Is it just me, or has ESR really lost it? I can't think of anything worthwhile to come from the fsckwit since that whole "you can have my job" fiasco.
However, he's right to denounce China. Supporting a totalitarian regime is wrong. Not speaking out against things that are wrong gives them tacit support. This is not to say I support his politics. I think his brand of Liberatarianism is just as wrong as a totalitarian regime, whether it's Communist, Fascist, or the supposedly democratic choice we have in the west of exchanging one tyrant for another every few years.
Linux has been built democratically. Not democracy in the sense of choosing one out of a number of tyrants. I mean democracy in the sense of the community having an effective voice in how things are to be done, with the knowledge that some people might be better than us as that work, and letting them do it instead.
Linux has been a fine demonstration of the power that can be unleashed in everyday people, organising autonomously, working as and when they want, towards a common goal. These principles can be compared to those that underpin socialism, and we have a responsibility to answer questions that start with that comparison. My answer? Yes. The principles are the same. Linux as an entity is not socialist, and the people that work on Linux may not consider themselves socialist, but the very working methods they use are socialist.