Re: Equality and Free Software (was: Re: [ox-en] Germ of a new form of society or germ of a new form of business?)
- From: Art McGee <amcgee virtualidentity.org>
- Date: Sun, 8 Feb 2004 17:53:04 -0500 (EST)
The source is useless if you haven't got the skills to use
it. The result is that the free in FLOSS in this respect
is free only to a technical elite.
That speaks to a problem with the definition of Open Source
software, which is very limited, and which has already been
pointed out millions of times. If you look at the fact that
Free Software, as defined by Richard Stallman, is even more
"left" in it's definition than Open Source, and that Free
Software still falls short of utopia, then even talking
about or referring to open source is pointless. Our baseline
should be Free Software, and then we should critique that
and try to improve on that. Open Source is a completely
useless definition for our needs.
There is nothing inherently liberating, radical, or
revolutionary about open source, except that in the context
of Capitalist oppression, it seems like it's more than it is
because the oppressor has been stepping on your neck with
such force for so long, that any shift or adjustment in his
foot feels like a welcome relief. People imbue it with more
significance than is the reality.
Lastly, in regards to equality, I'm amazed that we keep
having these discussions. The idea of the utopian society
has already been defined, and it has nothing to do with
everyone having the exact same skill set:
"From each according to their ability,
To each according to their needs."
That about sums it up. What else is there to discuss?