[nomination]for Fellowship Council renewal and activism

Carsten Agger agger at modspil.dk
Sun May 19 15:19:55 UTC 2019

On 5/13/19 11:57 AM, Christian Imhorst wrote:
> Hi,

> I support FSFE and not FSF - among other things - because of Stallman. 
> No question RMS did much good for the Free Software movement. After 
> all, he founded it and he is one of the reasons why Free Software even 
> exists. But I don't think he should stay any longer the figurehead of 
> the Free Software movement. Seems the longer he has any say, the 
> longer he will poison the well. He hurts his mission with statements 
> about sexual abuse, dehumanizing disabled people and denigrating women.
I'm not entirely sure what you mean, except that I know RMS has been 
criticized for his "Saint Ignucius" stick. I also don't agree on his 
position of preferred pronouns for transgender people.

One should note, however, that Stallman is a child of the decade he was 
born in and also seems to be quite rigid in his points of view, to the 
point where one might suspect a mild degree of autism. If the latter 
were to be the case, your comment - and the comments of all of those 
people who seemingly like to denigrate, ridicule and bully Stallman on 
Reddit - could be construed as ableist.

I have no illusions as to Stallman being any sort of perfect person, yet 
I want to note that /not //only/ did he found the Free Software Movement 
and contribute s mzignificantly to it through the creation of the GNU 
project, he continues to spend all his time travelling the world and 
advocating software freedom - and not only that, he still occasionally 
comes up with important new contributions.

The most recent example I can think of is this article from The Guardian:


in which he advocates ending the abusive surveillance by the tech giants 
by introducing a very simple law: No system is allowed to record data 
that are not necessary for its /primary/ purpose.

Such a law could be implemented in the EU and could be enforced with 
mandatory, unenforced inspections and draconian, GDPR-style fines. That 
would be the end of Google's and Facebook's surveillance, since it would 
simply become illegal.

I currently believe that such regulations are the /only/ possible way of 
defeating the surveillance regime. Stopping NSA surveillance might be a 
good thing, but it's rather immaterial, because the governments are 
likely to gain access to the tech giants' data troves anyway, as they 
have in China. I'd /love/ to see the FSFE adopt such a proposal and see 
it through the EU Parliament.

And while Stallman is still capable of coming up with this kind of thing 
I honestly don't think we should ostracize him from the movement. I've 
supported the FSF before, and while I currently am supporting the FSFE 
and continue to do so, I might easily support the FSF again if I e.g. 
had more money.


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