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<nettime> Graham Seaman * The Two Economies; Or: Why the washing machine
Graham Seaman (by way of richard barbrook) on Sun, 13 Apr 2003 09:12:39 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> Graham Seaman * The Two Economies; Or: Why the washing machine question is the wrong question



The Two Economies
=================

Graham Seaman

Or: Why the washing machine question is the wrong question
- ----------------------------------------------------------

Introduction
============

Within capitalism, material goods are typically made:

o    by people working for a wage

o    for others who own the means of production

o    in order to create profit

o    by selling the product

The co-ordination between producers is indirect, through the market,
using money as a signalling mechanism.

Production of free software and other free goods can be contrasted
point by point with this list; non-material goods can be produced by
people:

o    working because they chose to

o    using their own means of production

o    in order to create something useful or pleasurable

o    which anyone can use

The co-ordination between producers is direct, mediated only by
technology.

In traditional marxist terms, two societies described like this would
have different modes of production. But in this case there is only one
society, and while almost the whole of society produces in the first
way, only a tiny, though growing, part produces in the second.

This is not an unusual situation: there have been few times in history
when a 'pure' mode of production, unmixed with fragments of other
modes, existed. Some of these fragments are remnants of the past:
personal slavery in parts of Northern Europe during the middle ages,
or villages with communally allocated and rotated land in isolated
parts of Southern Europe today. These fragments can often survive for
long periods, integrated into the overall system and partially changed
from their original form, but stable. Others are abortive glimpses of
a future believed possible which turns out not to be so, such as the
numerous experiments in communal working and living from the
nineteenth century to the 60s and 70s of the last century, again often
surviving for long periods. But the most interesting possibility is
the fragment which turns out to be the replacement for the dominant
mode of production.

This leads to two major groups of questions:

Firstly, what are the effects of the coexistence of two modes of
production now? How does the dependence of free software producers on
the capitalist economy affect free software production? And what
effect, if any, does free software production have on the surrounding
capitalist mode of production?

Secondly, is it possible for the free software mode of production to
be generalised to the whole of society? And if so, how?

Obviously, these are questions without definitive answers. Even those
parts of the question which are purely empirical would need a major
research program to answer properly. But that doesn't mean that it is
pointless to try to suggest possible answers. One possible starting
point is to look to the past, to one of the best documented changes:
the break-up of the feudal system in pre-revolutionary England.

The End of the Guilds
=====================

Manufacturing in late mediaeval society was contained within the guild
system, and organised through the hierarchy of apprentices, journeymen
and masters. To have a trade it was necessary to have been an
apprentice; once apprenticeship had been completed (normally after 7
years) an apprentice could expect his master to register him as a full
guild member, with the freedom to practise the trade as an independent
journeyman. Naturally journeymen would expect to become masters in
their turn. Knowledge of the trade was part of the mystery of the
guild, shared vertically within the guild but kept a secret from
outsiders, and guild boundaries were rigourously enforced. Guild
inspectors would check not only the quality of the goods produced but
also adherence to proper employment procedures and encroachment on the
territory of other guilds: a shoemaker in the shoemakers guild should
not encroach on the work of cobblers, who repaired old shoes, nor
should he tan his own leather, the mystery of the tanners' guild. The
system was intended to maintain the maximum possible quality of the
output: the quality of tanned leather was guaranteed by the tanners'
own inspectors, the true experts on tanning, and a shoemaker who set
himself up as an amateur tanner as well had no such expertise.

By the late 16th century this system was still firmly in place. To
some extent it was cross-cut by the patents of monopoly granted by the
state, which effectively gave guild privileges to small groups of
individuals (though even these were limited to 7 years, the time for a
group of apprentices to pass through the system and potentially be
able to set up a new guild); but the right of the state to grant such
patents was fiercely (and often successfully) resisted by the guilds.

What the guilds could not do was cope with the increasing number of
journeymen with no hope of becoming masters in their own guilds. In
the big cities desperate journeymen began to abandon their own trades
and set up as small manufacturers. These small manufacturers, though
persecuted, managed to survive outside the guild system and the
mediaeval hierarchy of rights and obligations, and in spite of the
many caught by guild inspectors and fined or even imprisoned, by the
mid-17th century parts of London were dominated by them. Since they
were outside the guild system their employees were not apprentices in
the old sense, but workers for a wage: this was already a fragment of
a new mode of production.

Now two systems co-existed: one still dominant, the other small and
struggling, and blocked at every turn by the regulations of the old
system. John Lilburne, one of the leading spokesmen for the Levellers,
the Republican left-wing, was a typical example: originally
apprenticed as a clothier, he became a Protestant. Book publishing and
distribution was a monopoly of the Stationers', and when he attempted
to bring in Protestant texts from Holland he was caught by inspectors
for the Stationers' Company and imprisoned. Once freed, he became a
successful small brewer until the outbreak of the Civil War. After two
and a half year's fighting, he attempted to use his knowledge of cloth
as a cloth-exporter; but the monopoly on cloth export belonged to the
Merchant Adventurers, not the clothiers themselves. Abandoning this,
he became a soap-maker ... Just to survive, people like John Lilburne
were forced to work outside, and against, the guilds.

Other Leveller supporters worked in brewing, tanning, glass-making,
felt-making, hat-making, sack-cloth and linen-weaving, dyeing,
silk-spinning, soap-boiling, nearly all embroiled in continual
struggles with the guilds. It was natural that their watchword became
'freedom': freedom from the guilds, freedom from the state-imposed
monopolies, freedom for trade, freedom of conscience.

So we have a first requirement: the new mode of production is not
something arbitrary, willed into existence, but a product of the old
system: in this case the guild system which was structurally unable to
provide positions for all its apprentices.

Next, the new system began to infect the old. Here the route was
simple: for the new mode of production to expand, it needed capital,
and capital was already available. Merchant trading was a normal part
of the mediaeval economy; once again, monopolised by merchant guilds.
But given new possible sources of profit why should they care whether
the products they traded had been produced under normal guild
regulations or not? From reselling non-guild products it was a small
step to financing their production, although in the end the
restrictions on doing this on a large scale were too great, and the
major new capitalist industries were not based on the original ones in
the warrens of London, but in the North, away from any guild control
at all. Once these large-scale industries had become established, the
guild system was effectively doomed: the number of apprentices who
could be integrated into the guild system with it's progression of
stages was tiny compared with the mass of labourers required for the
new manufactories. Some in the old system attempted to compete by
taking on large numbers of apprentices against their own rules, or by
employing journeymen who had not completed apprenticeships, but the
result was that the guilds simply became empty ceremonial shells of
their former selves, gradually to disappear over the next two
centuries.

It is noticeable that the change from guild production to capitalist
production was in its early stages not driven by technological change,
but by the inability of the guild system to cope with expanding
markets. The changes, and the casuses of the spread of the new system,
were social. New technologies - in particular the use of steam-power
in production - only became important a century later.

All this suggests some possible properties needed for a new mode of
production to spread:

o    A new mode of production appears in a leading part of the
     economy, which may not be the main basis for the old system:
     here, manufacture, not agriculture.

o    A new mode of production is not purely willed into existence, but
     is a natural outgrowth of the old.

o    The new mode of production initially depends on the old one,
     firstly as a source of knowledge and skills, and secondly as the
     source of all goods which it cannot create itself.

o    The two modes of production must be able to coexist while the new
     one grows.

o    The new mode of production must be able to infect and weaken the
     old.

o    At a certain point the new mode of production must be able to
     offer possibilities which the old one cannot.

o    The new mode of production must be able to spread to all
     important fields, but this does not need to be immediate -- full
     integration of agriculture within capitalism is still an ongoing
     process in most countries.

The statement that 'free software is the kernel of a new mode of
production' often leads to the question 'how can you make
washing-machines in the same way'? This depends on your assumptions
about what that way consists of: is the primary fact technological,
the fact that reduced costs for computers have made software
effectively a public good; or is it social, and the fact that people
are working together in a new way that is primary?

If it is the first, then production of material goods in the same way
needs them to be 'dematerialized': we must wait for the invention of
matter transmitters before it becomes possible.

If the second, then it is possible to give a more optimistic answer:
once working by free software principles has spread far enough
throughout the economy that it reaches the people who make washing
machines, they will know how to do it. In every revolution of the last
hundred years, people have begun to take control of their own work. If
the revolution has been defeated, their control has been taken away.
If the revolution has won, their control has been taken away. But the
possibility is there, and has been shown repeatedly, even though it
rarely appears in history books. What free software has proved that is
new is the possibility of this style of work on a large scale,
sustained over a long period of time.

But in either case, to expect a solution to the 'washing machine
question' now would require magic; a sudden jump, whether
technological or social, which is not likely to happen.

The Old Economy
===============

The fact that software is part of the leading sector of the economy
hardly needs justification, though in fact it turns out to be very
difficult to show in any quantitive way; the obvious thing to do would
appear to be to compare first the monetary value of so-called 'IP
goods' compared with that of material goods, then the change over time
of this relation. This turns out to be almost impossible, for two
reasons. The shallow reason is the extreme ideologization of the
debate over these values. The Business Software Alliance say:

Jobs in the Western European packaged software sector contribute six
times as much to GDP as those in consumer goods.

and appear to have the figures to back this up. But I think few free
software developers would trust anything the BSA says, and most other
sources are likely to be similarly tainted on one side or the other of
the divide.

The deeper reason links with the question of whether software can in
the long run be successfully developed in a capitalist framework, and
that is that money is simply not an effective way of measuring the
value of software goods. The value of software is not something with
an objective existence (in marginalist economics this is reflected in
the impossibility of an optimal price for public goods). Since this
runs counter to most common assumptions, it's worth taking it a bit
further.

Most goods have a price and a value. The price is (relatively) simple:
it's what shows on the sticker on the box. The value of a good to
society might be estimated in different ways; one way is to estimate
the amount of time (or work) needed to produce it. Assuming that the
market is actually efficient at resource allocation in terms of
society's needs, then the time spent on producing one good rather than
another will actually be a reasonable estimate of the value of that
good to society, and the price will be an approximation to the value.
The assumption is obviously broken, but will do as a first
approximation.

Packaged software clearly has a price, though the fact that this is a
price not for the software itself, but for the license to use it is
already a hint that there is something strange here. But what is it's
value? The value of other goods sold on the market derives from the
work taken to produce them socially, as part of the market system. The
work is needed to reproduce the good, normally starting from an
initial design. The design itself is a prerequisite without which the
good can't be made, not part of its value. This is obvious with
traditional goods; to take a random example, the great 19th century
engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel designed some of the worlds largest
iron ships; without his skills they might well never have existed, but
their value and their price were based on the number of workmen it
took to build them, the amount of iron which went into their
construction, and so on. With packaged software, the costs of
production are tiny, not because of some magical property of
information in digital form, but because the means of copying digital
information are mass-produced on such a scale they have become very
cheap. The same applies to analogue information once cassette
recorders exist.

Packaged software therefore has a tiny value, not reflected in its
licenseing price. That it has a license price above its value is made
possible purely by the legal monopoly given by copyright law. The
level of the price is also not arbitrary. Before a job could be
carried out by software, if it was done at all it was done by people.
Before word processors there were typing pools. The invention of the
word processor made it possible to disperse the work done by the
typing pools among all the staff of a company, including those without
real typing skills, thus reducing company expenses by the wages of the
typing pool. If the word processor licenses cost more than the typing
pool wages, clearly the typing pool would keep their jobs. This is the
first upper limit on the price. Secondly, once a type of software has
become generalized, as is the case with the word processor, it is
always possible to hire programmers to create your own version of a
program. This is the second upper limit on the license price of
software - the cost of hiring programmers to produce an equivalent
piece of software. Of course, these upper limits are rarely
approached: however monopolistic the industry, some competition is
still possible, though it is not in the interest of competitors to
push software licensing prices all the way down to the real value of
the software.

Left at this there would seem to be a situation where a good is being
sold consistently above its value, creating money from nothing. But
the money does not come from nowhere - it is an overhead, subtracted
from the profits of the companies that buy the licenses. Profits are
being shifted from one sector to another.

OECD figures predict approximately $221.9 billion of packaged software
license to be sold this year in the US, or 2.2 percent of the nation's
$9.965 trillion gross domestic product. Microsoft has about $28
billion turnover, so it is still far from a true monopoly.
Nevertheless from that $28 billion it expects a net income of $7.35bn.
This is profit being sucked from other areas of the economy, partly
within the US.

Once we look outside the US and other packed software producing
countries, the situation changes. Money is no longer being shifted
between sectors of the economy, but being removed from the economy
altogether. From a company tax software licenses become a tax on the
whole country.

So can this situation be changed by replacing packaged software with
free software, product with service? In part this trend is already
happening. Microsoft's potential competitors have already convincingly
failed to compete with their own fractured Unices, their own GUIs,
their own browsers. Increasingly their alternative is to package free
software, which tends to become the only software which truly supports
standards, and license it below Microsoft's prices. This has always
been a possible tactic for smaller companies competing against a
near-monopoly: offer standards and openness in an attempt to displace
the monopolist.

Success in this tactic would mean the replacement of packaged software
with free software. But at this moment the fundamental problem would
reappear: packaging free software inevitably involves developing free
software, and employing programmers (whether to write free or non-free
software) costs money. The money cannot be recouped by selling
software at its value, or by any purely market mechanism. Unless
software sales are purely a marketing overhead for hardware sales, the
model is not viable. Packaged software is generic software, which is
precisely not a unique service: there is no need to produce
individualised word processors or spread sheet programs for each
company that uses them.

In the long run, the only way generic software can be produced within
capitalism is through monopoly, with all the harmful effects this has:
poor quality software, high social costs, forced upgrades, etc. What
is worse, the only way that the monopoly can be maintained is to make
the laws on which it is based ever harsher.

And in the meantime, dependence on free software by the capitalist
sector leads both to a partial integration of the old firms within the
free software mode of production, and a potential significant loss of
control. If contributors to the software include those outside the
firm, the boundaries of the firm begin to become blurred. It is no
longer possible for managers within the firm to make arbitrary
decisions about the form software should take, if this would lead to
major objections from those outside the firm.

The New Economy
===============

The old economy is stuck in a dead end as far as software production
goes - it cannot develop without the new, but even with the new it is
pushed into a sequence of ever harsher laws to survive.

The new economy, on the other hand has been dependent on the old from
its beginnings. The dependencies correspond to the very features which
make it possible to describe it as a new mode of production:
production not for wages, yet programmers need money to survive;
ownership of means of production, yet these means are affordable only
because mass-produced within the old system; communication mediated by
technology, not money, yet the technology is owned by some of the
worlds largest companies.

Free software producers generally own their own means of production,
the computers, CD writers, modems, etc but in most cases they don't
make their own (and even those who do use standardised parts) which
implies that computers cost significantly less than the average
programmers income. This in turn implies either (or both) that they
are being produced in very large quantities, or by very badly-paid
labour. This bears repeating: free software production depends on mass
production, and perhaps low wages too. This is a problem that cannot
be solved within free software itself; nor is it likely that the
solution will be a technical one. This dependence also introduces a
possible threat: Microsoft, Intel and others can seriously consider
hardware solutions to the problem of free software, Palladium being
the most visible.

On the other hand, the dependence on technology owned by others for
communcation may be avoidable. The development of local, free wireless
networking is one possibility; and the past existence of FIDO where
the Internet was not yet available shows that other solutions are
actually practical.

Of the three dependencies, the dependence on money is the major one.

The need for jobs
- -----------------

Free software producers cannot live on their own produce. Until the
free software economy has spread to more areas, they need money to
survive, and only a very small proportion currently make this money by
producing free software. Grouped by source of income, the three main
categories of free software producer are student, employee, and
self-employed, with a smaller category of people supported by various
other means: unemployment benefits, inherited money, etc. The FLOSS
survey showed 65% of respondents to be employees, 14% self-employed,
17% students, and 4% not working. This is a very high proportion of
the self-employed; as a proportion of the total employed respondents,
it is nearly 19%. This compares with a general rate of self-employment
in the US of 8.6% in 1997, and 12.6% in the UK in 1999. On the other
hand, in proportion to the population as a whole the percentage of
students is also high; what is not known from the FLOSS data is what
percentage of those categorized as 'employees' are in the university
or state sectors or in the private sector. The FLOSS data certainly
includes information which would provide support or disconfirmation
for other aspects discussed in this section, but that data has not yet
been released.

The three primary groups within free software development, arranged by
source of income, would therefore be the self-employed and workers in
small businesses; university and other state employees and students;
and employees of larger companies. All three categories are likely to
include at least some who develop free software at work, as well as in
their own time. Further, at least two of the categories are quite
permeable: in general, it is well known that self-employment has a
negative correlation with unemployment levels, and many software
developers move between employed and self-employed status at different
times, depending in part on the state of the economy.

These three primary groups provide a possible explanation for some of
the ideological differences among free software developers.
Historically the first (pre-FSF) free software came from the
universities (Spice, TeX, Colossal Cavern, etc) in the 1970s; and the
FSF itself has always been strongly linked with MIT. Ideologies linked
with this group (and state employees in general) are likely to be
linked to support for state funding, education, and an emphasis on
social justice. Given the length of state-funded education in Europe,
these ideas may be more prevalent among Europe developers than in the
US (perhaps reflected in the FLOSS survey's massive preference for
Debian as distribution of choice; a result which would have seemed far
more surprising in a purely US survey). The left form of this set of
ideas is not so far from the ideas of traditional left parties, or
newer parties like the Brazilian Worker's Party.

Large-scale self-employment in software really only became possible in
the late 1980s and 1990s. Ideologies linked with this group are likely
to be linked to freedom from state interference (and taxes in
particular); in the US this has taken the form of Libertarian
Capitalism - in many ways ideas that go back to the Levellers
themselves. The left form of this set of ideas is strongly linked with
anarchism; the independent shoemakers and cobblers who formed much of
the core of Proudhonism in the 19th century being the classic example.

Though these two groups have major differences in themselves, as free
software developers they have as much in common as they have
separating them. The idea of 'freedom' as the overriding principle
behind free software is a unifying factor, though in practice it may
well be interpreted in different ways by the two groups.

The newest element comes from those involved in free software from
within traditional companies, or employees of larger firms. This group
are generally less likely to be ideologically motivated, and to
emphasize the importance of quality of software rather than freedom.

Actual free software projects usually cut across the boundaries of
each of these groups; as programmers, the economic situation of each
participant may be irrelevant. Effectively, free software is based on
an alliance of the three groups held together by the act of
programming itself. And this is the core of the real washing-machine
question: can such an alliance not only hold together but also expand
to include other groups, groups who may not have any interest in
programming itself?

Free Software and the Business Cycle
====================================

The most characteristic feature of capitalism is the business cycle. A
new mode of production not dependent on the old system could be
expected to be independent of this cycle. After all, an unemployed
free software developer has more time available than an employed one.

But the dependence on work in the old economy does have some direct
effects on the production of free software. Although the FLOSS survey
found that 'Unemployment does not play a role within the group of
OS/FS developers', the statistics for projects entered in Freshmeat
show a slightly different story.

The last two years have seen a slump which has hit the software sector
as badly as any; any plot of commercial software production over the
period could be expected to show a sharp downturn. However, the
figures for new projects added to Freshmeat under free licenses for
that period actually show the number of projects entered per month as
relatively static at around 500 per month.

** Unable to import figure Seaman1.png **

(Note that figures before 2000 have been badly affected by the
transfer of data from the old Freshmeat system, and are not reliable)

It is only when we look at projects which have since been updated -
that is projects which have some life - that the effect becomes more
obvious, with a slow decline from a peak in early 2000:

** Unable to import figure Seaman2.png **

These figures are suggestive only, taking no account of the size of
projects: Freshmeat counts Linux as one project, along with the
smallest utility program. All the same, it does appear likely that
free software still depends to some extent on the commercial cycle,
mediated through the rate of unemployment.

Breakout
========

In spite of these dependencies, free software production is already
beginning to show its independence.

The key questions are whether the penetration of free software into
the old economy is deep enough to start to slow the introduction of
laws which can force it underground; whether free software can find
allies outside itself to begin to reduce the dependencies listed
above, and whether it can begin to gain new ground by moving into new
areas, to gradually move closer to the washing-machine makers.

The first of these questions is the most urgent; but with the addition
of IBM, HP, Sun and others to those who would be badly affected by
harsher IP laws, they are no longer as inevitable as they seemed a few
years ago.

But the second and third are the areas where there has been most
movement over the last year. This comes in particular from those
countries outside the charmed circle of official packaged software
production. Here the rising levels of licensing fees (which, as
pointed out above, are of no productive use whatsoever in the country)
combined with pressure from Microsoft to enforce copyright laws
(leading in some cases (Brazil, for example) to dawn raids, arrests,
and mass confiscation of equipment) have begun to generate wider
sympathy with free software.

Starting in Mexico, bills favouring the use of free software by
governments have spread through Latin America: Mexico, Brazil, Peru,
Argentina, Ecuador, Colombia. From Latin American countries they have
spread back to Europe: Spain, Italy, Portugal in particular. And now
such bills are appearing everywhere: the Ukraine, Malaysia, India,
even California itself. Free software practices are visibly being
carried over into the creation of the bills themselves: from the first
relatively badly worded and poorly argued attempts, to a cumulative
increased depth of understanding of their purpose and the best way to
support that purpose, organised by people in contact across national
borders who can take the lessons of each succeeding country with them.

Initially ferociously attacked by Microsoft, Microsoft now appears to
be losing the initiative as the epidemic becomes too wide to contain.
In part this is simply because Microsoft have found it more effective
to spread FUD about these bills through local employers software
organizations (real, or sometimes, created for the purpose) than to
make it clear that they are the principal opponents of the bills. The
most successful have not been at national level, but at regional
level, partly because they sometimes manage to slip by under
Microsoft's radar: Rio Grande in Brazil, Bologna in Italy, Estremadura
in Spain; partly because they can count on a real basis of local free
software writers and organizers, without which there is a risk that,
as in Mexico, these will turn into largely paper exercises.

Each of these successes has begun the creation of new specialised
software, which in turn will make it easier for others to follow in
their footsteps. The arguments in favour of free software in the state
are very easy to make, but its importance is not only it terms of
logic and fairness (the ability of all citizens to access data held by
the state, freedom from fear of back-doors, the public ability to
assess electoral software for possible corrupt practices) but perhaps
even more in increasing the pool of free software developers,
providing additional employment (itself the principal argument in
favour of the bills in some of the countries), allowing poorer
countries to compete in software at a world level, reducing the
ability of governments to casually pass laws restricting programmers
freedom, and bringing new groups of people (such as state-employed
teachers) to use and depend on free software and the working methods
associated with it.

If these bills begin to pass as laws at national level, this may imply
a shift in the centre of gravity of free software from the most
developed countries to the less. It also implies a general shift in
the political balance around free software: these bills are naturally
proposed by left parties within each country, generally with views far
to the left of the majority of American free software developers. This
opens up the possibility of more links outside software production
itself; if the Brazilian PT supports both free software in the state
and production of farm produce in farmers co-operatives, what more
natural than that the methods of one begin to rub off on the other? Of
course, it also opens up the possibility of a split between free
software developers and users. One reassuring sign here is that the
most left-wing of all the parties to propose a free software bill (the
Portuguese Left Block) when asked why they had proposed the bill,
answered that it was due to pressure from free software users within
the party.

The next new area is actually an old area: the universities. Once the
defenders of the right to share research results, programs, and other
works, through the years in many countries a change to a dependence on
funding from the very companies that wish to impose IP laws, combined
with government pressure to self-fund through patenting and sale of
all their products has created a culture of closure rather than
openness. The positions have reversed: once one of the inspirations
for free software, free software is now an inspiration for many in
universities who wish to regain their old position. Most visible in
the original bastion of free software, MIT, where the OpenCourseWare
program has begun in defiance of the trend to commercialising classes
and lecture notes, the grounds well in favour of free software
principles is growing throughout higher education. One of the most
startling results is that the defenders of public access to the
results of gene research do so not in the traditional terms of
academic freedom, but using the rhetoric of free software:

The worm project [study of the growth of the nematode worm] worked so
well because the community held an ethos of sharing - just as the
public genome projects have - from the beginning. We gave all our
results to others as soon as we had them. From sharing, discovery is
accelerated in the community.

Sir John Sulston, Nobel Prize winner

Not surprisingly, Microsoft has reacted to these tendencies with the
demand that universities use only BSD-type licenses for their free
software. More surprisingly, the FLOSS survey (Part 2, final para)
concludes with the same demand. In this case Bruce Perens' Sincere
Choice platform which gives justifications for using either GPL or BSD
style licenses in universities and concludes that this should be at
the choice of those involved, seems the only fair one. But the very
fact that Microsoft is now concerned about this is a sign of the
growing hegemony of free software over wider areas of society.

Conclusions
===========

Free software is a social as much as a technological development, and
it will continue to spread by social means. A search for technological
magic solutions to the 'washing machine problem' is a red herring;
free software is already spreading beyond its original social bounds.
The spread of bills on the use of free software in developing
countries is one sign of this; another is the change from a rhetoric
of academic freedom to one of the right to share and common
development in the universities. The solutions to the washing machine
problem will appear with the spread of free software principles and
their implementation in still new areas.

______________________________________________________________________

Copyright 2002 Graham Seaman

Copying and distribution of this entire article are permitted without
royalty in any medium provided this notice is preserved.

A. Bibliography
===============

FLOSS

     International Institute of Infonomics, University of Maastricht,
     The Netherlands, FLOSS Final Report,
     http://www.infonomics.nl/FLOSS/report/, June 2002

[GRULIC]

     grulic.org, Legislación sobre el uso de Software Libre en el
     Estado,
     http://www.grulic.org.ar/proposicion/doc/referencias/index.html.es

[ISC]

     Institute for Software Choice, http://www.softwarechoice.org

[Perens]

     Sincere Choice, http://www.sincerechoice.org

[Hobsbawm]

     Eric Hobsbawm, Political Shoemakers in Uncommon People, Abacus
     1999

[Gregg]

     Pauline Gregg, Free-Born John, J.M. Dent & Sons, 1986

[Kramer]

     Stella Kramer, The English Craft Guilds, Cambridge University
     Press, 1927

[Georgellis]

     Y. Georgellis and H.J.Wall, Who are the self-employed, in Review,
     journal of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Dec. 2000,
     http://research.stlouisfed.org/publications/review/00/11/0011yg.pdf

[Blanchflower]

     David G. Blanchflower, Self-Employment in OECD Countries, NBER
     Working Paper No. 76 Jan. 2000

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