Linux is Communism!

Samuel Thurston sam.thurston at
Tue Dec 28 17:55:07 UTC 2010

On Tue, Dec 28, 2010 at 11:28 AM, Goh Lip <g.lip at> wrote:
> On 12/28/2010 08:23 PM, David Gerard wrote:
>> Sorry, forgot Russia's capitalist now:
> To say the Soviet Union was communist is like saying the USA is
> capitalist. In the true sense of definitions, at least by Marx or Adam
> Smith, neither are what they claim to be.
> To say the USA is democratic, as in the sense of a govt "of the people,
> by the people, for the people" is as fanciful as saying the Soviet Union
> was a "dictatorship of the proletariat".
> <snipped much of my own explanations - could be incendiary>

I don't disagree with the general premise that neither system in
practice neatly fits the theoretical label.  If there ever has been a
true Marxist state in the world, I'd like to hear about it, but as far
as I know, corruption from within has always prevented it from
existing.  Likely the same goes for unadulterated capitalism.  I know,
having lived in the US all my life, that we have supposedly educated
people who will say "we live in a democracy" which isn't even
theoretically true: a representative- democratic republic shares
certain features of a democracy but it would still be a gross
mis-characterization by any standard.

I am curious though about your qualifier "as fanciful."  I'm not sure
that the US gov't deviates quite as widely from its general principle
statement than did the Soviet Union, though I'll concede that may be
observational bias.

I do think it's a safe bet that David Gerard was being knowingly
tounge-in-cheek in the first place.

To steer the conversation back to software, this thread has really got
me thinking about what was happening in the hardware world 5-10 years
ago, and wondering: In the absence of a democratizing force like FOSS,
would the vision of sealed black-box computers that only run signed
code be a reality today?

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