Matt Mason The Pirate’s Dilemma

The Pirate's Dilemma: How Youth Culture Is Reinventing Capitalism

The Pirate's Dilemma: How Youth Culture Is Reinventing Capitalism

既にで引用しているが、先週Matt MasonのThe Pirate’s Dilemma: How Youth Culture is Reinventing Capitalism*1を読了した。

Intro: Enter the Lollipop
1. Punk Capitalism: From D. I. Y. to Downloading Sneakers
2. The Tao of Pirates: Sea Forts, Patent Trolls, and Why We Need Piracy
3. We Invented the Remix: Cut-‘n’-Paste Culture Creates Some New Common Ground
4. The Art of War: Street Art, Branding, and the Battle for Public Space
5. Boundaries: Disco Nuns, the Death of the Record Industry, and Our Open-Source Future
6. Real Talk: How Hip-Hop Makes Billions and Could Bring About World Peace
7. Ethernomics: Pillow Foghts, Happy Slaps, and Other Memes That Leave a Mark
Outro: The Pirate’s Dilemma: Changing the Game Theory


鍵言葉となるのは題名にもあるpirate(「海賊」)だが、それは先ず狭義の(というか字義通りの)「海賊」、つまり”anyone who broadcasts or copies someone else’s creative property without paying for it or obtaining permission”(p.36)ではある。しかし、それだけではない。

But although intellectual property rights seem right and piracy clearly seems wrong, the opposite also can be true. One man’s copyright terrorist is another’s creative freedom fighter; many forms of piracy transforms society for the better.(ibid.)

By refusing to conform to regulations they deemed unfair, pirates have created industries from nothing. Because traditionally society has cut these pirates some slack and accepted that they were adding value to our lives, compromises were reached and enshrined in law, and as a result new industries blossomed. (p.37)

Like many other nouns polite society is fighting against, the war on piracy will rumble on for years to come. But this is a war that will be difficult to win, not just because warring with nouns is ridiculous, but also because history shows, time and again, that society benefits from the work of pirates. (p.39)

Successful pirates adapt quickly to social and technological changes, but this is true of all entrepreneurs. What pirates do differently is create new spaces where different ideas and methods run the show. Some create their own media formats, as DJ Fezzy did with AM radio. Others manipulate formats that already exist to create new choices, as Hollywood did when it created an alternative unlicensed film industry*2, or as the pirates today bootlegging Hollywood are doing, giving you the option of watching new movies at home (albeit filmed secondhand on a camera phone).
Thinking like a bootlegger can take you in new directions. If you have an idea, but the infrastructure to get it out there does not exist, you may have an opportunity to create your own. Finding a space to get your idea across is as important as having the idea itself. If the idea is good, growing an audience won’t be difficult. It’s this audience that gives pirates their power. (pp.46-47)

From the birth of America to the birth of Internet, it is often left to pirates to chart the winds of change and plot better courses for the future. When pirates start to appear in a market, it’s usually an indication that it isn’t working properly. When governments and markets recognize the legitimacy of what these pirates are doing, their activities are enshrined in new laws, creating a new order that serves society better. (p.66)

Wherever you tune in, somewhere you will find a pirate pushing back against authority, decentralizing monopolies, and promoting the rule of the people: the very nature of democracy itself. The pirate mentality is a way to mobilize communities, drive innovation, and create social change. By thinking like pirates, people grow niche audiences to a critical mass and change the mainstream form from the bottom up. They’ve toppled more inefficient corporate pyramids than they’ve invented styles of music, and as long as there are people or choices not being represented in the marketplace, there will always be pirates pushing the envelope.(…) (p.67)
もうひとつの鍵言葉として、「パンク資本主義(Punk Capitalism)」がある。所謂社会起業家のイメージに近いものがあるが(Cf. eg. 斎藤槙『社会起業家』)、「パンク資本家」の「理念」は、1)”Do It Yourself”、2)”Resist Authority”*3、3)”Combine Altruism with Self-interest”の3点に纏められている(p.31)。また、”Punk changed the world, but none of it would have been possible without a little help from another dedicated group of innovators: pirates.”(p.32)とも言われている。「パンク資本主義」と「海賊」に共通するものとしては”Do It Yourself”ということになるのだろう。
社会起業家―社会責任ビジネスの新しい潮流 (岩波新書)

社会起業家―社会責任ビジネスの新しい潮流 (岩波新書)

さて、タイトルのThe Pirate’s Dilemmaだが、これはスティーヴ・ジョブスの”If you want to stop piracy, the way to stop it is by competing with it.”という言葉(cited in p.59)と関係がある。「海賊」の存在・活動に対して、社会のエスタブリッシュメントの側がどう対応するのかというディレンマ。「海賊」と闘うのか、それとも「海賊」と「競争」するのか。後者が選ばれれば、社会は全体として「付加価値」を得ることができる――”A world of competitive pirates, it seems, is a better place to be than one full of paranoid prisoners.”(p.239)。ただ、(著者の意図に逆らえば)「海賊のディレンマ」とは「海賊」に突きつけられた「ディレンマ」でもある。「資本主義」に取り込まれ・陳腐化されてしまうという危険。しかし、その危険を厭うていては自分の理想の幾分かも実現する可能性はないというディレンマ。実際、7章では”flash mob”つまり”a group mobilizes seemingly instantaneously, with the help of digital communication networks, to do something unusual in public before dispersing just as quickly”(pp.204-205)が採り上げられている。体制内化する前に消えてしまえというわけだ。曰く、

Youth culture isn’t dead; it evolved into a moving target and became harder to kill. New ideas are transmitted virally. Now movements are ephemeral; most are never more than a blip on the mainstream radar. (p.206)
さらに、究極の”flash mob”ともいえる英国の”Happy slap TV”――突然見知らぬ人の顔を引っ叩いて、その模様をネット中継するというもの。ついには〈殺人中継〉にまで発展し、警察の弾圧の対象となり、2005年には終息した;

The reason happy slaps were a hit was because they were off-limits. (…) Happy slap TV was the one thing left that kids could own without fear of a corporate takeover. Unlike free running, this was something that the mainstream couldn’t go near, except to condemn it. New youth cultures can’t be as safe as those of days gone by, because if they stay within socially acceptable limits, marketers pounce, and before long they are just another branded spectacle. Teenagers are going to such extremes to create space for their identities because some of the gaps between them and their parents have gone. (pp.224-225)

*1:See also


*3:“Technology + Democracy = Punk Capitalism.”

*4:See also