Thursday, July 17, 2008

Those Who Believed Shared All Things In Common

6 comments:

Gabriel said...

I'm just waiting for open source hardware and I don't mean hardware specs.

Anonymous said...

I've always thought it funny seeing how much effort right-wingers spend arguing that communism (of any sort) will not work as no one would work without pay. Yet there they are, spending a lot of spare time trying to show that people would not contribute to society unless paid....

And, yes, Linux and other forms of co-operative software really are great examples of mutual aid and (libertarian) communism.

Iain
An Anarchist FAQ

Patch said...

Iain, let's keep things as simple as possible but not simpler than that - or in this case, let's keep historical circumstances in mind: In an industrial society, you have to do a lot of hard work which almost noone would do voluntarily or at least not to a sufficient extent. While programming open source software can be hard work, too (like composing, painting and other creative works), it can be a much more fulfilling task than screwing hooks to lamps. The second difference is the nature of software as a public good with non-rivalry. And the third difference is software as growing sector: No programmer really has to fear losing his job because of too much open source software.

Anonymous said...

The whole point is that in a free society, one in which workers manage their own work, they would seek to apply the benefits of technology in transforming work, i.e., all that hard work that no one would want to do unless forced to by economic necessity.

All of which, of course, is irrelevant to my point, which is that many, many people spend a lot of time doing unpaid work explaining how communism would not work because no one would work without pay. I think that is somewhat ironic.

It is also far from a full argument for why libertarian communism could work, as would seem obvious.

Iain
An Anarchist FAQ

Anonymous said...

In addition to whatever other motivations programmers have been presumed to have in contributing to open-source software (enjoyment, reputation-enhancement, creativity-fulfilment, etc), there is also a hard-nosed commercial reality involved here. Much modern commercial software needs to be deeply customized for it to achieve its full potential, and deep customization usually requires access to source code. One of the great mysteries of the computer age is the failure of the vast majority of writers and bloggers on information technology to consider anything about computing other than what happens on their desktops.

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