[linux-elitists] Socialist Software Organization

Nick Moffitt nick@zork.net
Fri Nov 28 14:39:26 PST 2003

begin  Uncle Bad  quotation:
> 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.

	E and I were discussing the same thing.  There probably aren't
too many ideologies out there for which a do-it-yourself ethic is
somehow wrong.  It's a testament to its universality that both the
Hand of Adam Smith types can describe it in marketplace terms while
the Arise Ye Workers From Your Slumber types can describe it in terms
of the workers seizing the means of production.

	As much as I find ESR distasteful, it was kind of fun having a
raving libbertarian lunatic on one side of the debate.  It seemed at
the time that he really did counterbalance RMS's more left-wing
stance.  In retrospect, there never really was anyone on the left who
was quite so out there as ESR.  He was never really properly
counterbalanced, himself.  

> 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.

	Who, Cromwell?

	The Quaker analogy is apt, and it goes beyond the simple
anti-authoritarian sentiments found in either group.  It should be
noted that there are several Friends in the Free Software world: Raph
Levien and Russ Nelson (whose domain, crynwr.com, is actually Welsh
for Quaker) come immediately to mind.  

"Forget the damned motor car and build cities for lovers and friends."
	-- Lewis Mumford


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