Liquid piracy

I was struck by a few issues from this BBC piece about the emergence of the Pirate Party as a political force in Germany,  One is that intellectual property, once seen as an arcane and technical issue, has entered the mainstream of opinion formation.  And, related to this, an organisation that started as a single-issue campaign has somehow morphed into something with aspirations to become a national political force.  The Internet has always provided a good platform for single-issue campaigns because it allows very disparate people who share a common cause to get together.  The principle of communities of practice arguably applies when the ‘shared domain’ (the shared area of interest among the members) is the promotion of a particular viewpoint.  And while the effect that you could agree wholeheartedly with somebody on one issue, and disagree virulently with the same person on another issue, just seems like a characteristic of reasoned debate about almost anything, the Internet could make it easier to rationalise these agreements and disagreements.

I also note the use of the term ‘liquid democracy’ – presumably derived from Zygmunt Bauman’s notion of liquid modernity which is itself a move to rationalise changes in society.


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