Gustav Nipe: Facing Technological Change [Pirate Visions]

Gustav Nipe: Facing Technological Change [Pirate Visions]

Pirates need to get ready to help society prepare for a future where technology will replace workers. Gustav Nipe is the leader of the Young Pirates in Sweden and is prepared to run a pirate party marathon race. 

These articles are part of the weekly series ‘Pirate Visions’ from different prominent international pirates. We asked them to write as individuals and not in their official capacities in their party or organisation. We hope you would like to join us in discussing the future direction for pirates internationally by commenting on this article, sharing it and reflecting upon what the author is saying.


Being a pirate

I’ve been involved in the Pirate movement since 2006. Before that year I was an unorganized pirate, hanging around in different file-sharing communities. When the Swedish Pirate Party started off I didn’t foresee the amazing journey that my involvement would give me.

When I got engaged, I felt that the Pirate movement was on the edge of society. The questions around copyright and privacy come from the interaction between people and information technology. I quickly realized that the problems we had (and still have) in Sweden were the same in several other countries. The copyright-mob keeps on expanding their rights at the expense of the users. As far back as I can remember, me and my buddies always shared culture among us. It was natural to share. The copyright-laws are immoral.

I saw the Pirate movement as a hack. Society is like a computer, to fix it you need to get into the parliament and fix the bugs. I thought that the battle would only last for a short period of time but with more knowledge about domestic (and European) politics I am starting to believe that we need to stay for the long-term. Politics is like completing a marathon, you just need to keep on advancing during a very long time.

As with all organizations, we go through different stages. It takes time to mature. Just like everyone else we have had our ups and downs, but as long as we keep on improving we are on the right path.

International Pirates

The international Pirate community have been really inspiring for me. Knowing that there are pirates in many countries, that are in the same struggle as us, makes me feel much better. I’ve traveled around to different election parties throughout Europe. It’s really awesome to celebrate a success accomplished by Pirates, no matter where it is. A good party is always a good party.

I think that maybe the most important feature of the international Pirate community is to inspire Pirates in other countries, sharing their success stories with each other. Organizing meet-ups to exchange ideas and creating a strong community. Let people know that they are part of a much bigger community than just their local chapter. It is not enough to have a win in just one country. Our ideas need to be implemented on a global level. The Snowden files have shown us that enemies of privacy have an advanced international co-operation. That is why we need to stand together.

Technological Development

As technology keeps on developing, in an increasing pace, automation will change the labor market in depth. Do we all need to work in the future? And what should we work with? The line between work and leisure gets more blurred.

People participate in fantastic projects like Wikipedia and open-source software without getting a nickel. We all benefit from what they are doing. We want to encourage more people to work with those kinds of projects.

How do we use our global resources most efficiently? Pirates are rebels, we do not float like dead fish in the sea. We have a good understanding about how technology changes society, but the way technology is used is not predetermined. This is why values matter. The values within the Pirate movement are sharing knowledge and culture, letting people participate whilst respecting other peoples’ private lives. The future technology needs to be implemented with these values to ensure that the increasing automation will benefit all.

The growing peer-economy, that is based largely on different kinds of crowd-sourcing, also needs to be understood as a result of implementing new technology. This new type of economy is the bleeding edge of today (e.g. Airbnb, Taskrabbit and Lyft). Today there are a lot of regulations that make it difficult for the growing peer-economy to really take off.

One example is Lyft, a service that turns your private car into a cab or a transportation vehicle. If you, as a car owner, plan to go somewhere you can register it on a web page and bring an extra passenger along on the ride, but there are cab regulations that prohibit the person driving the car from receiving payment for the service. Today you can only donate money to the driver. This economy is really about using our existing resources in a much more efficient way.

The era of industrialization is over. The “8 to 5” working days are not coming back. I want to see a future where robots and computers are working.

Last summer a Swedish research institute published a paper about jobs that will disappear within twenty years, as a result of technological development. The paper concluded that it’s not only jobs in manufacturing  that will disappear, the technological development will also affect qualified jobs like accountants and architects. A lot of day-trading at the stock exchanges is already done by robots. Machines are taking over many advanced tasks that required highly educated humans in the past.

The future of the Pirate movement is to develop answers to questions about how society as a whole will benefit from technological improvements, and in the meantime: how to navigate between privacy and transparency.


Gustav Nipe

Gustav Nipe

A pirate since 2006. I call myself a doer and believe that the pirate movement needs more activism.








Featured image:  CC BY-NC-SA, Pirate Times – modified from original CC BY-NC-SA, 
Daniela Hartmann and Carl Johan Rehbinder.