Sunday, 13 January 2008

Is OpenSource a Socialistic realization?

I happened to have had a great weekend(never used to end last year, this year is yet to start) having a real intense time reading Socialistic "The Mother" by Maxim Gorky and digging around lot of open source tools for the architecture that am developing fully based on open source tools.

I couldnt help but to draw parallels between the Open Source movement and Socialistic views which are rather bygone now.
First on the socialistic views, Personally i have never been fascinated by socialistic/communistic
school of thought as i feel ( may be a lot of those who have reaped benefits of capitalistic society)
,it is against the basic ethos of human ego.

Here is why i feel that way.
> We were never born equal
> We were never raised equal
> We were never taught equal

More than all of these, our genetic make up is not equal, and hence the founding philosphy of Socialism of Every thing for every body is destined to be mis appropriate on the very premises of the human nature and on a natural logical comprehension.
Still if a philosphy(Socialism) has caught the minds of so many a people and nations , there should be something in it (which i may learn in the coming days), but on a hindsight , looking at the miserable failures of communist nations and principles , one may easily conclude that it was never designed to suit the survival driven human psyche. May be Sigmund Freud would have had some answers based on the dreams of a collective and cognitive society.
Though my intention was not to do a post-mortem on the socialistic principles, i was very keen to catch the parallels i could see between the open source movement with it.
In two days, i was able to create a framework and realize it with

> MySQL Database
> Hibernate ORM
> Spring Framework
> Tomcat
> Alfresco Content Manager
> Quartz Scheduler

all for free ; given the fact that these are high level api's and these include a lot of sub opensource projects, i was intrigued to understand the motivation behind the open source movement.
It could be any reasons ranging from satisfying personal ego's and technical prowess to a clever business model by an unassuming entrepreneur, but apart from those who drive (Mark Fleury, Rod Thomson types) , what could motivate so many individuals to do this? Is it a balance of the society from the previleged to underprivileged developers? Or are we taking a cycle back to socialistic thoughts through open source movements?

This is where i feel we could draw lines between socialistic and opensource thoughts.
--Both are upset with the fact that high degree of control is with too few people
--Both are destined to improve the standards of the corresponding society that they drive
--Both want to kill the competetive edge of the few and offers scope for broader audience(though O/S fares better here)
But as history has proven , the intrepretation of "free for all" thought is with the implementer (Gorky was very upset with Lenin's implementation of communism , though he was a staunch supporter of bolshevik causes) and time will tell the world about the Open Sources and how open they will remain .
If i could attempt to map the story "The Mother" of Maxim Gorky to OpenSource movement, i could see the opensource promoters to be the frustrated factory workers , who want to take a hit at the establishment and coming up with alternate way of techno-society where the competitive edge is no longer the knowledge of infrastructural artifacts. The game is pushed beyond the basics and is played clearly at the level of using these principles to one's advantage or disadvantage.
Anyhow, i am happy to be creating low-cost or no-cost solution alternatives for the sky cost, properietary alternatives and am thankful to those who invest time and effort on cute softwares like hibernate, mysql , spring , alfresco etc (forgetting licensing for time being) and it must be intresting to understand from Karl Marx on his views of Political economy and Open Source commodity software and long live open-source.

The intresting fact is , people who toil for creating the value to the society in both the cases benefit less (based on probality of revenue distribution) than those who control the momentum and direction of the movement and in this regard , i could see a close resemblance of both movements in terms of realization of the socialistic causes (sometime caustic as well).
Lets dig more on this later... with help from Karl Marx.

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