Events/GA:2013/Proposition 2.6NL

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If the Pirate Party will ever have some influence in the social debate it must make clear for which society project it stands. And this is much more than only author rights (although important for free creativity). Maybe the common values of the Pirate Party can be described as an "ecological and social corrected libertarianism"? You can call it too autonomism, a philosophie that stands for autonomous individuals and autonomous communities (both local and international). What does it means ?

  • Individual selfdetermination in selfchosen communities. This is an alternative community project for those of traditional politic parties. It's the reverse of a nationalist, ethnic, lingual or religious coerced community project in a coerced community. It's about selfdetermination about the own life in combination with free associations with other people. Everybody can put a part of his/her taxes into an "community working" (gemeenschapswerking) of a selfchosen community. This communities are a kind of private nonprofit organization with a community council chosen by it's tax paying members. The 3 existing Belgian communities (Flemish, French, German,...) should be privatized and become one of the many possible private community counsels to which tax payers can spend a part of their taxes. Why do they need a preference treatment compared with other non-official communities? Why only official communities based on official language (Belgium) or religion (North-Ireland/Ulster and Bosnia-Herzogovina)? Why no communities based on local neighborhood working (buurtwerking) of a village (dorp) or quarter (wijk), on way of life (vegetarians, motor bikers,...) or even based on music (music scenes)? Privatize communities ! In the same way of the slogan "Privatize religion" of the German Pirate Party to make clear that membership of a community is an free individual choice.
  • Interpersonal solidarity between individuals independent from the origin, community, territorium, beliefs, etc. of individual humans. This can be an international social security that works like an autonomous functional authority independent from territoria and communities.
  • Ecological awareness. How to keep the world livable in 2050 for 9 billion people? Natural resources are limited, so there are limits to the growth too. No economy or society is durable without durable ecology. So recycling and renewable energy sources are important. Saving energy and materials must be promoted. Less streetlight which use less energy can be promoted. Repair cafés and recycling shops must be promoted too. Local low scale production is better too than big scaled production far away from the consumer. Also the waste of water, food and food value must be reduced. 1/3 of our ecological footprint is used for food production, and 1/3 of the world food production is wasted. This means that 1/9 of or ecological foodprint is wasted food. Drinkable water becomes rare and 1/4 of the world water consumption is used for food production, which means that 1/4 x 1/3 = 1/12 of the water production is used for the production of wasted food. So, reducing food waste is a direct way to reduce waste of water and agricultural resources. Besides this, lots of food loose half of their food value during the production (e.g. corn of which the nutritious cornskin is removed). Why not promote local food production on roof gardens and local public gardens (volkstuinen)? And why not fighting waste of consumable food by supermarkets? Promoting vegetarian food is also an option because the production of meat have a much bigger footprint than the production of vegetable food (10 x more water, 15x more energy, at least 5 kg vegetable proteins for 5 kg meat proteins, even 25 kg vegetable food for 1 kg consumable steak,...). If 9 billion people in 2050 will consume meat like the western world does nowadays, then we all will die from hunger. Less meat should not only be better for ecology and humanity, but also be better for animal well-being and for health.
  • Economical democracy with positive freedom. What can you do with the freedom to buy what you want, to buy a house, to put up an enterprise,... if you don't have money for it? What can you do with the freedom to read what you want if you can't read? If only rich people can practice their freedom it's not a democracy but a plutocracy. The Polish philosopher Alicja Gescinska who moved to Belgium as a child after the fall of the Iron Curtain notices that there is a negative freedom (the freedom not to do; no extern coercion that obstructs your freedom) and positive freedom (the freedom of able to do; to get the possibility to practice your freedom). Theoritical freedom is no real freedom if you don't have the possiblities to practice it.

A basic income for everybody via a public social security for everybody is a possibility to reach economical democracy. (Read more in Dutch about Alicja Gescinska here, here or here.

  • More "well-being" (welzijn) on places with enough "wellfare" (welvaart). Financial well-being (often reduced to "wellfare") is only one part of well-being in general. For quality of life (QOL) you need too social, ecological, community, physical, career,... well-being (see here and here). Of course you need more wellfare (or at least a better redistribution of it) in places with alot of poverty like e.g. China and India. A more balanced geographical distribution of wellfare in the world is better for humanity and peace anyway.

But do you still need more wellfare in places where everybody can buy a car and 2 iPads and 3 computers ? Is it really a disaster if there is no economic growth anymore in rich countries with a rich aging population like e.g. Japan and lots of places in West- and North Europe because everybody have simply enough to live? Why consuming more and exhausting natural resources for meaningless economic growth? Isn't it better for places with enough wellfare to transform more wellfare efficiently into other kinds of wellbeing (social, ecological, health,...) and create more jobs in the creating of well-being? The Scandinavian economic model that transform more efficiently wellfare into well-being is a much more preferable model than the speculative Angelsaksisian "fast money"-model that pushes lots of people into poverty.

  • Alternative employment : Is there anyway still enough work in the profit-sector for everybody in a high-productive economy that needs less people for the production? Is creating more jobs in the social-profit and non-profit sector not much effective in such economies? All kinds of contributions to the community are equivalent. Therefore, the replacement of the term "unemployed" (werkloos) by the more realistic term "jobless" (baanloos) should be preferred. Many people who have not a so-called "real job" often contribute to the community with volunteer work, cheap fake status jobs (PWA, dienstencheques), etc. But they don't get the benefits of people with an offical job. Jobless people working for the community (e.g. the maintenance of streets and parks, care for the elderly or less mobile ...) should get the status of "civilian workers" (burgerwerkers), and their unemployment income should be converted into a wage. The latter is an important psychological difference, because this is a recognition of a full contribution to the community. Because it is a formal wage civilian workers can get the benefits too that people with a formal job have (such as a credit for the purchase of a home). This is implemented with succes in the former East-Germany with its aged industry. (Read more about "citizen workers" (burgerwerkers)in Dutch).
  • Direct democracy with respect for individual rights : Direct democracy with referendums is a complement to representative democracy. Decision-making should not be the monopoly of the elected representatives. Elected epresentatives are humas who can make mistakes too. The people themselves must also have the right to take direct proposals. This should also be possible via the Internet, with systems such as "liquid feedback". All changes of an institutional nature (change of constitution, electoral law, administrative and territorial division, separatism or unification, ...) must be approved by referendum by the population who is subjugated. After all those people have to live with those changes, and not only those who want those changes.

The individual self-determination of individuals in any kind of democracy (including direct democracy) is inviolable. The basic rights of individuals and minorities to be themselves are protected. Democracy of any kind is not the same as the dictatorship of the majority over the minority or the individual. It can not be the intention to pass along "democratic" way to discriminate minorities or individuals who are "different", to limit the privacy of citizens, or to install a dictatorship. Referendums questioning human and civil rights of others are no direct democracy but direct dictatorship of the majority. The judgment of the despotic "infallible" pope or king is then replaced by an equally despotic "infallible" majority.

  • Free creativity : Many ideas and works today are the result of many people who influence each other. Anyone who is creative gets his / her inspiration from somewhere. So, creativity is at least partially a common activity. Copyleft and copyfree must be legally equivalent and independent principles as copyright, and not a special kind of copyright. There should be a limitation in time of copyright and patents of 20 years after its recognition. 70 years after the death of the author is simply too long. It is even a handicap for free creativity. Also no heritability of copyright. Why should the grandchildren of an author long after his / her death still receive rights for something they do not have merit for?

The omnipotence of SABAM and the other 25 to 26 private tax services in this country ("Billijke" vergoeding, Reprobel, ...) must be reduced. The collection of taxes should be the exclusive right of democratically elected governments who must justify on taxpayers. No taxation without representation. The owner management companies (beheersvennootschappen) should become again trade union of their members instead of bureaucratic enterprises.

  • A more transparent and fair fiscal system. Taxation on labor must as much as possible be replaced by taxes on consumption (VAT / BTW / TVA) and taxes on ecological footprint. This can correct too unbalanced and unecological economical relations. Products made in far countries should be sold at the real prices because of the ecological footprint of the transport, which make locally produced products more attractive. And products made in low wage countries should via VAT pay too for the local public services. Lower tax rates in change for less tax exceptions and less tax presents for multinationals shopping between the tax systems of different countries (e.g. ArcelorMittal and Ford). The tax-money should be as efficiëntly managed like in the Scandinavian countries.
  • Transparent and more efficient government : The working and decision-making of the government should be more transparent. Rules should be more simple and clear. The government takes decisions that affect the citizens. So, it's also the business of the citizens. The several governments (federal, regional, provincial, municipal, social security, ...) should share their officers, technicians, offices, premises, equipment and public institutions. This is also a saving in size of public civil services. Those common services are best located in the local municipality hall. Why should every government have its own tax service or own civil service? They are all paid by the same taxpayers, and governments are not the owners of the tax money they get (at best the management of it)? Why can't they share their tax officials in a common inter-entitairian tax service, which collects taxes for all governments and then distributes them among the various authorities? In thinly populated places in Canada, the several governments (federal, provincial, municipal) often share a common office in the municipality hall. If the citizen needs for example a renovation permits from various governments, the administrations of those governments arrange it among each other and gives citizens all the necessary permits at once at the common office.
  • 'Decentralization and local autonomy in a fractal federalism : A consequence of direct democracy is fractal federalism (or concentric federalism) and a local autonomy as close to the people as possible (municipality, subprovincial region, province, canton). This is how Switzerland with its direct democracy works (with cantons and municipalities). Each level do only those tasks for which they are best suited. Lower administrative entities pool the part of their sovereignty that needs a bigger scale in common federations with a pooled sovereignty. Administrative structures are built up from bottom-up, not from top-down. Each level of territorium is a federation of underlying levels. The country is a federation of provinces, provinces are federations of urban and subprovincial cantons/municipalities, cantons/municipalities are federations of districts, the districts federations of settlements (villages, quarters, and neighborhoods). Just like fractals that are composed of increasingly basic units of itself (think of an ice crystal or branches of a tree). The inhabitants themselves determine (like in Switzerland) through a cascade of referendums to which administrative-territorial entities they want to belong : settlements to which district they want to belong, districts to which canton/municipality they want to belong, cantons/municipalities to which province they want to belong, ... It are ultimately the inhabitants themselves who have to deal with those administrative-territorial units, and not only the government that wants them. Fractal federalism or concentric federalism is an alternative for both nationalist separatism and nationalist unionism. Both want a centralist jacobin nation-state that bring local communities to submission and denies or minimizes internal differences. Selective self-determination that refuses others the autonomy that it claims for itself is undemocratic. Not only the Belgian regions have different needs, but also towns and provinces inside those regions. Thinly populated agricultural provinces like e.g. West-Vlaanderen, Limburg and Luxembourg and the germanspeaking Eupen/Sankt Vith have too different needs than densily populated urban areas like e.g. Antwerpen, Brussel,/Bruxelles, and Liège. Replacing 1 centralist jacobin state governed from the capital by 2 to 4 new jacobin states that do the same thing is no progress. More autonomy for municipalities and provinces in a fractal federation is a real progress. In this country, a federation of 12 provincial regions should be more logic : the 5 present flemish provinces, the 5 precent Walloon provinces, Brussel/Bruxelles, and Eupen/sankt Vith. The Flemish and Walloon municipalities have only about half of the policy options of their European counterparts: 7 to 8 percent of annual wealth (gross domestic product or GDP), against an European average of 13 percent. Flanders and Wallonia are governed more centralist than the average European country. In the most efficient governed countries, the Scandinavian ones , local government manage a quarter to a third of GDP.