Lars Gustafsson is a Swedish poet, novelist and literary critic whose controversial writings often go against the establishment. For several years he worked as a professor at the University of Texas teaching philosophy and creative writing, until he retired in 2006.
True to his defiant nature, Gustafsson – who has moved back from Texas to Sweden – is now openly supporting the Pirate Party‘s ideologies. In an editorial he wrote for the Swedish news outlet Expressen today, he explains why he decided to vote for this up and coming political movement in the upcoming European elections (translation).
People’s freedoms and privacy on the Internet are at stake according to Gustafsson, something that can be largely attributed to draconian laws that are passed based on proposals put forward by the pro-copyright lobby. Furthermore, patents on medicine and Monsanto’s copyrighted crop have an equally negative impact on people’s freedom and even their health, something the Pirate Party is also strongly against.
“We’re delighted that one of Sweden’s most senior and respected writers came out in full and unreserved support of the Pirate Party”, Rick Falkvinge, leader of the Pirate Party told TorrentFreak. “Not only in support, but he is also spot on in his reasons. Starting his editorial with the story of how the ancient Persian ruler ordered the sea whipped because it gave him unfavorable winds, and moving on to repression of the printing press in France, he has understood the issue thorougly.”
“I can only hope that his piece serves as a wake-up call for parts of the elder creative community that has still to see beyond the lobby propaganda,” Falkvinge added. Luckily Gustafsson is not the only public figure supporting the Pirate’s cause. In fact, many others begin to understand that the anti-piracy and pro-copyright lobbies are overstepping their boundaries. Writer Unni Drougge, who spoke out in defense of The Pirate Bay recently and held a speech at a Pirate Party rally, is also sympathetic towards Sweden’s third largest political party.
“Today I want to distance myself from the greedy and power hungry copyright lobby that willingly plows the field for the Big Brother society, and also give my full support to The Pirate Bay, by donating my latest published book. And I don’t think I’ll lose a penny by doing it,” she wrote in a recent editorial, giving one of her books away for free.
Support for the Pirate Party is still growing in Sweden, especially among those outraged at the recent Pirate Bay verdict. Rick Falkvinge is confident that they will make it into the European Parliament with at least one seat. “I’m extremely optimistic,” he told TorrentFreak earlier. “It’s not a question of ‘a’ seat any more. If everybody who is angry with the Pirate Bay verdict goes to vote, we will get at least one seat, and probably more.”
The European elections take place in early June throughout Europe and early voting has already started in Sweden. The German Pirate Party is also contending for a seat in the European Parliament.