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

  • From: Steve Baker <ice@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: technocracy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 1 Aug 2000 11:29:42 -0500

Hunter <hunters@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> 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.

  Amung other definitions, that one has never actually existed in the real
world.  Here is my dictionaries definition of the real wold Communism:

  Communism: A political doctrine based on revolutionary Marxist socialism
that was the official ideoligy of the U.S.S.R. and some other countries;
also: a system of government in which one party controls state-owned means
of production.

  Even with the ideal communism, the proletariat is basically forced by the
state to submit to the will of the state in all matters.  Freedom has no
place even in the Marxist or communist ideal.

  You also misunderstand free software in that it is not community owned.
The orginal owner of the software maintains full ownership and can at any
time, remove later versions of their code from the public domain.  At no
time are they prevented from selling their work, even when the code has been
placed under a free license.  They may refuse to incorporate code others
donate, may refuse to do anything but let people look at it, they can
maintain their own source tree completely independently of other source
trees. Only when they incorporate code from others does the software become
owned by more than one person, but only by those who contributed code, and
no others.

  Even when someone takes the free code and modifies it (perhaps against the
will of the author), the author maintains ownership of all the code that is
his in the source tree, and can prevent the other party from changing the
license to suit his or her mechanations (an example would be a software
company attempting to co-opt some development project for themselves).

  It is true that once code has been placed under the GPL, that particular
code is forever free and may be used and modified by anyone (so long as they
make their modifications publicly available), but the orginal owner still
has not given up the rights to it, he mearly has given up the rights to make
that particular code release non-free.  The decision to release under the GPL
should not be taken lightly, and unlike communism, is strictly a voluntary
act, very much like a donation of money to a charitable cause.

> If that ain't the open source philosophy I don't know what is.

  I don't think you even know what free software is or how its license
works.  You don't seem qualified to comment on it if you ask me.

> Also, China isn't communist, it's a dictatorship with a communist style 
> economy. But they do have thier own Linux distribution.

  It is only a different and perhaps more extreme form of communism, there
is little real difference from that practiced in Cuba or the former

  On the lighter side of things.  How is Microsoft like communism:

  Communism:                            Microsoft:
  - 5 year plan                         - Product roadmap
  - Re-education camps                  - MSCE training centers
  - Party members                       - A+ NT certified techs
  - Propaganda                          - Astro-turf campaigns
  - Can't leave country                 - Vendor lock-in
  - Don't own anything                  - Don't own anything
  - The goulag                          - Windows

                                                                - Steve

Other related posts: