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

h0ost host at mailoo.org
Tue Dec 31 18:02:55 MST 2013


On 12/31/2013 07:10 PM, Clay Claiborne wrote:
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> 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.

Politically-speaking, "Open Source" and "Free Software" have nothing in
common.  "Free Software" is associated with left-leaning politics, as
highlighted by people like Egben Moglen (author of the Dot-Communist
Manifesto, among other things) and Richard Stallman, programmer-wizard
behind the GNU set of libraries and tools, which make Linux possible.
Incidentally, Stallman and free software proponents refer to GNU/Linux,
rather than "Linux" by itself, since there is no such as Linux (separate
from the GNU libraries that form its core).

"Open Source" does not mean "free", and is the primary vehicle for the
exploitation of unpaid IT labor by capitalist corporations today.  It is
even more insidious than closed-source software, which is produced by
wage labor-programmers. I thought the article made a number of
interesting points on precisely this often-misunderstood political
nature of "open source".

When libertarian dot-com capitalists talk of the virtues of open source
and freedom, they mean freedom in the narrow, libertarian sense of the
word, not in the sense advocated by supporters of "free software" (The
Free Software Foundation site makes this clear: http://www.fsf.org/ )







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