Theophillis Goodyear: Reflections on Anarchy versus Open Source

Blog Wisdom, Cultural Intelligence
Theophillis Goodyear

The term anarchy is antithetical to Open Source, because anarchy, by strict definition at least, sees all forms of state organization as structures that need to be eliminated. Open Source, on the other hand, is about spreading control of these systems of organization to the general population, rather than leaving them concentrated in the hands of the few at the top. It’s not about eliminating systems of organization. That can have disastrous and unforeseeable social consequences.

And although many anarchists may agree with this basic component of Open Source systems, the term anarchy is a relic that needs to be discarded. It can only confuse things and hold back the Open Source movement from reaching it’s ultimate potential. People have been talking about the information age for decades. But the true information age hasn’t even arrived yet. It will arrive when it has become commonplace for humans to link their brains through computer systems and thereby increase human intelligence exponentially. The true age of information means intelligence squared.
Prematurely killing “the state” could kill the very systems of organization required to make Open Source a reality. And once open source becomes a reality, what anarchists currently call “the state,” as we know it, will no longer exist anyway. Anarchists need to catch up with the times and stop getting so hung up on worn out terminologies and ideologies. Often the greatest obstacles to human progress are our antiquated intellectual models and habitual mindsets. Just as the founding fathers of America could never have envisioned the complexities and potentials of contemporary society, neither could the original anarchists. Strict constitutionalists often use the ideas of the founding fathers to block reasonable progress. At times it looks to like anarchists are doing the same thing. They need to let go of the past and start looking toward the future.