Bonum Certa Men Certa

Why American Free Software Supporters Should Focus on the World Instead (At Least Regarding Free Software)

By figosdev

Freedom tower

Summary: Why the US needs more people like Richard Stallman (rms) and today's election won't mean much to software freedom

Only joking -- there are no American Free Software Supporters.

Only half-joking, rms is one; there have to be a few others.

On the surface, there's no way to make this point without it looking like nothing more than a bitter take on today's election. People who insist on missing the point may even try to say that's all it is. And you almost can't blame them -- after all, that's the tone of it.

But the truth is that Free Software is about freedom. And if you care so little about freedom, you aren't likely to care about Free Software either. If you look around, most people care more about Microsoft GitHub than Free Software. So much for Free Software, then.

Freedom handsIn October of 2001, and in response to the events of the month prior, America broke the bulk of her promises and passed unconstitutional legislation in the form of the PATRIOT Act.

This act was not necessarily written by Joe Biden, but he thinks it was and takes credit for writing it. The law found a champion in Attorney General John Ashcroft. You can also thank Microsoft for its help in the campaign that led to Ashcroft gaining that position, as they contributed substantially to Bush during that campaign.

In 2016, Bernie Sanders was the leader The People wanted. The DNC never cared about The People, and chose to fight (and lose) for Hillary instead. This cost the Democratic Party the White House, and paved the way for Donald Trump instead. Nice one, there.

Since then, Trump has led a government that is openly fascist. But that at least, was supported by fewer than half the voters.

"Biden is not the same as Trump, but they have more in common than they have as differences."Fast forward to today, when Joe Biden is most likely to take the lead. Joe Biden, who claims he wrote the most fascist law in American history, will probably win as America is eager to put one horror aside, then elect another in its place. This didn't have to happen, though Democrats are not concerned with due process -- only with winning.

If they were concerned with due process, they would not commit treason by defrauding other parties, including the one that rms has supported for years. Say what you will about the Green Party (I have) though they don't seem to be fascists.

Next January, Joe Biden will most likely be sworn in, and the world will sigh with relief, without a good reason. Biden is not the same as Trump, but they have more in common than they have as differences. On average, Americans only care about the differences, or they would never elect this man. Instead they would recognise him for the horror that he is.

It is not this decision alone, which finally shifts America from being half-fascist to mostly fascist that makes the point of this article. Rather it confirms, in no small way, the overall trend America has stayed on for the past 19 years (and really longer than that).

The PATRIOT Act just reached its 19th anniversary, and many people have actually tried to reduce, restrain or end this war against America's own people and their liberty. But the law is a greater manifestation of fascism than Trump himself, and Trump's largest abuses of power were enabled by the precedents set by both the PATRIOT Act and Obama's NDAA of 2012.

"A culture of Executive abuse was created and bolstered well before Trump got in, and that culture will not go away in January with either Trump or Biden in office."On the way to Trumpism, abuse by the office of the President also had the way paved by record-setting use of Executive Orders, during both Bush and Obama's terms. Now the world sees why those abuses were a terrible mistake -- they created the White House that exists today.

That White House will not improve substantially during the next 4 to 8 years. It will likely continue to get worse, no matter who takes office. A culture of Executive abuse was created and bolstered well before Trump got in, and that culture will not go away in January with either Trump or Biden in office. America's job today is to pick a loser -- no matter who wins today, America will lose.

This isn't a problem that can be solved by a vote between one fascist or the other, anymore than Free Software can help its situation by ceding control to Microsoft -- as it has continued to do since 2018.

In this fascist political climate, expecting people to support Free Software is charming -- people welcome mass surveillance, so why would they care if Free Software is an alternative to it? People welcome corporations running the country (illegally), so why would they care about autonomy from GitHub?

Instead, as with so many things, people welcome the trappings of progress -- not progress itself. So it is with Free Software.

There is practical advice to be given here, though with all the distractions of the past two decades I don't expect anybody to notice. If you are residing between (but not within) the countries of Canada and Mexico, then soon enough you will be living in the Fascist States of America.

There are people in the FSA who support freedom, but they are a small minority. There are people who claim to love freedom, who make up the vast majority.

How is that different from Open Source? Only in scale. Though ESR may actually remain a libertarian, not a Trump supporter, so credit where credit is due. He may be a backstabber and absolutely terrible for Free Software, but if he doesn't vote for a fascist that's actually an admirable trait. I'm pretty sure rms isn't voting for Trump or Biden either -- rms is actually against the PATRIOT Act, he refuses to even call it that because even the name of the law is fascist propaganda.

"There are people in the FSA who support freedom, but they are a small minority. There are people who claim to love freedom, who make up the vast majority."But what about the rest of America? No, today they support the PATRIOT Act like never before, by electing its self-alleged author. What an awful, awful day for freedom.

By all means, if you can find someone in the FSA who supports Free Software, there's no reason they should be excluded from the fight for software freedom that began like so many things in American history, in Massachusetts and nearby.

But it's time for Free Software to pay closer attention to the rest of the world, because America does not stand for freedom anymore -- it is a mostly fascist country.

Fascist software is not Free Software, and fascists are not going to fight for your freedom.

Free Software is foolish to keep so many eggs in an American basket. Obviously, Free Software long ago spread out to other countries, and sometimes fares better in other places (even Germany, depending on what week it is) although the FSFE are traitors to Free Software and the EU is generally against any sort of reform that is relevant to what Free Software does.

The EU pushes patents and extreme copyright on the rest of the world, while Alexandre Oliva (not a fascist) says that copyright has nothing to do with Free Software (obviously Alex, you've never heard of the RIAA). It's one of the greatest Achilles heels of the FSF that (Unlike the GNOME Foundation -- or since they love patent trolls so much, maybe GNOME should be called TROLL instead) they fully get the threat of patents, but they stubbornly underestimate the threat of ever-expanding copyright.

"Fascist software is not Free Software, and fascists are not going to fight for your freedom."While Roy says that Biden's less in favour of patent abuse than Trump (that may be true) Biden has long supported the copyright fascists that pose just as much threat to Free Software, no matter what Oliva tells you.

Today, fascism wins either way. Technofascism also gains either way.

If you support either freedom or the subset we sometimes call software freedom, today is a very good day to look to the rest of the world for support. You won't find it if you're depending on the FSA to set things right.

I've spent years watching the rest of the world with regards to Free Software -- Trisquel (once a distro that cared about its users) has always seemed (or is) predominantly of Spain, though I'm not 100% sure of that. Hyperbola's leader is Brazilian (I realise that Brazil has fallen to fascist leadership as well). The purpose of this article isn't to have a roll call, though a global Free Software roll call is still in order. England, for its many faults, at least gives us Techrights (I consider that substantial).

"Free Software needs the rest of the world -- it needs to connect more globally, no thanks (at all) to the FSFE."As fascism continues its spread throughout the world, we will need people from EVERY country to stand against it -- including the States. But relying too solely on any fascist country like Brazil, or America, is a mistake. If you care about freedom, you should be more wary of supposed bastions that are more about fascism than freedom.

I know Roy is probably going to follow up with something about how countries themselves are passe or beside the point, but that would have very little to do with the point of this article anyway.

Free Software needs the rest of the world -- it needs to connect more globally, no thanks (at all) to the FSFE. Clearly with GitHub you are doing the opposite, letting Microsoft help dictate which countries can fully participate in Free Software. Even the FSF has fallen to the FSA -- the FSF is run by fascists as well. These are not people who care about freedom. They support (and represent) decades of compromise and decline.

What I am not arguing for is global-ism, only for global activism. Globalism is a push for global rule, and we have more than enough "rule" already. Globalism would make that worse.

"As of this writing it's early November 3rd, across most or all of North America."Finally, please note that we are talking about standing worldwide against real fascism here; technological and otherwise. We aren't talking about dumb shit like banning every person who makes a tasteless joke or who doesn't climb every bandwagon that claims to be "antifascist" -- that's just another hijacking of freedom. People who think food is a right (I've never been against feeding the poor -- it's one of the greatest things you can do with your existence, but mind the strings they sometimes attach) but show greater interest in turning the internet into a safe space for Maoist idiots, will only starve the world of truth and meaning instead.

As of this writing it's early November 3rd, across most or all of North America. Long live rms, Good Morning and Good Luck.

Licence: Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (public domain)

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