FREEMAKER is a composite with more than one meaning.
Foremost in the novel, Freemaker is a label, a title for the protagonist, Philip Machen. His name, Machen, means in German to make, and as the father of Makers, he is the source of Freemaker devices, concepts and dreams. He is the Freemaker. Could he also be a secular messiah?
Freemaker is also intended to evoke sharing as a consequence of effortless production. Philip invents Makers and gives them away. He also urges people to copy their Makers, and to share them without compensation, to establish new social expectations of ubiquity and goodwill. In other words, Makers should be free because they constitute the economic backbone of Philip’s new sharing-based morality, which becomes the social basis for Freemaker communities.
In this last context, Freemaker acquires a political meaning, as some citizens embrace Makers while others (Tories) oppose them. In the story, a loose movement of Maker owners coalesces to support Makers, perhaps even to support Philip’s Maker enclaves and his sharing sensibility. The success of his Maker advent depends ultimately on the judgment, courage and goodwill of strangers like Everett Aboud. Just as the success of the novel depends on readers like you, ordinary people will decide.