[linux-elitists] Socialist Software Organization

Mister Bad mr.bad@pigdog.org
Fri Nov 28 12:27:35 PST 2003


>>>>> "JZ" == Joakim Ziegler <joakim@avmaria.com> writes:

    JZ> Not exactly an organization, but these guys are friends of
    JZ> mine in Norway:

    JZ> http://www.copyleft.no/

    JZ> They're mostly interesting because they're a company with a
    JZ> clear leftist/free software profile, and they manage to do
    JZ> quite good business. Not exactly what you were looking for, I
    JZ> realize, but just thought I'd offer it up.

No, actually, that's really interesting.

I was just reading a good article about neo-Marxist analysis of
information policy, and I was struck by how well copyleft fit into a
Marxist economic theory. I'm nobody's Marxist, but I like a clever
analysis, and so I wanted to see who else had done that kind of
mapping.

Anyways, it seems like Free Software advocates, having started mostly
in the USA, have been fighting the "socialist" label since day 1, and
therefore we see a lot of denying that Free Software could have
*anything at all* to do with socialism or collectivism. The words
"socialism" and "Free Software" are thus usually only juxtaposed by
slashdot trolls and The Economist.

I guess I was just wondering if, in countries where "socialism" does
not automatically equate to "Satanism", people could bring up the
similarities between Marxist theory and Free Software theory without
getting shouted down.

(Now I'm laughing to myself, thinking of a software movement where
people draw big pentagrams on their computers, and wear black capes
and pour pigeon blood on their keyboards and intone backwards in
Latin, but advocates insist that it has *nothing to do* with
Satanism. "We're beyond old categories like 'orthodox' or 'Satanist'!"
When I hear "new paradigm" or "old rules", I reach for my revolver.)

("It's not a duck! It just looks like a duck and walks like a duck and
quacks like a duck! We're beyond the old categories of 'duckness' and
'non-duckness'! This is a whole new world, off the traditional duck
spectrum!")

Frankly, I think there's a more apt metaphor for Free Software in the
Society of Friends (AKA Quakers), where meetings are officiated and
created spontaneously by the attendees. But of course I wouldn't make
that analogy in the press, for fear of scaring off the anti-Quaker
element.

Anyways, this is running on way too long. Thanks for the good answer.

~Mr. Bad

P.S. Joakim, you're gonna kill me for the hatchet job I did to Mexico
City.

     http://www.wikitravel.org/article/Mexico_City

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