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Re: [ox-en] Book project

On Fri, 17 Jan 2003, MJ Ray wrote:

This has confused me in the past, not least in the oekonux blotter text.  It
seems to be based on some idea that free software is anti-capitalist. 

  From discussions over the years with others that self-identify with the
term 'anti-capitalist', I suspect that this difference of opinion is based
on differing ideas of capitalism than differing ideas on free software.  
I have many friends who consider themselves anti-capitalist, when I
consider myself a strong supporter of *Free Market* economics, including
free market capitalism.

  When I look up a dictionary meaning of capitalism, rather than some 
individuals ideological interpretation I see:

"An economic system in which the means of production and distribution are
privately or corporately owned and development is proportionate to the
accumulation and reinvestment of profits gained in a free market."

  This definition suggests that the only form of capitalism is 'free
market capitalism', which is unfortunately not true.  State-capitalism
(IE: the state owning most of the means of production - such as the
previous Soviet Union, or China) and other more centralized forms of 
capitalism exist.

  Free Software to me is an implementation of free market economics in 
software, making it more capitalistic according to the above definition 
than Software Manufacturing which has tended towards a centralization 
(with the logical conclusion of that centralization of control over the 
means of production being state-capitalism).

  I strongly believe the Free in Free software is Free as in Free Market,
not free beer (or free-loader, or ...)

  One of the nice things about Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS)  
is that people with very different political views can often work
together.  We won't get along when it comes to public policy or politics,
but we can work together on creating good quality software.

 Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <>
 Any 'hardware assist' for communications, whether it be eye-glasses, 
 VCR's, or personal computers, must be under the control of the citizen 
 and not a third party.   --


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