Open source is liberal? Nah

Open source is not a Democratic ideology. It's not a Republican ideology, either. It's just a neutral technology--or, if anything, a conservative ideal, making software a local affair.

BusinessWeek's Steve Hamm quotes David Kralik, director of Internet strategy for American Solutions, who believes that Republicans are gun-shy of open-source software:

Open source is a powerful force, but a lot of people on the right think it's liberal, and they don't want to be involved with it. They think if Apple likes it, they don't. That's a mistake. Open source is politically neutral. We should be using it.

Well, as an Apple-loving, open-source conservative, I have to say I agree. In fact, if anything, I believe open source is an inherently conservative ideal , making software a local affair, rather than a "big government" or "big vendor" affair.

But really, it's just technology, not ideology. Democrats can use open source. Republicans can. No party has a lock on .Net, MySQL, PHP, or (name your technology preference). They're just tools for getting our jobs done, and guess what? Open source happens to be a highly efficient way of getting an widening array of jobs done.

In this economy, that's something both conservatives and liberals need, and should agree upon.

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Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

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