Linux, politics, and other interesting things
Rick Falkvinge (leader of the Swedish Pirate Party) has written his predictions about an economic crash in the US . Predicting that the US economy will crash is no great stretch, it’s gross failures seem obvious. The Pirate Party  is a one-issue political party that is based on reform of intellectual property laws. It derived it’s name from the term Software Piracy  which originally referred to using software without paying for it, but in recent times has been broadened in scope to cover doing anything that copyright holders don’t like. The term “Piracy” is deprecated in the free software community based on the fact that it’s unreasonable to compare armed robbery and murder on the high seas (which still happens today and costs between $US13,000,000,000 and $US16,000,000,000 per year ) with copying some files without permission. But that battle has been conclusively lost, so it seems that the mis-use of the term “Piracy” will continue.
The majority of the acts which are considered to be “Piracy” are well accepted by the community, the acts of the music industry in taking legal action against young children have only drawn more public support for the “Pirate” cause. Such support is increasing the changes of the Swedish Pirate Party getting a seat in parliament at the next election, and has caused the major Swedish parties to change their positions on IP legislation.
Now Rick’s background related to Intellectual Property issues causes him to analyse the IP aspects of the current US problems. His claim is that the US economy was trashed during the Vietnam war, has been getting worse ever since, and that the US position on IP legislation is either intentionally or accidentally helping to finance the US while it’s production of useful things is steadily decreasing. He also claims that some multi-national financial customs (such as using the US dollar for the international oil trade) is propping up the US currency and effectively allowing the US government (and the US residents) to borrow money from the rest of the world.
Dmitry Orlov’s presentation titled “Closing the ‘Collapse Gap’: the USSR was better prepared for collapse than the US”  provides some interesting information on what happens during an economic collapse. He also has some specific advice on what can be done (by both governments and individuals) to prepare for an impending collapse. However he doesn’t mention some issues which are important to people like us (although not as important as food, water, and shelter).