press release critique

josX joshb at
Thu May 3 10:13:20 UTC 2001

> Hi Jos!

Hi there! :-),

> On Thu, May 03, 2001 at 10:31:08AM +0200, josX wrote:
> > > yes, we all would like to see a better world, where we can do what we want
> > > and where we don't have to pay for the beer at the pub around the corner.
> > > But that's not how the world works, at least not at the moment.
> > So let's start changing that, it is not going to come from the government,
> > and it is not going to come from the corporations.... but it can come from
> > free(dom) software (at least in part), so let's do that!!
> Well, I personally think this is getting off topic, but anyway...
> You might have wondered, why I mentioned Karl Marx. The reason is, that he
> proposed more or less exactly the same as you do. You might enjoy reading
> his ideas. And in principle it sounds quite tempting, but every country in
> the world, that has tried to implement something of that kind, has failed
> quite miserably. So, that's not the way to go. Sorry.

Well, this is not what happened: Karl Marx was describing a possible way
for the world to grow into a society where burdens were distributed
equally, and wealth too. The sovjiets just used it for propaganda to
support their dictatorship. BTW, I am not a Marxist, just myself.

> I'm sure everyone on this mailing list appreciates your enthusiasm and if
> you can afford to write code, distribute and support it completely free of
> charge, there will be no word against it. Instead it will be more than
> welcome. But please understand, that some people are in a situation, in
> which they can not afford to act as you do. This doesn't mean, they're evil.
> They still try very hard to support free software as good as possible. And
> they typically do invest a lot of resources in producing free software. So
> in the end, the benefit for the community is much bigger than their personal
> (financial) advantage. Why should we leave those people out in the rain?
> Why? They agree to the same principles and they do contribute as much as
> they can. I think, this is already far more than you could possibly ask them
> for.

(see below... I don't want them out in the rain, although I do think they
are a sideshow to the real thing.)

> > We won't win if we say "this is how the world workes", although that is
> > true, it cannot be an argument for how the world is going to be if we want
> > change, and I want change and I see you want it too :-))).
> Most of us want to see changes, but I definitely don't want a revolution. We
> want to change things step by step. Not all at the same time. I think,
> that's the difference between us. Anyway, I'm _no_ "official or other kind
> of member" of the FSFE, so someone from the core team should better comment
> on this. :-)

Sadly, gradual changes always get subverted by gradual changes in the other
direction. But you may disagree here, just a personal view.

> > (btw, saw on discovery an interesting story about how `capitalism' grew
> >  in England due to canals and small enterprise on them.)
> Funnily these canals have now been rediscovered in Birmingham and are
> redeveloped for leisure and recreation. How times have changed...

Guess not!

> Bye,
> Marc

The following are just some ideas, don't get to worked up about them 
please, I don't want to scare anybody...

My proposal for the "organaization" of the FSF(E)/free(dom) software:

1. There will be no decisions, there will only be personal initiative.
2. There will be no concentration of power, there will only be personal action.
3. There will be no official style or logo, there will only be available
   certain beautifull things to use or not use according personal preference
   if someone takes the initiative to make them.

So, there will be no core-team, there will be no elected body, there will
be no president, there will be no official spokesperson, there will be no
logo. There will not be an FSF(E). Then what will there be? individuals
working on free-software, on the /content/, not on the organaizational
structures that some seem to want to erect around that which is by nature
an anarchy. A working thriving anarchy I must say!!!!

Can there be a website telling people about certain things (or better, an
angel on free(dom) software)? yes, if some people want to take that initiative
and (more importantly) do the action it will be there. If people want to
communicate with eachother and set up a forum to do so, it will be there. But
there will be no director of that website, nor moderation.

There is all this talk been about a Logo. Now, what would have happened in
the above non-model?
I would have taken the idea of Anja and put it on my website.
Why? it is beautiful, I like it, it gives me a good feeling to see it.
Someone else may want to use the GNU with the 12 stars, and again somebody
else may want to use the GNU=european-map humoristic logo.

What would happen with communications with the press?
The press can simply go to some projects and ask the people themselves
instead of going to the ""official director of the core-team Europe".

What would happen with the website?
It would already be there if there was action, or it would not be there
if there was no action. Simple. It would not be official though, as it
in truth never ever can be.

Where would someone as RMS fit in?
There is no fitting-in or not fitting-in: he is just someone working on
multiple projects, and on preventing legal-actions from claiming the fruits
of given-away labour, and making that "preventing"-mechanism (the GPL)
available to those who want it.
He may as a person ask for money to support his cause. This is another
personal initiative, nothing anybody should or could argue with. Anybody
only should take their own initiatives (or not) and actions. This seems
to me a very simply non-model, a model that says "there will be no power
structure to suffocate us", and leave it at that, so our energy and effort
can go into the content mostly.

So, I would claim that the FSF-E is not representing and cannot represent
the free(dom) software movement, especially because it is a anarchy-based
movement. Therefore it cannot say this or that about free-software without
saying that is the particular angle of certain individuals making the
website, and therefore limited in scope and certainly not speaking for
anybody else but themselves.

Do I want a revolution? Shure I do, but I am only one voice, and I don't
want to do more than giving optional ideas to think about. I don't want
to head anything (but myself). About leaving people in the rain that
want to work within free-software and make money: you may note I said it
is fine, it only should not be /actively/ encouraged, only made possible
so it does not contaminate free-software. This can then be seen as a
gradual step towards total freeness, or not, time will tell. I am not
against that, I only think an organization as the FSF(E) should not
/actively/ get involved with it, it should limit itself to setting borders
around it so we are not destroyed by it.
However you may note I want to do away with the organization altogether ;-),
this may be a little ahead of it's time (?), but here it is anyway so you
can think about it already. I am NOT going to make some (Raymond like)
campaign about it, I am not like that, and I will actually leave it here
with this post. Converting people is always a bad thing, making people
think and see other options not, and I want to do the latter only, not the

BTW, I write software too (a learn-typing-program (not finished), and
smaller stuff (still learning C and assembly, having a break now)).

I leave it here to you, reject, or think about it.... or not. Do what
you want, as always ofcourse.


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