Next successful Free Product? (was: Re: [ox-en] New economic model for free technology?)
- From: Stefan Merten <smerten oekonux.de>
- Date: Tue, 04 Oct 2005 18:39:25 +0200
Hi Franz and all!
Please allow me to respond deeply to your thoughts though they might
be somewhat rough and written quickly. It's not do discard them but to
critical question them to move forward together.
6 days ago Franz Nahrada wrote:
The only other alternative that I know (and the one I really prefer)
I prefer it, too :-) .
that we create "mutual cycles of support"
In your thinking is mutual support mandatory during a transformation
phase? Mutual support cycles would mean that Free Projects fit
together so well they can cover a whole area. Do you think this is a
necessary condition? If so: Why?
Frankly to me this looks like a kill argument because mutual support
is even harder to get than island projects.
On the other hand in the area of Free Software there is lot of
(implicit) mutual support. May be this is can be used as a criteria:
That in a given area of human activity is mutual support of Free
Projects better for the projects and all of society than competition
Also if mutual support is taken seriously to start it you need to
support Free Software creators first. Since they need not much
specific support for their work beyond that they give themselves to
each other it would mean to give them good live conditions. Hard to
imagine beyond the money scheme.
where increasingly free products
fill the void created by lack of money.
Well, Free Software was not created to fill in a lack of money. Free
Software was created for the fun of it. Why do you think that for
furthering the GPL society it would be most useful to fill the niches
which capitalism leaves because valorization of labor is no longer
In the contrary I'd say that the niches capitalism leaves because
labor can no longer be valorized there are those areas which are
especially hard to fill with Free Projects based on Selbstentfaltung.
After all capitalism has filled the niches because it was able to
structurally force people to do painful work. What has changed in the
work necessary in these niches so that capitalism does not want to
structurally force people any longer but a Free Project can base on?
This seems largely a problem of
Yeah, design and organization of work are important. But again:
Capitalism has seemingly not been able to do this design and
organization in the niches you are talking about. Why do you think
that Free Projects may be more successful here?
In the software business we see even in proprietary software
production elements which are common in Free Software like giving the
creators a lot more freedom than other employees. In domains which are
well suited to be covered by Free Projects I'd expect similar
developments *in* capitalism. Can you see this?
I think if conviction is a necessary precondition you should
immediately stop the Free Project. Conviction is on what all the
alternative projects throughout the last 40 years run and if we can
learn one thing from them then it is that conviction does not lead to
a new society.
Free products must soon include basic human
needs (the "bread")
During bourgeoise revolution the commoners started with things like
textiles. They did not start with what was the basis of the old
society was but with products they were best in, where the spearhead
of the development of the means of production made most sense to
expand. If you look at this on a global scale even today there are
parts of the world where this is not fully controlled by capitalism.
Why do you think this is to be reversed in this change or eras?
and that is in the long run the strongest base and
tool that we have:
1) have a material base of raw materials and energy --- best is
self-reproducing / biomass based production, thats why I favor rural areas
as birthplace of seed forms of Free Life
Ok, self-reproducing / biomass based production is certainly better
suited to be distributed into small projects than big centralized
ways of production.
One important point, however, is that with self-reproducing / biomass
production you can produce only a small share of the raw material
needed for many, many products - at least if you are to compete with
capitalist products. Doesn't sound like a sustainable way to me.
2) make the output of each process "feed" another process, so you are glad
something is using your "waste" --- that is a question of systems design
Yeah but isn't capitalism already good in this? Where is the
capitalist who would not be willing to sell his/her wastes? Why should
Free Projects do better here?
3) integrate processes by agreement, not by market --- market is not a
good coordinator if you want to achieve goals 1 and 2
Agreement would mean a lot of interaction between otherwise
unconnected projects. In Free Software we see a lot of synergies
between projects without explicit agreement. It would be an
interesting study to find out where this agreement comes from.
Wouldn't it be more useful to find areas where common doing needs
little public agreement to be useful on a societal level?
Well, a lot of questions and they are probably not easy to answer. As
I said this is not to discard your ideas but to critical question them
to see what substance they contain and if too little where we need
think again. I'd hope you try hard to find anwers. Or may be others
have ideas, also?
Mit Freien Grüßen
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