[Marxism] Cyber-libertarianism and the digital deletion of the left

Clay Claiborne clayclai at gmail.com
Tue Dec 31 17:10:21 MST 2013


While this essay makes some interesting points I think the author lacks an
understanding about the key different between "Open Source Software", "Free
Software", both of which are synonyms for software written under the GNU
license or one of it's cousins and proprietary software. This is what is
inherently revolutionary or "left leaning" about  OSS or Free Software but
he doesn't even mention it.

I don't think he understands that any more than all the other people who
have popularize "open source" as a hip phrase they can apply wherever
without understanding its roots in the free software movement. What he does
do is focus on the petty-bourgeois sensibilities and libertarian prejudices
of those who created it without really understanding what they have
created. It is what they have created that is truly new and revolutionary
that he misses.

What makes Linux different from Windows is above all that Linux is an
intellectual property contribution to humanity that stands in stark
opposition to private property. That is why you can make as many copies of
a Linux disk and given them or sell them as you like without breaking any
laws. Try that with Windows and you might end up in jail. There are many
other advantages to OSS like the fact that the source code must be
available and you can modify it to your liking.

To boaster his argument, he make a distinction between "real" property and
"intellectual" property that implies intellectual property isn't real. I
think this is a big mistake because the locus of what is the most important
form of real property changes with time. Once it meant live stock. Then it
meant property in land. Then it meantt ownership of the tools of production
and that extended to big factories. I would argue that we are now entering
an era where intellectual property is the most important form of real
property. Example, whereas John D. Rockefeller became the richest man due
to his ownership of land and the minerals that lay under them and the
physical plants to process the crude into sell-able products, Bill Gates
became the richest man due to his ownership of intellectual property, the
land and offices owned my Microsoft are quite incidental to its influence
in the world. I call that real property, and I say more, it is precisely
this form of real property [the product of mental, as opposed to physical,
human labor power] that is the dominate form in this era.

That being the case, a public property model that is communist to its core
[from each according to ability, to each according to need], OSS, that
directly challenges and stands in opposition to private or capitalist
intellectual property, is a very big deal and one I think this author
misses entirely.

Clay Claiborne, Director
Vietnam: American Holocaust <http://VietnamAmericanHolocaust.com>
Linux Beach Productions
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 581-1536

Read my blogs at the Linux Beach <http://claysbeach.blogspot.com/>
<http://wlcentral.org/user/2965/track>


On Tue, Dec 31, 2013 at 1:57 PM, h0ost <host at mailoo.org> wrote:

> ======================================================================
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> Interesting article from the author of "The Cultural Logic of Computation":
>
>
> https://www.jacobinmag.com/2013/12/cyberlibertarians-digital-deletion-of-the-left/
>
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