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The Pirate Party: Are they Indeed the “Cyber-Wandervogel”?

Logo of German Pirate Party

COMMENT: In FTR #’s 732, 745, we took a look at the Pirate Bay/Pirate Party milieu, an “anarcho/Utopian” network of (mostly youthful) idealists that coalesced around the concept of Internet freedom and file sharing. In those programs, we also highlighted that milieu’s hosting of, and support for, the WikiLeaks network and operation. Far from being the freedom-loving, democratic minded entity that the Pirate folks and the overlapping “Anonymous” hacktivist network imagined it to be, WikiLeaks is actually a far-right, Nazi and intelligence-linked operation.

The above-referenced programs document these connections.

Two sayings come to mind in this context, in which we see folks (Pirate milieu/Anonymous) who oppose fascism effectively collaborating with, and supporting, a network manifesting Scandinavian fascism and anti-Semitism. “Count your buttons before doing them up” and “Follow the money” constitute wisdom that the Pirate/Anonymous crowd would do well to follow.

Pirate Party International Logo

There are a number of considerations that come to mind here:

  • The article below notes that the Pirate Party could threaten Merkel’s coalition government, if their projected electoral strength is realized. Precisely what implications that might have for the “austerity policy” of Merkel’s government vis a vis the EU remains to be seen, if such an eventuality transpires. Note that the Merkel austerity program, as we have seen, is a deliberate gambit for the subjugation and economic colonization of Europe.
  • Although there is much in the Pirate Party platform with which we agree, much of it is also idealistic to the point of impracticality. It’d be nice if there weren’t terrorists of various stripes–neo-Nazis, Islamofascists and others–but unfortunately there are and society MUST guard against them. Incest isn’t cool, regardless of what the Pirate Party thinks. The Pirate/Anonymous/WikiLeaks milieu has run interference for kiddieporn sites in the past. That isn’t cool either.
  • It is evident from the article below that the Pirate Party folks are aware, to an extent, that they have a Nazi problem. (In the past, we’ve noted that neo-Nazis were infiltrating that party.) It remains to be seen if they can overcome that problem. As noted by Harmut Semken, head of the party’s Berlin chapter, when a party bars discriminatory actions and statements against immigrants and Muslims but permits anti-Semitic rhetoric under the rubric of free speech, it embodies a serious contradiction.
  • If the past is any guide, there is not much cause for optimism. Their opposition to fascism notwithstanding, the Pirate/Anonymous milieu were taken for a long and VERY effective ride by Pirate Bay’s fascist moneyman Carl Lundstrom and Julian Assange and his Nazi/antisemitic assocciates Joran Jermas and Johannes Wahlstrom.
  • One wonders if the Pirate Party folks will, indeed, become the new “Cyber-Wandervogel.”
  • Who were the Wandervogel? Let’s reprise an excerpt from FTR #’s 732, 629: “ . . . The chief vehicle for carrying this ideological constellation to prominence was the youth movement, an amorphous phenomenon which played a decisive but highly ambivalent role in shaping German popular culture during the first three tumultuous decades of the [20th] century. Also known as the Wandervogel, (which translates roughly as ‘wandering free spirits’), the youth movement was a hodge-podge of counter-cultural elements, blending neo-Romanticism, Eastern philosophies, nature mysticism, hostility to reason, and a strong communal impulse in a confused but no less ardent search for authentic, non-alienated social relations. Their back-to-the-land emphasis spurred a passionate sensitivity to the natural world and the damage it suffered. They have been accurately characterized as ‘right-wing hippies,’ for although some sectors of the movement gravitated toward various forms of emancipatory politics (though usually shedding their environmental trappings in the process), most of the Wandervogel were eventually absorbed by the Nazis. This shift from nature worship to fuhrer worship is worth examining. . . .” (Ecofascism: Lessons from the German Experience; by Janet Biehl and Peter Staudenmaier; AK Press [SC] 1995; Copyright 1995 by Janet Biehl and Peter Staudenmaier; ISBN 1-873176-73-2; pp. 9-10.)
  • In the context of the decision by Bavaria to republish Mein Kampf, we might well ask if the Pirate Party/”Cyber-Wandervogel” milieu might be seduced by Hitler’s manifesto. (Bavaria’s CSU is the right-wing pole of Merkel’s CDU/CSU party).
  • The previous point might be considered in light of a very thoughtful comment by “Suchiibu” on the Mein Kampf post. “The human mind runs on a dual brain sys­tem, and books like “Mein Kampf” appeal to the emo­tional side. Putting this book in young people’s hands and pro­mot­ing log­i­cal argu­ments about the book’s mes­sage is like tak­ing young men to a strip club and pro­mot­ing log­i­cal argu­ments about sex­ual ethics and moral­ity. Con­tin­u­ing dis­cus­sion about why we reject its hate­mon­ger­ing is the only way to counter that hate­mon­ger­ing. But it makes no sense to pub­lish new copies of it ‘for edu­ca­tional pur­poses’ than it does to include raw manure sam­ples in organic chem­istry text­books ‘for edu­ca­tional purposes’.”
  • We should also note that the Pirate Party has branches in other European countries, and could become a “Cyber-Wandervogel” presence elsewhere in Europe.

“Will the Pirates Capture Germany? by Peter Martino; The Gatestone Institute; 4/24/2012.

EXCERPT: The crisis surrounding the euro is leading to growing dissatisfaction with existing parties all over the eurozone. In France, as explained here last week, the current crisis has breathed new life into the far left. In Germany, where the far-left Die Linke party is the successor of the Communist Party of East-Germany, an altogether new party has emerged: the Piratenpartei, the Pirates’ Party.

“I recognize we have a Nazi problem in the Pirates,” Harmut Semken, the head of the Berlin PP said. “There’s no alternative: a party which accepts members without any pre-screening can’t help but attract people trying to hide their contempt for humanity behind freedom of expression,” he added. It is, however, a strange position for a party not to allow any criticism of immigration and religions, such as Islam, while at the same time condoning anti-Semitic activities under the pretext of freedom of expression.

The Pirate movement, which originated in Sweden in 2006, began as a loosely organized group of digital activists whose main aim is the free sharing of information online, including through less stringent copyright laws. Their political activities began with protesting the raid of the Swedish police on the Stockholm servers of the website The Pirate Bay, where music and movies could be downloaded illegally. In 2009, the Swedish Piratpartiet won 7.1 percent of the votes and two of Sweden’s 20 seats in the European Parliament. In the EP, the Pirates belong to the Green Group, led by the Franco-German former revolutionary Daniel Cohn-Bendit. Following the Swedish example, PPs were established in some 40 countries, but none has had the electoral impact of the German branch. . . .

. . . . May 6 is D-day for the European Union: there will be three elections then. That day the French will elect their new president. If Nicolas Sarkozy loses, the EU’s common currency, the euro, will lose one of its staunchest supporters. There will also be general elections in Greece. These will probably be won by opposition parties rejecting the EU imposed austerity measures. Without these measures, Greece will not be able to remain in the eurozone and the euro will begin to unravel. There will also be state elections in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein, probably marking another step in the Pirates’ march on Berlin.

Opinion polls predict that Germany’s PP might win over 10 percent of the votes in next year’s general elections. In the 2009 European elections, the party won only 0.9 percent of the votes. In the September 2011 Berlin state elections, however, it won 8.9 percent and in last March’s Saarland state elections it won 7.4 percent. The Pirates are also expected to do well in two important state elections in early May: May 6 in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein, and May 13 in Germany’s most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW).

The Pirates’ advance is causing a serious headache for German Chancellor Angela Merkel. During the past two years, Merkel and Sarkozy formed the tandem upholding the euro. If Sarkozy is beaten and the Pirates’ appeal keeps growing, Merkel seems bound to lose next year’s Bundestag elections. . . .


14 comments for “The Pirate Party: Are they Indeed the “Cyber-Wandervogel”?”

  1. “I rec­og­nize we have a Nazi prob­lem in the Pirates,” Har­mut Semken, the head of the Berlin PP said.

    OK, that sounds right from the horse’s mouth.

    Posted by Vanfield | April 29, 2012, 4:50 pm
  2. Well, the UK just pulled another police-state genie out of the bottle in order to stop the Pirate Bay. A High Court ruling is now requiring ISPs to block users from accessing the Pirate Bay to prevent copyright violations. This should be a fun ride down the internet-censorship slide. And on top of the civil liberties threat from ISPs being forced to block content over copyright violations (that could be used to effectively kill online political discourse in the future…it’s hard to discuss the news when you can’t exceprt it), now we have a political party with an admitted “nazi problem” getting to play the role of the political “good guys” amongst the clueless youth that want their free downloads. You have to wonder if Carl Lundstrom is having a “mission accomplished” moment right now.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 30, 2012, 11:35 am
  3. […] The Pirate Party: Are they Indeed the “Cyber-Wandervogel”? […]

    Posted by Miscellaneous articles for – Articles divers pour 04-30-2012 | Lys-d'Or | April 30, 2012, 11:36 am
  4. According to this article, the Pirate Party of Germany primarily draws younger left-leaning voters and is mostly a threat to the SPD and Greens. Such a movment could end up being a net positive force for the German left wing parties if the Pirate Party was willing to form a coalition. BUT, of course, the Pirate Party has declared it has no interest in coalition politics. Instead, it’s just going to be a protest party on its own. That’s pretty convenient…for Merkel:

    Pirates Party’s rapid rise upsets German landscape
    Sarah Marsh and Hans-Edzard Busemann

    3:09 a.m. CDT, April 30, 2012

    NEUMUENSTER, Germany (Reuters) – With some sporting pirate garb and black beards in light-hearted tribute to their name, Germany’s Pirates party gathered in a small city hall and in the vast open waters of cyberspace this weekend to chart a course that may yet take them to the national parliament.

    The party, which met in the northern city of Neumuenster, aroused a mixture of wry amusement and angry derision when it stormed onto the political scene last year garnering 8.9 percent of vote in Berlin’s city assembly. Since then, however, it has staked a claim to third place in the party pecking order, garnering 11 to 13 percent in opinion polls.

    Even Chancellor Angela Merkel, not one to indulge the frivolous, must take them seriously. Her chances of winning a third term at 2013 federal polls are rising because the Pirates’ surge from nowhere makes it less likely that the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) and Greens can form a majority.

    The Pirates are drawing support from all parties, but particularly from the left. Thanks to their spirited anti-establishment attitude they are also attracting many new voters who in the past stayed away from the polls on election day.

    “We were young and we were small, but we have already made history,” said 24-year old Marina Weisband, a Pirates leader, in a speech opening a two-day congress where suits were few and far between but bottles of high caffeine soft drinks and bags of sweets littered the tables.

    “We believe that people have to be connected because the best ideas stem from a network,” she added.

    The Pirates followed up their Berlin success by entering a second regional parliament in March in Saarland. They stand to enter two more of the 16 state assemblies in the next two weeks, and membership has more than doubled in a year to around 28,600.

    The Pirates are polling at 9 percent in the two regions which hold May state elections, setting them on track to get the 5 percent needed to enter the federal parliament in next year’s national election. They do not want to form a coalition with any party and aim to be only an opposition party for now.

    The Pirates, who adopted their name on being accused of piracy over a fondness for downloading copyrighted information and material from the internet, have tapped into a rich vein of voter discontent over established parties — the SPD, Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) and the Free Democrats (FDP) — who have dominated politics in varying coalitions, for six decades.

    Detractors say this outsider status could also make them appeal to those who might otherwise vote for radical parties. Controversy erupted recently when two members were outed as formerly belonging to the far-right NPD.

    Much is at stake. If the Pirates’ success endures, it could fundamentally change the political landscape, fragmenting it and making it more problematic for the established parties to form majorities. They could also change the way parties do politics.

    But if the Pirates implode, it could give the centre-left opposition a boost, and threaten Merkel’s re-election, as a key conservative aid acknowledged to Reuters last week.


    As a result of their origins in the Internet scene, the Pirates are overwhelmingly male, politically inexperienced and young, but the average age has risen to 37 from around 30.

    Pollsters say the Pirates have usurped the Greens as the country’s young and hip alternative to the musty mainstream.

    “I don’t feel well represented by older people from parties that have become well-established,” said Bianca Staubitz, 27, a medical student. “The Greens are now also established, they have adapted to the system since they were in government.”

    “We are romantics; for caring agriculture instead of industrial mass production,” reads the slogan plastered on an image of sheep mating on a lime green background.


    The sudden emergence of the Pirates and surge in support for them is unrivalled in post-war history, say pollsters.

    Merkel’s struggling FDP junior coalition allies spent much of their party conference last weekend attacking the Pirates for being at best merely “a party with internet connection” and no policies, and at worst, akin to Somali Pirates robbing other people of their property.

    The FDP, a small party but so often the third-placed kingmaker, is reeling from a string of election defeats and more lost support could spell doom for them.

    But the Pirates present a greater threat to the centre-left SPD and the Greens given their campaign for a basic income and for greater democratic participation.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 30, 2012, 6:35 pm
  5. id have to say that its clear they are capitalizing on the ‘industries’ inability to change with our ever changing culture

    “The UK is not the first country in Europe where the Pirate Bay is blocked by court order. Similar verdicts were already handed down in Italy, The Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium and Finland previously.”

    needs a bit more looking into


    good call Dave on the Cyber-Wandervogel

    “Earlier this year the site rolled out a new promotion platform for filmmakers, musicians, writers and all other artists alike. To help them reach an audience of tens of millions of people, The Pirate Bay started offering the artists a prime advertising spot on the site’s homepage, replacing the iconic logo.”

    it seems to be going on in the US also, this conservative subjugation of the left ideology

    Dave you clearly make some good points, as for instance i am all in support of internet privacy and projects like Tor,open source and so on, GNU, etc.

    “The Pirate/Anonymous/WikiLeaks milieu has run inter­fer­ence for kid­dieporn sites in the past. That isn’t cool either.”

    the more i look into this the more it appears to me that these folks seem to be doing more harm than good against opening up free speech and Democracy and the access to information.

    Posted by Leif | May 1, 2012, 7:32 am
  6. @Pterrafractyl: Betcha Lundstrom wouldn’t be as happy if the Pirates managed to start cleansing the neo-Nazis out of power………although I’m not too terribly optimistic; there are, unfortunately, some pretty stupid people out there that’ll automatically support anything that they think will benefit them somehow, regardless of who’s doing it or why; after all, that’s how laws like Jim Crow got passed and how George Wallace was able to make a real showing in the ’68 elections…..on the other hand, though, it’s important to remember that the vast majority of people in the file-sharing community, as Dave has rightly pointed out, are definitely anything but fascist, and I would like to add that some of them are probably well aware of at least some of the political realities that do exist.

    What we really need to do is try to wake up as many people as possible. One thing I would suggest, is that we start downloading some of Dave’s stuff(if we haven’t already), and putting the programs into Torrents so they can be spread far and wide. It’s perfectly legal and won’t cost you, me, or anybody, a cent!

    Posted by Steven L. | May 1, 2012, 8:06 am
  7. And with the May Day OWS protests planned across the US – right on cue – we have five anarchists that were caught planning a May Day bombing of a Cleveland bridge. This was after months of tracking and assistance by a paid FBI informant. They were also trying to gin up support for violent acts at an earlier Occupy Cleveland protest but couldn’t find any takers. It’s always nice when useful idiocy proves to be uninfectious.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 1, 2012, 12:53 pm
  8. “The blocks – to be implemented by Sky, Everything Everywhere, TalkTalk, O2 and Virgin Media (BT are still considering their position) – are designed to cut off all but the most determined file-sharers from the world’s most popular torrent site.

    On hearing the news a Pirate Bay insider told TorrentFreak that the measure will do very little to stop people accessing the site and predicted that “the free advertising” would only increase traffic levels.

    It’s not possible to buy advertising “articles” from leading UK publications such as the BBC, Guardian and Telegraph, but yesterday The Pirate Bay news was spread across all of them and dozens beside, for free. The news was repeated around the UK, across Europe and around the world reaching millions of people. The results for the site were dramatic.

    “Thanks to the High Court and the fact that the news was on the BBC, we had 12 MILLION more visitors yesterday than we had ever had before,” a Pirate Bay insider informed TorrentFreak today.

    “We should write a thank you note to the BPI,” he added.

    The blockade, which was not contested by any of the ISPs listed above, will be implemented during the course of the next few weeks. While that time counts down, The Pirate Bay say they are viewing the interim period as an opportunity to educate site visitors on how to deal with censorship by bypassing it.

    “Another thing that’s good with the traffic surge is that we now have time to teach even more people how to circumvent Internet censorship,” the insider added.

    In court papers released today, Mr Justice Arnold said that since the terms of the court order (how the blocks would be implemented technically) had been agreed to by the ISPs in question, there was no need for him to detail them in his ruling. However, The Pirate Bay told us that by taking a range of measures, any blocking technique employed by any ISP can be overcome.”

    @Steven L ya I have seen some of Daves work in torrents although Ive never used TPB

    Posted by Leif | May 3, 2012, 6:25 am
  9. @Leif: Interesting news, thanks. I myself have tried to tell people that ISP blocking won’t work if you truly are that determined to download stuff and know how get around it. Just like cannabis; if you know the right dealers and know how to stay conspicuous, you aren’t likely to get caught.

    Somehow, though, I wonder if TPB will eventually end up in trouble again. Lundstrom has really been nothing but bad news for these guys, really.

    Posted by Steven L. | May 4, 2012, 11:23 am
  10. recent German election
    “The big winners on the night were the Pirates, an upstart party that has shaken up the staid world of German politics with a campaign based on more transparency in the political process and internet freedom.”


    India blocks TPB
    “Continuing a recent trend, The Pirate Bay and other large BitTorrent sites are now being blocked by Internet providers in India. Visitors who try to access the sites are redirected to a banner which informs them that the Department of Telecommunications ordered a blackout. Torrent sites are not the only target, as the blockade also censors the video sharing site Vimeo, one of the largest communities of indie filmmakers.”

    Posted by leif | May 6, 2012, 11:45 am
  11. TPB makes this announcement to anonymous
    “Seems like some random Anonymous groups have run a DDOS campaign against Virgin media and some other sites.
    We’d like to be clear about our view on this:

    We do NOT encourage these actions. We believe in the open and free internets, where anyone can express their views. Even if we strongly disagree with them and even if they hate us.

    So don’t fight them using their ugly methods. DDOS and blocks are both forms of censorship.

    If you want to help; start a tracker, arrange a manifestation, join or start a pirate party, teach your friends the art of bittorrent, set up a proxy, write your political representatives, develop a new p2p protocol, print some pro piracy posters and decorate your town with, support our promo bay artists or just be a nice person and give your mom a call to tell her you love her.”


    Posted by leif | May 11, 2012, 9:03 am
  12. Pirate Bay SIEMENS link.

    “Peter Sunde worked for Siemens in Norway with data management in connection with the X-ray machines…he began to show interest in the pirate movement, and became active in Piratbyrån and The Pirate Bay. Sunde was then The Pirate Bay’s face.”

    Looks like he was recruited by German Intelligence at Siemens.


    Posted by GW | November 21, 2012, 1:50 pm
  13. @GW–Good find!

    Do note that Germany Watch is now feeding along the front page of my website, between german-foreign-policy.com and the Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report!



    Posted by Dave Emory | November 21, 2012, 4:06 pm
  14. Thanks Dave, hope from time to time we come up with the goods!

    Posted by GW | November 22, 2012, 12:56 pm

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