Politics and freedom (was: Information [...])

Sinisa "Sigma14" "" Milicic smilicic at mef.hr
Sun Dec 3 14:49:32 UTC 2000

On Sun, 3 Dec 2000, Alessandro Rubini wrote:
> Since I've seen no replies to this, yet, I'm posting mine.
> > the FS philsophy [...] this reminds me of the ideas and the names of
> > prjects and similars [...]  (e.g.technology for the people, $thing
> > for the people) (I find nothing bad in this))
> While I don't find it bad, either, I think the issues of libre [1]
> software are detached ("orthogonal") from political movements. I don't
> oppose your (or anyone else's) political ideas, I'd just better not
> mix them in the fight for libre programs. What I state in my talks
> about GNU/Linux is that libre software incorporates both leftist and
> rightist ideas. While it promotes equal shares of (potential)
> knowledge to everyone (leftist), it also promotes real competition in
> productive markets, by preventing monopolies and maximizing economical
> transactions and technical innovation (rightist).
1st of all, as far as I know, rightism is more 'nation-based' and/or 
supports agressive capitalism, that puts money above all, almost inlcldung
human lives (in the context of exploiting people).
2nd, the FS movement, as far as I know, ranges from CENTER to LEFT, maybe
1 degree to the right. Center ios for democracy, Left is for socialism.
> I'm not versed in political ideologies or economical theories, but the
> fact that nobody diputed my views has been conforting so far. But,
> whether or not my statement is correct, we should by any mean avoid to
> associate our movement to any political ideology or party. For every
> people you approach to a movement (like FS) because of political views
> there is one that discards the movement for the same reason. And I
> think the wiser of the two approaches is the one refusing :)
> That said, software is a hot political topic, in the true and original
> meaning of the word "political". Everything that has economic or
> social effects is political, as it has effect on the life of the
> people and the country (the "polis", greek). 

I agree with that point.

> My pages about libre
> software (http://www.linux.it/GNU, although I've not been updating
> them for a while) are "political material about free software".
> > [...] we shall try to fight proprietary software all around Europe (and
> > a bit out of it if needed). Fighting it requires both [...]
> That's another error, in my opinion. We should never fight someone or
> something. Whe should rather promote a different views. The positive
> attitude is much better, both psychologically (for us who
> fight/promote) and practically. For those who fight, there are friends
> and enemies, which is an overall bad attitude. Especially in a field
> of ideas, where people and companies adapt their ideas and marketing
> techniques to a changing environment.

I mean fight as in oppose, although I think 'oppose' is more of a passi
ve verb then 'fight'.
Well... Just take a look at www.gnu.org ....
- _fighting_ patents
- _fighting_ UCITA
also www.gnu.org/philosophy/stallman-kth.html
contains a cople of 'fightings'
> Also, fighting is an attitude that leads to extremes. Someone may
> identify microsoft with the devil, while using solaris on his
> workstation; is this credible?  Someone else may commit crimes (like
> vandalism against computer producers or users), how could the movement
> be clear of accusations if the word "fight" is in the core of the
> movement?
> We must definitely and by all means have a positive attitude:
> _promote_ freedom, _demonstrate_ that you can work and live without
> proprietary tools, _cooperate_ with people and companies to help them
> change their views.
> BTW: did you ever hear RMS talk about fighting?

yes... and I've mentioned it a cople of lines ago.

> Thanks for your patience, and please forgive my poor dictionary
> when not talking of technical stuff.
> /alessandro

"Mors EULAe, libertas softwarei!"

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