Linux as Social Justice Symbol - I Think Not

by Ostatic Staff - May. 03, 2011

Today I saw a comparison of Linux vs Microsoft to the establishment/capitalism/corporate American vs 60's hippies. Either this young writer is a product of the socialistic indoctrination running rabid throughout the world or he just has a profound lack of understanding of Open Source software. He might as well join in Ballmer's choir and sing Linux is communism.

He fails to realize that Linux and Open Source software represents FREEDOM -> as in FREE SPEECH as opposed to free as in no-cost. Many of those radical hippies of the 60's have grown up to espouse big government owning all assets and controlling every aspect of citizens' lives. They want guaranteed equal outcomes instead of equal opportunities.

Linux and Open Source is a meritocracy. To move up the food chain in Open Source development, you have to prove your coding prowess. Everyone has the opportunity to contribute, but only the gifted or those that work hard succeed. It does not mean that everyone born can contribute. Linux and Open Source under the various GPLs offers FREEDOM not free of cost.

His premise that Linux and Open Source can show how wrong capitalism is and how to create a "sustainable society" again is either naive or completely uninformed. Socialism is neither a nest for innovation nor sustainable. Socialism sucks all the motivation and incentive out of life and drains all the wealth out of the nation. This is the very antithesis of freedom and Open Source software. Socialists do not believe in freedom. In fact, their very creed demands a complete surrender of freedom in return for government provided necessities. Guaranteed housing, food, and (rationed) health-care does not make up for the loss in freedom of movement, purchase, occupation, privacy, residence, possession, and choice. His use of a 90's science fiction movie as an example is a metaphor for the reality of his thesis.

Linux is about freedom - freedom to choose which components to use, freedom to alter the source code as desired, and the freedom to redistribute for profit or not. Just because most Linux and Open Source software usually costs little or nothing does not make Open Source altruistic or socialist. Open sourced makes it free as used in the Constitution of the United States.