In a previous article we attempted to provide a bird’s-eye view of the political agendas of four Greek parties in relation to the digital/knowledge Commons. We saw that Syriza —the left-wing party which, according to the gallops, will win the elections— has one of the most thorough and well-documented set of policies towards a Commons-oriented society.
Andreas Karitzis, member of Syriza’s think tank on digital policies and a candidate MP in the ongoing elections, recently wrote an article in the Greek version of the Huffington Post highlighting the commitment of his party to free/open source technologies, transparency and participatory democracy. Mr. Karitzis claims that Syriza will support the adoption of free/open source software in the public sector and the distribution of public data under Commons-based licenses. Moreover, it seems they recognize not only the value of the free/open source technologies per se, but also the collaborative productive processes that create such technologies.
This becomes evident if one reads Mr. Karitzis’ answers to the questions posed by EEL/LAK, an Athens-based NGO focused on the promotion of openness, concerning Syriza’s agenda in relation to Open Governance and the Commons. As mentioned in our recent article, he explicitly states the intention to further develop copyfair licenses for open hardware, in the vein of the P2P Foundation’s proposals. Moreover, the creation of networks of distributed micro-factories (fablabs/makerspaces) is considered as another key point of a Commons-oriented political agenda.
In addition, it is argued that Syriza has clearly defined policies for reforming certain laws and adopting , we would say, Partner State Approach practices with regard to education, governance and R&D. To mention a few: i) opening the public data; ii) opening every realm of knowledge produced with tax-payers’ money; iii) creating a collaborative environment for small-scale entrepreneurs and co-operatives while favoring initiatives based on open source technologies and practices; iv) developing certain participatory processes (and strengthening the existing ones) for citizen-engagement in policy-making; v) adopting open standards and patterns for public administration and education.
It is true that from program to implementation, several steps are required, however the first step seems to have been made: Syriza appears to not only be aware of the advantages of free/open source technologies but also to realize the potential and the new political economy of this emerging proto-mode of production.
Will Syriza create the conditions for a transition towards a full-mode of Commons-based peer production?