Is Linux 'anti-capitalist' and is this a bad thing?

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Is Linux 'anti-capitalist' and is this a bad thing?

Postby Superewza on Sun Nov 01, 2009 2:39 pm

Well i got to wondering, does Linux (and indeed FOSS in general) pose a threat to capitalism? In many ways i think it does, with it being largely geared towards getting the community involved, and showing the world that you don't have to kneel before these large corporate companies and pay them for software that you don't really get a choice in. In fact, the whole idea of Open Source shows a Socialist attitude in that it gets the community involved in the work, people do what they want and like to do so they do what they are best at (efficient allocation of labour), and there not being one large company to turn to or blame when something goes wrong or you seek help, but there being a group of volunteers that you rely on. So when i decided for myself that it isn't pro capitalism and is more likely to be under a separate economic category this must logically mean that it's anti capitalism, although not openly and not drastically.

Then i got to thinking that if this is the case, is it necessarily a bad thing? I think not - quite the opposite - for several reasons. The first being that it's a reality, Linux is here and it works, rather well. I much prefer the style of interaction and creation that it brings compared to the alternatives. Whereas in the past anything other than capitalism (communism) has ended in complete disaster. This opens up a world of possibilities, as they say 'Money is the route of all evil' to varying degrees of truth i believe that we could further Humanity a lot more than it has currently progressed, with the people who have the most control being the one's that own the most money, and those that have the lust to get more no matter what. Oil companies for instance, are so blinded by their lust for money, that frankly isn't going to be spent, that they can't see what this is actually doing to the rest of the world, or if they can they simply don't care about it. Capitalism works, but it breeds humans that aren't the kind you want, be it to represent the species or just to befriend. So by this reasoning i think they we, as in humanity as a whole, could do better. Besides, capitalism has got us into this economic mess and caused much more depression than you would have initially thought, to the point where it's likely you will end up spending roughly a third of your life doing something that you don't like doing just to keep living. But; is the world ready for a change at the click of your fingers? Definitely not. The ideal that Linux and other Open Source software push forward is the first step in a long, long journey that the people of this Earth should undertake if we want industries and projects to be run and manned by people that know what they are doing and they're doing it because they like doing it, and to see the style of community and opportunity that you get with Linux to take place on a global scale.

What do you think of this matter? Discuss...


I'd like to point out that i drew some inspiration from this article and the fact that i'm a self confessed Star Trek fan, a universe in which they have abolished money to better suit the needs of the planet, where you don't do things for material wealth but for the good of everything.
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Re: Is Linux 'anti-capitalist' and is this a bad thing?

Postby DrHu on Sun Nov 01, 2009 3:02 pm

Superewza wrote:Capitalism works, but it breeds humans that aren't the kind you want, be it to represent the species or just to befriend. So by this reasoning i think they we, as in humanity as a whole, could do better

Capitalism works..
It is rather said to work, but in fact it does not..
Capitalism doesn't work at all
    WTO, fails
    IMF, fails
    Stock exchanges, fails
    --overvalued stocks (assets ??), might even be virtual assets
    Highest paid are least deserving
    --not firefighters, doctors, coal-miners but instead Ceo's and executives
--you know the first industrial unions happened in WW1 era in Butte, Montana after a strike for a better rate of pay and time off, not the 7 days a week they had theretofore been employed at
--Capitalism ensured that state of existence, and now capitalism abandoned that area to go offshore to the cheaper coal mining countries available to them (Capitalists aka business people)
http://www.butteamerica.com/labor.htm
    Sweet Beginnings: Butte's First Union
    In 1878, underground miners at the Alice and Lexington silver mines declined to accept a pay cut from $3.50 to $3 a day for risking their lives underground. They gathered 400 strong behind a brass band and paraded through the silver camp in a show of solidarity.
    By 1900, 34 different unions advocated for nearly 18,000 workers in a variety of trades. Unions represented the construction trades, brewers, teamsters, blacksmiths, blacksmiths, and hackmen. Musicians had a Protective Union as did Theatrical Stage Employees and Theatrical Ushers. Other unions represented typographers, waitresses, and bartenders. Even newsboys had their own union and their own strikes.
Did those capitalists (business leaders) deserve that beneficence or were they just exploiting everyone else, their employees ?

What people mistake for capitalism, is a pay check that they get from employment or a business that they run, that allows them to consume (buy stuff)
Capitalism as an enterprise feeds on this and exploits it; to the detriment of humanity everywhere

Even Capitalists (read business people), although they sometimes make the distinction that business and capitalism are not the same thing
--they are in fact almost inexorably bound together due to historical accidents
Even they do not think it just works, since it obviously just does not

From the agriculture subsides and other industrial subsidies for airplane manufacturers to the now Buy American planning, it is all about capitalism and freer (not free markets/ free trade) failing

I assume this should be in the OFF Topic area of these forums, not the Linux area..
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Re: Is Linux 'anti-capitalist' and is this a bad thing?

Postby Superewza on Sun Nov 01, 2009 3:24 pm

I think it should stay here, as rather than discussing which economical system is best i'm discussing Linux's effect on said economical system and what it pushes forward as the ideal.
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Re: Is Linux 'anti-capitalist' and is this a bad thing?

Postby adrianx on Sun Nov 01, 2009 3:31 pm

I think that Linux is much more "free-market" than having a few monopolies control when/where/what/how the world uses their computers and other electronic equipment.

If the current system is considered to be capitalistic, then it is wrong, imo. If bullying your way to the top and "extinguishing" your competition is "capitalism", then capitalism is wrong.
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Re: Is Linux 'anti-capitalist' and is this a bad thing?

Postby exploder on Sun Nov 01, 2009 3:51 pm

Linux has no politics. There is money made from open source just not in the traditional way that is used by Apple and Microsoft. Redhat and Novell are examples of profitable companies that are based on open source software. There is nothing wrong with making money from software, it becomes a problem when a monopoly is created and software prices soar. When you buy out competing products to maintain a hold on the market this is an unethical practice.

Novell and Redhat compete on equal ground, they have access to the same technology and compete on how they use and support that technology. The Novell / Microsoft deal received a lot of criticism but Novell's thoughts were on cross platform compatibility and they paid the price.

There really are no political aspects to Linux, it is more of a world wide community. The first Linux kernel was built because Linux Torvalds wanted a Unix like experience that anyone could use and contribute to.
Last edited by exploder on Sun Nov 01, 2009 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is Linux 'anti-capitalist' and is this a bad thing?

Postby Superewza on Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:20 pm

That's precisely the point, in a capitalist country you need said money to get by, for food and to keep the project running. But it's entirely a secondary objective, if there was no physical need for money then they wouldn't make any.
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Re: Is Linux 'anti-capitalist' and is this a bad thing?

Postby belovedmonster on Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:25 pm

q: Is Linux 'anti-capitalist'
a: No.
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Re: Is Linux 'anti-capitalist' and is this a bad thing?

Postby exploder on Sun Nov 01, 2009 6:17 pm

That's precisely the point, in a capitalist country you need said money to get by, for food and to keep the project running. But it's entirely a secondary objective, if there was no physical need for money then they wouldn't make any.


There are distributions and other projects that exist simply for the benefit of everyone. Regardless of political beliefs, most of society work to earn their keep so to speak. There is a certain pride that comes from doing a good job weather it is developing software or digging a ditch. The key to success as a human being comes from how we interact with others and our ethics.

People from all over the world contribute to open source, we are a very diversified group. :D People with different political and religious views, yet we all work together for the same common goals, to make something better. We all respect each others point of view and do not dwell on our differences. If someone can take a project and find a way to earn an honest living with it then I am all for that. I am all for people that work and become successful, they earn their sucess and it encourages others to do the same.

There really isn't such a thing as being a true capitalist country anymore, it is a blend of socialism and capitalism these days. Both systems have good and bad points and there is no perfect solution. When you come right down to it we are all people and should all show mutual respect for one another. Each of us has to live with our conscience and that goes beyond any political beliefs.

Linux is not anti anything, it is about people working together to build better software, nothing more.

Edit: I am dangerously close to breaking the forum rules with my post. If anyone is even slightly offended by my comments feel free to have this thread locked or deleted. I am not trying to suggest that anyone takes my comments as anything more than my opinion and nothing more.
Last edited by exploder on Sun Nov 01, 2009 6:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is Linux 'anti-capitalist' and is this a bad thing?

Postby Fred on Sun Nov 01, 2009 6:26 pm

exploder,

Well put sir. :-)

+1

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Re: Is Linux 'anti-capitalist' and is this a bad thing?

Postby exploder on Sun Nov 01, 2009 6:27 pm

Thanks Fred. I edited my post as not to offend anyone. :)
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Re: Is Linux 'anti-capitalist' and is this a bad thing?

Postby Superewza on Sun Nov 01, 2009 6:45 pm

In what other aspects of society does Socialism appear?
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Re: Is Linux 'anti-capitalist' and is this a bad thing?

Postby exploder on Sun Nov 01, 2009 6:57 pm

In what other aspects of society does Socialism appear?


That's a loaded question that should not be applied to the original post. :) That type of subject would best be discussed on another forum where that kind of discussion is the common place. :) This discussion is dangerously close to breaking the forum rules and probably the only reason this thread has not been locked is because it has not gotten out of hand. We should both respect the rules and keep this a friendly discussion. :)
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Re: Is Linux 'anti-capitalist' and is this a bad thing?

Postby Superewza on Sun Nov 01, 2009 7:11 pm

I was actually curious, i love the way Linux works and i would love to see it in more widespread use; hence my original post's opinion. If you look my actual question was what do you think on the subject.
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Re: Is Linux 'anti-capitalist' and is this a bad thing?

Postby Fred on Sun Nov 01, 2009 7:40 pm

Superewza,

Religion and politics are subjects that tend to elicit strong emotions and sparks, especially on a international forum. The forum members and moderators are well aware of how quickly a thread along these lines can get out of hand. That is why threads on religion and politics are frowned upon. The best intentions can and will blow up in your face. :-)

I believe that is what Exploder is referring to.

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Re: Is Linux 'anti-capitalist' and is this a bad thing?

Postby exploder on Sun Nov 01, 2009 7:45 pm

Your right! No, I don't think that Linux poses a threat to capitalism but it will force companies to change the way they do business if they want to exist in the future. Microsoft and Apple's days are numbered and they know it. There are plenty of ethical ways to make a living from computer software. Microsoft and Apple are examples of pure greed and poor business practices, sooner or later people will wake up to that fact and quietly waiting will be open source.

Companies could sell support and applications but there would be no more monopoly. No one company would have control because Linux is free and everyone has access to the source code. Sure there would be some closed source software, there always will be. Redhat comes to mind because their source code is available, CentOS build a system using that code, yet Redhat is one of the most profitable open source projects there is! Redhat serves as an example because it does things the right way. Yes, you have to buy Redhat Enterprise Edition but they give you Fedora for free as well as the source code for their enterprise product. Redhat actually sells a complete solution for less than Microsoft sells just the operating system!

Linux does impact the way business is done and it is causing change to happen more and more. Did you notice that Microsoft let everyone have the Windows 7 beta? They did not do this out of the goodness in their hearts! Microsoft used this as a business tactic to try and get people hooked on their new release. Microsoft fears Linux and do everything they can to keep it from going mainstream. Microsoft will take away an OEMs discount for selling Linux based systems, this is yet another unethical practice.

People are becoming more aware of how Microsoft and Apple do business and eventually Linux will win out over them.
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Re: Is Linux 'anti-capitalist' and is this a bad thing?

Postby Husse on Sun Nov 01, 2009 8:03 pm

I stumbled over this topic when I clicked the View new posts link
I have seen more than one odd opinion voiced in US forums/blogs/or where ever that LInux is anti-capitalist and thus evil
It is not anti-anything in itself - the use might be, but so can the use of Windows be :)
I'll lock this topic before it gets out of hand
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