My lengthy contribution to the discussion of this piece in the Tribune:
A lot of anarchist and libertarian socialists criticized Marx, and Lenin all the more, for creating a dictatorship of the bureaucracy. Republicans don't know what socialism is, but neither do liberals. The socialist spectrum is as or more diverse than the conventional American political party divides.
Bringing up Linux as a claim against socialism is interesting, because the OS must be understood in the context of Software Libre. While under the lens of capitalism, all the developers retain ownership of their code contributions, the open source licenses mean they have effectively ceded that ownership to the masses. FLOSS forms a whole information economy that works according to one of the basic premises of socialism --collective ownership of the means of production. What's interesting is that capitalistic businesses have voluntarily subsumed themselves to this system, operating on services in an environment where copyleft licenses have blurred the idea of property. So you have capitalist subsystems in a socialist node created out of capitalist law. Software Libre works in the capitalist world, often outperforming proprietary models, and embodies the best ideals of bottom-up socialism.
The whole internet runs on open source. It's often referred to as the LAMP stack (linux, apache, mysql, perl/php/python). I like to speculate that as science and technology improve, manufacturing is going to become cheaper and easier until it's effectively a home industry. Information will be the only thing of trade value, and that information will be open source. It will be socialism by default.
I believe in markets, but I believe most in the marketplace of ideas. That means free exchange, not making ideas into commodities. The sciences and arts must be open source. Information wants to be free.
Mary’s Monday Metazoan: Sawing
2 days ago