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William Morris: Art and Its Producers

While looking for designers writing about their relation to tools, I discovered the excellent William Morris Archives, part of the Marxist writers' Internet Archive. To Morris, to own his means of production, was the only way a designer/workman could find back pleasure in work, and this in turn he considered a prerequisite for the production of (applied) art and beauty. It is hard to imagine someone as keen on handicraft as William Morris in the age of computing, but after reading his text Art and its producers, I wonder how he would have felt about using Free Software?

'I do not believe we should aim at abolishing all machinery; I would do some things with machinery which are now done by hand, and other things by hand which are now done by machinery; in short, we would be the masters of our machines and not their slaves, as we are now. It is not this or that... machine which we want to get rid of, but the great intangible machine of commercial tyranny which oppresses the lives of all of us'

(William Morris: Art and Its Producers, 1881)