Despite the liberatory potential of technology, of which I see free software playing a big role, there’s a very real concern of ending up with a kind of technocratic ‘vanguard party’.
You can debate the merits of vanguardism in general, but couple it with the current disproportionate skew of tech roles to white and male – which is even more pronounced in free software at present – and throw in the ‘scratch your own itch’ trope.
That’s a huge systemic problem as vanguard becomes regime.
Some things I am learning: if you’re white and male and into free software (I am), recognise that you have a very blinkered and narrow view of the world.
* Spend half the time you use learning Yet Another Technology to educate yourself about race, gender and class struggles (historical and present).
* Pipe down and listen to others when it comes to discussions about what is needed in software.
* Don’t ‘scratch your own itch’ – serve a community. If you’re white, male and technically proficient you’ve got enough privilege in the bank to pay it back building for others rather than yourself.