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L.S. Colby: "I request that Rob Magazine retract the title of its article."

Nov 29, 1998, 12:51 (24 Talkback[s])

By L. S. Colby

Socialism is an economic and political system in which the means of production are state property.

Depending upon the degree of "purity" of the socialist system, citizens of a socialist state exist as a collective whose lives are the property of the state; they go to state schools, work at jobs assigned by the state, in state owned businesses for the good of the state as defined by the state.

In the 1930s a variant of this theme was developed in Germany called National Socialism. It differed from Marxist, Communist and other European brands of socialism in that the state owned nothing directly; however, the state managed every aspect of individual and business activity through the passage of laws and regulations that made all actions by business and individuals subject to state control. Thus citizens appeared to own businesses, homes and other property. In practice, this was no more then a fig leaf over a dictatorial state. No action could be initiated by business or individuals without first obtaining approval from a representative of the state. Individual and business rights to property were granted when individuals played ball and revoked without notice for any reason. Those who were stripped of their citizenship did not fare as well.

A vigorous opposition to this form of dictatorship developed in the remaining democracies in the world. They joined together to resist the use of force to spread the doctrines of socialism in whatever form it took. This opposition joined forces voluntarily, often a great cost to the citizens of the remaining free states. During World WAR II this alliance was known as the Allies.

Linux has been developed by people who understand that dictatorship is unacceptable, no matter how benign it may claim to be.

Linux is an entirely voluntary activity. Its developers are not the property of any entity; they are free men and women.

The Linux model of development is enlightened self interest at its best, the essence of capitalism, and a threat to socialist demagogues everywhere.

In the Linux world, what school you went to, who you know, what the media says, public relations, the magnificence of your suspenders and all the other trappings of a looters economy have no value. The "aristocracy of pull" has no place here. You must be productive and only your best will be good enough. Here, its what you know and what you can do that counts.

There is no greater threat to socialism in any of its forms, direct or indirect, then business built on enlightened self interest, the Linux way.

I request that Rob Magazine retract the title of its article. It is a slur on Linux and all those who donate their time to its development. Mr. Young characterized Linux as Utopian, not Socialist.

I assume this article is the result of ignorance and not the product of malicious intent.

Colby