Platform Cooperativism as a Critique of Open-Source
The platform co-op movement has close affinities with FLOSS. Lots of tech co-ops develop exclusively open products; through FLOSS, platform co-ops like Fairmondo find ways to spread and grow through federation rather than globalization; there have been eloquent calls for “open co-ops.” FLOSS principles like transparency and open participation resonate beautifully with cooperative principles. But what we seek to add is democratic control and equitable enjoyment of the benefits. We call for solidarity with workers at all levels of the platform economy and data sovereignty for user-contributors. It’s an economic-justice layer atop—or, better, at the root of—the FLOSS stack. Without that, I’m not going to scold my busy friends if they don’t run Linux (though if they want to, I’ll gleefully help).