I can’t say I’ve been using Lemmy for long, but from the get-go it seems that the communities, memes, opinions that get upvoted seem to reflect left-wing ideas.

I’m certainly not complaining, it honestly feels like a breathe of fresh air compared to other social media sites that seem to shift further and further to the far right, though I am curious to hear why this might be the case? Does FOSS tend to attract more left-wing minded people, or does this just happen to be a broadly left-wing microcosm/bubble?

Hope you all have a great day.

  • chumbalumber@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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    The philosophy behind FOSS is inherently left wing and anarchist; communities working together to provide and produce tools for the common good, without a profit motive. Coupled with the lack of advertising and promotion of the sites, people have to seek them out, leading to a self-selecting user population that skews left :)

    • Fecundpossum@lemmy.world
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      I would say that FOSS typically draws a more educated crowd, and right wing rhetoric and propaganda typically target those of lesser education and lower cognitive ability, simply because those people are the most likely hosts for rightoid brain worms. Why do colleges skew heavily left, gee it must be brainwashing /s

      • chumbalumber@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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        Eh, there’s plenty of educated right wingers. Not fascists as much, but the kind of fiscally conservative economists who preach austerity are often as not highly educated, just lacking in empathy.

        • Stiffneckedppl@lemmy.world
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          There are definitely plenty of well educated, intelligent fascists as well. It’s pretty dangerous to start thinking that what separates two ideological groups is intelligence.

            • Stiffneckedppl@lemmy.world
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              I was mainly responding to the previous comment which characterized right-wingers as having “lesser cognitive ability”. Just saying that that kind of thinking sets up a “we’re superior” mentality that can too easily lead to the same kinds of consequences as thinking you’re superior based on race or social status. There are so many environmental and experiential factors that go into where a person lands politically and how effective certain forms of propaganda are on them. Blanket statements that characterize entire people groups as less intelligent are not in any way accurate or helpful.

              • ShareMySims@sh.itjust.works
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                Just saying that that kind of thinking sets up a “we’re superior” mentality that can too easily lead to the same kinds of consequences as thinking you’re superior based on race or social status.

                It already does, it’s called ableism and it has such deep roots in society it is everywhere no matter political leaning, which is why it is rarely addressed - because most of society still sees it as perfectly acceptable that disabled people are inferior (even though ableism impacts them too, not just because accessibility and inclusion benefit everyone, but because people just don’t like to think about getting hit by a car, having a stroke, or just growing old, nor about their child being born neurodivergent for example).

                • Stiffneckedppl@lemmy.world
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                  I think what you said is true. But you’re referring to people who have an actual handicap and are discriminated against for it.

                  What I’m referring to is the idea of allowing myself to believe that a people group are less intelligent than I am just because they don’t align with me politically or ideologically. There is no actual handicap for which they are being discriminated against, simply having a different life experience and different view point is enough. It’s ironically a deeply fascist mentality…and I agree it is everywhere.

        • tate@lemmy.sdf.org
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          You’re speaking of pundits and politicians whose opinions are public and widespread. There is little reason to believe that those folks are sincere in their public statements. They are motivated by greed to lie in an effort to sway the opinions of uneducated people.

          Among the general public, those that sincerely hold conservative political views are cognitively impaired. Source: they vote for things that are objectively against their own prosperity.

        • SkyNTP@lemmy.ml
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          The educated and the well-travelled may have a broader set of view points to see how many different ideas and values work (or don’t work) in practice.

          I don’t disagree on some just lacking empathy. But I also think not all education creates exposure to a wide range of ideas and values that stick (or the education is just too narrow), so you’ll still find plenty of people who are educated on paper, but not cognizant of a broad set of world views. I also think we are too quick to label foreign ideas==bad ourselves. Empathy is a two way street. The key in navigating this may be in identifying when an idea comes in good faith or if it is hostile.

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      I think pretty much everyone views their political ideology as “the one that stands for freedom”, and it just comes down to what it means to be “free”, and the follow up of free from what.

      I feel like libertarians would love the concept of FOSS and decentralization, and I don’t think anyone would argue they skew left.

      So, I disagree that FOSS is inherently left wing. I think it’s attractive to the left wing for many good reasons. I think people project their own politics onto whatever they love, and things can be loved by very different groups for different reasons.

      • yiliu@informis.land
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        I feel like libertarians would love the concept of FOSS and decentralization, and I don’t think anyone would argue they skew left.

        Yup, there has always been a large libertarian contingent in the OSS community.

    • Count Regal Inkwell@pawb.social
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      As a left winger myself…

      … I’m not sure Foss is inherently left wing. Inherently anti authoritarian for sure, but I can totally see a libertarian type making a pro-FOSS argument from a capitalistic-individualistic and it being rather sensible. (Aaaaas long as we ignore the ways it’d contradict other beliefs right wing liberals tend to hold, but yknow. Compartmentalisation is a human superpower)

      • chumbalumber@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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        I think I’d still argue the free open source part is inherently left wing. Why would I, a right wing libertarian, lend my time to developing a piece of software that I am unable to make a profit from? I have no motive.

        Something like bitcoin is the kind of tech project of that mould that i think attracts the right wing libertarian. Just my opinion though.

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          Why would I, a right wing libertarian, lend my time to developing a piece of software that I am unable to make a profit from? I have no motive.

          Because you do stand to gain regardless. “I have my code on the source of <major FOSS project every tech guy has heard of>” is like. Amazing portfolio material for any job interview. I had a friend get a job in the games industry (though they regret it to this day because the game industry sucks–) with nothing on his resumé except for a smattering of mods for popular games.

          Any pro-capitalist person with a functioning brain will acknowledge the role of non-monetary “Profits” in every human relationship, yanno?

          • aleph@lemm.ee
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            That’s true, but it still doesn’t change the fact that the FOSS ethos runs in direct conflict with the ideals of capitalism and private ownership, and libertarians are nothing if not fanboys of those things.

            • xigoi@lemmy.sdf.org
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              Being able to do what you want is a part of private ownership. Some people just like making their code available to everyone.

        • Buelldozer@lemmy.today
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          Why would I, a right wing libertarian, lend my time to developing a piece of software that I am unable to make a profit from?

          You are making a reductionist argument that the only thing that motivates a libertarian is profit. It is certainly a motivator but it’s certainly not the only one. Libertarian’s have a long history of association with FOSS, for example my own stretches back to the mid-90s. I have no desire to make money from it but I have a strong desire to stay out of the clutches of BigTech as much as possible and so I contribute to FOSS as I can.

          Something like bitcoin is the kind of tech project of that mould that i think attracts the right wing libertarian.

          A lot of libertarians push on cryptocurrency not because of a profit motive but because of the freedom and privacy aspects. To use myself as an example I don’t hold crypto as an investment but rather as a way of holding a currency that isn’t subject to the US Federal Reserve system.

          Are there some libertarians who fit your descriptions? Absolutely there are, and they are generally referred to as Anarcho-Capitalists, An-Caps for short, but just like every Democrat isn’t a Progressive not every libertarian is an An-Cap.

          • Not_mikey@slrpnk.net
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            What’s your issue with big tech?

            I know a lot of libertarians oppose corporatism because they say the corporations market power and monopolies derive from government, but for big tech they mostly come from economies of scale and network effects, neither of which I think right wing libertarians oppose.

            If you oppose it because corporate power, even if gained through fair free market principles, is a barrier to liberty than I think your on the left for a libertarian. The recognition that corporate power can be just as tyrannical and coercive as state power is not an idea held by most libertarians in the u.s. who tend to focus solely on state power. Recognizing both puts you to the left of most of them, and on the far left you have Chomsky who identifies as a socialist libertarian and thinks corporate/capitalist power is so much more of a threat than state power that we should give the state more power to be able to reign in corporations.

            • Narauko@lemmy.world
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              I don’t think those are inherently opposed, the whole point of libertarianism being about liberty. Power gained through free market principles is no different than any other power, and thus can and should be opposed through competing ideas/services. If I don’t like your service being provided, I or anyone should be free to provide a competing service that matches my needs/values.

              Being a libertarian doesn’t require keeping Fountainhead as your Bible and worshipping at the feet of oligarchs instead of politicians/the State, and I would argue selling your soul to the company store is as antithetical to liberty as selling your soul to a centralized State. But as you’ve indirectly mentioned, there is a rather huge spectrum under the libertarian umbrella.

              I won’t speak for other libertarians, as I know there are those that think do worship the oligarchy, and many of my views do probably put me on the left side of libertarianism. If I didn’t believe that government has a role is keeping free markets free and providing stability and peace for liberty to exist (most fiscally conservatively paid for by collapsing all social safety nets into an actual UBI requiring miniscule overhead, Universal Healthcare, and more Georgist tax codes), I’d probably be closer to the anarcho-capitalists maybe? Maybe some offshoot or flavor of Minarchist?

        • jonne@infosec.pub
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          Bitcoin is open source too. And I guess there’s a history of libertarians getting involved in projects like Linux as well (ESR comes to mind).

          Still, I’d wager most are attracted to FOSS are left wing. A lot of capitalists can’t comprehend giving something for free to the community.

        • meco03211@lemmy.world
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          Yeah. It’s long been said Libertarians are just Republicans that want to smoke weed and distance themselves from the outwardly racist rhetoric. They are inherently selfish just like Republicans. They don’t want to help the poor, but they would balk at the notion of actively hurting the poor.

          • otp@sh.itjust.works
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            and distance themselves from the outwardly racist rhetoric.

            The ones I met were even more racist. They were just afraid of saying it in public because they thought the feds were watching them, and wished they didn’t have to live with that fear.

          • Buelldozer@lemmy.today
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            Libertarian here. According to you I don’t want to help the poor so can you please explain to me why I’m spending hours every month doing volunteer work that has positive impacts for the disadvantaged?

            It’s long been said Libertarians are just Republicans that want to smoke weed and distance themselves from the outwardly racist rhetoric.

            Some are but not all. The people who repeat that line really don’t like to be confronted with the reality that there’s a lot more to a libertarian than weed. As an example the party platform started pushing LGBTQ rights clear back in the late '70s, long before anyone else was.

            There certainly are selfish bastard libertarians but undesirables exist in every party and I maintain that we shouldn’t define a group by its worst members.

            • Eldritch@lemmy.world
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              Just because you in isolation are doing it. Does not mean it is a characteristic of all economic liberals. More importantly. We know that Aid and Outreach is more effective when it is handled by larger organizations. Larger than private individuals. And of course larger than Church congregations. Something rothbard liberals heavily oppose. Mutual Aid absolutely should be one of the primary things our government is involved in. Especially a Dejacque libertarian government.

              Libertarians and other groups even in the United States supported lgbtq far earlier than 1970. Don’t get me wrong I’m glad that for all the damage Rothbard, the Koch brothers, and others have done masquerading as Libertarians that is one of the things they’ve kept lip service to at least. They won’t actually do anything to actually improve the lives of lgbtq. But at least they support not overtly visibly discriminating against them.

              There certainly are some selfish bastards in every ideology. But economic liberal rothbard Libertarians have a higher concentration than natural. It’s possible that you might be an actual libertarian. But you would be more the exception in the party than the rule.

            • meco03211@lemmy.world
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              According to you I don’t want to help the poor so can you please explain to me why I’m…

              Lemme stop you right there. It’s a decidedly libertarian trait to read a broad generalization and conclude someone was referring to them personally. Take a step back and peruse the most widely available libertarian positions.

            • Nibodhika@lemmy.world
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              Because you vote that the government shouldn’t help the poor. Whatever you do on your own personal scale is meaningless compared to the impact that could be caused if you voted to have the government do the helping.

              As to why you hold such contradictions in your mind, I don’t know, maybe you feel guilty about depriving the poor of healthcare and education that you try to make out for it? Maybe you are a good person with good intentions who never really thought that whatever help a single person can give is meaningless on the large scheme of what the government could give so you think you are helping by serving soup to the people you deny healthcare, or maybe you’re just an egoistic bastard who likes to see people in misery to feel better so you vote for them to be miserable and you do volunteer work to be near them. I don’t know, I’m not in your head, but your political views directly contradict your thoughts, if you think people deserve help when they’re vulnerable you’re left leaning.

        • darthelmet@lemmy.world
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          Yeah. I don’t know what the % breakdown is, but I get the sense that while the general community is inherently anti-corporate/anti-commodification, there are some that view this in the left wing sense of communities supporting each other and some who view this more of as a consumption/voting with your wallet individualized choice. They recognize that some or even all corporations are bad, but think opting out of those structures without directly challenging them is all that they need.

          But like I said, idk what the actual distribution of these views are. It’s just the sense I get from seeing some of the comments.

        • TexasDrunk@lemmy.world
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          Profit isn’t the only individual motivator. Power is another big one, even if it is power over a very small fiefdom. At a certain point that’s all money is: a way to keep track of how much power you have. That’s why they keep going for the high score.

    • Dark Arc@social.packetloss.gg
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      FOSS isn’t inherently left wing. It is often charitable work but that’s far from unique to the left wing. That can also just stem from “I wanted this program to exist and it didn’t, but I don’t want to put even more effort in to monetize it.” Plenty of FOSS projects start as someone wanting to learn something early on in their career as well (which is both a pro and a con because … if you’re learning you might be making some bigger mistakes).

      Anarchism … I just don’t really agree with that at all. Lots of larger FOSS projects do very much have governing bodies that decide what to do and how it shall be done. In many cases FOSS authors are a one person governing body making all the big decisions.

      Organized charitable work is far from anarchy even though anarchism dreams of everything being organized charitable work.