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Re: [ox-en] Free Software and social movements in South America

Hi Stefan,

this is an interesting proposal. I'll just put a few
unformed thoughts on the table already.

* What kind of connection is there between social
movements and Free
  Software exactly? What is the nature of this
connection? How strong
  is it really?

It seems to me that it is about embedded values, and
about prefiguring the new society by present actions.

What I belief is much stronger now, after the
disasters and defeat of 'really existing socialism',
is the lesson that present practice must already
reflect what is wanted, and also that there is a new
Zeitgeist, shared by many, to no longer abide by a
temporal viewpoint where all the good things are seen
to arrive 'after the revolution'. Furthermore, I'm not
sure how strong this is in South America, but it is
present in Europe, is the idea that civil society is
more autonomous, and cannot automatically rely on a
bureaucratic state. So it is very much more nowadays
about create a new life and new networks in the
present, and hereby already creating counter-practices
and counter-institutions.

If this is so, then the use of free software, which
creates new social relations, creates a new 'reality'
through its usage, and embeds new values such as
sharing and nonproprietary relationships, seem to be a
natural fit.

* Why in contrast is there no strong connection
between Free Software
  and social movements in more industrialized

Could it be that the 'classic' social movements, of
the labour movement, have not only been weakened, but
are totally integrated in the state, and have been
themselves in power for so long. They have bit by bit,
accepted the dominant logic, pressure it only to be
more social, but accept prevailing logic of ownership

Financially, because they are richer, they have
perhaps less incentive to adopt such practices?

The above may sound trivial but it is not. It is much
more advantageous for the South to adopt these new
practices, they need them more, and therefore, we can
except a lot more innovation there.

So far, every techno-social revolution has been
started in the countries dominant from a former cycle,
but revolutions erupted in the periphery, this has
been true for both bourgeois and worker's revolutions.

A recent study already showed that blogs are 'much
more important' in Asia than they are in the Western
countries. This is already an example.

Another example: what is the intensive for relative
rich capitalists and workers to adopt free and open
design for physical production, compared to the same
in the South, where the attraction of a built-only
model of production is much higher (and already
massively practice using illegal IP)

A general remark that you are familiar with. As
compared to the usual stress of Oekonux on free
software, I would extend the argument to peer
production generally, and so there is an interest for
the open/free (input), participatory
(process/governance) and commons-oriented (output)
solutions more generally, not just for FLOSS.


* What are the goals of these social movements and
how does Free
  Software help these? How can Free Software help?

* Do these movements help Free Software? Can they
help? If so: How?

* What are commonalities and differences between
Free Software and
  social movements?

* Can this phenomenon of the strong connection
between Free Software
  and social movements in South America be compared
to other
  phenomenons happening around Free Software?

* Does this phenomenon relate to the things we
learned about Free
  Culture in South America / Brazil and if so how?

I really want to invite the Hipatia people to join
this discussion
because as far as I understood this connection is a
big topic for
them. @Graham/Juan Carlos: Could you please help
with this? As an
exception: Would cross-posting between the lists
make sense?

						Mit Freien Grüßen


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