-   General (
-   -   which system does linux represent? (

sickmint79 09-04-2007 12:11 PM

which system does linux represent?
i was having a discussion with someone the other day about politics. the topic of linux came up and what it represents. i am running a poll to see what the community thinks.

one viewpoint stated that linux is representative of socialism, as community users contribute to it and it is not run for profit.

the other viewpoint stated that linux is representative of capitalism, through the donation of time as charity to contribute to it.

what do you think? if other, please explain what. thanks!

rshaw 09-04-2007 12:35 PM

good gawd..

it's an operating system. nothing more, nothing less.

there are plenty of cults to join if you need that sort of thing.

sickmint79 09-04-2007 12:46 PM

rshaw, i will be incredibly impressed if you can explain the logic you used to associate my question to cults.

pixellany 09-04-2007 01:16 PM


Originally Posted by sickmint79 (Post 2881031)
rshaw, i will be incredibly impressed if you can explain the logic you used to associate my question to cults.

I'll settle for just saying that this makes no sense. The various "isms" and "acies" are about government and economics, not technolgy development.

There is--I suppose--some connection. In pure socialism, you can imagine some bureacrat at least trying to bring Operating systems, the Internet, etc. under central control as--eg--a regulated publich utility.

One thing that was laughable was the statement attributed to Steve Ballmer that Linux was communist. Last I checked that meant central control---pretty much the antithesis of what Open-source is all about....

alred 09-04-2007 01:19 PM

central control is cultism ... ^_^


ilikejam 09-04-2007 01:50 PM


Linux (and other Free software) operates in a Gift Economy.


pixellany 09-04-2007 02:01 PM


Originally Posted by alred (Post 2881066)
central control is cultism ... ^_^.

Interesting stretch of definitions.....Maybe a bit better to say that extremism is a form of cult. The common denominator of course is individuals with a hyper-inflated self image.

This is fun but not necessarily relevant to the thread. But since the thread is not relevant to ANYTHING, maybe that's OK....;)

alred 09-04-2007 02:06 PM

and i think linus he himself could be terribly flattered by this thread ...

//what the hell ... ^_^


rshaw 09-04-2007 02:07 PM

it made sense in my head at the time, but that ain't saying much.

it doesn't make a whole lot of sense unless you keep in mind the some in the "community" have a real problem with anything that is not 100% "free" . it is this zealotry that leads the casual user to equate linux == socialism. it's the same zealotry that attracts people that are prone to attach religious overtones to it."free is the 'one true' way" and wanting accelerated graphics on my nvidia card is some how a sin against the community.

(i want my stuff to work, and if i have to use ndiswrapper + a binary blob until a gpl'ed version is available, so be it)

pixellany 09-04-2007 02:11 PM

I see that "other" is winning by a landslide. It really is the best answer for MANY questions......;)

sickmint79 09-04-2007 02:22 PM

ilikejam, no time to read your response now but i am curious to read those when i get home.

fwiw i was arguing that it was more a product of capitalism, as no one is forcing me to contribute anything to better/use the product and people are donating their time to improve it.

AceofSpades19 09-04-2007 02:27 PM

Open-source is neither capitalist nor socialism, because if were socialism, it wouldn't be called "Free" software, last time I checked socialism is pretty much the opposite of freedom, and its not capitalist because linux is not used for profit

rshaw 09-04-2007 02:41 PM

but it _can_ be used to generate profit if you want. redhat is doing alright with service/maintenance contracts. and the sky's the limit in the consulting field.

alred 09-04-2007 02:47 PM

whatever it is ... really ...

but dont fall into that "gift economy"(i'm only translating that two words in my own head though) ... its terrible ...


PTrenholme 09-04-2007 03:36 PM

Well, the Linux kernel is copyrighted by Linus Torvalds and others, and released under the GPL v. 2 license. Most other programs which use the kernel are also copyrighted and released on various versions of the GPL.

Thus development of Linux kernels and programs depends, at a basic level, on a political system which honors copyrights and enforces the rights of copyright holders to specify, and enforce, the license they grant to use their work.

Many -- but not all -- governments implement the standard "International Copyright Convention." Those that do not recognize the standard set of copyright holders rights and obligations have been both "capitalist" and "socialist." (e.g., South Africa and China.) Thus the assumption of your question, that the way a society handles copyrights is related to its political label, seems, to me, to be false on it face.

Conclusion: Your poll is flawed by invalid assumptions.

Observation: Most countries that "recognize" copyrights have laws that allow the country to "ignore" the copyright holder's rights in the "national interest." That observation is not too pertinent to Linux systems, since the GPL (and most other FOSS) licenses permit non-commercial use of the licensed material, so use in the "national interest" where the object is, presumably, not to make a profit, would not present a problem for Linux.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:00 AM.