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RMS 

Is there a way to speak out against the McCarthyist condemnations of RMS without defending RMS?

There's a very good case that he's a poor fit for any representative position.

There's a very poor case that he's a despicable human being.

If you can only oppose people if you can make yourself believe they are monsters, then you refuse to acknowledge that the status quo is perpetuated by perfectly likeable, decent human beings.

RMS 

@michiel
I think there have been people making that very point. I chose to sign the open letter, but I'm not demanding anyone else does. For or against or neither you can only go with your own conviction. My main reason for signing was how the announcement was handled and the fact the organisers and speakers had no warning. It shows a frankly arrogant response to the free software community. Movements need to survive their founders.

RMS 

@michiel
Plus I've spoken to some of the folks who worked with him, who are still involved with FSF. Who love it. It's a heck of a position to put your core community members and staff in. That's not leadership. I do think that there can be a risk for people signing it, so I feel that people should only sign it if they truly believe that RMS and the board who voted him in should go. If they feel the board are continuing to enable RMS and it damages the credibility of Free Software.

RMS 

@onepict For what it's worth, I actually agree that the FSF board should probably resign; if they're unable to "read the room" and anticipate the reaction to RMS's return, they're not very useful as a PR organisation.

The leadership crisis may mirror a more fundamental crisis in the "free software" movement: aging membership, co-optation by the business-centric "Open Source" philosophy, and general abandonment of Felsenstein and Illich's ideas about convivial technology.

RMS 

@michiel
Yeah, I'm not sure what the answer is. As I've said elsewhere I look at the moment to the conservancy. They still push for freedom, but also acknowledge the difficulty of pushing for truly free everything.

RMS 

@michiel
But I still think there is hope, there are plenty of younger kids who want that freedom. We just need to show we are open to them. That we have the same fundamental radical ideas of freedom they do.

RMS 

@onepict I realized too late that the hacker/maker spaces are truest to the idea that technology must be changeable by the end user.

The FLOSS movement ... generally let itself be hoodwinked into building stuff that Silicon Valley liked. Because it was cool. The has Conservancy managed to keep some distance from Big Tech, but ultimately seems like a product of the same time and interests.

RMS 

@michiel
The hacker spaces are really enabling change, especially outside the traditional ideas of hacker spaces, like with right to repair with farming.

RMS 

@michiel One point I disagree, FSF is not just a PR thing. It may seem like that in the west as that's where all the tech and digital autonomy is, but for many it is THE foundation with the longest history and so much experience of FS activism for us to learn and build upon.

I really couldn't care less about RMS and I think talking about individuals is just platforming them, so we should stop.

FSF made a mistake, but stop supporting the FSF entirely? That's too far

RMS 

@michiel @valhalla I will say that we can absolutely talk about how these reactions become simplified in the presence of large crowds, but to talk about ‘RMS being despicable’ is a gross and terrible misrepresentation. You can make your own moral judgment about him and people are complex, but there are hard facts about racist and mysoginistic conduct from him that make him clearly unfit about being a leader in an organization that also includes marginalized people.

RMS 

@michiel @valhalla a leader in an organization that in many ways for good or ill sets _policy and pace_ for the entire collective.

RMS 

@michiel @valhalla I do understand that this criticism is a little off center; you do understand that conduct does not mean results.

I believe tho that painting outrage over actions with the broad brush of the flattening of a person to a moral position is a terrible way to represent the whole of the criticism that is being levied right now.

RMS 

@michiel @millenomiI think he is clearly unfit about being a leader in an organization, full stop.

Or at the very least, in any organization that is vaguely related to anything based on ethical principles.

Even without any consideration of moral judgement on him as a person.
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