For the past few days, I had been reading about Karl Marx, and I'd been reading a number of his published works, and I started thinking to myself: isn't Debian itself sorta based on communist thought?

I fetched the definition from and got this:

com·mu·nism (kmy-nzm)
A theoretical economic system characterized by the collective ownership of property and by the organization of labor for the common advantage of all members.
With Debian, there doesn't seem to be one owner, it seems to be owned by, well, everybody. It's completely non-commercial, and I've noticed that a number of people willingly contribute their time and effort to the project without ever having any hope of being paid for their efforts (I read somewhere that the combined efforts that went into the Debian project over the last five years could be valued at several billion US dollars).

Everyone who submits their work to the project seems to be doing it for the benefit of everyone else, including people who do not actively code or contribute to it. Of course, some of the packagers can get a little testy now and then, but considering that they don't get paid for their contributions, I suppose we ought to tolerate it (unless of course, YOU would rather do the packaging).

Because the Debian project isn't linked to a corporation, it seems as though it would be nearly impossible for it to be brought into ruin; the users and maintainers would have to choose to abandon it. As long as there are people out there willing to keep the dream alive, Debian will have the potential to outlast all the other distributions.

Debian seems, curiously, to be one of the few instances where a communist-like organization has apparently succeeded in doing what it's supposed to do.

Or am I completely off-base here? Opinions?