My expedition into cyber-communism began when I read Brock Meeks' "Hackers Stumble Toward Legitimacy". The article addressed a recent hackers' convention. Interestingly, the keynote speaker was Eric Boucher (alias Jello Biafra), a rock star with no technical background. Numerous questions ensue. Who is Eric Boucher (alias Jello Biafra)? What does he believe? More importantly, why schedule someone with no technical background to speak at a hackers' convention? Addressing his beliefs, his proposed Green Party platform is not inconsistent with the "Manifesto of Libertarian Communism". This answer produces a more troubling question. Was his speech against corporate ...view middle of the document...
"The membership of the first Communist spy ring uncovered in the U.S. Government was not spawned in the sweat shops of New York's lower east side or the tenant farms of the South. [The conspirators] came to high government posts from Harvard Law School."
Communism's fallacy is the belief in everyone's benevolence; yet, human nature proves otherwise. Communism cannot create a perfect society with imperfect people. Hence, to direct Utopia, communism produces a totalitarian government over the less-perfect people, ruled by the perfect people - communists. Thus, communism's true nature creates a controlling government in the name of a better world.
Not every supporter needs be a knowing conspirator. Supporters could be "under the [communists'] spell." Therefore, the true communist threat comes from people who can be deluded into supporting a controlling government in the name of a better world. John Stormer's "None Dare Call It Treason" concurs with this conclusion saying:
"Communism is a disease of the intellect. It promises universal brotherhood, peace and prosperity to lure humanitarians and idealists into participating in a conspiracy which gains power through deceit and deception and stays in power with brute force."
From Communism to Cyber-Communism
Richard Barbrook's "The::Cyber.Com/Munist::Manifesto" and "Cyber-Communism: How Americans are Superseding Capitalism in Cyberspace" (parts 1, 2, 3, 4) draw parallels between communism and cyber-communism. He associates the Soviet Union's gift/communist economy, where people freely exchange material goods, with the open source gift/cyber-communist economy, where people freely exchange source code. He concludes that cyber-communism promises a digital Utopia.
However, like communism's promises, cyber-communism's promises are not manifesting themselves. Monty Manley's "Be an Engineer, Not an Artist" cites poorly designed code to assert that unpaid programmers will work only on "sexy" projects. Scott Billings' "Where's the Creativity?" challenges Linux supporters to show one original idea in Linux, reminding us that Linux itself is not an original idea.
Now, I am not condemning open source itself. Cyber-communism's fallacy is funding the open source development method. Xavier Basora's "Open Source and Nag Screens: Contradictions of the Bazaar" mentions a shareware open source program to demonstrate the difficulty of funding "free" software. Eric Raymond's "The Magic Cauldron" provides many theoretical economic models, but he fails to provide any case studies to demonstrate their practicality. Red Hat follows Eric Raymond's economic model and still suffers fiscal losses. Richard Stallman's "The GNU Manifesto" admits programmers will "not [be] paid as much as now." Therefore, cyber-communism's true nature moves software development to an unfeasible economic model. Andrew Leonard's "The Cybercommunist...