1. 27
  1. 21

    In that blog post, Mozilla describes RiseUp as “a coordination platform used by activists across the political spectrum”, which I think is disingenuous. They are specifically far-left, and describe themselves as such: “The Riseup Collective is an autonomous body based in Seattle with collective members world wide. Our purpose is to aid in the creation of a free society, a world with freedom from want and freedom of expression, a world without oppression or hierarchy, where power is shared equally. We do this by providing communication and computer resources to allies engaged in struggles against capitalism and other forms of oppression.” (from RiseUp’s about page)

    My own politics are that free societies, freedom from want and freedom of expression are not actually protected particularly well by far-left political structures, even though proponents of these structures claim otherwise, and far-left political structures with real-world power are very capable of oppressing people by means of claiming that certain groups of people are oppressors and therefore deserve violence and repression. So I’m not particularly happy to see Mozilla donating to a group with politics like those of RiseUp.

    That said, I do think “create[ing] revolution and a free society in the here and now by building alternative communication infrastructure designed to oppose and replace the dominant system.” is a good thing, at least with respect to certain definitions of “revolution” and “free society” (ones that I think far left political organizations like RiseUp would disapprove of). But I wish that Mozilla had chosen to support a more politically-neutral organization building alternative communication infrastructure (perhaps the Tor project or OpenWhisper?) to do so.

    1. 12

      I, personally, find a system which would prevent people from being capitalist if they chose to be morally repugnant, and deeply coercive. I similarly find revolution, meaning violent revolution, to be inherently coercive, by definition.

      Finally, non-hierarchical systems are simply systems which do not acknowledge their hierarchies, and are therefore politically incapable of fixing them or preventing them from being abusive. In a system with no acknowledged hierarchies, the despised minorities, the minority groups the majority wants to marginalize and, possibly, destroy, have no recourse when they’re being oppressed. The two options open to them, fight back or leave, are hardly options; the first leads to destructive, genocidal reprisals, the second, to dispossessed refugees. An acknowledged hierarchy, with a rule-based code of laws and accountability, at least has a chance at preventing those things.

      1. 7

        They are seriously leftist.

        1. 4

          Regardless of how RiseUp describes itself, it is a platform used by activists across the political spectrum. So regardless if you/me agree with RiseUp politics they do maintain a platform for people who are potential surveillance and censorship targets. Since you self-identify as pro-freedom I’m sure you agree on how much important is this and why we need more platforms like RiseUp.

          1. 4

            Does RiseUp police the people who are allowed to use it? Can certain groups be banned from RiseUp?

            1. 12

              Termination: Your account may be deleted without warning if you: send unsolicited bulk commercial or activist email (spam); or fail to log in for an extended period of time; or use your account to contribute to the harm and abuse of other people.

              I’m going to go out on a limb and say that if you’re a pro-free market group using their platform (assuming you can get an invitation code from a current organizer) then this clause will be used to close your account.

              1. 6

                That’s a really good question! I would definitely feel a lot better about the donation if RiseUp was technologically incapable of banning from their platform political activism organizations with political goals contradictory to those of the far left. As far as I can tell though, it’s just an ordinary webmail/VPN service run by volunteers with a stated political objective. If it was widely known that anti-leftist political actors were using RiseUp email addresses or RiseUp VPNs, I don’t know what would prevent the volunteers running the service from banning those accounts.

          2. 8

            Why is the submission title about RiseUp when the blog post is about funding and supporting open source. Heck, if this was about politics, they wouldn’t give more money to Webpack.

            1. 9

              Free software is inherently anti-capitalist, because capitalism relies on scarcity.

              1. 18

                Counterpoint: Even if software was no longer scarce, as in copies were always freely available and could always be modified, time is always scarce, as is expertise (as in, the number of people with a given skill set), which brings capitalism right back into view when we discuss which software should be developed, how to prioritize that, and which bugs should be fixed/features should be added and how to prioritize them.

                1. 4

                  further point: that R&D scarcity also extends to the broad definition of “technical support”, from the people who run software to those who help others run it.

                2. 5

                  Capitalism doesn’t “rely” on scarcity; it finds (regionally) epsilon-optimal solutions to resource distribution in the presence of scarcity.

                  Saying capitalism relies on scarcity is like saying a refrigerator relies on milk.

                  1. 9

                    It is justified as an ideology by the presence of scarcity and as a potential tool for addressing it. Without scarcity, it has no place in human affairs, and so in order to continue to justify the status quo, scarcity must continue to be created, somehow.

                    1. 5

                      In a non-scarce environment, capitalism would simply have no effect. You don’t need to explicitly get rid of it, it just goes away.

                      Unfortunately, the laws of physics impose scarcity as a fundamental constraint.

                      1. 2

                        Without scarcity, it has no place in human affairs,

                        Given that scarcity is inherent in this finite universe, I don’t see how any useful conclusion can be derived from a hypothetical that scarcity doesn’t exist.

                    2. 3

                      It’s funny that somehow, resources end up being less scarce in a capitalist society than in socialist ones.

                      And somehow some people think that free software is anti-capitalistic when the alternative is giving some people monopoly power over replication of information. The power holder has in no way created any capital, they only have the power to restrict others from using their capital to replicate information.

                      It really makes you think.

                      1. 0

                        It’s funny that somehow, resources end up being less scarce in a capitalist society than in socialist ones.

                        This statement is almost not even wrong, but not quite: it’s definitely wrong.

                        It really makes you think.

                        It makes me think you’ve been alive for less time than I’ve been online, and that you have no perspective beyond whatever bubble allows you to believe that Ayn Rand was not a raving lunatic.

                        1. 3

                          Do we have to resort to ad hominem to get our point across?

                    3. 2

                      Anyway, I have to wonder why Mozilla gave money to a group which supports organizations that want to kill some of my friends.

                      1. 1

                        sweet, riseup are awesome, been around for ages and have serious technical chops. good job moz!

                        1. 0

                          That’s not much.