Re: Gov't Loves Gov't

Warrl kyree Tale'sedrin (
Tue, 27 Jan 1998 19:31:30 +0000

> From: "Peter C. McCluskey" <>

> ("Warrl kyree Tale'sedrin") writes:
> >> From: "Peter C. McCluskey" <>
> >> Linux is an example of a free non-market non-capitalist solution.
> >
> >What you say about Linux is true except for the claim that it is
> >non-market and non-capitalist.
> >
> >Linux does compete in a market both for users against other operating
> >systems, and for programmers against other programming projects.
> Only if you stretch the word market well beyond its original meaning
> of a place where people buy and sell things (i.e. make it synonymous
> with a free system, in which case the word market doesn't serve much
> purpose).

I use "market" in the sense of an arrangement where people trade
goods, services, and valuables for other goods, services, and
valuables on the basis that they benefit thereby. Linux is an
excellent example.

> >And the capital is essential to its effort. It happens to be almost
> >entirely human capital -- something nobody but libertarians and
> Which would still exist in a free non-propertarian system, which most
> people wouldn't think of as capitalist.
> (Guru George) writes:
> >What would happen if people went against the conditions of use (or
> >whatever it is you see that's pasted all over linux when you first come
> >across it)?
> Not much. The violater would get harrased a bit, and wouldn't derive
> much benefit from the violation.
> >He means that linux has not been made free by a political process but by
> >the free decision of those involved. Perhaps "capitalism" and "market"
> >aren't quite precisely what's being pointed out here, but certainly a
> >classical liberal or libertarian system of property rights is presupposed.
> How would Linux be different if there were no property rights for
> information?

It would have developed a lot more slowly and would probably be
called GatesWare, on the basis that Bill Gates is better at marketing
than Linus is -- even though Bill Gates would not necessarily have
anything whatsoever to do with the production of it, neither Linus
nor any of the many thousands of other developers who have jointly
created Linux would get any credit at all; Gates would get it all.
(And this lack of proper credit is precisely why it would develop
more slowly.)
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