Wed, 15 Sep 2004

pcolijn: you should absolutely leave your wireless open. It doesn’t cost you anything (unless you’re absolutely getting crushed by someone borrowing lots of bandwidth) and who knows, maybe some day we’ll all live in a post-wired paradise.

There has been some very interesting discussions in the past few days about the relationship between Marxism and open source, spurred by this paper. I’ve been pondering this question on and off since I took intro to political philosophy (which can’t avoid having some heavy marx reading) the same semester I first installed linux. I don’t think most free software folks are marxists, or even particularly socialist (except the occasional nutty aussie), but by moving towards a post-scarcity economics and beating the free-rider and control problems that have dogged Marx since he wrote the stuff, free software provides some interesting discussion points for Marxists. And of course, Marx himself would argue that you don’t have to believe in Marxism to work towards the overthrow of the capitalist state- Marx’s Revenge, which I read recently, makes a pretty persuasive argument that globalizing multinationals are in many ways better Marxists than, say, Lenin ever was. Anyway… I’m rambling. Hopefully I can find some time to put these thoughts together more coherently at some point soon.