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Open Source and Post-Capitalistic Society

 by: Daniel Orsolic

Capitalism as the social structure was founded in order to support further evolution and development of human race, to support the innovation which was oppressed by the former system. It was brought up by the two industrial revolutions. The technology was obviously the main to blame for the outcoming capitalistic society. The new capitalism was more liberalistic promoting free trade and pushing globalization in order to support further development and growth of technology.

But, it seems like the technology has been pushed so far and so high that the now old capitalism formed to support it starts to act as it's oppressor. The world of software technology is the obvious example of it. The first signs of these events can be recognized far back into 70s and 80s when the software technology's started to emerge.

Now, the capitalism oppresses the further technology growth by oppressing the development of software. How? By making it proprietary, creating monopoly's. To capitalism, everything is property, including software. And that is where the problem is. The software cannot be considered as property, it is more like an information. It is simply too easy to copy it without ANY effort and that is what led to it becoming a commodity which is a reason more why it just cannot be proprietary. If it is considered proprietary and created and used in such manner, we are getting monopolies created, patents issued and other restrictions that do no good to the further development of software technology, but to oppress it.

Look at the capitalistic giant, Microsoft! Imagine that there were no free software movement and open source. Microsoft would be the ultimate monopolist, the whole world would be their empire. In such case, there would be no real progress and innovation because there is no force to drive it.

THAT is the very proof of capitalism being simply too old and incompetent to handle the new technology of today properly, in the information age run by computers and software.

The open source and free software movement are already taking steps further, outgrowing the limitations of the old and incompetent capitalistic system in order to create what may be called a post-capitalism, true liberalistic, society where the technology will be freely developed at the rates the open source software gets developed today.

More to this, open source and free software movement being the major sign is not the only sign of the sickness of capitalism and it's fall.

Simply look at the way things are going at this point in history regarding the major events. When there was a war in Iraq, masses of global and organized people, ordinary people like you and me, used internet to start the organized real time and worldwide demonstrations against the war in Iraq. The same happens with any other major event. There is a global network of people united in their fight for freedom and peace. It shows how the technology of today gives the power to the ordinary people instead of power being in hands of a few big shots. And those people, masses, globally networked masses, ask for one thing: FREEDOM!

Their (our) "enemies" are therefore everyone that anyhow try's to restrict the freedom and impose the control over them.

The entity's that fall into that category include:

  • the greatest corporations such as Microsoft and oil companies (imposing monopolies and restrictions in order to control as much as possible)

  • political entities such as USA and European Union (imposing wars such as the one in Iraq, pushing restrictions of freedoms to use and develop technology through software patents etc.)

And when we say "enemy", we don't mean that the corporations, companies and governments as the organizations should be terminated in order for us to have the freedom we deserve nor we in any case mean to fight them with violence acting like terrorists. We should simply raise our voices using the internet and technology in order to change the way these entities function today so that they are no longer the oppressors of freedom, but it's supporters.

These global networked movements, such as open source and free software movement are actually forming a third industrial revolution which may crush capitalism as a social structure and finally bring the power to the majority and support the unrestricted growth of technology.

I am on the right side, are you?

About The Author

Daniel Orsolic - Graduate of the school for electronic engineering and the great open source/free software movement enthusiast, the founder of libervis.com - the open source community node.

Copyright: Daniel Orsolic

Article published under GNU Free Documentation Licence (GNU FDL)


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