Re: [ox-en] Re: Open Money?
- From: Stefan Merten <smerten oekonux.de>
- Date: Sun, 20 Jan 2002 11:04:53 +0100
Hi Ernie and all!
Yesterday ernie yacub wrote:
You posit your argument on the idea that nothing is exchanged in free
software and therefore money of any kind is not needed.
This is one of the very fundamental observations the Oekonux project
(and others) is maintaining. Yes.
suggest that society can be organized on this principle.
Many of us are looking in that direction, yes.
Is that a fair interpretation?
Yes :-) .
Exchange means that something is exchanged between two parties. I.e. both
party get something."
or as the dictionary puts it...
1 : the act of giving or taking one thing in return for another : TRADE <an
exchange of prisoners>
2 a : the act or process of substituting one thing for another b :
reciprocal giving and receiving
Unfortunately I have no English dictionary at hand. Dictionary
definitions are often a good starting point for finding a common
This delimits exchange from unidirectional flows such as we see in Free
If fs developers give their work away and receive nothing in exchange, how
are they to live?
This question is often the first one people have when confronted with
the phenomenon of Free Software. Frankly meanwhile I have difficulties
to even understand the question. I mean if development of Free
Software is seen as a hobby, where is the difference to say painting
pictures or collecting stamps then?
However, nobody poses the question "If hobby artists receive nothing
for their painting, how they are to live?". I'd be interested in
learning about the assumption which makes the one question make sense
to many people while the other doesn't.
Does this count as an answer?
How will we all live without the means to buy the
necessities of life?
This is of course a question which reaches (far?) into the future. And
I guess for people grown up in money-based societies this is really
difficult to imagine.
However, there is no law of nature, that human societies / the supply
of necessities must be organized around money / exchange. In fact the
by far bigger part of the history of mankind is not organized around
money / exchange - though it existed at the margins of some of the
So your question more or less comes down to: How could we organize a
society where the necessities of life are available for all - without
the need for exchange. (That such a society must be based on the
attainments of capitalism - especially the degree of automation - is
another important point.)
Free Software shows us one example where this is already happening:
You simply take what you need and make available what you like.
Mit Freien Grüßen