[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: migrating away from the FDL

"J.D. Hood" <jdthood@yahoo.co.uk> a tapoté :

>  --- Andrew Suffield <asuffield@debian.org> wrote: 
> > On Sun, Jul 20, 2003 at 09:18:32AM +0100, J.D. Hood wrote:
> > > That is not surprising, given that Debian, unlike the FSF, is not a
> > > monarchy.
> > 
> > ITYM "autocracy".
> > 
> > A monarchy is an autocracy where (under normal circumstances) the
> > monarch inherits their role, usually by blood relation or marriage.
> The word 'monarchy' does not have to connote hereditary power.  The
> Concise Oxford defines the word as meaning 'a supreme ruler'.  It
> derives from Greek words meaning 'to rule' and 'alone'.  Historically,
> not all monarchies were hereditary; some were even elected.
> RMS is the philosopher king of the Free Software Foundation.  Whether
> he is also autocratic, that is, "a dictatorial ruler", I don't know
> because I am not a member of the FSF.

The word 'autocracy' is badly connoted but an autocrat is not more
dictatorial than a king. His power got the same limits. 

The 'autocracy' usually refers to kings like Louis XIV, so-called
'absolutist'. Even if the FSF was an autocracy, it's important to
understand that an autocracy is still a monarchy. The big difference
is the capacity of the leader to make people think him as a supreme
ruler, not his capacity to be actually a supreme ruler.

Aside from that, the Debian project may seems more democratic (hum, it
depends of what we call democracy) by comparison, but the FSF is not
more dictatorial than many associations and not at all more
dictatorial than any (or almost any) companies. Less freedom, maybe,
but do most of the people on that list reject the idea of working in a

J.D. Hood said "that Debian has a higher standard of freedom than the
FSF does" but it's seems questionable to me.
Indeed, how Debian is structured politically (ie. who can decide) is
more democratic. But the freedom the project cares about are almost
the same. From the perspective of the freedom the two projects
protect, only the GNU project admit commercial activity directly...
It could be used to tell that the GNU project provide more freedom, if
we were about to compare which project is better in terms of freedom.

But we are not, are we?

This whole GNU FDL issue indeed show (minor) differences between
Debian and GNU but I'm not sure this issue allows us to say "This one
is better than this other one in terms of freedom".


Mathieu Roy
  Not a native english speaker: 

Reply to: