Free Software and Activists

2006-01-08 One-minute read

Thanks Katrin for pointing out Bruce Byfield’s article asking why the free software movement is not closer to the activist movement. Certainly a topic we should be discussing. However, I don’t think the article covers what is fundamental: why do we see ourselves so distinctly as two movements?

Seems to me that the problem is not getting Free software advocates to learn how to talk to activists and vice versa as if we are two distinct camps looking for common ground. Instead, the problem is recognizing that many free software technologists are activists and should recognize themselves and be recognized as leaders on this topic within the activist community. As far as I can tell neither is happening. As free software technologists (and all technologists for that matter) we often marginalize ourselves and allow others to marginalize us as mechanics of the movement with no vision to contribute. When we can recognize the Internet as a movement to be organized rather than a tool to be used, we may have a chance at overcoming this problem.