Re: Balmer Sez... "Linux is Communism"

  • From: John Madden <weez@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: technocracy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2000 10:59:52 -0500

On Sun, 30 Jul 2000, you wrote:
> While I don't agree with anything else he says, the open source model *is*
> pretty much communism... 

"Communism (n) A theoretical economic system characterized by the collective 
ownership of property and by the organization of labor for the common advantage
of all members."

If anything, the GPL (for example) is THE most capitalistic license available. 
(Take an econ class.)  An fair/balanced/open/whatever market is defined as one
where there is no entry barrier (read: microsoft) to market (and a couple other
things).  Open source (at least, some licenses of that set) actually ensures a
low (or nothing) entry barrier to market, since everyone has an equal chance at
starting with the lowest common denominator, say, the Linux kernel.  

After that, whatever profit you wish to make is up to you.  The government has
nothing to do with it.  It's not a political setup.  There is no collective
ownership (under communism, the government controls everything).  Labor is not
organized across the institution: if I'd rather work on disk I/O than ethernet
drivers, then I work on disk I/O.  If I'd rather sell support for Linux than
program for it, then I sell support.  

QED. Open source is not communism.


# John Madden  weez@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx ICQ: 2EB9EA
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