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Another Indian State Moving To FOSS 119

Posted by kdawson
from the dominoes dept.
james.infidel writes "The Hindu, a leading national newspaper, reports that the Communist government of Kerala (the state with the highest literacy rate in India) has announced its all-out support for FOSS in the draft IT policy announced yesterday. The draft also calls for preferential treatment for companies coming forward to work in the FOSS domain.
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Another Indian State Moving To FOSS

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  • by cOdEgUru (181536) <cherian...abraham@@@gmail...com> on Thursday January 18, 2007 @01:49PM (#17666316) Homepage Journal
    Even though the color of the flag is red and they adopt the name Communists, they are far from it. And atleast a little bit of why this measure suddenly took off has to do with the Communist Party wanting to align itself to the more conservative communist ideals than what West Bengal (another Communist state) has done, which is to embrace more private investment.

    But I am glad to find my state laying out the red carpet for FOSS.

  • Old news (Score:3, Informative)

    by rumith (983060) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @01:58PM (#17666466)
  • by cOdEgUru (181536) <cherian...abraham@@@gmail...com> on Thursday January 18, 2007 @02:09PM (#17666670) Homepage Journal
    I dont think anyone has claimed that the Communist Party is against education in Kerala. Public Education is dirt cheap (I am not sure if its mandatory) and society as such played a big role in making sure kids were in school during the day.

    The Communist Govt put forth night schools for Seniors so as to increase literacy across the state, as a result of which we hit 100% literacy rate.

  • Re:commies? (Score:5, Informative)

    by namityadav (989838) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @02:24PM (#17666982)
    Just to make it clear, India is a democracy. In fact, India is world's largest democracy. The government in Kerala is also chosen democratically.

    When people say "Communist government of Kerala", they actually mean a democratically chosen government which is influenced by some Marxist concepts.
  • 700 million? (Score:3, Informative)

    by benhocking (724439) <benjaminhocking@ ... m minus caffeine> on Thursday January 18, 2007 @02:27PM (#17667052) Homepage Journal
    I'm not sure what your 700 million is supposed to refer to, but if you're referring to the population of India, it's almost 1.1 billion [cia.gov] now.
  • Re:commies? (Score:4, Informative)

    by cHALiTO (101461) <elchalo AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday January 18, 2007 @02:51PM (#17667532) Homepage
    So it IS a communist government.

    Democracy and communism aren't mutually exclusive, you know.
  • Re:commies? (Score:5, Informative)

    by namityadav (989838) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @03:08PM (#17667892)
    I didn't agree or disagree with calling the Kerala government communist. Anyway, according to wikipedia, a communist state is a term used by many political scientists to describe a form of government in which the state operates under a one-party system and declares allegiance to Marxism-Leninism or a derivative thereof. Communist states may have several legal political parties, but the Communist Party is constitutionally guaranteed a dominant role in government. Consequently, the institutions of the state and of the Communist Party become intimately entwined.

    The government in Kerala is elected by the public. Even a government dominated by communists cannot impose a truly communist state. Private enterprise exists in Kerala, which could not in a communist system. And the state government does not control the economy the way it would in a communist system. People can democratically remove the government in elections and choose a non-communist government. Because of all these reasons, I thought it was important to make this distinction clear.
  • Re:NOT COMMUNIST (Score:5, Informative)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @03:53PM (#17668884)

    To be frank, you're flat out wrong. It's not a matter of opinion, or some kind of "west vs east" brainwashing. It's a simple matter of definition.

    You're mistaking "communism" with "marxism." Marxism is a political system based upon extreme socialism, but which usually misleadingly refers to "communism" instead. Marxism, in fact, advocated democracy as part of the theory, but later political figures who paid lip service to the concept paid that same lip service to democracy.

    Communism, is an economic method that is very easily explained. Quite simply communism is the concept that a smaller group (commune or communist cell) within a larger economy can share some or all resources and the decision making regarding those resources. Theoretically this shared resource allocation and decision making results in greater efficiency. In practice this works very well for small cell sizes and very poorly for large cell sizes. This is because as cell sizes increase to the point where decision making is affecting strangers, people stop caring about them and act disinterestedly or selfishly. As a result correct decision making is not motivated and further the consolidation of so much power into so few hands lends itself easily to that power being seized by a totalitarian regime.

    I would willingly admit that the communism, as defined by those who derived from the theories of Karl Marx, is not the opposite of democracy. In practice, it certainly is.

    This is not the case. You are trying to define "communism" as only extreme applications of communism with very large cell sizes or in fact socialism, where everyone is in one cell. This is completely wrong. All states subscribe to a blend of capitalism, socialism, and communism and the communist component is applied almost everywhere in ways that are not Marxism. The atomic family within the US completely fits the definition of a communist cell. A family shares a home, utilities, food, etc. and the decision making is made collectively, although not necessarily equitably. Aside from that, within the US, co-ops, communes, and monasteries are all communist cells. For example, I know a lot of people in a server colocation co-op. They all donate time or old servers or money to maintain a number of co-located servers which they share for Web hosting, e-mail, IRC, and a number of other services. Together they get better rates, to the point of being absurdly cheap. That also fits the definition of a communist cell, even though they only share one given resource. In many places around the world villages act as officially recognized communist cells, most of which are democratically operated. To claim that all applications of communism are anti-democratic is simply uninformed.

    Moreover, automatically assuming someone is brainwashed because you didn't bother to consider what communism really implies kind of detracts from whatever point you thought you were making.

    The US was subjected to a planned and directed campaign of propaganda designed to confuse and misinform the public about what communism is, ironically, in a cold war against socialists. Claiming that people are brainwashed is not so far fetched. Economists recognize that every economy is to some degree socialist and to some degree communist or it is unlikely to be stable for any length of time. China and Cuba both practice more socialism than is the norm. The US is about average, but applies it in uncommon ways. China and Cuba are also both capitalist to a large extent and both are moving more and more in that direction.

    If you're looking for extremely communist countries (as opposed to socialist), look to countries with very large communist cell sizes. Madagascar, for example, theoretically has three layers of government: communes, states, and national. Realistically, the states basically do not exist. Most of the country lives in small villages and each village, acts as a communist cell sharing a large number of resources. Whether that extreme cell size is benefici

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