Friday, 10 January 2014

Greens and Pirates: in search of a new majority for the commons

Ever since their emergence within the political landscape, Pirates have been perceived by Greens both as rivals for voters’ support and potential allies in a common cause. The Pirate movement has articulated its distinctive political vision and, in several countries, succeeded in creating a new constituency of voters. Whereas on the level of national politics in various countries Pirates pose for the Greens more or less of a challenge, in the European Parliament, they work together, on a daily basis, on issues such as data protection, network security or intellectual property reform. Is it a result of a contingent overlapping of Green and Pirate agendas, or is it a sign of a deeper affinity, or complementarity, between the two movements?

One of possible answers has been developed by Michel Bauwens, a thinker, a peer-to-peer theorist and the founder of P2P Foundation. Michel Bauwens advanced the idea of a “grand alliance” for the commons. Such an alliance would bring together Greens, Pirates, movements for social justice (trade unions, farmers’ associations), and small entrepreneurs – to protect natural (environmental) and cultural (digital) commons.

I talked to Michel via internet in August 2013, a couple of days before the conference Europe from Below, co-organised by Polish Green Party, Polish Teachers’ Union, and National Union of Nurses and Midwives. Michel took part in a panel discussion on “Internet and digital citizenship.”

Adam Ostolski

Read the interview at the Green European Journal.

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