[linux-elitists] Socialist Software Organization

Jeff Waugh jdub@perkypants.org
Fri Nov 28 20:15:11 PST 2003

<quote who="Mister Bad">

> 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.

It's discussed freely in .au, particularly among similar groups as Joakim
mentioned (IndyMedia, etc). I don't think we have a copyleft.no in our midst
though, which is unfortunate. I do know there are a number of consultants
that specialise in NGO use of Free Software, and have a very left bent.

I have always been attracted to Free Software from a leftist point of view.
There are plenty of people in Europe, Australia, the UK (being not-Europe)
and South America who see Free Software primarily on those terms. I'm one of
those terrible chardonnay socialists who pisses off some of the extreme left
and all of the conservative right - but that would adequately describe a
fair proportion of middle class, metropolitan Australia.

In Australia, there's a vague negativity about communism (and a far vaguer
negativity about socialism), but it's not expressed with the vehemence that
I've heard in US politics and expressed by random Americans.

In REVOLUTION OS, ESR almost froths at the mouth when asked if Open Source
has anything to do with socialism/communism. There's a slight pause and
then a dumbfounded, "NO!!!" When we showed this at linux.conf.au and SLUG
last year, the audience almost wet themselves laughing. He is so insistent
that FOSS could not possibly represent the views of the middle/hard left,
when a huge number of us just take it for granted. It makes sense within the
context of our socialist democracy. I think a lot of people are quite happy
to see it as Free Software correcting the market towards the left. :-)

- Jeff

GVADEC 2004: Kristiansand, Norway                    http://2004.guadec.org/
     "It doesn't matter if it is good, it only matters if it rocks." -
                        Tenacious D, Rock Your Socks

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