Are Hackers Anarchists?

Short Answer

No.

 

Long Answer

To call a hacker anything other than hacker is a radical oversimplification. It would be like saying, “Women like men who are shaped like potatoes.” or “Black people don’t like swimming.” Women have a broad spectrum of preferences. Some black people love swimming (see Mellody Hobson).

So, why do people think hackers are anarchists? It’s because the credo of early hackers at MIT, “Information should be free.” Here’s a leap, but go with me: the only real blockade to information being free is capitalism. Guess what? There is nothing in the U.S. constitution that mandates a form of trade. So, even if everything were free, the U.S. government could still go on functioning just fine, with the obvious exception of the I.R.S., but I’m sure most people won’t miss it when it’s gone.

Not sure if you agree? Here’s General Stanley McChrystal Ret. saying that not only should information be free, it’s actually a good thing, even for the military, even in the fight against bad people. In case you think he’s a Communist Hippy, he’s the guy who made JSOC (Seal Team Six and a whole lot more) really big and scary. Even McChrystal believes in sharing information.

The question is really about the credo. What reason do you have to keep certain information private/secret/encrypted? If capitalism didn’t exist, would that reason still exist? What about if everyone, everywhere also adopted complete transparency?

As the writer/director of ALGORITHM, my job is not to provide answers, but to ask uncommon questions. As such, those questions are real. Feel free to respond.