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StepDown

After 5 years, I’m stepping down as Party Leader

47

Pirate Parties

Pirate Parties

Everything that has a beginning has to move on at some point.

Today, I am stepping down as leader of the first Pirate Party to move on to other duties. It has been the most extraordinary journey of my life, together with the most brilliant people I’ve had the privilege of working with.

Building a hierarchical organization on participatory culture with tens of thousands of individualists who distrust authority has been something of a… challenge. But, in hindsight, we have accomplished miracles together. Miracles so large that we have gotten used to coverage on media like CNN, BBC, Russia Today and al-Jazeera. In papers from Ethiopia to Sydney. That’s news, ladies and gentlemen. That’s making headlines. Literally making headlines.

We still have much to accomplish together, and I’m continuing to be happy to be a part of the road ahead of us. I will be moving on to focus on primarily Europe but also the rest of the world; up until today, we have been turning down keynote invitations left and right simply because we haven’t had the capacity. My job will be to accept and deliver on those invitations, explain information policy, and build networks. It’s classic evangelism, and that’s also what my business card will say. Political Evangelist.

From now on, my job will be to travel the world and talk to people. Sometimes one at a time, sometimes thousands at a time.

There are five primary reasons for me moving on, and I will cover them in one post a day here.

  1. Stagnation. After five years, I am no longer full of new ideas. Rather, I have transformed into somebody who keeps doing the same things over and over again. If I’m stagnating, so is the party. Therefore, it’s time for me to move on. This is the most important point.
  2. Organization. The organization is in place, after five years of growth pattern that defy every MBA education in existence. The basics for an operative hierarchy to coexist with participatory culture is finally in place.
  3. Blue Fire. The internal culture has not always been healthy, despite my attempts to the contrary. Specifically, backstabbing the leadership has been all too common. I will give specific examples in hope of shining light on a problem; I don’t think many understand the sheer scale of it. This has left me shellshocked.
  4. Evangelism. I really want to move on to focus on one of my favorite activities — political evangelism. Besides, I feel there has been a language barrier from the Swedish discussion, which is several years ahead, to the rest of the world. I want to bridge that.
  5. Anna. Anna Troberg is just extraordinary and is exactly what the Swedish Pirate Party needs at the helm right now. If I really cared about the Pirate Party — and I do — this would actually be enough.

I will return to each of these points, one a day, over the following days.

In the meantime, let me reiterate that it has been a fantastic five years.

Rick Falkvinge
former party leader,
Swedish Pirate Party

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About The Author: Rick Falkvinge

Rick is the founder of the first Pirate Party and is a political evangelist, traveling around Europe and the world to talk and write about ideas of a sensible information policy. He has a tech entrepreneur background and loves whisky.

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47

  1. 1
    Mikke

    Tack för allt så här långt Rick. Du har gjort ett kanonjobb!!!!

  2. 3
    Carl

    Thank you very much for a job well done!
    Your work has meant a lot for politics in Sweden, and the entire world.
    You are a great visionary, and I think you will do much good on your evangelist mission. Good luck!

  3. [...] [ING] El partido pirata sueco cumple 5 años, y su presidente Rick Falkvinge dimite falkvinge.net/2011/01/01/after-five-years-im-stepping-dow…  por Edulix hace 6 segundos [...]

  4. 5

    Tack för allt fantastiskt du gjort för partiet hittills, och jag tror att evangelismen kommer att passa dig som hand i handske!

  5. 6

    Tack Rick för ett fantastiskt arbete.

  6. 7
    Gustav

    Tack för dessa åren Rick!

  7. 8
    wille

    Lycka till med framtiden, både pp o rick.

  8. 9

    Thanks for all the work spent on the party, Rick. I do understand all of your points and I do think this is the perfect time to step down. Anna is the perfect successor, and I have full faith in her, as I believe the rest of the members do.

  9. 10
    Arthur

    Tack för allt som varit och som kommer att bli.

  10. 11
    Anders S

    Tack Rick! Du har gjort många bra saker, och några mindre bra uttalanden…

    Den nya positionen du får kommer antagligen passa dig som handen i handsken, jag tror att dina egenskaper passar perfekt för detta.

  11. 12

    Also from Germany many thanks for your great work, Rick. When we met about three and an half years ago in Bavaria, Germany, during the first German party conference, our way into political influence had just begun and your presence was inspiring for us in Germany. You had the first attempt in participating at the Swedish National Elections about half an year before and we were more than half an year later participating in our first German state elections in Hessen. We are still sorry, that we were hindered to sending also an pirate EU parliament member from Germany by the 5% clause eventually judged to be unconstitutional in the years to come, so you are currently the only European pirate party with members (currently two seats) in the EU parliament, but I’m sure, this will improve in future.

  12. 13
    Patrik I

    Tack för ett fantastiskt bra jobb, Rick och lycka till!

  13. 14
    Rick Falkvinge

    Ok, my server melted (had a load of 172) over a few hours here. Hopefully it should be a little more robust now.

  14. 15

    Tack Rick för att du lyft integritetsfrågorna och öppnat många ögon de här åren. Glad att du är kvar och fortsätter sprida kunskapen. Gott nytt år och gott nytt liv!

  15. 16
    Johan T

    En av dina allra största insatser var FRA-kampanjen 2008. Den är oöverträffad i sitt slag. Det var också mycket, mycket nära att det gick hela vägen. Och det bör påpekas att utan din insats hade vi idag haft en betydligt värre FRA-lag, även om den nuvarande är illa nog. Framför allt höjde du medvetandenivån i breda folklager, inklusive hos den samlade mediekåren.

    Jag kommer aldrig att glömma de där intensiva veckorna i maj-juni -08 och den följande FRA-sommaren. Du anar inte vilka skälvningar du satte igång i den svenska statsapparaten. Jag vet. Tack, Rick!

  16. 17
    mfp

    It’s been an honor serve behind your Face; all the best and keep going… we need to go further, togheter. (an italian Pirat writing from the Carribean)

  17. 18

    Thank you Rick for your your courage and belief in doing what many people wouldn’t even consider plausible. The political branch of the pirate movement might never had realized without your initiative and your hard work through the years.

    I also feel you did the right thing to step down now. There is a time for everything and I am confident moving from the leadership position to more of an evangelist one will fit like a glove not only for you personally but for the entire Swedish Pirate Party.

    Cheers!

  18. 19
    Elias.L

    Detta är minskt sagt en katastrof för PP, hur skall partiet överleva nu :(

    tack för allt rick hoppas du inte glömmer Politiken nu :)

  19. 20
    Swedish People

    The Pirateparty could have been in Swedens parliament and wrecked havoc on our system by now. Had it not been for Rick. Thanks for failing!

    • 20.1
      AbsFabs

      That is such bullshit. The Pirate party is NOT just one person, so if something went wrong, you should question your own actions and involvements in this as you call it failure.

      I would not call it a failure, they can only happen when one has given up. It is a huge lesson to learn, but the party was not ready to win. When you are up there you will have to perform and for a Party to perform they have to have a group that works from the inside out and has as little amount of members as possible that throws shit and blame when something doesn’t go their way.

      Do you want to do something good for this Party? Start being a co-member that makes things happen and support your fellows when they need the support instead of blaming your own failure on them.

      All though it is brilliant that Rick, who has done a lot of good to this Party has gone further to the directions he can serve the party in even Better.

      Only great leaders knows when to step aside for others to take over, and then move on to where they have come to develop towards.

      • 20.1.1
        Swedish People

        Not BS at all. The swedish political system would have been in dire straits if PP would have entered the parliament and there was a slim chance that it could have happened. But thanks to Rick they did not succeed. I don’t think PP will fare better with Anna T. PPs time has passed.

  20. 21

    God fortsättning på det nya året! Du har gjort en helt riktig bedömning – hela världen måste vinnas för Piratpartiets hjärtefrågor om vi ska vinna framgång totalt sett. Samtidigt vet du att Anna och vi andra kämpar vidare här hemmavid. Lycka till i ditt nya värv!

  21. 22
    Mike

    “Blue Fire. The internal culture has not always been healthy, despite my attempts to the contrary. Specifically, backstabbing the leadership has been all too common.”

    Part of the problem has been in the leadership itself. Faulty command decisions, poorly formed public statements etc. Don’t go laying the entire blame on the “members”, when you’ve been at fault a few times yourself.

    I for one am glad to see Anna take over as leader of the party. As a tech-savvy individual, you have extraordinary talents in that area. But as a leader, I feel Anna will be (quite frankly) far superior, and better for the party as a whole.

    • 22.1
      Pia

      That point should have read: Confidence. The members have little or no confidence in me due to my own mistakes.

      This decision is long overdue. Thank you for finally doing the right thing Rick!

  22. 23
    Anon

    Tack Rick! Du har gjort ett underbart jobb och utan dig hade vi idag haft en mycket dystrare verklighet.

    /Killen som en gång skakade hand med dig på Kungsgatan, precis när opinionsmätningarna för EU-valet visade på goda nyheter.

  23. 24
    JonasN

    Stort tack för allt Rick!

    Utan dig hade Sverige avskaffats ännu snabbare.
    Vi kanske förlorar, men tack vare dig har vi åtminstone gjort
    ett bra motstånd.

    När du bad om pengar gav jag dig några
    tusen – det har jag aldrig behövt ångra.

  24. 25

    Rick , tråkigt att du slutar som partiledare. Anna skriver bra, men hon saknar den glöd, utstrålning och övertygelse du har.

    Jag kan inte heller se någon annan i PP som har din förmåga.

    Tråkigt nog så finns det alldeles för många kappvändare, ordbajare och protokoll-absolutister, som gärna skulle vilja ta över partiledare-titeln, bara för det är kul att vara “kändis”. Nu har de fritt fram.

    Din insats som föreläsare, runt om i världen, lägger grunden och inspirerar många av dagens unga till att så småningom engagera sig i de frågor som är grundläggande för det demokratiska samhället.

  25. 26

    Rick, fantastic job over 5 years! It takes a wise head to know when to move on; if you know the time is right, then it is. And I can’t imagine a better Political Evangelist — congratulations. We’ll do everything we can to take advantage of your new role, of course.

    Best wishes in the New Year,
    -Karl Fogel

  26. 27
    David Furmanski

    Tack för att du startade upp piratpartiet, tack för motståndet och tack för all tid du lagt ned.

    Väldigt intressant att se de engagemang som startats upp av dina kritiker? Om nu piratpartiet varit så dåligt antar jag att det finns så mycket bättre alternativ? Ska man granska ledarskapet är jag övertygad att man hittar fel, speciellt med facit i hand. Lätt att vara efterklok, svårare att förändra ett helt samhälles sätt att tänka.

    Återigen, stort tack för dina insatser! Jag vill passa på att önska Anna lycka till som ny partiledare, inte som ny Rick Falkvinge :)

    David

  27. 28

    Thanks Rick, for a job well done. Thanks to you, you have awakened hope in politics and inspired millions that politics doesn’t need to be limited to already established parties. All in all I think other minority parties have you to thank for their existance, be they Lib Dem or Sverigedemokraterna.

    Now people don’t have to choose between two equally bad blocks of parties (effectively a two party system) , but thanks to you true democracy have a chance to return to Swedish politics.

    Keep making noise, keep up the good work, and fight the good fight.

  28. 29
    ulf_pirat

    Tack Rick för ett bra jobb, vi ses på barickaderna. (En av fotfolket)

  29. 30
    Kicksmogul

    Vart är du på väg nu!?

  30. 31

    First I wanna congratulate you on your decision and looking ahead of all the things that come with it. But foremost I’m grateful for your initiative 5 years ago; maybe someone else would have come up with something similar. But if it weren’t for the pirate party most of us would be aware of digital politics but not in the form of a strong movement.
    I personally feel that leadership is an area where some “DON’Ts” exist for sure, but not a lot of “DOs”; most of the time it’s a question of what is the fitting action and sometimes some people don’t fit a current situation, whereas at a different time their leadership style would have been just perfect. I admit that I do not have so much insights about Sweden’s pirate party and therefor can’t comment on that, but I’m certain that for starting the worldwide pirate movement Rick’s style fitted quite well.
    Keeping in a leading position for too long is IMHO one of the DON’Ts in leadership.
    1. You usually stagnate over some time; especially in leadership positions.
    2. You’re creating somehow a situation where you hardly find someone that is eager to follow you, partly because the position is so bound to your person and – in case you did not a terrible job – also because most will be afraid to be unable to do it at least as good as you.
    I think stepping down after about five years from leading positions is quite a good rule of thumb to avoid these problems.

  31. 32

    Verkligen ledsen att du avgår, men vill tacka dig för allt du har gjort. Det är ett makalöst arbete du uträttat som har stor betydelse för hur inte bara svenskar kommer att ha det, utan även hur personer i större delen av världen kommer att ha det med tanke på alla syskonpartier som har skapats. Bra jobbat!

    Jag är säker på att du i framtiden kommer att göra ännu mera av samma viktiga arbete på den internationella arenan och jag önskar dig all lycka och välgång i framtiden. Ser fram emot att följa din blogg och fortsatta livsverk. :)

    /Ola Andersson (aka Taz_1999 på piratpartiets forum)

  32. [...] kultur January 2, 2011 – 2:46 pm | by emma Igår avgick Rick Falkvinge som partiledare för Piratpartiet. Det är honom väl unt. Jag blir lite full i skratt att han [...]

  33. 33
    Gruffy The Pirateslayer

    Who gives a flying fuck?

  34. [...] jag ibland läser hur Piratpartiet beskrivs, också nu när Anna Troberg tar över som partiledare efter Rick Falkvinge. Att kalla Piratpartiet för ett enfrågeparti och bara vifta bort det som en [...]

  35. [...] Rick Falkvinge meddelar att han träder tillbaka som partiledare. Inte en dag för sent, men heller inte en stor nyhet. Vare sig vad gäller avhopp eller fortsättning. Avhoppet var väntat. Kritiken har i olika sammanhang varit hård och befogad och kraven på ny ledning har blivit allt mer frekventa. 50% av partiledningen fortsätter och det är inte så mycket Ricks avhopp som är av intresse som vad den inriktningspresentation som skall släppas den 10:e faktiskt innehåller. [...]

  36. 34
    Simon

    Tack för dessa år! Det är stort att som ledare också hålla sig till planen när det är dags att gå vidare!

    Lycka till med allt i framtiden!

  37. [...] i det skede vi är nu. Vi har en otrolig tur som har henne. Och Rick behövs ärligt talat mer ute i Europa än han gör i Sverige [...]

  38. [...] den första dagen på 2011 kom den nyhet som flera av oss diskuterat under året: Rick Falkvinge avgår som partiledare för Piratpartiet och Anna Troberg tar över. Hon vill gärna fortsätta att driva piratfrågorna [...]

  39. 35
    Christoffer

    Tack för de här åren och det initiativ du tog när du skapade partiet, Rick. Jag tror det är ett klokt beslut att stiga åt sidan nu och fokusera på annat. Vad som än händer kommer du alltid att vara en sorts piratguru, grundaren av en internationell medborgarrättsrörelse.

    Har du planer på att inkludera Tyskland bland dina resedestinationer? De har en rad delstatsval där i år, inte minst i statsdelstaterna Hamburg, Bremen och Berlin (där PIRATEN är starka). Tyskarna skulle säkert uppskatta din expertis och vägledning inför dom valen.

  40. 36

    Tack för de här åren, Rick! Det är verkligen en bedrift att på fem år gå från idé till en politisk rörelse som finns i 46 länder. Utan ditt enorma engagemang hade det aldrig varit möjligt!

    Även om det känns aningen vemodigt, så tycker jag att du tar rätt beslut även om jag antar att beslutet inte var så lätt. Är väl lite grann som att se sina barn växa upp, flytta hemifrån och prova sina egna vingar.

    Känns som om det är nödvändigt att Piratpartiet omvandlas från “personkult” till ett mer “traditionellt” parti, även om det inte är någon lätt process så att vi kan ta revansch 2014. Känns skönt att du finns kvar på barrikaderna även om det är med en annan hatt! Tror du kommer göra ännu mer nytta i din nya roll!

    Lycka till!

  41. 37
    Scary Devil Monastery

    Thank you for everything Rick. You’ve been an inspiration and a catalyst for the long resident pirate movement. We will be sad to see you go.

    Still, I have no doubt the copyright lobby will be using this as propaganda – another beatdown on the pirate movement, as it were. What we should all be aware off is that the pirate movement is and remains what it has always been – a movement of the people. As long as everyone knows the general direction, nothing else is needed.

    One Op is gone from this channel. The next one takes the reins. That is as it should be.

  42. [...] und Patente zu gründen. Mit grossem Erfolg  gründete er dann 2006 die Piratpartiet. 2011 trat er als Vorsitzender der Partei zurück und Anna Troberg nahm seine Stelle an. Zurzeit reist er herum und versucht die Ideen und Konzepten [...]

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About The Author

Rick is the founder of the first Pirate Party and is a political evangelist, traveling around Europe and the world to talk and write about ideas of a sensible information policy. He has a tech entrepreneur background and loves whisky.

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