Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/832/19632

From The Socialist newspaper, 5 November 2014

Take over software giants

John Sharpe

The article "Private companies hold NHS to ransom" (Socialist 830) showed how giant software companies can exploit their near monopoly position. It isn't only the NHS that finds itself in this position. And apart from Microsoft, Adobe, McAfee and others are all at it.

As the article explains, Open Source software could be an alternative to continually handing over money to big business. Everyone would back that. One drawback - you have to support it yourself.

Free to use?

Even a small network of say, fifty users, would be hard to support without a dedicated team of skilled software engineers. The email system alone is horrendously complex to make secure and reliable. These costs tie even large companies to Microsoft and their ilk. 'Free to download' is not the same as 'free to use'.

The Open Source community can offer support and fixes, eventually. But when the boss stands next to your desk constantly, demanding to know where his emails are, it can be career limiting.

'In the cloud'

The next big wheeze is 'in the cloud' computing. You don't buy or own any software, but for a monthly per user fee you can rent it. That cranks up the dial on the treadmill to eleven.

These big companies will also keep all your data on their servers, which is very kind of them. Decline and decide to stick with what you've got, and you face having unsupported software that will become ever more out of date and vulnerable to attack from viruses. That's exactly the position the NHS was in.

Cloud computing is not necessarily a bad idea and might be developed in a socialist society. That is why the article rightly demands that "the huge IT companies should be run under democratic working class control and management".

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 5 November 2014:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Cold, cruel cuts: Fight the Con-Dem attacks

The Con-Dems' Machiavellian cuts

All main parties in crisis: where will the opposition go?

Pressure mounts on zero-hour contracts

Them & Us


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Every penny counts: donate to Socialism 2014

TUSC fights for health centre

Carlisle: Stop the car parking tax

Socialist Students campaign reports


International socialist news and analysis

Ireland water tax: 'We won't pay'

Burkina Faso: Mass uprising ousts dictator


Socialist Party workplace news

Back fresh strikes to save the NHS

Defend firefighters' right to strike!

Victory to St Mungo's strikers

Sheffield Green workers start indefinite strike

Greenwich libraries victory

Police staff ballot for decent pay

Ritzy cinema bosses back down

Kent: Range wardens strike

Workplace news in brief


Readers' comments

Agree with Russell Brand? Join the Socialist Party!

Ebola virus crisis - no profit, no vaccine

Repel the Tories' attacks on our democratic rights

Portsmouth jihadis: austerity and alienation to blame

Take over software giants


Obituary

Benny Adams


 

Home   |   The Socialist 5 November 2014   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Big business:

triangleTories put profit before lives - unions must stand firm on workplace safety

triangleCapitalist press attacks Tory incompetence

triangleImmigration: For a system that meets the needs of the majority, not a rich elite

triangleLow Pay, Long Hours. Bosses rip us off. Organise the fightback now!

triangleKshama Sawant reelected in Seattle

Software:

triangleCorporate capitalism jeopardises air safety

triangleNHS cyberattack: budget cuts and spy agency to blame

NHS:

triangleCoronavirus pandemic news in brief

triangleEerily quiet before second wave - don't reopen schools!

triangleContract tracer speaks out: Tories' plan is outsourced chaos

Socialist:

triangleLondon Socialist Party: Workers' safety before bosses' profits

triangleSE Birmingham Socialist Party: Role of the community and voluntary sector

Working class:

triangleLenin at 150: A revolutionary life - and the relevance of his ideas for today

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

27/5/20

Letters

Going viral - Socialist comments and letters

20/5/20

Obituary

Obituary: Rob Crabb

20/5/20

Letters

Going viral: letters to the editors

20/5/20

Upton Sinclair

The Jungle: capitalism's remorseless attack on workers' safety and conditions

13/5/20

Letters

Going Viral: Socialist comments and letters on the corona crisis

6/5/20

Letters

Going viral: Socialist comments and letters on the corona crisis

6/5/20

Review

TV Review BBC Panorama: PPE shortage - how many lives will be lost?

27/4/20

Coronavirus

Going viral: Socialist comments and letters

22/4/20

Letters

Going viral: Socialist comments and letters

15/4/20

Letters

Going viral: Socialist comments on the corona crisis

8/4/20

Socialist Party

Labour leadership election: Starmer wins but the fight for socialism goes on

7/4/20

Coronavirus

Going viral

31/3/20

Coronavirus

Going viral - Socialist letters and comments on the coronavirus crisis

25/3/20

Letters

Going viral: Socialist letters and comments on the coronavirus crisis

18/3/20

TV

TV: Noughts and Crosses

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999