Re: [ox-en] Food production and Free Software (was: Re: Leftist project?)
- From: Graham Seaman <graham seul.org>
- Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2001 18:31:46 -0500 (EST)
On Thu, 20 Dec 2001, Stefan Merten wrote:
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Hi Claude and all!
However, this view overlooks important aspects. In short: The
important point in Free Software is, that for first time in history
"self-unfolding" becomes a relevant factor on the societal level.
Are they not simply a particular manifestation of something which came
before? Such as anarchist morality - Free Association, Mutial Aid, etc.
The big difference is the necessity of morality. Free Software doesn't
need morality - it works without that. That's one of the biggest
I agree with Claude here. The most similar thing I have seen in my life
during the Portuguese revolution, when people formed their own... I don't
know what to call them!... local groups, I guess, to solve problems they
had. One kind was common in areas of shanty towns: people organised groups
to build their own houses. They were purely voluntary groups, not
political in the sense of belonging to a party (though many people in them
were members of parties, and they were not self-consciously 'anarchist'
at all), they had no official leaders (though there were
often leaders in practice, people who were good at organising materials,
had experience of building etc). The houses they built were very well
made, still exist thirty years later (some of my family live in one, it's
much better designed than most commercial housing of the time). There
were all sorts of groups like this: groups who organised education (for
themselves and for others), creches, food supplies etc. Non of this was
for 'moral' reasons. I'm sure the same thing happened in other
revolutions, but just gets missed from the history books.
What is completely new for me about free software is not so much the
organisation, but the fact that it is happening in 'normal' times, as
something growing out of capitalism instead of only happening when
capitalism is in complete disintegration...
you misunderstand me, I don't mean morality in the sense you imply. I wish
I had left out Kropotkin's phrase and spoke of them as "principles" as you
call them. I don't mean a set of ideals that dictate behavior but the
qualities of Libresoftware that naturally occur that make it work. They
seem the same as those qualities which naturally occur in people cooperative
working outside of software, such as Free Association/Cooperation, Mutial
Regardless, that they have advantages and thereby a non-cohercive
I can't lookup that word :-( .
= coercive :-)
Software does not
have to deal with many of these issues and there are fundamental differences
between the two (physical and virtual) so one does not necessarily provide
an example of how the other situation would work, or that the working
systems would share identical principles.
Not necessarily - agreed. But I think it depends partly on how you
look at it.
Yes, this time I agree with Stefan :-)
BTW: Joanne suggested, that in English "work" describes non-alienated
activity while "labor" describes alienated activities. Would you
native speakers out there share that suggestion?
"The English language has the advantage of possessing different words for
the two aspects of labour here considered. The labour which creates
Use-Value, and counts qualitatively, is <em>Work</em>, as distinguished
from Labour; that which creates Value, and counts qualitatively, is
<em>Labour</em> as distinguished from Work" (Engels
, footnote to Capital Vol 1 Part 1 Chapter 1 Section 3)
(there's a much better quotation I can't find in Capital somewhere
which says something like 'the English like to have two words for
everything: an anglo-saxon word for the real thing, and a French word
for it's mystified social appearance. Pigs magically become pork when
they reach the table').