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Let’s Limit the Effect of Software Patents, Since We Can’t Eliminate Them (Wired)

Let’s Limit the Effect of Software Patents, Since We Can’t Eliminate Them (Wired)

Posted Nov 7, 2012 1:25 UTC (Wed) by wahern (subscriber, #37304)
In reply to: Let’s Limit the Effect of Software Patents, Since We Can’t Eliminate Them (Wired) by Rudd-O
Parent article: Let’s Limit the Effect of Software Patents, Since We Can’t Eliminate Them (Wired)

These terms "government" and "corporation" obscure the issues. "Public" and "private" are even worse. Public used to mean an institution directly benefiting from the statist's government ability to use physically coercive force, but most "public" institutions no longer have this characteristic, particularly after Roosevelt's New Deal. And in any anarchist frame of reference, that option doesn't exist so there's no public/private dichotomy we could recognize from grade school civics class.

Any anarchist system has a government (or a plurality of governments, not unlike advanced societies today), as in some organized form of decision making and dispute resolution which derives its legitimacy from its participants, who in turn feel bound (for whatever sociological or psychological reason) to honor its judgments with some significant degree of conviction. Likewise, conceptually, an anarchist collective is almost identical to a corporation, and don't think that this similarity didn't cross the mind of Justice Kennedy when he penned the Citizens United decision. (The opinion was bad because ideology should never trump facts.)

RMS seems to have understood the necessity of using more exacting terminology, to both reason logically as well as to effectively communicate non-intuitive ideas. "Intellectual property" was once a simplistic abstraction, with unobjectionable usage you can trace back to the 17th century. Today it's irreconcilably tainted by a narrow political perspective on the role of government in commerce.

Public, private, government, anarchy... these words are likewise no longer useful. Today they're merely euphemisms for different views and opinions. The world has outgrown their utility, and we should just stop using them.


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