You can also find more info on us at our What the heck is the Pirate Party? wiki page.
Putting People Before Corporations
The Supreme Court and Congress have expanded the power of corporations for over a hundred years and made them more powerful than people. Whether it is the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision that allows corporations to buy elections, or Congress’ cuts in corporate tax rates while raising payroll taxes, real people end up with the short end of the stick. The Pirate Party will make sure our laws put people before corporations.
Opening up Government
In order for citizens to control their democratic destiny, we need to know what our government is doing and which special interests are influencing our public elected officials. Increasingly government officials ignore open meeting laws, make deals favorable to corporations behind closed doors and sell off your public information to private interests. Massachusetts laws prevent people from recording public officials in their duties, such as a police officer making an arrest, but the police cameras can record your actions without your permission. The Pirate Party will make sure that our government is transparent and accountable to the people.
Defending Your Privacy
Whether it was the PATRIOT ACT, illegal NSA wiretapping or local surveillance cameras, our government has used 9/11 to increase its surveillance and control over us. Corporations have increased their spying on employees in order to get more work out of them. The arguments for each step on the road to a surveillance state may sound convincing, but that road leads to less control by people and more by government and corporate elites. Terrorists may attack the open society, but only governments can abolish it. The Pirate Party will prevent that from happening. …More
Digital Freedom for Everyone!
Modern society is hard to imagine without digital communication. The state’s actions should be geared towards securing and promoting public access to all forms of communication, including internet, radio, and television. The only way to ensure public participation in digital space is to own the hardware through municipally-controlled internet service providers. Furthermore, the transmission hardware itself, paid for by tax dollars, should also be owned and maintained by publicly owned co-operatives. …More
Promoting Culture & Knowledge Through Copyright Reform
The Founding Fathers created our copyright laws to promote knowledge & culture by giving the creator a limited monopoly over their creations. Congress, under the influence of corporations, has extended the duration of that government granted monopoly to seventy years after the death of the creator. Increasingly corporations have sought broader laws to ensure that they control and profit from more of our culture. Through Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies they have locked down our culture, hindered sharing and criminalized their customers.
The Pirate Party will:
- limit the copyright to five years for electronic media and fourteen years for tangible objects,
- make sure that all non-commercial copying, sharing and remixing are legal and
- ban DRM software.
There is no reason for copyright to continue until 70 years after death.
Everyone must have equal access to the internet, and the Pirate Party will foster network neutrality so that internet service providers cannot give preferential treatment to preferred web sites and we oppose three strikes laws that ban anyone from using the internet because of copyright violations. The internet has the potential to be a new Library of Alexandria, if we don’t let corporations and government lock it down.
Fostering Innovation by Abolishing Patents
We seek the abolition of patents. The patent system stifles innovation by making it difficult to incorporate an existing invention into a new one. It discourages researchers from sharing their new ideas until after a patent application. It prevents hundreds of thousands of people in poor countries from receiving the drugs they need. Currently pharmaceutical companies spend only 15% of their revenue on new drug research. The remaining 85% is spent on activities such as marketing and profit taking. A reformed system would dramatically increase the money available for innovation, while removing the obstacles to innovation posed by the current patent system.
Affirming Individual Autonomy
Democracy can only be sustained when individuals are able to exercise autonomy over their own lives and bodies to assure their well-being and happiness, while respecting the autonomy of other individuals. We call for fully participatory political and social systems, vastly more equitable access to resources, and minimal intrusion by government, corporate and other private interests into the lives of individuals.
Elections and Voting
Massachusetts concentrates legislative power in the House and Senate. Cities and towns are ceded minimal power by the state, with county governments exercising even less. The Pirate Party will devolve power down to counties and municipalities. With new power and responsibilities, county and local governments must be democratized. Local control must not mean that residents can push on to other communities policies they perceive as a negative cost. Nor should they be able to establish local laws that maximize private property values at the expense of other residents. Cities and towns are part of a regional fabric, and must be encouraged to function as such. …More
Education for All
Students should have the right to choose the subjects they learn about. They should have the freedom to approach subject matter and assignments in ways that work best with their learning styles. The curriculum must adapt to the needs of students. Students should not adapt to the needs of a curriculum. …More
Health Care is a Human Right!
The Pirate Party will end private insurance and provide government funding to cover the medical needs of all residents of Massachusetts. The private insurance system denies less expensive preventative care for hundreds of thousands of people in Massachusetts, preferring to cover only costly, dangerous, emergency procedures. Preventative care is more humane and cost effective than allowing people to suffer. By embracing preventative care, including mental health, substance abuse treatments, diversion programs for at risk populations, ensuring access to enough food and housing support, we can provide quality care for all while reducing our long-term expenditures. …More
Freedom for Future Generations Requires a Sustainable & A Livable Future
The Pirate Party stands for sustainability. In order to preserve a livable future, we need to act today to conserve biodiversity by both protecting established habitat and prevent future pollution by profit-driven industry. …More
Every person has the right to a secure livelihood and social participation.
People can only live in dignity if their basic needs are met and their social participation is assured. A universal basic income, in addition to robust social services, and a job guarantee, will allow everyone to more fully participate in civic life. As a person’s value is not dependent upon their ability to produce wealth for others, it is important that society protects those whom capitalism would leave to starve and empower them to live full, robust lives. …More
Reproductive Freedom Is A Human Right
Defending Roe v. Wade is about more than just abortion, it’s about defending modern egalitarian society as a whole. The Pirate Party endorses every individual’s right to medical autonomy, and this includes reproduction and sexual health as well. …More
US drug policy has relied on prohibition for over fifty years, aiming for the unrealistic goal of a drug-free society. Plants with a low risk of addiction remain prohibited while more dangerous substances, such as alcohol, tobacco, and opioid painkillers, are socially accepted. Authoritarians claim these laws keep us safe from the criminal element when in fact they allow those cartels to thrive in the first place, all while imprisoning the most people out of any country on earth. Drug laws do not keep us safe. …More
We condemn the United States’ history of genocide and slavery. We recognize the influences of discrimination against and segregation of stigmatized populations. Our present situation is not compatible with our concept of human dignity and individual autonomy. …More
The Massachusetts Pirate Party welcomes new immigrants and supports abolishing all borders. …More
Sex Worker Rights are Worker Rights
Consistent with our belief in an open society and individual autonomy, the Massachusetts Pirate Party supports the full decriminalization of consensual sex work, with commercial sex enterprises to be treated like other businesses, and sex workers assured of free expression and free association to organize for their rights, safety and dignity.
We oppose both sex trafficking and the conflation of sex work with trafficking and other forms of coercion, and agree that sex worker organizations need to be involved in efforts to address trafficking. …More
Addiction is a social disease. It is the end result of an atomized, individualized culture. Addiction is the end result of a person deprived of kinship and kept in isolation. The only true cure for addiction is a society that prioritizes social health and the interconnectedness of all beings within it.
The current, repressive drug policy, whose aim is abstinence, has obviously failed: It has created a black market, where neither minors nor consumers are protected and the rights of non-consumers are ignored. The Pirate Party supports an addiction policy based on scientific facts. …More
We Need True Decentralized Technologies
Pirates believe in decentralized technologies. While Napster was sued out of existence, peer-to-peer tools such as BitTorrent or protocols like the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) continue to help people to share our culture freely. Cryptocurrencies and related technologies promise decentralized exchange, but are only successful when wrapped in centralized scaffolding. They concentrate power and wealth while often claiming vast amounts of electricity that further destroys the planet on which we all rely. We have seen other large corporations do this exact same maneuver and we want to stop the greedy from taking advantage of an unsuspecting public. The exchange are centralized in the hands of a small number of mining consortiums and trading sites. Ownership of 99% of coins are controlled by 10% of users. Not even the stock market is that concentrated. …More
We know that concentrated industries leads to concentrated politics. Corporate cartels and monopolies can never be democratically accountable. They give us a democracy of one boss, one vote. Democracy cannot survive when the vote of a few billionaires counts for more than billions of people. …More
Art is for Everyone!
Art exists outside of museums, outside of universities, and outside of the auction house. Everyone who lives and thinks about their living is capable of art. Everyone who has an opinion about life and can convey that opinion is capable of making art. We all have heard the cliche of the “starving artist”, but to this day nothing has been done to support those who give so much of themselves in order to bring beauty to our world. It is our responsibility to give people the tools to do so! …More
Cash is the First P2P Service
People have used cash for over twenty five hundred years. While cash is created by governments, it exists as an anonymous form of personal exchange around the world. Unlike many cryptocurrencies, which use vast amounts of electricity often generated from dirty power plants, the use cost of cash is trivial. Other digital payment systems, such as Paypal or Venmo, are centralized, charge a fee and are not anonymous. Cash is a true peer-to-peer form of exchange and we oppose businesses requiring payment using digital means. We urge everyone to support local businesses by cutting out financial intermediaries, such as credit cards, and the predatory cut they take, and to instead use cash.
Positions on Other Issues
The scope of the Pirate Party was originally limited to a few core issues. However now the Massachusetts Pirate Party, in common with many other Pirate Parties, is drafting policies on a variety of different issues. We need your help in deciding positions on every policy that matters to Massachusetts voters.