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Re: [ox-en] inside wsis

Hi Graham, hi list,

On Fri, 2003-12-12 at 19:13, Graham Seaman wrote:
Is His Excellency Ambassador Samuel Pinheiro Guimaraes a revolutionary?
Reformist? Bandwagon jumper? 
Alternatively, why is the role of free software in developing countries
not part of oekonux theories, which concentrate entirely on the developed?

"Threshold countries" like Brazil have a large number of well-educated
urban intellectuals excluded from power, pretty much like Russia before
1918. When they come to power they tend to ally with emerging production
methods in order to fight the established power structures, which are
based on 'older' modes of production. So that is what his excellency the
ambassador does, as a representant of the Lula government which has an
awesome lot of fighting to do with domestic (mostly agrarian based) and
international (mostly industrial) power structures.

From how I understand "Oekonux-thinking" it says that the most advanced
societies (in terms of mode of production) will bring about the
revolution. From that revolution at the centres of the world economy a
sort of automatic trickle down effect is expected - clearly very
orthodox Marxist thinking. Much of Stefan Merten's and other's optimism
is based on that.

Critically one could ask how such a state of advancedness is defined.
Unfortunately, we have a lot of technical rhetoric ("Linux is just
better than MS Windows") among developers and on the Oekonux lists. It
says that because GNU/linux is such a great thing, it's mode of
production is superior, too. And that is also the reason why it will
prevail at least in the long run. Nobody would doubt that some instances
of Free Software are great achievements of a radically new social
organisation of work. However, we have a long history of technological
innovation from which we know that technical aspects (ressource use,
performance, user interface...) are important when it comes to success
or failure of a technology. At least as important, however, are
non-technical aspects above all those to do with power (in its broadest

Best, thomas (be)


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