Does open source have a political agenda?

You will either embrace Internet values or seek to stifle them. And the price of stifling them will be an economic one.

My last tongue-in-cheek post begs the question, does open source have a political agenda at all? (Picture from PBS Kids.)

I happen to think it does, one based on the values and importance of the medium you're now using, the Internet.

Ideas like consensus, transparency, and connectivity, which have made the open source model possible, are now vital in growing our economy, and meeting challenges like global warming, disease, and aging.

This requires that government do more than take strong stands on Internet issues, like copyright and open spectrum. It also requires that we look at all issues in a new way.

Take our relations with the world. Open source shows that international consensus is possible, that building walls won't work, and that good ideas can come from anywhere. This implies that we need more friends, and fewer enemies.

Or consider our domestic laws. Local laws turn out to be just trade barriers, and ineffective ones at that. Banning ideas just makes them more attractive. The Net does bring criminality to the surface, but it also makes gross criminality easier to prosecute.

Is this liberal or conservative? I suspect it's a mixture of both, but I also think that in this new era the conventional labels will no longer apply. You will either embrace Internet values or seek to stifle them. And the price of stifling them will be an economic one.