Sep 20, 2007

Creative Commies, Gates and Marx

An interesting picture below this text, addressing Bill Gates' argument that copyright reformers are today's communists ... well Bill, to explain it in the words of Karl Marx:

"In the social production of their life, men enter into definite relations that are indispensable and independent of their will, relations of production which correspond to a definite stage of development of their material productive forces. The sum total of these relations of production constitutes the economic structure of society, the real foundation, on which rises a legal and political superstructure and to which correspond definite forms of social consciousness.

The mode of production of material life conditions the social, political and intellectual life process in general. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness.

At a certain stage of their development, the material productive forces of society come in conflict with the existing relations of production, or — what is but a legal expression for the same thing — with the property relations within which they have been at work hitherto. From forms of development of the productive forces these relations turn into their fetters." (

Bill GatesBut Bill isn't dumb, he knows this already. His social being is one that is opposite to many copyright reformers, not just because of his education, or wealth, but more so because he is responsible for this social being. By building up Microsoft, when the economy of professional bureaucracies was still favorable to him, and copyright law enabled him to make his billions, he formed a social being that determined his conciousness, his identity. By saying that copyright reformers are right, that indeed copyright law has turned into fetters of development, he would throw away his identity. Anyway, that would not be a wrong thing to do, but difficult. Because understanding is the first step to forgiveness. And, by quoting Thich Nhat Hanh, ‘understanding means to throw away your knowledge’. He might then even support this free and open culture... mm, or am I being too idealistic now?

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