Collectivist ideology has its tentacles in every industry including Information Technology. Proof of that is the thesis about open source philosophy as a case for socialism. It is supported by superficial arguments such as the fact that those software solutions are usually free with regard to economic costs.
The relationship between open source and anti-capitalism is a myth to debunk. But maybe it is somehow hard to make up our minds. So we will make some clarifications in this article.
First of all, what is open source? Open source is a philosophy in software engineering promoting source code free of copyright. According to the philosophy, developers should release their codes and allow the free distribution, modification, edition and copies.
Enemies of free markets try to convince us of capitalism as an evil that makes us obsessed with money-making under egoist and immoral behaviors. So they may demonize technological companies whose earnings come from the non-free distribution of software (Microsoft, Google, Intuit). In other words, they think it has already been found such a new argument against private property and free markets. But reality this doesn’t apply.
Intellectual Property Is Rather Protectionism
Under copyright laws, the State may prosecute those who release something based in a certain idea without making attributions or asking the author or owner of the company for permission or paying him. It may also entitle creators to establish patents for their products and discoveries. These forbid others to build something similar or based on the same thing.
Whether copyright or patents we are establishing such a monopoly in the market. No competition, no “discussion” based on the “provision of an alternative product/solution”. Both free speech and free innovation are seriously and dramatically affected by those regulations. Again it’s not the spontaneous order but the government which endangers market competition based on the negative liberty for a diversity of products.
Sadly, Big Tech Are Servile To Marxism And Big Government
Whoever thinks of Google, Apple, Facebook, Spotify and Microsoft as hard-core pro-market and pro-liberty companies is totally mistaken. It is true that those entities have been successful by the extent a wider range of people have demanded and recommended their products (Google Search Engine, Windows XP, iPhones, Spotify Premium…).
On the other hand, Big Tech are engaged in censorship procedures against Christianity, defense of human life and family, and other libertarian and conservative principles. At the same time, they promote values like multiculturalism and gender ideology. They even call governments for regulations over fake news –in reality Big Tech and Big Government play on far better terms than those latter with small companies.
Open Source Is Not A Failure In Spite Of Bottom-Up
As it has been said before, open source applications code is not restricted to their owners—self-employed people or technological companies. Maintenance is not fully exclusive for them. It is rather a responsibility of developer communities. They also make revisions of the code and apply modifications that may led to new product versions or error fixes.
The communities of developers are not subject to the orders of a chief or director. They may only share such a code of conduct and might use such a philosophy as like agile. Important software solutions like Gimp, Moodle and Linux distributions as Debian or Tails are not flawed projects lacking from a top-down support. Besides, most web servers are running Linux. In fact, this website along with one third of all websites are powered by an open source platform called WordPress.
Decentralized Communities Work Successfully
By and large, those communities of developers are fueled by passion—either they are fully fond of coding or want to contribute to the success of some software solutions. Nobody is guiding them—neither the government nor their workplace or university. But what happens when we get out of technology? Is is an argument to relinquish of the government?
The State has been an enemy of intermediate bodies and families. It has eroded moral values based on charity, dedication to the neighbor and responsibility. Usually the government becomes wider and more expansive in detriment to our liberties. The justification of “response” to an imbued feeling of insecurity is as logical as the showing of free software as technological bullshit.
So if programmers and software developers may bring out successful and fully-powered products to the market –it should be noted that by 2022, open source market share may rise to $33 million, why cannot we respect the principle of subsidiarity -taught by Catholic Social Teaching and Popes as Saint John Paul II- and promote a morally sound environment in order to achieve a freer, flourishing and prosperous society?