Your Code Will be Counted in a One Dollar-One Vote World

Around 300 years back human society moved or transitioned into a new order. It’s nowadays called democracy. Therein, elected representatives shall rule the country instead of kings. Seems like a good idea. But there is one problem. To elect a leader you have to cast a vote. Only land-owning white men got right to vote. After a long struggle all the people got the right to vote. We got democracy.

But somebody said this democracy is a system by which to protect the minority from the majority. That’s good, right? You’d think so. But who are the “minority” and who are the “majority”? Usually they lie to you. So you may get the wrong image in your mind. The real minority is the rich people… and the real majority is the poor people.

What will happen if all the people get a right to vote? The poor will win. Have you ever seen that anywhere in the world? Sometimes, somewhere, for a short period of time. Then things will turn upside down.

How do they do that?

There are lots of ways for this thing to happen. Here I am looking at one particular tactic which is interesting to me. That is “One dollar-one vote.”

As per democracy, the rule is “one person-one vote.” That will not give the ‘desired’ results (for the rich). So they use their ‘money power’ to buy democracy. That tactic is called “one dollar-one vote.” There are rules that stop the amount of money spent on elections. But with Citizens United all control is gone and corporates are given First Amendment protections. (But Stallman will not get it.)

In the 2016 US election, the richest 0.01% of Americans – 24,949 very wealthy people – gave a record-breaking 40 percent of all campaign contributions. Corporates gave $3.4 billion dollars in contributions. Whoever got most of the money got a more successful campaign, silenced all opponents, and won the election. So the dollar is counted in elections. One dollar, one vote.

Censoring free speech with code

People should get freedom of speech. But in the Free software movement, since 1998, you get some people showing this “one dollar-one vote” mindset. Here, they’re kind of saying, “one line of code, one word.” Meaning — if you write one line of code for a future corporate takeover, then you can say one word. The more LOCs you have, the more you can talk. “Show me your code” — what a barbarian Citizens United thought it is. It is nothing but pure censorship. Shame on you. In modern societies people must have/get rights of speech.

The Free software movement is a user’s rights movement

It is a political movement started by Richard Stallman in 1983 to free all computer users from the chains of software. It does not care how you’ve developed the software. It cares only about whether the user owns the software or not. That is the main question. Of course it creates problems and causes damage to corporate greed.

Its survival depends on how much free speech (about its politics) can happen. And it is clear that those who are trying to suppress that free speech have vested interests like Citizens United.

That is wrong. Ignore them. So people without code, please speak up for the movement loudly.


Written by: Jagadees.S
India

Nullius in verba


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