Subject: Re: Giving Richard His Due
From: "Tony Stanco" <Tony@FreeDevelopers.net>
Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2002 06:23:06 -0500

>From: Federico Lucifredi <flucifredi@acm.org>

>The two main overarching principles of Human society are Power and Power

You have completely missed about 3000 years of human history, which
effectively ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall. The struggle for the
last 3000 years precisely was tying down unaccountable policial power based
on the rational, ethical principles of freedom and equality that have their
roots in the philosophical-religious teachings of Jesus and the
religious-philosophical teachings of Socrates. They culminated in The US
Constitution and the UN Declaration of Human Rights, which were the
aspirational documents that laid the foundations for the reality that
eventually followed (and is still playing out, and hopefully the world does
not slip back).

That you missed understanding the political struggle of three millennia, I
should not expect you to understand that we have now entered the struggle to
tie down unaccountable economic power. Corporations have now replaced the
power of lords and kings, though at one level of power down. What we are
doing is starting to lay out the new social contract between people and
economic organizations based on the same ethical principles that motivated
people to make political power accountable. Microsoft is just the easiest
place to start, since everyone understands its harm to freedom and equality,
because of the inherent power of software in the new technological world.

I don't want to continue this discussion with you online or off. I just got
back from a DARPA Open Source meeting yesterday and I need to prepare for
presentations with Washington technical people tomorrow, Senior e-Government
people on Tuesday and the World Bank on Wednesday, so I don't have time for
people that don't even understand the issues, let alone have anything useful
to say about solutions. On the other hand, if there are people on this list
who understood what was, and is, going on and have ideas on achieving an
ethical future, I would like to hear from you offline.