|Arthur S. Alexion on Mon, 14 Jul 2003 13:32:05 -0400|
On Saturday 12 July 2003 7:23 am, Arthur S. Alexion wrote:Jason, don't confuse *capitalism* with *free markets and competition*. *Capitalism* is about making money off of /investing wealth/ versus making money off of /work, ideas and talent/. In my experience, capitalism is a principle sacred to its adherents, where as *free markets* and *competition* are doctrines of convenience, much like /states rights/. When pro-competition laws like the anti-trust laws interfere with profits, capitalists find it easy and not ideologically inconsistent to oppose them (just like many self-professed states-rights conservatives are happy to support federal laws. like the "Protection of Marriage Act", that usurp traditional state authority). In capitalism, labor, ideas and talent are commodities that can be bought and sold with /capital/. In capitalism, it is not so important that work, innovation and talent create value, as the idea that capital investment facilitates work and innovation.
Free software threatens capitalism because it blurs the definition of private property, thereby weakening the power of capital. In the open source movement, as I understand it, the power lies in combining work, ideas and talent, through sharing of their fruits via free software and open source code. Capital, though not irrelvant, becomes peripheral. (Let me try a metaphor. In the secret, proprietary software world, capital is the fuel that drives the engine, whereas, in the open source world, it is merely a lubricant -- necessary to the continued operation, but not the driving force.)
[sorry for getting so off track, if not off topic]
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