I stumbled upon a cute potted guide to open source history and found this paragraph interesting:
Software writers in the 1980s liked to talk about how object technology would be the silver bullet that allowed re-use and composition of software systems, moving programming from a cottage industry where everyone makes everything from scratch to a production-line enterprise where standard parts fit together to provide a base for valuable products. It wasn’t; the sharing-required software license was.
I feel that the author is using object oriented software modeling as a strawman, but his point still stands: the critical enabler of modern software is not technical, it is political.
I would go even further and argue that the critical enabler of modern technology is not technical, it is political – intellectual property law is but one egregious example of how political trumps technical in terms of impact… Technical is essential, but though it may subvert a system, it does not overcome oppression on its own.
So political apathy as shown by staggering voter abstention in the latest European elections has immediate technological impact. Political involvement is not futile – it is actually required for technological progress… Get political !