Re: [ox-en] Germ of a new form of society or germ of a new form of business?
- From: "Niall Douglas" <s_fsfeurope2 nedprod.com>
- Date: Sun, 25 Jan 2004 02:45:05 -0000
On 24 Jan 2004 at 23:33, Stefan Merten wrote:
Well, as Oekonux is mainly an analysis - what the hell is going on? -
and theory project - how we can explain what we witness? - it is a
totally legitimate assumption that Free Software is *only* a new way
of making business.
It still surprises me that people find the phenomenon of free
software surprising. It would be more surprising if it didn't happen.
However, I can see really very little substance to this assumption.
Niall in particular is busy in pointing out how the GPL stops people
from making money (buy selling the work of other people). In fact
there is little practical evidence that making business with Free
Software *as such* does lead anywhere to any substantial degree.
You misquote me Herr Merten! - I said that the GPL prevents
entrepreneurship which is far more than just making money - it's the
*potential* to make money, ie; the motivator. Whether you actually
make money or not is not particularly relevent - so long as you feel
you can be rewarded for having taken a risk.
Put it this way - not one single book I've read explains properly
how a set of disjunct geographically & culturally disparate
engineers can generate large complex engineering projects with no
management whatsoever - especially with no financial return. We all
know it works, but /why/ it works and even more importantly *how* it
works is the key to a superior paradigm of production.
Indeed, this is a typical Oekonux question :-) . However, I think we
found some interesting answers to this. Of course these answers don't
work when you treat capitalist thinking as sacred.
In capitalist terms Free Software more or less can not be explained. A
strong hint to the fact that capitalist terms are indeed an ideology
which becomes outdated.
Indeed and it's why I am a post-capitalist. I think I know how free
software - all software - gets written and I think I can base a
revenue model upon a system which combines the best parts of the
volunteer system with a touch of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship
far predates capitalism, and in my mind any successful post-
capitalist economic model will perhaps place entrepreneurship even
more at its heart than it is now within capitalism.
The result I would still call free software though it won't fit the
OSI definition. Put it this way - it's close enough and I don't think
anyone other than the GPL zealots will complain.