I was reading the latest responses by RMS to 25 very important questions he was asked recently. It's been linked from the two IT news site I read most often (OSnews, LinuxToday), so it was like unavoidable to read it.
While reading, I found a rather interesting statement by RMS: That seems to describe the viewpoint called "laissez-faire" or "Libertarian". Where business is concerned, I disagree with it very throughly, because I'm a Liberal, not a Libertarian.
I'm venezuelan, you see? And the things that are going on in Venezuela are despicable. I just can't understand how so may people can still follow a government so bad after 11 years just because 20 years ago a guy showed up on TV in a 30-second clip to say that he was guilty for a failed coup d'état (whereas all the other cells of their movement were successful in getting their tasks done...in other words, the only one who actually failed!). I don't support coup d'états, let's make it clear.
Venezuela's government has become a theocracy lately. Who's the god? Chávez? Not at all. The god in Venezuela is called 'Socialism' (old-fashioned very far left-wing socialism.. the one where the leader has to be protected from criticisms of all kinds and so on ). The government is certain that socialism is going to solve each and every problem faced by Venezuelans. But when will that happen? There's not such certainty on this point. It's such a shame to see this high-level venezuelan politicians say how socialism is the only way to solve x or y problem... it's offensive, really.
Sorry for the break and going back to RMS: In Venezuela the government pushed for FLOSS (and I'm thankful for that). And there's people (government followers) that believe that FLOSS is somehow related to 'Socialism'. I bet they'd go as far as to present RMS as one of the nowadays socialist heroes and the Free Software Movement as the the equivalent of Khmer Rough for IT. I'd also bet more than one guy out there is more than willing to paint RMS together with Fidel, Che and Marx (well, they have the guts to have Simón Bolívar and Jesus Christ in that crowd having the last supper, so no surprises) or RMS holding a rifle in his hands (to defend Revolution), just like it's been done with Jesus Christ in walls in Caracas. I just can't see how something where there's no central control (as FLOSS is) can be somehow related to Socialism (far left-wing, as I said). Perhaps the ways of the community that's associated to FLOSS could be somehow related to the ideal socialist community's behaviour, but Free Software per se? So it's always reassuring when RMS defines himself as a liberal. No more doubts about that anymore.
Perhaps Free Software Development model could be related to examples of almost pure liberal environments and used in scientific/social investigation. I think some investigations have already been made, right?
PS I don't have anything against socialism per se. It's a political philosophy and there's nothing wrong (if you ask me) with applying some of its principles in public policy (the ones that have been tried and have had a good result in different places). But when it's used as the excuse to apply bad public policies that have been tried in the past (and failed miserably... both in the past and in their actual instance), that won't leave a good trail for it in the future.