Political Linux

Omy.  I’ve written before about how it seems that GNU/Linux and many free open-source projects seem to attract people with a politically left-wing bent.  It’s certainly true on Diaspora /Friendica/Hubzilla/Mastodon etc., where my Stream (feed) was full of anti-capitalism, Trump-hate, Antifa, and even Nazi propaganda.  I blocked and/or ignored many more people on Diaspora than I shared with because of all the politics in that network.  But Linux is supposed to be largely neutral politically, right?

I remember the Great Linux Mint Political Train Wreck and how they quickly tried to bury it after a bunch of people who support Israel (as I do) and saw that part of their donations to Linux Mint may have ended up in the hands of anti-Zionist groups because the Lead Developer donates to them.  Mint is a fantastic distro, and to it’s credit, did not mix it’s lead developer’s political views into the distro’s content.  But Mint suffered a setback when it’s official blog posted an anti-Zionist political piece.  It made it look as though Linux Mint officially endorsed the so-called “Palestinian” cause.

Now we have AntiX, the sister distro of MX-Linux, truly mixing politics into it’s official software distributed to users.  MX-Linux is avoiding that, but because they share the same developers, both distros may suffer from unintended consequences of AntiX’s political mixture.  The lead developer of AntiX calls himself “Anticapitalista,” which suggests he opposes capitalism.  But that’s not enough, not this time.  Now by default, included in the .iso of the distro,  are several anti-Zionist bookmarks!  If you happen to be an avid anti-Zionist, you probably have no problem with that.  But if you install antiX and discover these bookmarks when you open the browser for the first time, you’re going to wonder if this is some kind of malware or something!

Have a look at this reviewer’s take on the matter:

 

This is enough for me never to recommend antiX for older computers anymore.  And it sours me a little bit on MX-Linux as well, though not enough to stop recommending it, since they have remained above the fray, refusing to mix their political views into the actual software of the distribution.  AntiX’s choice is worse than Linux Mint’s!  When any open-source project gets so political that the line between the product and the politics is crossed, they lose my support.  Whether it’s left-wing or right-wing stuff, politics and FOSS projects should never mix.

 

11 thoughts on “Political Linux

    1. Truly, dude. I thought antiX was not very newbie-friendly anyway, and the interface was awkward until I added Xfce to it. It’s awesome that it’s systemd-free, but that creates a whole ‘nother set of problems. But now THIS!? Enough. Glad I’m back on pure ‘n’ simple Xubuntu.

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      1. Robin,

        I totally agree. I am on the same side of the political spectrum as you, and I too would wish that the open-source community would remain neutral to politics. I have noticed that any project or business for that matter that takes any political side usually seffers significantly regardless of which side they take.

        Free (as in freedom) open source projects actracts freedom loving people, but because it is free, it also attracts anti-capitalist people. Thus such projects should strive to remain politically neutral. Freedom as in liberty should be the focus.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Having checked into the MX-Linux response to this ugly incident, and having quite long experience with MX-Linux and exchanges on their forum, I can say with confidence that MX-Linux is non-political. It runs very well on old machines like the ones I use and is Systemd-free.

      AntiX and MX-Linux are separate projects. It would be a shame for someone to steer away from MX-Linux because of AntiX.

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      1. Completely agreed. MX has remained above this kind of politicalized BS, both in the software and in their forums. It’s not “systemd-free,” as antiX is, however, but it does successfully use alternate init software and “has” systemd just to satisfy abuncha apps that insist on it as a dependency. Users have the choice to run it with or without systemd as the init software, which is very very cool. Best of both worlds! I’m still recommending MX for newbies, while running Xubuntu here at home.

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  1. >It’s not “systemd-free,” as antiX is, however, but it does successfully use alternate init software and “has” systemd just to satisfy abuncha apps that insist on it as a dependency. Users have the choice to run it with or without systemd as the init software, which is very very cool.

    Yes, you are exactly correct. The default is to run MX-Linux with systemd disabled.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When Clem supports anti-Israeli groups (as is his good right and even his duty as a decent person), he surely knows how to seperate his private politics from the business side of his Linux distro. Because if you look closely who makes the fabled Mint boxes … yeah, it’s CompuLab, a company based in Israel, probably residing in some industrial area on land stolen from Palestinian families.

    So, is that unpolitical enough?

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  3. Sadly, I had the same experience with AntiX when finding those bookmarks. AntiX matched my netbook requirements so perfectly, I was about to excuse and look over the bookmarks, then I realized that their release names e.g “Marielle Franco” were a nod to their martyrs. I just can’t bring myself to use a distro that doesn’t respect the views of people who might not agree with them.

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