Re: [ox-en] WikiLeaks and peer production?
This is very interesting and seems to be more general. Often the leaders
and in-groups of the free culture movement (thanks Alistair for the
wikileaks/marx essay! I just translated it into Finnish) are less than
transparent and less than ideally democratic (one thinks of Stallman,
Wales, Assange, even Torvalds to an extent; can you name Linus'
lieutenants?). This is, up to a point, sad for the individuals
concerned, especially when compounded by fame & potentially fortune.
However, as Alistair points out, on the level of the community or the
movement the poison is diluted if not completely removed by the
possibility of forking. (In some cases the personalities and in-groups
do have considerable pull and forking is not a realistic option.)
Scott Lash has described (in the Critique of Information and other
places) how the disorganisational nature of hacker communities nurtures
or even necessitates charismatic leadership. Organisational,
institutional leadership would be too rigid and without a foundation;
therefore charismatic leadership is all there is. Maybe we have here
another fortunate side-effect of post-scarcity: like free-riders,
narcissistic leaders are not anymore a problem. They may even be an
asset, because they get people involved.
On 2/9/11 4:24 AM, Alistair Davidson wrote:
> [Converted from multipart/alternative]
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> Is this essential, though? Linux lacks formal democracy, but remains
> democratic in character due to the political economy - the communal nature
> of the output (eg the ability to fork and patch prevents non-consensual
> rule). And as we all know formal democracy can disguise tyranny. The
> emergence of other leaks sites suggests that in the medium-term, something