Just because it isn't Closed, Doesn't Mean It Is Socialism


Is it so hard to see it, with software or anything else?

The title, and inspiration, for this post are “stolen” from “Just Because It Isn’t Capitalism Doesn’t Mean It Is Socialism”. Because I have always found funny how many people, especially Americans, confuse everything politically left of Trump with full-blown North-Korea style communism, but above all because it mirrors something else I have been saying for years now.

Just Because It Isn’t Capitalism…

Just because it isn't Closed, Doesn't Mean It Is Socialism /img/mammon.jpg
Mammon, from Wikipedia

Says that post:

“It is common for some people to say to each and every critic of capitalism, because they are critical of capitalism, they must be socialists, and if they are socialists, they must not be given credence since socialism is erroneous.”

“What is especially wrong with this argument is that it assumes [that] any criticism which questions capitalism, must be socialism. This is far from true. Capitalism and socialism are merely two of many more possible economic systems of thought.”

_“Pope St. John Paul II understood this. He said: We have seen that it is unacceptable to say that the defeat of so-called “Real Socialism” leaves capitalism as the only model of economic organization.”_

Just because it isn’t Closed, Doesn’t Mean It Is Socialism

The thesis of that post applies equally to the world of software. People (like me) who insist that software should:

  • ideally, be open and “Free as in Freedom”, that is reusable, copiable and modifiable without license fees or other restrictions
  • as a bare minimum, never use proprietary formats or protocols

are not automatically, surely socialist. Of course, there are authentic socialists who also are sincere advocates of Free Software, but the reverse is not always true. The one thing that all the very, very diverse advocates of Free Software worldwide have in common is that:

Left or Right have nothing to do with Free Software, it’s something you must do simply out of common sense (me, 2010), explaining that it is a myth that Free Software is communist, just because it is not proprietary. Besides, file formats are like alphabets (me again, still in 2010).

Oh, and in case you are interested, there are also concrete affinities between Openness (of software and more) and non-socialist, non-capitalist catholic social doctrine

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