Ecosocialism and open source

The generalization of ecological production under socialist conditions can provide the ground for the overcoming of the present crises. A society of freely associated producers does not stop at its own democratization. It must, rather, insist on the freeing of all beings as its ground and goal. It overcomes thereby the imperialist impulse both subjectively and objectively.

Sounds like the open source movement, doesn’t it. “Freely associated” groups come together to learn and share with each other, adopting the common core for their own needs, then giving it back to all without undue concern for the narrow self-interest of the profit motive. Would this not be a vastly saner and more sustainable economic system?

Before you say, well, that’s unworkable, consider this. The vast bulk of web servers on the planet already run open source software (Apache, MySQL, php, etc.) as does this blog (WordPress,) and I’d say they do a far better job of it than proprietary for-profit software.

Imagine if open source became the model for all business. You bet we could solve global warming quickly.


  1. I would not say it’s unworkable. But I would say that the goal of “the freeing of all beings” is diametrically opposed to a sustainable ecological movement. Nature is the biggest imperialist of all– as we too will find if we don’t start playing by her rules.

  2. If Linux wanted to go big — here’s how: Venezuela Launches Sale of “Bolivarian” Computers

  3. It would be interesting to get some data on cryptographic software and which the most effective ones are, since a good protocol has to be developed in public with full disclosure of how it works. My impression is that there’s a lot of snake oil being sold, but that there are a few good programs that comply with the requirements of open disclosure and still manage to make some money, although pgp has certainly struggled!

  4. 1) I just researched the Bolivarian Computers story, but could find no mention of which variant of Linux will be installed. Hmmm.

    2) There’s still open source versions of PGP available, AFAIK, it’s still virtually uncrackable.

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