Imperialism, FLOSS and War
“Free software” means software that respects users' freedom and community.
In this case is clear that there's no freedom through war development - war is by definition the negation of freedom to all the people involved, who suffer permanent atrocities, except just the very few beneficiaries who profit from it -, and community only can mean (specially talking about software and in an Internet era) the whole world, the all-humanity community. To respect freedom and community must mean to oppose war - which in turn must mean to oppose the social class and regime who impulse the war initiative.
Free software means the users have the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software.
Free software is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of “free” as in “free speech”, not as in “free beer”.
Liberty and free speech are two of the first things that get obliterated by war...
Free software (or libre software) is computer software distributed under terms that allow users to run the software for any purpose as well as to study, change, and distribute it and any adapted versions. Free software is a matter of liberty, not price: all users are legally free to do what they want with their copies of a free software (including profiting from them) regardless of how much is paid to obtain the program. Computer programs are deemed "free" if they give end-users (not just the developer) ultimate control over the software and, subsequently, over their devices.
"All users are legally free to do what they want with their copies" is typically the premise that conflicts with the "respect for users' freedom and community". In this case, "all users" includes the army high command, and, "to do what they want" implies its use with the purpose of end people's freedom and communities existence.
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Armies, as all capitalists companies and organizations, embrace free software mostly because it's free (in price). They don't care about communities at all. In fact, governements are trying to make encryption illegal for civilian users.
I don't want armies, so I don't care about their sovereignty, but some interesting questions arise: Should be free software used by anybody who don't respect freedom? Should free software licenses include some clause to deny that? If so, would it be really free?
My answers are no, maybe and no.
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To avoid confusion: capitalism is the violation and destruction of all forms of social and general freedom, except for the freedom of a marginal social minority (capitalist class) to live and feed upon the exploitation and oppression of the immense social majority (working class).
So, only in a social regime where there's no exploitation neither oppression will social welfare and individual freedoms be a couple of the many aspects of the one and same thing.
Meanwhile, a free (as in freedom) software license that allows to weaponize such software seems not only as morally wrong, but also as logically absurd: weapons of invasion are by definition against people's freedom and communities welfare (we're not talking here about weapons for defense, like if we were under menace from some extraterrestrial force...). But, the use of free software by states and armies (both oppression apparatus) means also - maybe - more development of free software which could also be use by people around the world with all the benefits it has.
I'm under the impression that this issue has been discussed before, and that there is some license that prohibit military use of free software..., can't remember right now.
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