Subject: Re: FW: Why would I pay for Ximian software?
From: Bernard Lang <Bernard.Lang@inria.fr>
Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2002 00:37:26 +0100

On Wed, Jan 02, 2002 at 05:05:35PM -0500, Joshua C. Lerner wrote:
> On Wed, 2 Jan 2002, Nick Jennings wrote:
> 
> > On Wed, Jan 02, 2002 at 03:27:57PM -0500, Perry E. Metzger wrote:
> > >
> > > In general, the open source software universe has this problem, which
> > > is how to assure that smart people can make a living doing free/open
> > > source software. Writing good large programs is a full time job, and
> > > people need to have ways to paying for that.
> > >
> > > Having started a company dedicated to an open source product (NetBSD
> > > in my instance), let me say that this is a hard problem.
> >
> >  Agreed. It's alot easier for someone to make a living of selling drugs,
> >  or prostituting themseleves, than it is for someone to make a living
> >  of doing good for the community.
> 
> Come now. There are many ways to do "good for the community". Not all
> involve working for non-profits, which I assume is what you mean.
> 
> >  That's one of the things I hate about
> >  Capitalism. It's designed around the dollar, not around progress, or
> >  freedom.
> 
> Yes, capitalism is oriented around corporations trying to maximize profit.
> Individuals too are generally interested in maximizing income.
> 
> However, the capitalism economic system does depend on the freedom of
> businesses and individuals to act as they see fit, within the confines of
> the law. Capitalism may not lead to what you consider "progress", but it
> does have the nifty ability to serve most any need for which there is
> sufficient demand. To many, that is "progress".
> 
> The paradox of capitalism, IMHO, is that the needs of society as a whole
> are best met when businesses and individuals act in their own best
> self-interest. Others have explained why better than I ever could.

Local ideology ...

  Totalitarian capitalism is ineffective at doing things that do not
concern directly individuals or corporation.  It cannot do long range
planning.  That is what the state is for, doing the things capitalism
will not do.

   All the economic power in the same hands also leads to them holding
the political power, hence the laws, and hence all kinds of
perversions that end up being anti-economic such as excessive
intellectual property (see for example anti-commons).  It is jus not
possible to consider economics in isolation.

  The issue is the split in power and resources between the two.  But
totalitarian capitalism will not fare much better than totalitarian
socialism ... or totalitarian anything for that matter.  Darwin
discovered that quite a while ago, and ecology is teaching similar
lessons.  The good answer is diversity and multiplicity of answers.

Bernard

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