Re: [ox-en] Alternative currencies and Oekonux (was: Re: Autonomy)
- From: "Nadav Har'El" <nyh math.technion.ac.il>
- Date: Wed, 5 Apr 2006 13:37:26 +0300
On Tue, Apr 04, 2006, magius wrote about "Re: [ox-en] Alternative currencies and Oekonux (was: Re: Autonomy)":
Also me, I agree Free Software is not exchange. But there's a sort of
"sliding doors" system between Free Software and Capitalist exchange.
Free Software without Capitalism will not survive. Let me explain
better, through an example. How a Free Software coder will have an
income to live? Not from Free Software development itself (because
there's no exchange). But a good code released under GNU/GPL would
"give" work in the capitalistic system to this coder. A boss will hire
this coder because he's a good developer and the code released under
GNU/GPL (or a code under copyright, it's the same) it's the verifiable
example of his work. Free software code is a way to have work in
Capitalism, this an uncontestable truth.
Your example is a valid one (and I even think that it applies to myself),
but in no way the only possibility. There is no reason why a free software
developer cannot have a "day job" which is completely unrelated to programming.
He or she can be a professor, researcher, teacher, waiter, grocer, or whatever,
and still develop free software as a hobby. You probably wonder why would a
(say) waiter come home after a long day at work, and write free software for
which he gets nothing. Well, the really question, in my opinion, isn't "why"
but rather "if". Even if most waiters (et al.) would not develop free
software as a hobby, if we just got a few that did, then free software does
get written. And once it get written, the beauty of free software is that
it doesn't really need "sustenance" - it will continue to exist even if the
original author goes back to his day job.
At most, the incentive that you describe may explain why there are many
of free software authors. But even if we had less, would this mean the death
of free software? I don't think so. And Richard Stalman also doesn't think
so: I heard a lecture of his about 3 years ago, when he said that there are
more than enough free software programmers already.
Imho the correct way to put community currencies (as part of a new
economic system, different from Capitalism) in the Oekonux context, is
to think how to replace, in the "sliding doors" system before
described, capitalistic exchange with a more just e solidal exchange.
And community currencies are a way to facilitate this change.
I don't see why you need currencies and exchange to explain every phenonenon.
Take another computer phenonon - a negative one - as an example: computer
viruses. Are viruses written to make money or any other sort of currency?
No, most of them do not. So why do they exist? The simple answer is, "because
they can". It just takes a single individual with unexplained motivation to
write a virus, which goes on to infect the entire world. Once a virus is
written, it's simply "out there" - it's not a process that needs sustaining,
or repeating, is not an economic process involving many decision makers
that cooperate or compete - just one decision maker is involved in writing
Nadav Har'El | Wednesday, Apr 5 2006, 7 Nisan 5766
nyh math.technion.ac.il |-----------------------------------------
Phone +972-523-790466, ICQ 13349191 |Always keep your words soft and sweet,
http://nadav.harel.org.il |just in case you have to eat them.
Contact: projekt oekonux.de