Free Is Not Socialism

from the this-again dept

I've had a browser open with a two part series from the site "e-consultancy" for the better part of a month, debating whether or not it's even worth going through this battle again -- but it seems worth it to clear up some serious misconceptions. The first article decries "digital socialism" and the second part goes after the "tyranny of the consumer." This, by itself, seems contradictory. The capitalist free market works thanks to the tyranny of the consumer. That is, the entire reason why the free market works is because consumers have power to move to a competitor -- and that keeps producers in-line. Complaining about consumers getting their way is a rejection of capitalism and the free market, not support for it.

The complaint about "socialism" is even more confusing. The writer confuses the fact that anyone can own a copy of a non-rivalrous, non-excludable good with "collective ownership." That's quite wrong. Socialism is, indeed, about collective ownership of a single good -- with multiple folks sharing ownership of a single scarce good. What people are talking about when they discuss digital content going free is not collective ownership, but how supply is infinite such that everyone can own their own copy. It's the opposite of socialism or collective ownership. It's very much about allowing personal property to thrive. The article also makes the odd (and incorrect) claim that those supporting such freeing up of digital content are, like "socialists" asking for government interference in the market. Amusingly, just a few paragraphs after making this claim, the writer goes through the history of intellectual property in the US, detailing exactly how intellectual property is government interference in the market.

It never ceases to amaze me that people claim that the free market economics we describe is somehow "socialist," when the system they support is a system of government-granted monopolies managed through a centralized government body. How is that possibly more capitalist than actually letting the free market come up with reasonable business models that don't rely on governments defining the winning business model?


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  1.  
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    Chris Charabaruk (profile), Nov 26th, 2008 @ 8:16pm

    These people from Bizarro world?

    "A system of government-granted monopolies managed through a centralized government body" is what they want and support? Correct me if I'm wrong, but last time I checked, that's called communism. And they're the ones screaming about "socialism"!

    It'd be good for a laugh if it weren't so pathetic.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2008 @ 8:20pm

    "they have benefitted immensely from intellectual property rights."

    I dont think so.
    I am not a big CEO making bazillion bongo bucks off the little people.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2008 @ 8:26pm

    Re: These people from Bizarro world?

    Speaking as someone quite familiar with political philosophies, I must correct you, that is not communism because communism is an anarchistic theory - as in all authority (especially government) is recognized as artificial and therefore abolished.

    socialism is closer to what you described they want, not communism. While it may seem like I'm grasping at straws here, there is a fundamental difference between socialism and communism. To put it simply: all communists like socialism, but not all socialists like communism.

     

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    Chris Charabaruk (profile), Nov 26th, 2008 @ 8:40pm

    Re: Re: These people from Bizarro world?

    You're correct. Perhaps I should have said (Sino-)Soviet "communism" instead, that dreaded model of authoritarian socialism.

     

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    jonnyq, Nov 26th, 2008 @ 8:47pm

    Re: Re: These people from Bizarro world?

    You're probably more familiar with these words, as you claim to be. However, I've always had the impression that the two words mean essentially the same thing and the word "socialism" was only ever coined because "communism" had a bad name. While they might get used different ways, I think it's correct to interchange the two words in general. (see the "origin" section of Wikiepda for "socialism")

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2008 @ 10:07pm

    "The capitalist free market works thanks to the tyranny of the consumer. That is, the entire reason why the free market works is because consumers have power to move to a competitor -- and that keeps producers in-line. Complaining about consumers getting their way is a rejection of capitalism and the free market, not support for it."

    The author is not complaining about consumers being tyrannical. He is making the point that instead of moving along to a competitor with a different "product", many are using P2P as a means to simply get a freebie. In this regard you misrepresent his point.

    "How is that possibly more capitalist than actually letting the free market come up with reasonable business models that don't rely on governments defining the winning business model?"

    Copyright law does not define "the winning business model". It represents, just like every other law, rules of societal conduct. The fact some may choose to take it into account in formulating what they believe is an appropriate business model is no different than taking into account every other legislative pronouncement comprising our system of law. Techdirt has a business model that to some degree relies upon ad revenue. If advertisers decide not to pay, techdirt certainly has the option to use one of our laws to enforce its legal rights, i.e., contract law and, if need be, our courts.

    In a general sense, as long ago recognized by Mr. Freidman, all property is nothing more than a government recognized "monopoly". Scarce and infinite may make sense when one is focused solely on economics, but I submit that our society is defined by far more than simply economic theory. As much as I know you hate the words and deem them irrelevant in the context of your economic arguments/discussion, ""ethics" and "morality" are an important part of the social compact we as a society have made and embodied in our law.

    Perhaps someday you may begin to grudgingly accept that our Constitution's use of the word "progress" is not as you would like to define it, i.e., "economic progress". It is broader in meaning and scope, and our laws since 1790 have reflected this broader meaning.

     

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    Blaise Alleyne (profile), Nov 27th, 2008 @ 12:15am

    Re:

    Copyright law does not define "the winning business model". It represents, just like every other law, rules of societal conduct.

    Ehn, "winning business models," same difference. Sure, there are many business models that depend on copyright, but the problem is that most recording industry execs can't imagine a business model without copyright. You can see it in the way they struggle with the idea of giving away music for free. They fundamentally believe that something needs to be protected, that if they aren't enforcing copyright, they won't have a way to make money, even though the copyright crutch is failing them.

    Copyright law defines the winning type of model in so many people's minds. It takes a real leap of faith for many in the music industry to disabuse themselves of the notion.


    In a general sense, as long ago recognized by Mr. Freidman, all property is nothing more than a government recognized "monopoly". Scarce and infinite may make sense when one is focused solely on economics, but I submit that our society is defined by far more than simply economic theory.

    I'm curious. What non-economic moral or ethical rationale would you suggest for artificially limiting the ownership of infinite goods? I mean, by nature, no one possesses an idea the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. There are those making moral and ethical arguments against limiting the ownership of infinite goods.

    The distinction between scarce and infinite goods is not merely economic, it's just... well, obvious, I think. Philsophical? (Even that sounds too involved...) If you and I are standing together and we have one apple between the two of us, either you can eat it or I can eat it. Or maybe we can split it. But we can't both eat the same parts. Yet, if you and I are standing together and I sing a melody, I don't lose the parts of it that you learn and sing.

    So... do you really think the distinction between scarce and infinite goods doesn't matter? And what's your moral argument for not letting people share stuff that they own?

     

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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Nov 27th, 2008 @ 12:19am

    ocietal Conduct"??

    Copyright law does not define "the winning business model". It represents, just like every other law, rules of societal conduct.

    No it doesn't. Laws against stealing property and trespass and assault and so on are "rules of societal conduct". But copyright law was created for business reasons, no more and no less. There is no moral basis for it. Since it was created to promote business, if business conditions change, and we find that new innovations are being held back by old copyright laws, then those laws should change. They've done so before, they can and will do so again.

     

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    majo, Nov 27th, 2008 @ 12:27am

    lol

    First why is techdirt covering history lessons? Picking up some keywords,heh?
    You can read about socialism and communism all day long even from wikipedia what a great source, you joking right?

    What usa history is about 200years and now all of the sudden you know everything? Guys u gotta live through stuff to talk about, same with war ....

    So plz stop being smart a$$es about everything and anything, when the day is over you still pray for better no matter what they call it. Socialism is good and bad that's all I got to say, oh and some1 is cashing at the end.

    Wow

     

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    Jjesse285, Nov 27th, 2008 @ 12:31am

    Re: These people from Bizarro world?

    I think you are right and hope that other see the true.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Nov 27th, 2008 @ 12:46am

    From what I've seen in political discussions online during the recent US election, "socialism" is just the latest Republican talking point. Most of the people using that word don't know what it means, they just use it to describe something they don't like or don't understand.

     

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    Shohat, Nov 27th, 2008 @ 3:19am

    US Idiots

    The only country in the world that is stupid enough to consider the word "socialism" negative.

     

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    kg, Nov 27th, 2008 @ 3:41am

    Re:

    @6:

    """
    copyright law does not define "the winning business model". It represents, just like every other law, rules of societal conduct. The fact some may choose to take it into account in formulating what they believe is an appropriate business model is no different than taking into account every other legislative pronouncement comprising our system of law.

    ...

    As much as I know you hate the words and deem them irrelevant in the context of your economic arguments/discussion, ""ethics" and "morality" are an important part of the social compact we as a society have made and embodied in our law.
    """

    How exactly do intellectual property laws enforce a moral requirement? Yes, breaking the law is wrong; it is manifestly ethical to follow the law, so long as the law is itself ethical. That does not make anything and everything mandated by law a moral issue; especially when, as pointed out in another post, you can argue (as with intellectual property laws) that the given law is immoral.

    """
    Perhaps someday you may begin to grudgingly accept that our Constitution's use of the word "progress" is not as you would like to define it, i.e., "economic progress". It is broader in meaning and scope, and our laws since 1790 have reflected this broader meaning.
    """

    Problem is, there are good arguments that copyright and patent law actually hinders any kind of progress, scientific, technological, or artistic.

    For science and technology, it often tends to restrict development by arbitrarily forbidding researchers to leverage past work. For a concrete example, research the LZ77 and LZ78 software compression algorithms, a clear case where the better method of accomplishing a particular problem was not used due to intellectual property concerns.

    For artistic progress I would make the same argument, although I don't have any good specific examples. I would point out that a lot of modern music styles (hip-hop, electronica) actually rely on 'remixing' music and sounds from several sources into a new coherent whole. Obviously, material with onerous restrictions on how and if it can be reused is less likely to be remixed.

     

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    Gordon Brown, Nov 27th, 2008 @ 5:48am

    Re: US Idiots

    Agree. They are brainwashed by their own politicians and media.

     

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    Kiba, Nov 27th, 2008 @ 5:52am

    Re: US Idiots

    So?

    Socialism implies central planning. We all know that central planning doesn't work.

     

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    Shohat, Nov 27th, 2008 @ 6:09am

    Re: Re: US Idiots

    Dear Kiba.
    Regardless of your opinion, I'd like to just say that the mere usage of the words "we all know" makes anything you say almost irrelevant.

    You should assume I know nothing you know, agree to nothing you agree, and proceed from there.

    "We all know" is what politicians hide behind. I not only know central planning works, I believe that only central planning works.
    Both in business and government. Production and development. Research and War.

    You are welcome to disagree with me, but use your own language and arguments, not "ours".

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2008 @ 6:26am

    Re: Re: Re: US Idiots

    Your use of the word "only" makes your argument false.
    All I have to do is find one instance.
    Distributed (vs central) planning has worked in at least one instance. Certainly even you can think of at least one.

     

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    Shohat, Nov 27th, 2008 @ 6:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: US Idiots

    Yes, I should not have used "only". Even though I used the word "believe". Since certainly not all distribution leads to failure.
    It just can't lead to anything great.

    Manhattan project is the perfect example for what can be done via central planning. Science has been stagnant for 50+ years now, and if it wasn't for that great effort, we probably wouldn't have had nuclear power until now.

    Same goes for every major project on Earth. And before you even go there - especially Linux. Trovalds is a psychopath with two iron fists.

     

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    mobiGeek, Nov 27th, 2008 @ 6:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: US Idiots

    Depends on your definition of "works". If you are talking about a single instance where a system delivered a successful result, then certainly I have seen distributed planning "work". But I have also seen such successes fall apart shortly thereafter when run into a more complex scenario.

    Central planning is at the heart of almost every successful country and corporation...though even in these days it can be argued that most of those "successes" are failing one way or another.

     

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    Overcast, Nov 27th, 2008 @ 6:43am

    Socialism is what made the US so great, everyone should know that.

    Socialism always works, has always in history whenever it's been tried.

    Isn't that what the 'doublethink' engine has sheep believing now?

    /sarcasm off

     

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    Kyros, Nov 27th, 2008 @ 6:51am

    @shohat

    But there are circumstances where central planning has failed. While I agree it's a great option in many circumstances, certainly not all.

    For instance, look at the American revolutionary war. The campaign for the Americans that had more success was guerilla attacks in the south.

    Again, not saying socialism or central distribution is bad, rather, it's good in many situations, simply not ALL.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2008 @ 7:55am

    And in summary

    So ......
    Free is not socialism.
    And socialism is not free.

    In addition, it could be said that all systems have had failures and therefore are not perfect. What usually works is a mixture of things that happen to be relevant at the time.

     

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    chris (profile), Nov 27th, 2008 @ 8:31am

    Re: And in summary

    all systems have had failures and therefore are not perfect. What usually works is a mixture of things that happen to be relevant at the time.

    so you recognize that there is no perfect way to govern and conduct business? you claim that complex political, social, and philosophical issues cannot be summed up into soundbites?

    well, that sounds pretty socialist to me. this is america hippie, we don't do that kind of thing here, so pick a side and wave your flag or go back to canada where you can hold hands and sing give peace a chance on the golden gate bridge.

    business is about making big bucks by taking advantage of suckers. if you don't want to steal from suckers you are a socialist nazi terrorist.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2008 @ 8:43am

    Re: ocietal Conduct"??

    "But copyright law was created for business reasons, no more and no less."

    That is one possible result of the law, but it is not the reason its genesis was crafted into the constitution on a unanimous vote by the delegates. It purpose was to promote the progress of "science", i.e., the creation and dissemination of knowledge/ideas. Mr. Masnick's selective quotation of Thomas Jefferson notwithstanding, even Mr. Jefferson embraced it because of what he viewed as it salutory effects.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2008 @ 9:00am

    Re: Re:

    "I mean, by nature, no one possesses an idea the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. There are those making moral and ethical arguments against limiting the ownership of infinite goods."

    It should be obvious there is a huge difference between using knowledge learned from an original work of authorship versus making "Chinese copies" of a either the entirety of such a work or a significant portion thereof. The former requires creative thinking. The latter does not.

    "And what's your moral argument for not letting people share stuff that they own?"

    By asking the question I believe it fair to say that this is an issue that you should ponder for more time.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2008 @ 9:08am

    Re: Re:

    Please elaborate on precisely why you believe intellectual property law is immoral.

    As for the law hindering progress, there are equally good arguments that it actually promotes progress by encouraging the dissemination of ideas to the public at large.

     

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    mobiGeek, Nov 27th, 2008 @ 9:16am

    Re: Re: And in summary

    How exactly is someone supposed to "sing give peace a chance on the golden gate bridge" while "back [in] canada"?

    Bad business is about making big bucks by taking advantage of suckers.

    There, fixed that for you.

    Good businesses do not treat their customers as suckers. Businesses that want a long-term viability and dedicated customer bases recognize that the way to stay in business is to provide good service and products.

     

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    Blaise Alleyne (profile), Nov 27th, 2008 @ 9:47am

    Re: Re: Re:

    It should be obvious there is a huge difference between using knowledge learned from an original work of authorship versus making "Chinese copies" of a either the entirety of such a work or a significant portion thereof.

    The problem is there's a lot in between. Where's the line between acceptable influence/use?


    By asking the question I believe it fair to say that this is an issue that you should ponder for more time.

    Please, humour me. What's your moral argument for copyright law?

    The most common argument I hear is the 'end of music/software/creation' type argument, that people wouldn't be able to make a living without copyright protecting their works so they'd stop doing what they're doing. The economic arguments make that moral argument irrelevant by demonstrating ways that people do make money and continue to create without depending on copyright. The argument is that it's immoral because you're taking people's ability to make a living away, but that's clearly not dependent on copyright.

    The other common argument is a sort of natural conception of intellectual property, that it's your idea/song/product so you should have ownership of it. That's a profoundly ignorant and arrogant position, and I don't think that's what you were trying to get at by talking about the word progress.

    What's your ethical argument for copyright?

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2008 @ 10:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "The problem is there's a lot in between. Where's the line between acceptable influence/use?"

    This is within the province of the Fair Use Doctrine. Unfortunately, it is not a concept that can be stated as a "bright line" test.

    "What's your moral argument for copyright law?"

    You, or perhaps it was another commenter, posited that the law is immoral. My rejoinder was simply to ask why this is believed to be the case?

     

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  30.  
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    Crimson, Nov 27th, 2008 @ 11:25am

    The fact is this - if I buy a CD (or DVD/video game/etc) and give it to 30 friends, then the company that produced that IP is going to lose money on sales to at least some of those friends. Can you at least agree that's true? (No red herrings about "free advertising" allowed).

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2008 @ 11:56am

    Re:

    Why is that bad, in the absolute sense? It's certainly not bad for society at large, I would think.

    It's indeed less than ideal for the company, but that's in the same vein than the advent of motor cars was less than ideal for buggy whip makers...

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2008 @ 1:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: These people from Bizarro world?

    @ #5:

    That's a hold over from the Cold War Era, jonnyq. Strictly speaking they are all different. Real world governments rarely if ever fit into one of these economic theories perfectly.

     

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    TtfnJohn, Nov 27th, 2008 @ 1:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It would be more correct to say that civil law, be it statue or unwritten law, is in the end amoral as not based on a system of morals but in legal regulation of trade. It consists of a collection of written and precedence.

    Nonetheless one can make a moral comment and justification of a given body of civil law just as one can of criminal law.

    Criminal law is, quite obviously, both moral and amoral in that what it chooses to make criminal and not criminal.

    ttfn

    John

     

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    TtfnJohn, Nov 27th, 2008 @ 1:57pm

    Re: Re: US Idiots

    Socialism implies nothing of the sort.

    What you are confusing is socialism with authoritarian "communism" as modelled by Lenin, Stalin and Mao.

    Additionally, as is pointed out later, all governments do central planning to one extent or another and to one intrusion level or another. Large enterprises do something similar internally.

    Again, if what you are referring to is a command economy on the model of Lenin, Stalin or Mao those no longer exist for good reason.

    Though I suppose you need imaginary windmills to tilt at.

    ttfn

    John

     

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  35.  
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    Jesus F Christ, Nov 27th, 2008 @ 2:53pm

    Religion=Socialism

    It is amazing to watch religious right attacking socialism. Almost all religions are based on the concept of socialism. Jesus is the biggest socialist.

     

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  36.  
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    angry dude, Nov 27th, 2008 @ 2:53pm

    Some edication for techdirt lemming-punks

    Mikey apparently missed that high-school class explaining what socialism or communism is :-)

    Let me fill in some gaps in Mikey's education:

    Socialism : "From each according to his ability, to each according to his contributed labour"

    Communism: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need"

    From what I regularly see on this shitty Mikey's blog Mikey is a f****** communist

     

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  37.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Nov 27th, 2008 @ 3:14pm

    Re: US Idiots

    Shohat wrote:

    ...the mere usage of the words "we all know" makes anything you say almost irrelevant.

    Do you have some argument to back that up, or is that just something "we all know"?

     

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    bigpicture, Nov 27th, 2008 @ 5:23pm

    Re: Re: These people from Bizarro world?

    Actually your not quite familiar. In term of economics there is no difference between socialism and communism. In both case the government controls the economy. The difference between the two is political. With socialism the government controlling the economy is elected. With communism it is not. This is a common misconception on the part of today'S world as they see socialism as some how being "fair" and communism as bad when in reality in an economic sense there is no difference because AS HAS BEEN SHOW OVER AND OVER AGAIN NO MATTER HOW MUCH THEY PROMISE THE BUREAUCRATS END UP STEALING ALL THE MONEY AND IT ULTIMATELY FAILS BECAUSE WHO WOULD WORK MORE WHEN THE GOV IS GOING TO TAKE WHATEVER YOU MAKE OR GIVE YOU THE SAME AMOUNT NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2008 @ 5:28pm

    Re: US Idiots

    You can dream and hope but socialism doesn't work history has proved that over and over again. The only place socialism works is in your small narrow mind. Stop complaining and look in the mirror if you want blame.

     

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    Travis, Nov 27th, 2008 @ 5:36pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "As for the law hindering progress, there are equally good arguments that it actually promotes progress by encouraging the dissemination of ideas to the public at large." The problem with this is that the laws prevent anyone from actually USING the ideas and/or improving on them. If someone other than the originator actually makes an attempt, they will be sued. This is why our nation's IP laws need to be changed.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2008 @ 5:38pm

    Re: Re: US Idiots

    strange

     

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    Stan, Nov 27th, 2008 @ 6:34pm

    Re: Religion=Socialism

    Do you have some examples?

     

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    Bob the Builder, Nov 27th, 2008 @ 9:16pm

    Socialism would probably help the USA at this moment in time.

    The capitalist free market doesn't put money into hospitals or schools (without wanting something in return). Perhaps if you yankies weren't so scared of everyone and everything, you'd have a decent health and education system and not be viewed as fat and dumb by the rest of the world...

    But eventually the have-not's out number the have's and they take what they need by force...

     

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    Bob the Builder, Nov 27th, 2008 @ 9:21pm

    Socialist Streak

    I am glad we here in Australia have a culture of some form of 'socialism'. At least every Australian citizens get a chance at a reasonable education, basic health care and somewhere to live. I doubt we'll see angry mobs in the streets any time soon...

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2008 @ 9:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: These people from Bizarro world?

    communism and socialism are very different in the sense that one has never been achieved and is impossible to achieve unless on a global scale.. much like every work of philosophy since Plato that describes a good vs. a bad. This is called communism. In communism there is no government, so to say that the government controls the money is kind of crazy.

    In socialism, which is injected into... well just about every industrialized country in the world, a more moderate, gradual approach to the workers manifesto is given.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2008 @ 9:53pm

    Re: Re: US Idiots

    purely by saying that you show that you have not the knowledge of even the most basic of definitions of socialism.

    quick trivia:
    how does public schooling work?
    ok, now look up the definition for socialist programs
    ...

    ok, good.
    now sew your mouth shut or at least read a book or two.

     

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  47.  
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    Jessica, Nov 27th, 2008 @ 11:41pm

    Capitalism's weakpoint is when it values the needs of profit over that of the consumer, or starts valuing a humans capabilily in terms of "Capital".
    This is the only faultpoint of capitalism, unfortunately, its one of the cornerstones of the Capitalism concept.

     

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  48.  
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    Blaise Alleyne (profile), Nov 28th, 2008 @ 12:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You, or perhaps it was another commenter, posited that the law is immoral. My rejoinder was simply to ask why this is believed to be the case?

    You accused Mike of focusing only on economics and ignoring morality and ethics. I guess I just assumed you had a relevant moral or ethical concern to raise.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2008 @ 3:52am

    Re:


    The fact is this - if I buy a CD (or DVD/video game/etc) and give it to 30 friends, then the company that produced that IP is going to lose money on sales to at least some of those friends.


    No it's not fact you just made it up and stated it as fact. That's the problem with pro IP comments. They rarely take into account any fact at all.

    You're also assuming that at least some of your friends you gave the CD to were going to buy the CD, but will not do so now. Again, this is a completely unfounded and unsupported claim made by you as fact.

    You then go on to claim that free advertising is a red herring, again without providing a single scrap of evidence.

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2008 @ 6:29am

    Re: Re:

    That assumption can be made, because if they did not want the CD then why would they take it?

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2008 @ 6:32am

    Re:

    You have never provided evidence that free advertising works like that. A bunch of people saying on this site that works for them is hardly evidence. What about the CDs they didn't buy, but still like? I expect that every time one of those people illegal downloads a CD and likes it they need to go buy it. If they don't like it then they need to delete it. Do you all do that? No. Prove me wrong.

     

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  52.  
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    Andrew Clarke, Nov 28th, 2008 @ 7:45am

    Thanks for taking the time to repeat yourself

    When I read the tag "this again" on your post I'm guessing that sometimes you must get pretty frustrated. You probably need some reassurance that you are connecting with your audience, and that some people are in fact grasping your arguments. I just want to say that I feel very thankful that you do take the time to repeat yourself as much as you do. The things you're saying, are things that need to be said over and over again. Please keep it up. It's so important.

     

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  53.  
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    Esahc, Nov 28th, 2008 @ 8:10am

    Re: Socialist Streak

    "I am glad we here in Australia have a culture of some form of 'socialism'. At least every Australian citizens get a chance at a reasonable education, basic health care and somewhere to live."

    Along with the most authoritative government in current western society.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship_in_Australia

     

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  54.  
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    Katie, Nov 28th, 2008 @ 8:57am

    I just had to respond to this

    "Torvalds is a psychopath with two iron fists." -- Some Douchebag

    Um, what? Linus Torvalds? The guy who poured all his free time into the seemingly-pointless work of making a decent Unix clone?

    The guy who went on to license that kernel under terms (the GPL) that ensured anyone could use it for any purpose, that anyone could obtain and modify its code, and that all modified releases would have to have source provided, to ensure that this spirit of openness and freedom would be guaranteed by the very laws (copyright) that have historically been used for the exact opposite purpose?

    That guy rules with "two iron fists?" I don't think so.

    The Linux kernel has been included in an enormous number of systems, forked into a myriad variants, rolled into tons of commercial endeavors, and, together with the GNU project, used to spawn a seemingly endless procession of GNU/Linux operating systems, such as the currently-noteworthy Ubuntu, Debian, Red Hat, and Fedora.

    Amidst all of this, I think the most controversial thing Linus has said has been "I like KDE better."

    Horus fucking Christ, people. Stop getting your panties in a twist over things you don't even begin to understand.

    Rant over.

     

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  55.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2008 @ 9:43am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Actually, the assumption can be made given the continuing expression by techdirt that piracy sites constitute competitors to retail sites. Piracy sites being viewed as competitors, it stands to reason that retail sales are being lost...though just how many are being lost is not susceptible of being accurately determined.

    Some may dispute the above by saying that sharing of pirated material is a benefit to retail sales since it can be viewed as free adverting, encouraging some to buy products that they otherwise would never have bought. Of course, this is likewise incapable of being accurately determined.

    Just my view, but experience informs me that it is more likely retailers are sustaining a loss in the number of sales that would otherwise occur but for piracy.

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2008 @ 11:21am

    Free isn't Socialism, because Socialism is a system that actually works. However your argument seems to be "Capitalism" isn't Socialism, which is a different argument. Are you really trying to tell us someone is arguing that Capitalism = Socialism? Or are you blurring the facts by your desire to have free goods and not have to pay for them?

     

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  57.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2008 @ 2:53pm

    honestly if you argue against, at least hybrid socialism, you most likely have never left north america

     

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  58.  
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    Barrenwaste, Nov 28th, 2008 @ 3:16pm

    Socialism isn't Communism. However, people need to look at communism as practised and communism as postulated. Communism as practised is simply the next step beyond Socialism. I owe taxes, as long as they are reasonable. Taxes on things like roads and funding the millitary. That said, I do not find it reasonable that large sums should be taken from me to give to others. I worked for that income, I should be able to enjoy the benifits it can attain for my family and myself. This is, fundamentally, why socialism and communism, as practised, always fail in the end. I'm not saying there aren't problems or issues with other systems, I'm simply stating this is one of the major flaws of these two systems. If I choose to give to others more needy, that is one thing, but to demand that I do so is something entirely different. It is nothing more than theft and thuggery writ large. So you keep your socialism and your communism, I prefer to protect me and mine, as did my forefathers. If my neighbor needs a hand, well, I'll consider the importance and immidiacy of the need as well as what I am able and willing to give to combat it. And I'll stand up to anybody who comes to take what is mine on the basis that I don't need it. Whether it's the cd's I bought or the money that I used to buy them, they are mine, and I will do with them as I please. That is, after all, the very basis of our country, the very meaning of our freedoms.

     

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  59.  
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    chris (profile), Nov 28th, 2008 @ 5:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: And in summary

    How exactly is someone supposed to "sing give peace a chance on the golden gate bridge" while "back [in] canada"?

    people who can't recognize sarcasm are socialist.

     

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  60.  
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    Anonymous Cowherd, Nov 28th, 2008 @ 6:06pm

    Site problems?

    There are no new blog posts since Wednesday, two days ago. Has there been some kind of breakdown or failure?

     

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  61.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2008 @ 6:37pm

    Re: Site problems?

    yeah, gobble gobble day

     

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  62.  
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    Anonymous Cowherd, Nov 28th, 2008 @ 6:55pm

    Error

    Error: unintelligible comment detected.

    Error, error, error, error...

     

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  63.  
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    opit, Nov 28th, 2008 @ 7:03pm

    Political theory

    Rather than telling tech guys their argument is specious, I give you the following to consider : a look at the arc of political systems with definitions. Otherwise you're trying to write code without knowing any.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_forms_of_government

     

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  64.  
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    Common Sense, Nov 29th, 2008 @ 11:09am

    Correction to the tagline

    Although there are many respondents with whom I would like to share some enlightenment, the dolts, alas, are too many.

    So I shall simply point out the eloquent and obvious (at least to folks with common sense) that the tagline for this article, instead of, "Free Is Not Socialism," should have been worded, "The Expectation Of Free Is Socialism."

    Do any of my Common Sense crowd have any improvements? I expect the dolts/flamers/idiots will have comments, but I really only expect intelligent, non-puerile answers...

     

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  65.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2008 @ 12:50pm

    Re: Barrenwaste

    "So you keep your socialism and your communism, I prefer to protect me and mine, as did my forefathers."

    Everything you've said is completely absurd. First of all, you have no idea what the founding fathers intended nor do I nor anyone else but the founding fathers. Legislation, courts and debates like this can argue all day long about it but no matter how seemingly obvious it may seem it is still open to discussion.

    I would even be inclined to agree with your comments about taxes being used for anything but what you have intended if the concept wasn't so blatantly flawed. This line of thinking simply does not work in the real world. I also submit to you that what the founding fathers intended was the exact opposite of what you appear to believe.

    The Constitution states that all men are created equal, each having undeniable right to certain freedoms. Let's take this into context of economics. A rich family is only rich because of circumstance, whereas a poor family is equally only poor because of circumstance. Both still have an equal right to basic freedoms and yet the poor family does not have equal opportunity in a capitalistic society without the help of others. Therefore it is up to the poor family's rich neighbor (that's you) to provide them the means to fulfill that equality of freedoms. Are you still following? If you only the paid taxes that you intended you may be able to directly help this family in need but would you? Now expand this to a large geographical area. If you live on one side of the city and the family in need is on the other how would you even know the family is in need if you don't know they exist? You probably would not care because they are not within your immediate similarly rich community. Here's where your logic completely fails.

    Government uses taxes to fund things like education, health care and provide support to poor families because of the very fact that you as a more privileged member of society would probably never provide help to them in the first place. Regardless of how you value one family over another is irrelevant because everyone in the country has the undeniable right to the same freedoms and opportunities that you have. You've simply bettered out of pure luck.

    So I argue that to use and require more taxes for purposes of which you have not intended is to ensure that you are fulfilling your civic duty to your fellow neighbors regardless of where they may live so that all can have equal opportunity. This is the land of the free afterall, it is not the land of the fortunate.

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2008 @ 1:57pm

    Re: Re: Barrenwaste

    You should have said "The Declaration of Independence", which, of course, is not the source of our laws.

     

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  67.  
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    zcat, Nov 29th, 2008 @ 4:35pm

    Re: Re:

    The fact is this - If I buy Red Hat Linux, rebrand it as Centos and give it away to 30 of my friends for free, Red Hat is going to lose money on those sales to at least some of those friends.

    If it were legally possible for anybody to do this as much as they like, surely Red Hat will go bankrupt?

    No?

     

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  68.  
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    Bam, Nov 29th, 2008 @ 5:05pm

    socialism

    Anyone who actually supports or legitimizes socialism as a viable option in the world is straight up stupid!

    The USA did not get to be the world ONLY super power by having a centralized government, that scratches their asses over whether they should give the poor people one or two loafs of bread and a fifth of Vodka or two bottles of Vodka and one loaf of bread.

    There is a reason the USA separated from Europe! Geeee I wonder what that was???? Does taxation without representation ring a bell??

    It will take another world war for some of you to hear that popping sound of your head coming out of your asses.

    What idiots.

    I can hardly wait when the world starts coming unraveled because there are sooo many dumb asses like you!!! Trust me you will be looking for me to help you...

    I suggest you all count your blessings. For now!

     

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  69.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2008 @ 9:16pm

    Re: socialism

    typical attack of things someone doesnt know much about.

    next time you choose to argue against something...

    actually argue.
    calling people stupid solves nothing. And the fact that the much much more socialist european union has a higher GDP and that there are about 32 socialized healthcare countries ranked above the US on the WHO rankings speaks a lot more than "omg ur stupid".

    Your public education, your social security, your medicare and medicaid, are all examples of socialism. And while the republicans in office love to outrageous amounts of money on themselves first, oil and defense second, and at the same time complain that there's not enough money for social security (when ironically there was more than enough before bush decided to take it out of the SS fund) doesn't mean that socialism doesn't work. It means your government is too corrupt to fulfill a single desire of the people as opposed to the desires of CEOs.

    Guess what? Socialism works, and there's reason they wanted to arrest you for even LEARNING about it during a good period of the last half of the century. There are many unenforced laws still in the books banning the teaching of such things...

    freedom of speech?
    Please, brainwashed masses, return to your 50 hour workweeks with no vacation and sick leave, while the rest of the world accomplishes the same work with much more luxury.

     

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  70.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2008 @ 3:42am

    Re: Re: Re: These people from Bizarro world?

    Like anon said, there is a difference between socialism and communism, the reason people think they're the same is mostly due to cold war propaganda and the neoliberal agenda

    Also, there's a difference between REVOLUTIONARY and MODERATE (or democratic) socialism, which needs to be addressed if we're going to debate these things

     

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  71.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2008 @ 9:47am

    Re: I just had to respond to this

    Being a little over half Finn myself, I could tell Linus was onto something of interest when I first learned about his efforts nearly 20 years ago.

    But why does America do so much business with India and China when they rank so soooo *ahem* low in the Corruption index?

    Perhaps it's time to listen to Fins?

    Now, personally, I hate Danes. They always think they have everything figured out and don't want to budge on anything. They are the most disagreeable idiots you'll ever meet. If you ever find one, just know that their disagreement with you is a result of them not knowing how to have any fun during childhood. They tend to be interesting on the surface, but they quickly turn into some evil menace you never thought could exist within a human being. They think they are right at everything and don't want to budge-- not even for a moment. Fucking Danes. DONT DATE A DANE.

    Denmark should now proceed single file back to their Legos, wind turbines, and Sex films.

    Sorry for Ranting. RANT OVER!

     

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  72.  
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    Barrenwaste, Nov 30th, 2008 @ 10:07am

    Re: Re: Barrenwaste

    Actually, we have quite a good idea of what the founding fathers intended. It was written down, codified, and signed. Not only that, but tracts explaining the motives and pamphlets exhorting support still exist. If any choose to disregard these things, that is thier problem. I will not agree with your saying we don't know, when it's been amply recorded.

    Created equal does not mean you are entitled to an equal share of the benefits brought about by my efforts or the efforts of my family. It doesn't mean you are entitled a third or a quarter. What it means is you are given equal consideration under the law and equal opportunity to obtain what I have. It doesn't mean you are gauranteed what I have. People in the united states don't know what poor is. Poor is deciding on whether to use the can of green beans in the soup, or save them for the soup tomorrow since you are using the corn today. Poor isn't wearing the same clothes for a week cause you couldn't afford the laundramat, it's wondering if you can find a coat or blanket so you don't freeze tonight. Don't have a car? Big deal. Walk, we been doing it for the entirety of our existance. When I stop seeing people buy pop and chips with bridge cards and SUV's pulling into the wellfare office, then I might start to worry that people are doing without. For the love of Mary, you can't be poor if you are a hundred pounds over weight.

    Privileged member of society? I've lost everything twice, ended up on the street flat broke with nothing but what I wore. Now I run a store, a small family business we all worked to open. I'm not privileged, I'm just above the much touted poverty line. But even I can recognise the simple truths of economics and moral responsibility.

    In closing, equality doesn't mean you are entitled to what I have, it means you are entitled to the chance of earning it yourself. As I said, having the government take from me because you haven't earned it isn't equallity, it's simple robbery. Times tight for you? Stop buying things you want, rather than need, and start budgeting and working. There are very few instances of people not being able to work, and from my experience, many of people just refusing to work. After all, why work when you can just take my stuff. Keep your socialism, I am not morally, ethically, or financially responsible for your mistakes, responsibilities, or misfortunes. This is the land of the free afterall, it's not the land of the peon.

     

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  73.  
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    Mike (profile), Nov 30th, 2008 @ 11:30am

    Re: Re: Re:

    The fact is this - If I buy Red Hat Linux, rebrand it as Centos and give it away to 30 of my friends for free, Red Hat is going to lose money on those sales to at least some of those friends.

    No, that's not losing money. It's a marketing issue. If that's "losing money" then any time I buy a sandwich at the deli down the street, the pizza shop next door is "losing money." It's not. It's money they failed to capture -- which is different than a "loss."

    If it were legally possible for anybody to do this as much as they like, surely Red Hat will go bankrupt?

    Um. Actually, you can give away Red Hat Linux if you want, and, no, it doesn't mean that Red Hat would go bankrupt. The company makes its money by convincing people that the entire package it offers, including services/upgrades and the like is well worth paying for.

     

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  74.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2008 @ 12:46pm

    The fact is this - If I buy Red Hat Linux, rebrand it as Centos and give it away to 30 of my friends for free, Red Hat is going to lose money on those sales to at least some of those friends.

    If it were legally possible for anybody to do this as much as they like, surely Red Hat will go bankrupt?

    No?


    Ubuntu is currently the largest desktop Linux distribution, and they are practically begging you to use it for free.

    Lots of Linux distros are completely free. If Red Hat wants to charge, they better bring something extra to the table.

    That's actually a decent example of a company competing with free. I'm using Ubuntu right now because it costs zero dollars.

    Red Hat (or Windows) needs to offer me more to part with a dollar.

     

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  75.  
    identicon
    Bam, Nov 30th, 2008 @ 1:35pm

    This is an amazing conversation-
    I can't believe the ignorance and out right lies that are stated as statistics in comparing the -Uh- "European Union"GDP to the USA. "European Union" LOL!!!!!!-hahahhaah LOL the laughing stock of the world.

    First lets make this clear the "European Union" is not a country! (got it) it is many counties that were formed to be able to even be in the same league as the US. That's the first problem with your discussion. But there are many other problems with your premise that are truly not worth mentioning. Just pure ignorance.

    Markets come and go ladies and gentleman. If you think for one minute the USA would even entertain the idea of having OUR rights limited (yes limited) by a centralized/socialist government you are truly idiots. And (yes socialism limits your rights) Hence the USA! and separation Duh!!! and yes I know the difference between communism/socialism geeezzz for gods sakes who doesn't!

    I can guarantee.
    You would first see another civil war in the USA before that would happen. It WONT!-- You know why?? Your wrong about everything-- and when you come whining for help again to bail Europe out we will most likely help again because that is what America does. Just remember we are NOT Europe and don't plan on being like Europe! If I wanted that I would just move to Europe and so would others--But no they are moving to USA why because there is opportunity here. Opportunity is not some government bureaucracy it is born in minds. NOT the Government!
    USA has been through tough times before and will be again but we will never be Europe...Just your big brother !!!! LOL

     

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  76.  
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    Irrepressible, Nov 30th, 2008 @ 3:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: These people from Bizarro world?

    Perhaps it's time to check out the differences between the two terms. There's a vast difference between communism and socialism. Even though the term "socialism" was inaccurately used during the recent election, this country engages in capitalism. Ah, the battles of the "isms."

     

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  77.  
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    Bam, Nov 30th, 2008 @ 3:42pm

    Capitalism --Rules dude-- I love it!
    Sorry!
    Its NOT going anywhere :-( --bad for you--

    I think as a Sociologist with an advanced degree. I'm well aware of the differences between communism and socialism --- and you?

    Socialism is dead--and has been for many decades. Get over it. Try to think outside the box I know its scary. But truly it will be ok!

    If the Europeans had such good judgment and such a wonderful socialist system.

    How did Hitler become so powerful?? Hummm--I wonder--Could it be because people rights were walked all over?? hummm--I wonder what allowed that? Could it beeee--Oh NO! It was that very "perfect" socialist system that allowed that. Ohhh no tell me its not so!!
    --- Heil Hitler ----Dude! The crown jewel of socialism and returning power to the people huh! What a wonderful world.

    Europeans are sheep!

    They can be lead right to their own death just by somebody printing something in a paper or them watching it on TV. They believe everything.

    Europeans have No critical thinking skills left. They are a dead society....They don't even reproduce because they have to run that through there wonderful socialist bureaucracy and get approval----- LOL--hahahahah Or they may be seen as terrible people by others --Ohh My!! We wouldn't want that now huh? We must fit in!
    By the way quit trying to insert the stupid talking points of the American left.. Try and think for yourself and not be one of the sheep going to slaughter try and think about cause and effect!!
    Is that too much to ask?

     

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  78.  
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    Mark Regan, Nov 30th, 2008 @ 4:25pm

    Well Said

    Better put could I not have done.

     

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  79.  
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    Mark Regan, Nov 30th, 2008 @ 5:01pm

    Re: Bam's Comments on Capitalism versus Socialism

    You forget that George Bush and his Billionaire Buddies, good Capatalist Imperialists all, attempted to challenge Hitler by mimicking his invasions of innocent independent countries by military force, killing their civilian population because they were "in the way", kidnapping innocent folks "suspected" of being our "targets" and smuggling them secretly out of their homeland to a third world country, refusing to charge them with a crime or provide them attorneys or visits from their family members or even the Red Cross as required by international law, then torturing them for seven years and finally refusing to put them on trial or release them as ordered by the judicial authorities.

    Don't hold up capitalism as a "success story" for anyone but the billionaires, when tens of millions of hard working citizens are going hungry and without medicine because some capitalistic factory executive earns $20 million plus a $120 million bonus for his annual labor, while the workers who actually produce his products earn minimum wage, and cannot qualify for food stamps because they make too much, and cannot buy medicine because they make too little.

    There is something wrong with the textbooks you studied in college that deluded you into thinking your ideal capitalistic system actually works for anyone other than the "ruling" class. (Didn't you read somewhere in your text about the Golden Rule?)

    This is not a defense of communism or socialism. Jesus most definitely, were he alive today, NOT be a capitalist. He'd probably be, were he a politician, a benevolent dictator in a communistic system of government.

    Actually, the fairest system of government is likely a combination of the various polar opposites. Take a look at how well New Zealand's government works. It is a balance of socialism and capitalism, with hardly any poverty, and hardly any "wealthy" class. Nearly everyone is middle class / working class, and their taxes are fair, their school system is good, their crime rates are low, their medical system is great and offers universal coverage, their industries and economy are self-sufficient, their international trade is even keeled, they contribute their fair share to NATO and the UN and UNICEF and such other responsibilities of modern nationhood, they have peace between their minority indigenous peoples and the recent immigrant majority, their government is modern and well administered, and their people are healthy, happy, and wise.

    So please do not regurgitate all that crap you were brainwashed with in college. If America's colleges are so great and crank out so many competent graduates, then why is our elementary and secondary schools turning out so many kids who "think" they can read and write and think independently and not know that they are wrong?

    Why do our medical schools turn out quacks motivated by money instead of healing? Why are our law schools turning out ambulance chasers instead of visionary problem resolution specialists?

    How can we fly tons of rice into third world countries with more efficiency than we can do so in New Orleans. Why do our "professional" disaster responders allow 100,000 brand new unused mobile homes and trailers rot in staging areas when we have hundreds of thousands of homeless FAMILIES being evicted -- is that not disaster enough for these capatalistic bureaucrats in FEMA?

    I respectfully submit that it is wrong for you to have called Irrepressible a SHEEP when you were looking at your own reflection in your mirror. You are just like George Bush, that great bastion of conservatism -- you are so far to the right you have gone all around the world and are now LEFTIST in your thinking.

    I take it you supported the Bush Administration in their conscious effort to increase our national debt by trillions, invade innocent countries without adequate provocation, throw millions of homeowners and workers out into the street because of your idiotic capitalistic philosophies in the name of "compassionate conservatism", besmirch our former international good name, character and reputation, crash the world economy, "forgive" your criminally corrupt friends and associates for their felonious violations of the constitution he was sworn to uphold, and then burden our grandchildren with the obligation to pay off the enormous debt, while enriching his dozen or so billionaire buddies who use their money to BUY those stocks our retired citizens are selling just so they can eat and buy medicine.

    You got me riled up when you called Europeans sheep. Britney Spears and Paris Hilton are American role models made popular by you capitalists soaking the American public as they baaa their CDs at the store and purchase tabloids at the supermarket. Americans like you are the sheep following the industrial piper, while the Europeans have PEACE, culture, stable economies, fair taxes for the middle class, low poverty rates, little pollution, wholesome stars worthy of emulation, quality schools, high literacy rates, medical care for the masses, etc.

    Baaa to you!

     

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  80.  
    identicon
    Kiba, Nov 30th, 2008 @ 5:45pm

    Re: Re: Bam's Comments on Capitalism versus Socialism

    What the hell? This is a bunch of left statist propaganda going around? Are you brainwashed by the state or something?

    You don't even have a single once of economic literacy and
    you proceed to lecture everyone about how unfair for billionaire to earn tons of money why wage-earner like me earn so little. Guess you haven't been around to see the explosion in technological advancement that been made in the last 20 years that were brought forward to you by your good friend, the capitalists who risk THEIR money. Not all rich people earn their money from thievery and plunder.

    You even have the audacity to confuse government intervention with capitalistic move. When Bush and their corporate cornies print money and use the state to loan to their friendly bankers, as well bailing out megacorporations, that's not capitalism. That's pure thievery and plunder.

    Meanwhile you also have an audacity to support plunder and thievery known as taxation and their robin hood style redistribution programs.

    You, my friend, has been brainwashed in college just like your peers you criticized.

     

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  81.  
    identicon
    Bam, Nov 30th, 2008 @ 7:34pm

    Re: Bam's Comments on Capitalism versus Socialism

    What planet do you live on --I give up you are just too stupid to speak to--sorry !!
    Your completely insane!

    "attempted to challenge Hitler by mimicking his invasions of innocent independent countries by military force, killing their civilian population because they were "in the way", kidnapping innocent folks "suspected" of being our "targets" and smuggling them secretly out of their homeland to a third world country, refusing to charge them with a crime or provide them attorneys or visits from their family members or even the Red Cross as required by international law, then torturing them for seven years and finally refusing to put them on trial or release them as ordered by the judicial authorities." ---You apparently are just as dumb as I thought.

    Apparently you did not pay attention to what happened around 9-11-2001 which by the way!! was one of MANY!!!!! terrorist attacks on the USA and its allies: Which lead to (as you put it) --your insane rant of no knowledge!

    George Bush attempting to act as "Hitler by mimicking his invasions of innocent independent countries by military force, killing their civilian population because they were "in the way"

    That is exactly what I'm talking about when I say STOP with the leftest Propaganda!!! It is not true now and it has never been true... George Bush, Tony Blair and frankly the rest of the world intelligence agencies thought that Iraq was working on MORE weapons of mass destruction.

    They had already proven they had them in the past by killing hundreds of thousands of people and burying them in mass graves. I know details,details George Bush should have known right? I just have one question did you? NOPE! so you err on the side of caution. That's what is called a leader.

    A leader does not hide under the desk like the cowards in Europe! and hope they will go away (or) I Know lets talk to them that will help---geeeezzzz In case you don't realize we have been talking to them for 30 fucking years --has it helped --NOPE! It has made it worse. Because they began to make the mistake that USA is as cowardly as Europe ---NOPE --wrong again!

    September 11, 2001 - Terrorists hijack four U.S. commercial airliners taking off from various locations in the United States in a coordinated suicide attack. In separate attacks, two of the airliners crash into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, which catch fire and eventually collapse. A third airliner crashes into the Pentagon in Washington, DC, causing extensive damage. The fourth airliner, also believed to be heading towards Washington, DC, crashes outside Shanksville, PA., killing all 45 people on board. Casualty estimates from New York put the possible death toll close to 5,000, while as many as 200 people may have been lost at the Pentagon crash site.

    Oct. 12, 2000 - A terrorist bomb damages the destroyer USS Cole in the port of Aden, Yemen, killing 17 sailors and injuring 39.

    Aug. 7, 1998 - Terrorist bombs destroy the U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. In Nairobi, 12 Americans are among the 291 killed, and over 5,000 are wounded, including 6 Americans. In Dar es Salaam, one U.S. citizen is wounded among the 10 killed and 77 injured.

    In response, on August 20 the United States attacked targets in Afghanistan and Sudan with over 75 cruise missiles fired from Navy ships in the Arabian and Red seas. About 60 Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from warships in the Arabian Sea. Most struck six separate targets in a camp near Khost, Afghanistan. Simultaneously, about 20 cruise missiles were fired from U.S. ships in the Red Sea striking a factory in Khartoum, Sudan, which was suspected of producing components for making chemical weapons.

    June 21, 1998 - Rocket-propelled grenades explode near the U.S. embassy in Beirut.

    July 27, 1996 - A pipe bomb explodes during the Olympic games in Atlanta, killing one person and wounding 111.

    June 25, 1996 - A bomb aboard a fuel truck explodes outside a U.S. air force installation in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. 19 U.S. military personnel are killed in the Khubar Towers housing facility, and 515 are wounded, including 240 Americans.

    Nov. 13, 1995 - A car-bomb in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia kills seven people, five of them American military and civilian advisers for National Guard training. The "Tigers of the Gulf," "Islamist Movement for Change," and "Fighting Advocates of God" claim responsibility.

    April 19, 1995 - A car bomb destroys the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people and wounding over 600.

    February 1993 - A bomb in a van explodes in the underground parking garage in New York's World Trade Center, killing six people and wounding 1,042.

    Dec. 21, 1988 - A bomb destroys Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. All 259 people aboard the Boeing 747 are killed including 189 Americans, as are 11 people on the ground.

    April 1986 - An explosion damages a TWA flight as it prepares to land in Athens, Greece. Four people are killed when they are sucked out of the aircraft.

    April 5, 1986 - A bomb destroys the LaBelle discotheque in West Berlin. The disco was known to be frequented by U.S. servicemen. The attack kills one American and one German woman and wounds 150, including 44 Americans

    In response, on April 15 the United States retaliated in an operation dubbed ‘El Dorado Canyon.’ Approximately 100 aircraft were launched in direct support of the raid. It was an attack against military targets involving land-based bombers from Great Britain together with carrier-based air strikes from ships in the Gulf of Sidra.

    December 1985 - Simultaneous suicide attacks are carried out against U.S. and Israeli check-in desks at Rome and Vienna international airports. 20 people are killed in the two attacks, including four terrorists.

    November 1985 - Hijackers aboard an Egyptair flight kill one American. Egyptian commandos later storm the aircraft on the isle of Malta, and 60 people are killed.

    October 1985 - Palestinian terrorists hijack the cruise liner Achille Lauro (in response to the Israeli attack on PLO headquarters in Tunisia) Leon Klinghoffer, an elderly, wheelchair-bound American, is killed and thrown overboard.

    August 1985 - A car bomb at a U.S. military base in Frankfurt, Germany kills two and injures 20. A U.S. soldier murdered for his identity papers is found a day after the explosion.

    June 1985 - A TWA airliner is hijacked over the Mediterranean, the start of a two-week hostage ordeal. The last 39 passengers are eventually released in Damascus after being held in various locations in Beirut.

    June 1985 - In San Salvador, El Salvador, 13 people are killed in a machine gun attack at an outdoor café, including four U.S. Marines and two American businessmen.

    April 1985 - A bomb explodes in a restaurant near a U.S. air base in Madrid, Spain, killing 18, all Spaniards, and wounding 82, including 15 Americans.

    November 1984 - A bomb attack on the U.S. embassy in Bogota, Colombia kills a passer-by. The attack was preceded by death threats against U.S. officials by drug traffickers.

    October 1983 - A suicide car bomb attack against the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut kills 241 servicemen. A simultaneous attack on a French base kills 58 paratroopers.

    April 1983 - A suicide car bombing against the U.S. embassy in Beirut kills 63, including 17 Americans.

    When they come for you let me know!!! Ill let ya talk to them LOL --hahahahahahahahhahahahahhah

     

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  82.  
    identicon
    Bam, Nov 30th, 2008 @ 8:00pm

    Just for the record!

    Capitalism is the world’s dominant economic system. Within it, the means of production and distribution are owned by individuals: private ownership and free enterprise are believed to lead to more efficiency, lower prices, better products and rising prosperity. Socialism advocates the ownership and control of the means of production and industry by the community as a whole: the community is believed to be both more just and more efficient through central planning. In Marxist theory Socialism represents the stage following capitalism in a state transforming to communism; for many, however, it is a goal in itself.
    This binary view of potential political and economic systems may be thought simplistic, but it is a debate that is extremely common.

     

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  83.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2008 @ 8:37pm

    Re: Re: Barrenwaste

    Just so we're all clear, you folks not from the good ol' U.S.A. should know that we're not true capitalists . .. have not been for some time. Our country is a socialist-capitalist hybrid--we have welfare and many many state run health care provisions for those who cannot afford to be treated. Anyone can get a federally backed loan (which doesnt even check your credit score) that more then covers the total cost of a community college, which is all you need to make a substantial living for yourself and your family. those in truly dire financial situations can even qualify for federal grants, which they never even have to pay back-you honestly dont have it any better then us.
    The problem some of us have with a shift toward total socialism is that this country is built not only on the spirit freedom, but with the knowledge that no matter who you are or where you come from, IF YOU WORK HARD you can accomplish anything. The doctors who go through 10 years of extremely expensive medical school have the right to make a living which reflects that dedication, not whatever the government decides to pay them. I started off from a low income single parent family, I am a minority, and no one handed me the first red cent, but I am now in a very financially successful place, and I have no one to thank but myself and this great country. Regardless of where you start, anyone can get themselves a well paying career, the people who claim they cant are the ones who expect it to be handed to them, and have no concept that no matter where a good or service comes from, somebody pays for it.
    That last of course directly applies to this article-- wherever the song or game or misc. software came from, someone paid for it--be it through their time and effort in creating it, or the work they put into marketing it, or the money they fronted for producing it. Argue what you will, that's a fact, and how you apply that to what should be done with the end product I leave to you.
    Unfortunately some companies, like E.A. have decided to pass the burden on to their customers in the form of DRM. As a result almost everyone I know now either boycotts everything the company makes, or pirates the software.

     

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  84.  
    identicon
    Ba, Nov 30th, 2008 @ 8:38pm

    Why are people so jealous of others?
    The thought of one person making .50 more than someone else because he is doing a good job or because he has been a loyal employee just makes communists and socialists just go insane.

    The thought that someone has more than you frankly is none of your business!---Go to work get a job and produce something for society and I can assure you. You will be rewarded.
    Sitting on your ass and waiting for others to pay your bills or do your work-----NOT!! your gonna have to move for that man! sorry

     

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  85.  
    identicon
    rik, Nov 30th, 2008 @ 10:26pm

    Free is not Socialism

    A "system of government granted monopolies managed through a centralized government body" is not capitalism at all. It is fascism. Generally, people in this day and age that believe this is capitalism have formulated their ideas through listening to Rush Limbaugh type junk radio babbling. Those that attempt to rationalize any position based upon these sources will invariably be contradictory and confused in their thinking.

     

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  86.  
    identicon
    Bam, Nov 30th, 2008 @ 10:42pm

    I agree!

    Except for one premise--that is that a federally backed loan, welfare, or grants are some sort of socialist hybrid--

    No, they are American!
    They do have a socialist flavor, only because we are using tax dollars to help others in need. But because we have those things that does not equal a central government making decisions on my behalf or regarding my state of being. That is NOT socialistic.

    We have not lived in a "PURE Capitalistic" society for over a 100 years. Even then it would be debatable.

    You are absolutely right that IF YOU WORK HARD you can accomplish anything--That is also American!--and it requires incentives (a reason) like more money and a better life for you, your family and the people you love.

    Socialism kills that!!! Dead as a door nail.

     

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  87.  
    identicon
    Mojo Bone, Dec 1st, 2008 @ 3:23am

    The Founders' intentions are indeed fairly explicit; I'll not presume to teach a civics course , you can go read the federalist papers, if you like. The thing I find interesting in these debates about intellectual property, (and maybe the true communists among us who don't believe in property rights of any kind should disqualify themselves from this particular debate; it shouldn't concern you if it doesn't affect you, right?) nobody ever seems to bring up the publishing industry's ongoing battle to put libraries out of business.Or maybe it's the libraries calling for an end to for-profit publishing? (well, it should have happened the moment it became possible to produce unlimited copies of any book you own for essentially no cost, right?) I guess the argument that one is richer or poorer by "circumstance" could be true if the circumstance includes how hard and often you work. Unless you "work" for AIG.

     

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  88.  
    identicon
    CastorTroy-Libertarian, Lover, General Annoyance f, Dec 1st, 2008 @ 5:31am

    Re: Socialist Streak

    And yet you still havent produced anything of value... way to go...

     

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  89.  
    identicon
    AHJ, Dec 1st, 2008 @ 6:09am

    Re: Re: Barrenwaste

    A rich family is only rich because of circumstance, whereas a poor family is equally only poor because of circumstance. Both still have an equal right to basic freedoms and yet the poor family does not have equal opportunity in a capitalistic society without the help of others
    So you want to take from the rich and give to the poor? Way to go Robin Hood.

    Why exactly doesn't the poor family have equal opportunity? Just because they didn't take advantage of the same opportunities that made the rich family rich doesn't magically erase the opportunity. There are more "rags to riches" stories in the US than any other country in the world because there are so many opportunities in the US.

    Why do you think the US still has such a high influx of immigrants?
    One word: OPPORTUNITY

     

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  90.  
    identicon
    CastorTroy-Libertarian, Lover, General Annoyance f, Dec 1st, 2008 @ 6:13am

    Re: Re: Barrenwaste

    Here is where you FAIL. Being a success is not based entirely on Luck. If you succeed or fail comes from, determination, work ethic, and intellegence with a small portion of luck. With proper planning, luck is made increasingly smaller part of the equation.
    Generally your arguement is made by those that feel guilty for success, great give from yourself, do not mandate that others give outside of basic, fair, and reasonable taxes, for items that are for all of society (Roads, Bridges, Police, Fire, Military, I'll even give you schools). I do not have a civic duty other than to abide by the laws of where i live. If i Choose to do otherwise (positive or Negative)then it is my choice and I have to live with the rewards (positive) or punishements (negative). Now, I do get to the choose of who is elected to govern, so that rules of where we live are in a reflection of who we elect, but they can not go outside of the orginial rules that where laid down... i.e. the Constitution (USA).
    The fact you missed is we all start the same, not end. (Hence CREATED the same).

    Its call Personal Responsiblity and it is not up to you nor the government to impose it.

    Thanks for playing though,

     

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  91.  
    identicon
    Cixelsid, Dec 1st, 2008 @ 6:37am

    Re: Re: Religion=Socialism

    Church of Acts.

     

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  92.  
    identicon
    Cixelsid, Dec 1st, 2008 @ 6:38am

    Re: Re: I just had to respond to this

    ROFL. I hate Danes too.

     

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  93.  
    identicon
    Twinrova, Dec 1st, 2008 @ 7:59am

    When will Techdirt ever learn...

    ... all business models are flawed because each underlines a need to generate unlimited net revenue.

    I believe the author only skimmed a few points, rather than realize his overall topic was a waste. His perception of IP and distribution in a socialistic environment lacked real information, as he would rather point fingers than address the real issue at hand.

    I will have to agree in his assessment that someone needs to pay for free. I've argued this point many times on this website, each time being ignored. I especially loved the 5 course meal example. Classic.

    I believe in copyright as a protective measure to ensure works aren't passed off as another, but I absolutely disagree when cost is applied to distribute the copyright.

    There is absolutely no reason why people shouldn't share music, poetry, art, etc. for free.

    The notion the author/artist/designer deserves compensation for these works is inexcusable. Anyone can take a picture, paint a picture, write a book, or sing a song. It doesn't matter if it's good or bad.

    These items should be offered for free to everyone in the world as it's what the author/artist/designer intends. Compensation is given to create future works if the public demands it, reality or virtual worlds making no difference.

    Companies that DISTRIBUTE the works have a hard time understanding this concept, but what do you expect when the overall purpose of the business model is to reap as much revenue as possible, while paying only a portion to the author/writer/designer who created it.

    It makes no difference if the environment is socialism, capitalism, or communism.

    To sum it all up: "Free" economics is the true definition of contradiction.

     

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  94.  
    identicon
    Nismoto, Dec 1st, 2008 @ 9:07am

    Re:

    It would be a possibility but I cannot say it is true. Who knows if any of your 30 friends would have purchased the Insane Clown Posse CD that you gave them.

    Would DRM prevent you from copying the CD in the first place? And, if so, how many of your 30 friends would purchase the CD because it had DRM?

     

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  95.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2008 @ 10:37am

    Re:

    "He is making the point that instead of moving along to a competitor with a different "product", many are using P2P as a means to simply get a freebie. In this regard you misrepresent his point."

    Well, in that case, he's just simply wrong. If you are to treat the digital good shared over P2P as a "product" then its more appropriate to state that the folks "grabbing a freebie" are in actuality just selecting a different product.

    Why? Could be price, inasmuch as price is traditionally the primary discriminator for goods. Other things like features, perceived value, opportunity costs, compatibility with existing equipment, and convenience would all also have to be figured in when we're talking about a product that is essentially infinitely consumable.

    The simple truth is, from where I'm sitting, most times the existing "legal" product simply can't compete with what's available over P2P in numerous areas other than price. I do think people would pay a fair price if they could, but in many cases, they simply don't have that option.

     

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  96.  
    identicon
    nasch, Dec 1st, 2008 @ 10:58am

    Re:

    Is this guy a troll or serious, I can't figure it out.

     

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  97.  
    identicon
    Mischa, Dec 1st, 2008 @ 11:28am

    Re: Re: US Idiots

    If you read the rest of Shohat's comment, you will find the "argument to back that up".

     

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  98.  
    identicon
    Joe Blogs, Dec 1st, 2008 @ 6:38pm

    Re: Re: Bam's Comments on Capitalism versus Socialism

    So a few idiots blowing themselves up justifies invading another country?

    Or did i miss the part where the Iraqi military lobbed a scud missle at the WTC? Where are these WOMD?

    This isn't two armies fighting, just criminals taking pot shots...

     

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  99.  
    identicon
    Bam, Dec 3rd, 2008 @ 7:05pm

    Re Joe

    No--apparently you don't understand...
    Iraq was given 16 separate opportunities/Resolutions to change their behavior. Over a period of many years! and a great deal of TALKING without any success. Saddam Hussein was ordering his ground troops to fire upon American/European fighter planes patrolling the no fly zones DAILY (this in its self is an act of WAR!!!!) Apparently you missed these events.

    In addition many countries pleaded with Iraq to stop firing upon the planes and open up their country for inspection by The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) so they could put to rest the fact that Iraq and others were conspiring to make weapons of mass destruction. Which they HAD DONE IN THE PAST!!!!

    The fact that they did not find any Atomic weapons does not prove anything. There have been multiple cashes of gases and poisons found and are still being found. Iraq was also engaging in ethnic cleansing and other criminal activities including colluding with North Korea. Which indeed has Atomic weapons and it was just a matter of time before the two were able to sneak these matierials into Iraq.

    If that is the kind of world you want to live in and you just want to look the other way. That's wonderful until those weapons are pointed at you I suspect---right? or there are millions of people dead.

    One thing about these two wars that are going on right now that is conveniently forgotten is that they were BOTH VOTED ON in the USA!!!!!!!! They were passed unanimously!!!! BY BOTH PARTIES!!!

    I don't see people blaming ANY of the Democrats who had the same info as the president and choose to vote FOR THE WAR. This war was overdue and a long time coming. The original problems began during President Carters Administration. The USA attempted to look the other way for 35 years!!! IT DIDN'T WORK WHAT DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND ABOUT THAT???

    The fact that we invaded Iraq after the 9/11 attacks was not related (in that way) and never has been directly related, to the attack on the world trade center.

    In fact you can go back and listen to Bush's speech to the UN you don't have to believe me! Listen to what he said... It was about the risks and the fact that the world had changed and so the USA and her allies had to change.

    It became too high of a RISK to look the other way at Iraq's illegal actions and their collusion with North Korea. It is that simple. Nobody knew what they had and it was very clear they were not going to share that info.

    The only people saying that the two are connected are the idiots on the left that don't understand whats going on around them in the world and the media that has capitalized on that ignorance and pushed that agenda. AND IT HAS WORKED because there are so many people that don't do their homework!

    You don't really think that if we just leave them alone and go away they will just leave us alone do you??? If you do that's where we were prior to 3000 people died on 9/11 we were ignoring them..... NOW what????

    The thing that changed was preemptive action on our part.
    That's it...

    Rather than passively sitting back and watching people die all around us while criminal organizations gain strength equaling thousands of more deaths in the future. We will seek them out and destroy them. Period!

    I see Obama has changed his whole stance on the war and hes not even in the office yet---its wonderful to sit back and criticize until YOU are the one that has to make the hard decissions huh?

    Whats cowards!!!

     

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  100.  
    icon
    Chris in Utah (profile), Aug 13th, 2009 @ 11:50am

    It's research you want?

     

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  101.  
    icon
    Chris in Utah (profile), Aug 13th, 2009 @ 12:01pm

    It's research you want?

    296-133 was the house vote. Not Unanimously.

    He's in office now and we've pulled out of cities but not country. Let alone the region. In fact there's talk about moving more in to Afghanistan territory.

    Pre-emptive action based on what? Have you answered that one?

    3 Million a minute to fund an >invasion

     

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  102.  
    icon
    Chris in Utah (profile), Aug 13th, 2009 @ 12:02pm

    ....

    >invasion

     

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  103.  
    icon
    Chris in Utah (profile), Aug 13th, 2009 @ 12:03pm

    sorry cut off

    mean anything? Oh, I don't know what have we done past congresional/reprentintive vote since 2002?

    How many Czars is it going to take to wake up that the white house has the power to go around us?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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