How we can live together ?
Listening to some french famous radio station, i’ve learned these days that french people might prefer equality to freedom, referring to french Republic principles “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité”. I’ve been a little astonished by this announcement and i tried to know more, in which i concluded easily for finding many informations and on several official websites.
Still thinking about it, i cannot make my mind to it :
- Isn’t it simply the wish of some self-wretched people thinking they’ll get this way some extras euros, because everybody know they are, they especially, in some kind of social or economical injustice;
- Isn’t because they don’t want to have less privileges than other may have
- In such a so-called crisis context, one can see therefore here some kind of way to diminished the bad effect it can have on themselves.
Putting Egalité as the first principle would then be related to the economical context, in a such opportunist way that it looks as it tries to condamn : looking for new privileges while trying to abort them. This does not seem completely new to me : since now more than 10 years or Conservative and Liberalist empowerment, every people trying to keep some of his right was considered as a thief and a social-destructor. Kind people only want to work not more (even myself wondring if they’d like to be paid for their work). Equality for everyone, but at the lower level, which i consider being opposite to the Liberté principle.
As a Free Software user, that’s what make me mad. Freedom has taken for me a new kind of content, which i already expressed few days ago, and this new fullfilled meaning takes some part in my daily action and understanding, some times very far from technical issues. If many of FLOOS developers don’t share my ethico-social point of view about FLOSS, i mention it loudly, sometimes being regarded as an illuminated guys by my partners that have prayer only for Adobe.
I will invoke two main idea to defend the Liberté principle, as it seem to need help nowadays.
The first is very simple and is dealing against a sharable equality. Equality is not an absolute right, but a compared right. i’ve already told about that in the first paragraphs. Equality values and works only if i compare myself to my neighborhood. And if in principle, everyone has the same right to be equal, we, in fact, deal every day with small differences, because life is simply much more complex than rationality. Should Egalité be strictly applied, absolutely same for everyone and each one of us, that the weaker would get weaker. Equity as a kind of positive equality, is opposed to the absolute principle of equality and try to flatten life accident on which some are put and not others, only because life fluctuates, simply by the job you do : it is much more dangerous to be a warrior that protect your right than a software developer and this has certainly to be taken in account. take this too : would averybody pay the same amount of taxes ? would the 25% of the potatoes that have grown in your garden give you the same chance than the 25% of the one who have yards of fields or og those who live in Alaska or Nebraska ? This pure equality will make the poorest even poorest and some compensation might be found the society might need those people in these places.
Equality in right does not mean equality in fact, does not mean equality in chance.
I may then compare the relationship between the Principles. Everybody will agree if i say that Fraternité (BroterHood) is possible in a family just because, to parents eyes, all the children have the same affective value. Love is in this place infinite and it is not simply shared it is unmeasurable for each one. Without this equality in love, conflict will appear and in the same time the wish to get more to some against some other.
Just say it is the same between Liberté and Egalité : What would be Egalité without the freedom of evaluating if i’m really equal to others. Egalité needs Liberté at first and this is why LEF cannot be changed to ELF (even if that sounds good ). Freedom cannot be secondarary right.
let me sum up this 2 proposals by quoting Montesquieu (a centuries-old famous political philosopher) De l’Esprit des Lois XV 2 :
“Ce qui fait que la mort d’un criminel est une chose licite, c’est que la loi qui le punit a été faire en sa faveur. Un meurtrier, par exemple, a joui de la loi qui le condamne; elle lui a conservé la vie à tous les instants. Il ne peut donc pas réclamer contre elle. Il n’en est pas de même de l’esclave : la loi de l’esclavage n’a jamais pu lui être utile; elle est dans tous les cas contre lui, sans jamais être pour lui ce qui est contraire au principe fondamental de toute société. De ce point de vue, il ne peut clairement y avoir d’égalité sans liberté. Et l’égalité que chacun a à pouvoir bénéficier des avantages de la vie en communauté n’est possible que par la préservation de la liberté comme principe inaliénable.” (TODO i may find some good translation soon)
In french society, on can observe the progressive wish to change the positive equality to a restrictive equality (“you don’t have the right to have more than i have”), which is a hope-killer. The HADOPI law would consider any people using the internet as possible thiefs : presumed guilty of “downloading” (french government consider downloading as illegual. Do they simply know what they’re talking about ?) in place of presumed innocent. Administratively punished and no more justice !! The same right for everyone, everyone equal, and even if you pay an advocate you’ll be accused first, so that it’s too late. As if Rogers, AT&T, Orange, Universal or 2Oth century Fox were social institution and not private societies. As if i could go to your home and close the water simply because your house is after mine and that i don’t want it to go further. My right to use what it coming through my house).
Observe what it can make on FLOSS too. Each internet connection will habe to be spied, with closed software officially agreed. Closed because if you can change it, you could de-activate the spy functionnlity : just i’m using FLOSS. And what if the code is pure shit. I experienced an e-vote few weeks ago, told to be on a magistrate order. But on my question to know if this magistrate had verifyed if the source code was doing what it was supposed, i got no answer. Suppose simply it should. Free Software could become illegal in some part because it can help you to protect yourself, protect your freedom. No freedom left to build your own tool, in name of saving some societies right : think of just having the right to buy or make a hammer because it can help you shut the door, build a table (which you would not buy anymore), or kill someone. If Liberté is the right for each one of us separately, Egalité is the right one have against another (but don’t take against in a negative acceptance, please). They are both conditions of a calm social life. These conditions can certainly be uneffective : best to have a good dictator that decided for everyone, much more productive spending time everyday in building compromise. Using individual experience (such as familial or enterprise management) might inappropriate to estate management because issues are far the be the same. This would drives us far from a live-together.
One day, a friend of mine told me he bought a Mac because this way , he had the advantages of a free software without the problems. My answer simply was : “what is a free software, if it’s not free anymore ?” What is a person if it’s not free anymore, whatever is the way or the argument taken to steal his freedom ?