Fork Freedom

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Tim Burden:

"The alternatives to liberal democracy leave me wanting: communism puts too much power in the hands of the State; anarchy (or libertarianism) too much in the hands of the corporations. Neither seem to address the imbalance of power that we think is at the root of the current economic and environmental crises.

So I want to fork, rather than overthrow. I want systems - like the P2P Internet - that work inside the current infrastructure, systems which tend to redress the imbalances. I think we can lessen the hold that corporations and governments have on our lives while still letting them do the good work they can do - and that worker co-ops and community-supported agriculture and the like probably cannot do - such as large office buildings, transportation systems, space programs, and expensive fundamental science research.

I was discussing some of these issues with a friend who came up with the phrase ‘fork freedom’. I loved the term. It reflects three ideas: first, that we can fork rather than revolt; second, that by improving the robustness and autonomy of the Internet, we enhance the freedom of those who might otherwise be oppressed; and third, that forking the Internet can serve as a model of how to change the system from the inside and help restore an economy of balance.

So, since then, I have been using the #forkfreedom hashtag when tweeting news about SOPA, or the Investigative Powers act, or the Arab Spring, or the P2P Internet. I hope you will join me." (