Balance relationships with companies
Bernhard E. Reiter
bernhard at fsfe.org
Thu Sep 26 08:12:32 UTC 2019
Hi Christian, Carsten, Paul,
thanks for your thoughs on this thread!
My response is coming late because school holidays were in between.
Am Dienstag 02 Juli 2019 15:36:10 schrieb Christian Imhorst:
> Am 28.06.2019 14:55 schrieb Bernhard E. Reiter:
> > (Facebook, just like the companies IBM, Microsoft and Google contribute
> > quite significant amount code as Free Software and interact with the
> > communities. Applaudable even if they do bad things in other areas.)
> nope, they didn't.
> It's really important to remind us of the moral dimension of software
> freedom and to link this to human freedom: Free Software is primarily
> for people and not to create freedom for companies. We've got to keep
> the social dimension of Free Software in perspective. Like free speech,
> Free Software should be a fundamental right and we should fight the
> proprietary vendor lock-in of cloud providers.
In my view a society can only prosper and give human freedom if we have
companies, because currently a "social, ecological market economy"
(as it is called in Germany, see
is wordwide the socioeconomic model which is perceived as most successful.
(Even needing adjustment and balancing.)
If there are companies, we can see that they'll produce something within the
laws of a democratic system which people have demand for and they are more or
less progressive towards Free Software. For larger companies are so big, that
they are like a hydra (the classic "monster") with many heads and some heads
can be "good" and others can be "bad". Those companies evolve due to law,
democratic trends, customer demands.
If we want Free Software to succeed we must transform companies towards being
more compliant with the social values of Free Software, like being able to
help your neighbour. So we want their "better" heads to grow in power. We
want more customers demanding more products with more freedom for them and we
want more services offered where this is a key selling point.
To do this we need to applaude steps that are in the right direction.
It is good that Android and Chromium is Free Software, it raised the chances
over Windows CE and Internet Explorer of people running this on other hardware
and studying and rebuilding it for their needs (LineageOSMicroG,
On a more philosophical note:
Altruism and self-interest can be align.
(Here is a German campaign https://www.unperfekthaus.de/altruismus/
You'll also find this in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Grant 's
Give or Take as "otherish". )
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