2010-03-09

Reply to a Reminder

Seth Vidal reminds us:

fedora is not a government nor a government body.

I often wonder about that. Why do so many of us (I have been under this delusion several times) make this mistake. What trappings of Fedora make it so we think that we have 'rights'? Is it because we have elections? Is it because of the words we use in the Five Foundations: "Freedom, Friends, First, Features, Failure"?

But even deeper than that we need to answer questions like:
  • What is a government?
  • What are rights?
  • What grants rights to us, and what takes them away from us?
  • What is politics?
  • What is bureaucracy? [And why can't I remember how to spell it correctly?]
The first definitions of government from good old Google comes from Princeton is:
  • the organization that is the governing authority of a political unit;
  • the act of governing; exercising authority;
  • (government) the system or form by which a community or other political unit is governed;
  • politics: the study of government of states and other political units
  • political unit: a unit with political responsibilities [whee circular definitions]
These would seem to cover various units like FESCO and the Fedora Board in that they exercise authority over things like the Fedora brand, what packages are in Fedora, how packages are built, etc.

However this still does not fit into the larger definitions of Government. Fedora can not start a war with something. It can not jail dissidents, any Legal issues would require local courts where the individual is located. Rights that a 'Government' can recognize and allow (Freedom of Press, Freedom of Religion, Freedom of PiDay) are not the same that Fedora can actually allow. Even if it were an independant foundation located in Switzerland, it would be bound by the laws of Switzerland, and each member would be bound by the laws of their own country. Anyway, I have probably completely missed the point here.. so I am going back to downloading an Alpha.
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