Week 2 Reading

In the introduction of the book,  Decoding Liberation,  the author brought up an practice existing in the field of software coding, free and open source software (FOSS). This practice has much to do with the possibility of a new form of economy as well as to the redistribution of resources of knowledge and power these knowledge entails. From an economic point of view, the production of any goods will require several elements of production, for example labor, row materials, technology, etc, and as software is necessary for producing many commercial goods it becomes an element of production. Consequently we may concludes that the abundance of software will have a direct impact on the price of involved goods on the market and decides which country or region will have a comparative advantages on that industry.  To think that the advancement of software will help to optimize management of resources and labor need, as observed in many businesses, e-Commerce for instance, having a abundant supply of software will contribute to the economical development of the country and wealth to individuals. Therefor the development of coding industry may influence the distribution of wealth, empower some while weakening those who can’t catch up with it, and there is yet another factor that will enhance this process. As the author mentioned, the common form of means of production, which used to be material such as machines etc, expanded. Codes and software, while being immaterial and therefor exhibit a completely different form of ownership unlike machines, becomes a new mean of production. To control the mean of production, as Marx would say, will define one’s classes. If software is to be controlled by a small group of people, then a huge disparity among society will be inevitable, and exploitation will continuous to exist. If an alternative form of ownership of software give raise, as the one advocated by supporter of FOSS, then the disparity may drop in the future and the structure of the society might change accordingly.

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