The limits of positive and negative
Posted Sep 30, 2011 12:46 UTC (Fri) by coriordan
In reply to: goals of the FSF
Parent article: Papering over a binary blob
I'm not sure that the categorisation positive/negative is useful here.
Does FSF campaign for your positive freedom to modify software? Or for the negative liberty to prevent others from stopping you from modifying software?
Kinda the same thing really.
RMS addresses this at the start of his speeches:
Free Software [...] is software that respects the user's freedom. What do I mean by this? Because it's never enough just to say "I'm in favour of freedom", the crucial issue is always: what are the essential freedoms that everyone should have?
From One of RMS's usual free software speeches, March 2006.
So it's not so much a question of having as much positive liberty as possible, or as much negative liberty as possible. The point is to have whatever freedoms are necessary to live in a society where everyone can and be friendly and helpful to each other and can make use of their skills to improve their quality of life.
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