Part 1: Values – Something Worth Fighting For

05 Dec Part 1: Values – Something Worth Fighting For

Values (val yoos) n.

  1. A principle, standard, or quality considered worthwhile or desirable.
  2. Beliefs of a person or social group in which they have an emotional investment (either for or against something)

Prime Minister Tony Blair delivered a powerful speech to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council back in August 2006 that had profound implications. The main point of his speech was to remind people of the fundamental, underlying reasons why we are compelled to fight wars. He pointed out that while the names, images, and destruction of the current world crisis are at the forefront of our minds (particularly given the election results), we need to remember that this is not just a war about a specific ideology, but the fundamental values that underly the ideology. The speech was less about the future of the war, and more about the war for our future.

By highlighting the concept of values, and their foundational role in our society, Blair made was able to make a persuasive argument of why these values should be defended. Despite our every peaceful intention, our natural desire to negotiate an alternative, or our fears regarding potential conflict, some things are truly worth fighting for. The very founding of our country resulted from a monumental struggle over values – whereby people of all classes were willing to lay down their lives for the values of freedom, democracy, and representation.

Freedom is certainly a value worth fighting for. Freedom is certainly a value prized by the Open Source community. Given all the ongoing and recent events (Red Hat-Oracle, Novell-Microsoft, etc) in the Open Source community, I believe we are entering a new age of Open Source in which the fundamental values of the movement will have to be (once again) actively and aggressively defended to preserve the ongoing success of the movement. I personally believe (and will blog more later) that the Open Source movement has a clear set of core values that are fundamental in understanding the movement itself, namely: Meritocracy, Transparency, and Legitimacy. These Open Source values are worth standing up for, aggressively defending, and yes, even worth fighting for.

In the words of Tony Blair,

“That is why I say this struggle is one about values. Our values are worth struggling for. They represent humanity’s progress throughout the ages and at each point we have had to fight for them and defend them. As a new age beckons, it is time to fight for them again.”


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