Will politics or economics drive open source?

Those with economic goals have little patience for political struggles. Those without such goals have little else to fight over. This, I think, is at the heart of the split between amateurs and professional open source firms.

When economic factors don't drive development, as at Debian, politics rushes in to fill the gap.

This is the key problem I think amateurs have in building open source projects and which professionals have with amateur control. Right now, for instance, the Debian project is seeking a new leader to replace Anthony Towns.

This is bound to be a political struggle, more so given the delay in releasing a new version of Etch, which is entirely political.  

Those with economic goals have little patience for political struggles. Those without such goals have little else to fight over. This, I think, is at the heart of the split between amateurs and professional open source firms.

The split is widened by the fact that economic actors do have a political agenda, namely maximum freedom to operate and profit from that work.

Which is why some open source advocates may be disquieted by this, word that Cuba's Communist government is embracing open source. It hurts them, politically, in gaining economic allies.

Conservatives should hope Cuba is moving to Debian.