more and more people would soon learn to live with less so as not to work. The system would very soon COLLAPSE.

There have to be very strict and very visible penalties for not participating.
kaasinees
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 29, 2012
"every citizen should be paid a basic income without having to work"
This is inevitable.
How can you not realize this?
BECAUSE more and more people would soon learn to live with less so as not to work. The system would very soon COLLAPSE.

There have to be very strict and very visible penalties for not participating.

The system collapses anyway because of automatisation and other factors. You want to condemn those people to death?
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.3 / 5 (12) Apr 29, 2012
"every citizen should be paid a basic income without having to work"
This is inevitable.
How can you not realize this?
BECAUSE more and more people would soon learn to live with less so as not to work. The system would very soon COLLAPSE.

There have to be very strict and very visible penalties for not participating.

The system collapses anyway because of automatisation and other factors. You want to condemn those people to death?
Why would I WANT that? I happen to agree with you. But I am making an observation of what is obviously the case. Perhaps things will change.
ShotmanMaslo
3 / 5 (2) Apr 29, 2012
Basic income system would not collapse, if its really BASIC. People would still be motivated to work, since they would want luxuries and not just to survive.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (3) Apr 29, 2012
I am sure someone in your glorious country has made this obvious connection?

What does the 'death head' have to do with this?

This is the logo of "Die Piraten"
http://de.wikiped...18091846

Yes, it's black, too. But so what?
The international Pirate Party symbol isn't even that
http://de.wikiped...19225458

From what I gather the legal advisor to the P2P site
"The Pirate Bay" was on the board of the party early on. Though I'm not sure whether the one is named after the other (the term 'pirate' being rather popular around the time for Hollywood reasons).

BECAUSE more and more people would soon learn to live with less so as not to work.

Have you ever spoken to anyone who is out of work? I doubt it. The vast majority don't want to live off of charity.

Skylax123
3 / 5 (2) Apr 30, 2012
Physorg is a research news site. Can anyone tell me why this story about german politics is posted here?
Negative
5 / 5 (2) Apr 30, 2012
"more and more people would soon learn to live with less so as not to work." - the ghost is right, I believe. I personally would gladly live with less if I can do it without working. I am a hard-worker now because my first and foremost wish is to satisfy my laziness.

but droid is also right: " This is inevitable." more and more menial, repetitive jobs are left to the machines. what are those of us without high IQ, or not inventive, left with? shall we again scratch the dirt for food?
Argiod
3 / 5 (2) Apr 30, 2012
...and, all this time I thought the United States had the strangest politics...
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.9 / 5 (11) Apr 30, 2012
Yes, it's black, too. But so what?
The international Pirate Party symbol isn't even that
I guess I jumped to conclusions when I saw the logo in the picture. Entschuldigung. I suppose your pirate partei was counciled on the legal reasons NOT to use the deathshead. At least in public. The use of the 'pirate' name in germany is indicative of... something perhaps?
Have you ever spoken to anyone who is out of work? I doubt it. The vast majority don't want to live off of charity.
Uh yeah Me. I have learned to live with lots less. But as far as a guaranteed income goes, you dont regard this as charity? The public dole?
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Apr 30, 2012
The use of the 'pirate' name in germany is indicative of... something perhaps?

Yes. It is indicative of the fact that it is a spin-off of the swedish original. That's it.
But as far as a guaranteed income goes, you dont regard this as charity?

Yes, so?
I have been unemployed. So have you. I bet you have - like me - not felt great about taking money from the state to survive and have tried to get a new job ASAP.
And for everyone that I have met who has been out of work it was likewise. It is always only of other people (whom we don't know personally!) that we suspect that they freeload.

And you know what? There may be even some of those. So what? The stability of a society is defined by how many dissenters it can tolerate. Those that freeload do so already. Giving a guaranteed income won't change that number one bit. (And we alreay have a system where you get money when you're out of work - indefinitely...so it's not like this is something revolutionary)
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (3) Apr 30, 2012
"more and more people would soon learn to live with less so as not to work." - the ghost is right, I believe. I personally would gladly live with less if I can do it without working.

You know - I hate working (though I love my job...but 9-to-5 is killing me). But what I would really LOATHE is to live off of other people. I don't want to be indebted or a burden to others. And most people who want to live in a society share that feeling.

Not having to work may sound like paradise at first glance. But when you realize that every dollar you spend was earned by someone else then that feeling turns sour pretty soon. Only a completely antisocial parasite could stomach that for any length of time.

what are those of us without high IQ, or not inventive, left with

Contributing to society. There are plenty of things (caring for people not being the least of which) which can (or should) never be done by robots.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.9 / 5 (11) Apr 30, 2012
Yes. It is indicative of the fact that it is a spin-off of the swedish original. That's it.
And as I pointed out, Organizations using the deathshead moniker can be found worldwide. We'll see how this one plays out.

Symbols can mean a great deal to some people. Here is one which is strangely reminiscent of... something... dont you think?
http://www.goodlo...nfo/2964

'Und Morgen die ganze Welt'
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (3) Apr 30, 2012
And as I pointed out, Organizations using the deathshead moniker can be found worldwide

What deaths head moniker? Pirates sailed under all sorts of flags. The 'Jolly Roger' AFAIK was only used on one ship. And even that didn't have the skull and crossed bones but crossed cutlasses.

And who really gives a flying fart what a flag might or might not symbolize? Is the flag the party program? (Was the hinduist swastika the Nazi party program?)
Maybe in the US people vote by the color/shape of a flag...but nowhere else.
For all I care they could have pedobear on their flag and it wouldn't make a difference.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.9 / 5 (11) Apr 30, 2012
But what I would really LOATHE is to live off of other people.
But a guaranteed minimum income paid for in tax money is exactly what this would be, right? (I am sorry I dont recall if you are for or against and dont feel like looking.)

THIS is another reason why I think we should find some way of making the machines which are replacing us in the workforce pay taxes directly. It would remove the onus of soaking off humans.

Machines are taking jobs at unprecedented rates. Never has society faced this problem at such a magnitude. Most anything can and will be automated, including many professional roles such as surgeons and lawyers. Theyre even re-automating dead actors and musicians.

A system which can assess EXACTLY what a machine consumes in energy and infrastructure, and which bills and taxes these machines INSTANTLY and directly, will save ENORMOUS amounts of wasted money.

They are taking our jobs and they can be made to compensate us instead of their owners.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.2 / 5 (10) Apr 30, 2012
The 'Jolly Roger' AFAIK was only used on one ship. And even that didn't have the skull and crossed bones but crossed cutlasses.
Leider you did not do do diligence.
http://en.wikiped...ly_Roger

Many rogue, extra-legal, quasi-military, semi-secret Agencies with historic impact far beyond what we might expect, have used the totenkopf or some variation... a common Theme. Politische Truppen
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.2 / 5 (10) Apr 30, 2012
Oh look what I found in the above link:

"Before changing to a stylized 'P', the Pirate Party used the Jolly Roger as its symbol; it is still used extensively in the Pirate movement."

-And they wouldnt have been so naive or uninformed as to use the symbol without being aware that the SS totenkopf is outlawed in your fair land. Stimmt?
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (3) May 01, 2012
So?

Just because one organization uses some symbol another that uses a symbol with the same contents is automatically associated? The US uses stars, China has stars in their flag. North Korea has a star in their flag. So the US is automatically in cahoots and influenced by North Korea - that is what your argument is?
The US flag colors are red white and blue. The EXACT colors of the country they seceeded from. Are you really arguing that a SWEDISH party campaignig for freedom of information modeled itself after the SS deathheads?
Doesn't that sort of reasoning sound somehow...I don't know...moronic?

It's the friggin Pirate party - what WOULD you suspect that they would have chosen as a symbol at first?

Now why don't you pick up your mind out of the gutter and start looking at content instead of the wrapper.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.9 / 5 (11) May 01, 2012
Just because one organization uses some symbol another that uses a symbol with the same contents is automatically associated? The US uses stars, China has stars in their flag. North Korea has a star in their flag. So the US is automatically in cahoots and influenced by North Korea - that is what your argument is?
Perhaps it means to some People that we are all part of a bigger Whole? Under one Command? Member states of some Greater Government? Like an Empire of some sort?

There are only 2 Sides in this world - the people, and their Leaders. The people are obviously the enemies of rulers everywhere. Don't you think that rulers would have wised up long ago and begun to make Plans for War against the people? Doesn't this make SENSE of everything?

'Cant live with them, can't live without them.' Not yet anyways. But soon enough I suppose. The better Tribe will always tend to win out, and this would be natural selection. Darwin said this. A Tribe of Leaders. Who else?
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.9 / 5 (11) May 01, 2012
And I quote:
"-It must not be forgotten that although a high standard of morality gives but a slight or no advantage to each individual man and his children over the other men of the same tribe, yet that an advancement in the standard of morality and in increase in the number of well-endowed men will certainly give an immense advantage to one tribe over another. There can be no doubt that a tribe including many members who, from possessing in a high degree the spirit of patriotism, fidelity, obedienhce, courage, and sympathy, were always ready to give aid to each other and to sacrifice themselves for the common good, would be victorious over other tribes; and this would be natural selection." -Charles Darwin, Descent of Man 1871, p166.

-We get glimpses. Greek city-states fighting wars arranged by the oracular priests at dodona. Euro dynasties all related, intermarried, all descended from Charlemagne, who often didn't even speak the language of their subjects. A common Thread.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) May 01, 2012

There are only 2 Sides in this world - the people, and their Leaders.

From what I gather this is exactly what Die Piraten are trying to change. It seems to be a very grass roots democratic organization.

Doesn't this make SENSE of everything?

No. You're not making any sense whatsoever. Your 'tribal' philosophy has been flawed from the word 'go' ever since you started bringing it up in discussions. It also has no bearing on this article. None at all.

You're getting to be as bad as Oliver was..Just replace 'Oliver' with 'Otto' and 'neutron repulsion' with 'tribal' and there you go - whether it fits with the subject or not seems to be irrelevant for you guys.

A tribe of leaders also makes fantastically little sense. Read that again: "a tribe of leaders"...can't contradict yourself in a shorter span of time.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (2) May 01, 2012
It seems to be a very grass roots democratic organization.

Just like the US tea parties. Except the tea parties DO have political position, less federal govt spending and control.
The Pirates sound like useful idiots open to any savior. Anyone recall the NOV 1932 German elections?
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.2 / 5 (10) May 01, 2012
It seems to be a very grass roots democratic organization
The people have been thoroughly conquered for centuries. In a greater sense this is called husbandry.
Your 'tribal' philosophy has been flawed from the word 'go' ever since you started bringing it up in discussions
Which tribal uh thing is that? The one which describes humans as essentially tribal in nature? That is a fact and it explains much of our behavior and our history.

Or the one which describes Leaders colluding to manage their subjects by pitting them against each other in safe and constructive ways? I think They only seek to determine what happens when. War is inevitable due to our tropical reproductive rate coupled with the tribal instinct. Timing is Everything.

"There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:"
http://www.bibleg...esiastes 3&version=NIV

"11He has made everything beautiful IN ITS TIME."

-The book IS good for something.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.2 / 5 (10) May 01, 2012
It seems to be a very grass roots democratic organization
So did incipient communism and nazism. An old saw - returning power to the people - Brot und Freiheit. They fall for it every time.
"a tribe of leaders"...can't contradict yourself in a shorter span of time.
Consider darwins definition:

"...including many members who, from possessing in a high degree the spirit of patriotism, fidelity, obedience, courage, and sympathy, were always ready to give aid to each other and to sacrifice themselves for the common good"

-Working together for the good of the Tribe. Maybe you do not consider republicans, anglicans, freemasons, Crips, Dodgers fans, etc as expressions of tribalism?

Bonding together to serve a common Purpose; the preservation of the best that the species has produced, and the assurance of a future for their offspring. What greater Purpose could there be? Especially when the alternative could well be the extinction of the only intelligent species in the universe.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.2 / 5 (10) May 01, 2012
Humans are FLAWED. We have surpassed expectations and are now able to ruin the entire WORLD. This is SUCCESS.

'Any species will produce more of itself than can be expected to survive to maturity'. Tribes intend to ensure that it the offspring of their enemy and not theirs, which will fail to reach maturity.

This was all readily apparent to rulers who kept meticulous records of crop distribution. They could see how their populations grew far faster than they could grow food. And when things got tight and the people began to suffer, they would invariable blame their rulers, no matter how benevolent.

THIS makes the people and their rulers adversaries. It is only a small leap to assume that rulers would meet, discover their mutual Problems, and begin to scheme against those who would unseat them. They began to intermarry.

The tendency in business or sports is to fix the game. Why waste time competing when you can fix prices? We expect this. Why not in politics at the highest Levels?
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (2) May 01, 2012
Why not in politics at the highest Levels?

Because humans are FLAWED!
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.2 / 5 (10) May 01, 2012
Why not in politics at the highest Levels?

Because humans are FLAWED!
You mean they are stupid? And yet you all expect that its possible for 1 madman to gain control of an entire country and convince it to commit suicide. In many ways Deception is the most sublime of human qualities. It is the most valuable in war.

'The Godfather' is the greatest movie of all time. This is no mistake. It tells us how the world is run, how it has been run since perhaps the advent of agriculture. Best to have the judge in your pocket BEFORE you enter the courtroom.

Heck I bet we might even discern this meme at work in primitive tribes today. Chiefs get together and agree to ambush each others hothead troublemakers. And marry each others daughters.

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