[linux-elitists] Socialist Software Organization

Peter Clay pete@flatline.org.uk
Thu Nov 27 02:30:02 PST 2003


On Wed, 26 Nov 2003, Mister Bad wrote:

> So, are there any organizations out there who are addressing Free
> Software from a Marxist standpoint? Like, socialist groups who are
> promoting FLOSS, or FLOSS groups with a socialist background and
> agenda?

In classical Marxist terms, all Free software involves transferring
control of the means of production and distribution of information to
"workers". Of course, very few people see it that way, as the
worker/capitalist class distinction that underlies Marx has been virtually
erased in the western world by mortgages, stock ownership and personal
pensions.

I'm not entirely clear on what is meant by "socialist" these days, and it
does differ from country to country.

> Or even incidences of support for FLOSS or electronic freedom
> issues by established socialist groups or parties (probably more
> chance of this in Europe, I'd guess)?

The Green party MEPs were the only ones to vote against software
patenting.

There are various "social software" groups around, building things like
FaxYourMp.com and the BBC's activism support site
http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/ican/, but they're not explicitly or doctrinally
"socialist".

UK CDR is both "conservative" and "18th-century liberal". We fought off
some Trotskyites a while ago who were trying their classic entryism
routine on us.

I don't think socialist/capitalist or left/right labels are very useful in
the FLOSS area. They merely serve to divide FLOSS supporters.

Pete
-- 
Peter Clay                                         | Campaign for   _  _| .__
                                                   | Digital       /  / | |
                                                   | Rights!       \_ \_| |
                                                   | http://www.ukcdr.org




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