[Marxism] Cuba to switch to Linux

Bob Hopson bobhpsn at yahoo.com
Sat Feb 17 09:50:37 MST 2007

Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com> wrote: Has open-source lost its halo?
Predatory tactics and opportunists lurk everywhere, critics charge
By Eric Lai
Our moderator is providing an excellent example of FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) tactics.  The article in question doesn't say much beyond the fact that some corporations are using open source software to make money.  I'm a software developer, and I use open source tools to do the same.  So what?
 The point is that free software, like other new phenomena like peer-to-peer file sharing and music/video piracy, represent embryonic productive forces in which capital plays a diminishing role.  These are productive forces which come more and more into conflict with existing relations of product -- hence groups like RIAA, MPAA, the emergence of Digital "Rights" Management at the hardware level, etc.  Didn't some once have something to say about what happens when forces of production come into conflict with relations of production?
 No doubt in the early days of capitalism, feudal lords employed wage labor and invested in manufacturing.  I bet they weren't worried they were making themselves obsolete, either.
 The fact that places like Cuba, Venezuela, and Kerala are embracing free software for consciously ideological reasons is significant, I think.  As we start to see material production develop along similar lines (open source design, machines that can 'print' objects, etc.), I hope socialist countries will be able to leverage that -- even if IBM and HP made some profits along the way.

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