Is Free Software Ideology in anyway related to Communism?


The process of sharing the source code and applying a Copyleft license to the software, so that its sharing doesn’t gets affected may be considered as the primary idea behind Free Software.In short, Sharing the Knowledge by means of a community together with Social Change.

The question is that, Can Free Software Ideology can anyway be compared with Communism? How?


Age old debate -

Have a look no. And there is nothing “so called”


Ya…I’ve may have used the inappropriate word. Edited !


It’s quite common for people to easily fall to the idea that Free Software might resemble some qualities of Communism. But when someone try to go deep in understanding of both Free Software and Communism, they can see some contradictions between the two even in both Theory as well as in Practice.

Communism is seen as alternative to Capitalism by some and it is seen as the evolution of capitalism by some. When RMS was interviewed on this aspect (not in the aspects of communism, but in the aspect of Capitalism), whether could Free Software thrive in the Capitalist Society, he made a point there. You can watch the entire interview here.

In another interview by newyorker to RMS,

When I asked him whether his message is received more readily in countries with a stronger political left, he said, “Yes, it is. Basically, Americans have shown that they are politically naïve. If you look at how successful plutocratic candidates are in the U.S.—you can get Americans to vote to give their money to the rich. You have to just say certain predictable, silly things to them, and most of them will be fooled.” He paused for a moment, then added, “The point is, even though it’s sad to see people being foolish, there’s no use giving up. Nothing good can come of giving up. That just means you lose completely, right away.”

Nevertheless, if someone can jump to a conclusion (whether it is related or not related) by just reading the discussions of this thread that’s something bad. Bad because one need to spend extensive time and effort in reading and understanding both ideology before jumping to conclusions.


Finally, someone had asked this question. I too was curious as a considerable number of members of our FSFTN Community being Communists (or at least into communism).


The whole “Free Software is Communism” idea was seeded by Bill Gates. Rather than me explain it, here’s a nice reading list. Read in order if you can.

  2. (the last point)

The fact there are multiple FSFTN commies made me suspicious too. Stay away from them. They might totally infect you and you might become a zombie. Also, if people are interested, I am planning to give a talk about this to those who are already aware of Free Software. Like a refresher.


@yogesh You are welcome.Give a talk about it when you are free.


So , what is being into communism ? Or being a communist?


DISCLAIMER: I’m not in support of or against any political party (or ideology), at least ***“yet”***. By mentioning that few members of FSFTN seem to be into communism or are communists, I mean no disgrace to them or the principles they follow. :stuck_out_tongue: For god’s sake I don’t even know what their principles are. But I think I know enough to identify someone supporting/following communist ideologies.

Reasons for me considering a person communist or being into communism:

  • Posts that seem like highlighting the good in certain communist
  • Posts that seem like highlighting the campaign by communists.
  • Posts that seem like highlighting the struggles (as in போராட்டம்) of communist
  • Posts that seem like highlighting “பொதுவுடைமை”.
  • Posts that seem like highlighting news about any communism-related bodies
    like DYFI, Leftist Parties etc

(There are both people who consider these bodies related to and not related to Communism and I’m not up for one such debate).

You have the right to disagree that one cannot conclude with just these things a person can relate one to communism. But this is how I view it. :wink:


Now that’s an interesting post . probably a definition of “free” as in freedom , “commons” as in creative commons , “public” as in gpl , “knowledge” as in access to knowledge would help understand the concepts , rather than pointing to posts by individuals which would actually just give us a “version” of the concept . Realistically , making comparisons , saying this is not that are all part of discussions.

On a different note: One of the posts which you have shared above is the post of my father’s article and his picture . Personally have been introduced to a lots of this and that of his friends before and are purely my personal space.


This one , though a very simplistic approach , is something I like .


Well, I don’t completely understand what you’ve tried to convey there.

My previous reply was to what I understood as “What made you decide someone is a communist or is into communism?” when you asked for an explanation when I mentioned,

However, I’d just like to make myself clear in that, I just explained why I thought anyone was communist after you seeked.
And, I don’t wish to extend this discussion any further as clearly either me or both of us wrongly understood either what you or each other have mentioned here. :blush:


Hope, everyone here would have come across the website called (It helped me during my M.Tech course) which liberates the knowledge from the scientific community. The women behind this site Alexandra Elbakyan was invited to give a talk in one of the Open Access Conference and she made a talk titled Why Science is Better with Communism? The case of Sci-Hub.

You can view her presentation, talk or also read the transcription and translation of the talk in the following links.

Transcript & Translation:

and also don’t forget to access another thread in our forum which is very much related to this, but not just from free software point of view, but also from a access to the resource (i.e distribution) point of view in terms of networks.


@prashere thanks for starting this thread about the openness (transparent accessibility of available knowledge) , unbounded in time and cost.

when i first came across her interview and immediately got to see her presentation regarding to that in university, i understood it - but honestly, i have to accept that many people feel it loaded when i started sharing and got back very heavy comments. i dont know why i feel threatened and made me not to share it.

again, i am glad you shared it and i think it would help understand how people percieve, interpret socialism in general or about communism or anarchism for that matter.

i would like to be informed if any of FSFTN/FSHM folks are organizing any meeting regarding open access, self publishing, open science, etc… do inform. If fsftn organizes one atleast a day or two about it - in an informal way too, i am very glad to share and learn.


Remembered this thread again because of the below content

Hello Everyone,
Our Free Software Ideology has been added in Election Manifesto by Communist Party of India - Marxist (CPIM) This is a great step for us in our movement in reacching the current politics with our ideology. We need to continue the struggle forward.

Points that has been added Regarding Free Software, Survillence and Digital Commons :-

  1. Promoting Free software and other such new technologies, which are free from monopoly ownership through copyrights or patents; “knowledge commons” should be promoted across disciplines, like biotechnology and drug discovery.

  2. Stop bulk surveillance by state agencies under Section 69. There should be clear provisions and judicial supervision of any surveillance that violates citizens privacy.

  3. Enact data privacy laws that protect the people against appropriation/misuse of users private data for commercial use.

  4. Curb monopolies that use either telecom such as Jio/Airtel/Vodafone or internet service platforms such as Google, Facebook, etc.

This is the first time a Political Party has considered to take a close look into these issues and moved forward to work on it.

That’s great :slight_smile:


We know that the Communist Party of India - Marxist (as a part of the LDF coalition govt) in Kerala has seen great success in implementing FOSS at schools, colleges - education & administration. It has also supported creation & use of FOSS for government infrastructure (

I think you missed the following point from their manifesto ( ) -

Recognise digital infrastructure as public infrastructure and to be used for public good.

This is similar to the Public Money Public Code campaign by FSF-EU - ,

This is vital to preserve individual liberty and the autonomy of a nation from proprietary & for-profit entities as we see Big Tech giants like GAFAM (, Uber. India is moving towards the wrong notion of Smart Cities by merely implementing surveillance through cameras, sensors etc. EVMs were an issue this year, we know that Australia releases EVM code for public scrutiny (

Thus, it is important that all government digital infrastructure to be released under GPL.

Good to see that an Indian political party is keeping up with the times and is serious about the influence of digital sphere in our lives and the need for digital / knowledge commons.