RMS is back at the FSF.

Published on

Sunday, I was happy to give a talk at the FSF LibrePlanet, wearing the Tshirt I designed for them (see photo). But later that day, Richard Stallman (RMS) announced his return to the FSF's Board of Directors.

RMS will always be a part of the free/libre community history for his achievement, and was great for that. I'm not denying that. I even drew a portrait back in 2016 to depict him with Linus Torvald. I'm quoting myself: "They both are my personal heroes and big inspiration".

But nowadays, I deeply think he is a bad representative for the community. It looks like he is back only because of a personality cult, something I dislike. I feel his comeback and the way it was announced (or even not announced, see blog post of day two) will be more harmful than beneficial for FLOSS in general.

All in all, this is the decision of the FSF and they can do what they want; but on my side, I don't want to be affiliated with this type of decision. In this situation, I'll no longer invest my energy for them... ūüėŅ

Previous post Next post
License: CC BY
David Revoy, www.davidrevoy.com, .
Unless otherwise mentioned in the article.

Tags:  #news  

Corrections and improvements are welcome:

Download article source  


link Andreas   -

You really show backbone with this decision. Completely legitimate! <3

link David REVOY Author, -

Thank you for your support!

link Andreas   -

Thank you! My room mates totaly do not agree with the opinion about RMS. That was a week full of discussions ^^

I think it's time to look forward. I enjoy now your new episode <3

link David REVOY Author, -

Yes, I think too! ūüĎć
Thank you!

link John   -

Thank you for this. Too much of this community is obsessed with ignoring the toxic things people do, just because they've done historically important things. I respect a lot of what the FSF has done, but other than using GPL derivatives for software, decisions like this make it extremely hard to justify supporting them.

link David REVOY Author, -

Thanks for adding a little kind word about it here.
I couldn't sleep well last night and I had to post this after I wake up...

link Miriimi   -

What bad thing did Stallman do, please? Oh, I know, he's old, white and has a different opinion. This is the typical cancel culture from the USA that has fallen upon him. One can only hope that David will never fall victim to this irrational dictatorship of opinion, which arbitrarily dices up its moral views every morning and can affect practically anyone.

Unfortunately, I have the feeling that the "personality cult" is also only pretended by David to distance himself from Stallman personally in every form, without stepping on the toes of one of the sides.

Artists distance themselves from free spirits because they don't fit the zeitgeist. This reminds me of dark times in Europe. I had hoped we had overcome those times.

Sorry but also my support for David ends here. Still good luck.

link David REVOY Author, -

Several public incident of RMS have been listed here: https://rms-open-letter.github.io/appendix (and sourced).

I wasn't aware of half of this list before I wrote my blog post this morning. All I knew was that RMS is bad at communicating, too often embarrassing and he divided the community. That was enough for me to not want to be affiliated and not wanting to be forced to get him as a representative. I care too much about FLOSS for that. Now after reading the list, it's even more obvious.

I feel 'cancel culture' is a build-up expression created only to put discredit on poeple. It's not a "culture"; it's just consequences on something/someone that created anger, unfair situation or embarrassement. I don't think USA invented that. Our ancestors primates probably already had that...

> "This reminds me of dark times in Europe."

Oh, Godwin's law.

> Sorry but also my support for David ends here.

...that one is so classic ;) Sorry, but let me doubt you ever supported me...

link Miriimi   -

Since when is it a crime to create anger or embarrassment? Writing blog posts like you linked above are just exists to socially ostracized someone. For me, this kind of Articles are a sick form of cancel culture. This works very good because people reference this and use this for decisions instead being objective about the skillset for a position. I don't share Stallman positions, not even a bit, but the whole blog content really has nothing to do with his work at FSF. Reducing a human being to a handful statements says more about the people who do it than about the person himself.

It's very amusing how you end your support for the FSF on the one hand and think that no one could do the same to you on the other hand. But we don't have to worry about that anymore, go on and feel convident in your filter bubble :-)


link Felix   -

But what's wrong with an article showing problems? I agree that reducing someone to a handful statements is not good, but that were not just a handful and they are still a problem!

link Felix   -

I totally agree!

link Felix   -

Sorry, maybe this was confusing. I agree with the comment made by @John not with @Miriimi!

link David REVOY Author, -

Hey; It's me who say sorry about the clumsy comment system of my CMS ^__^ I never found a way to make the 'reply' button works better.
I don't have 'edit' button or way to delete message; but if you need, just email me.

(also joining your IP adress from https://whatismyipaddress.com/ ; so I can authentify it was your comment and discard trolls who would want to edit other's comment).

link Felix   -

Thank you!
I have seen there is an option when leaving a comment to give an Email-adress. Is this used as an identifier and is it visible for everyone or just for you?

link David REVOY Author, -

Yes, only visible by me and for identifying or leaving a way to contact back.
You can read all detail on my GDPR document: https://www.davidrevoy.com/static6/terms-of-services-and-privacy

link Felix   -

Cool, thanks! I want to sign the petition but I dont know how, could you tell me how to sign it?

link David REVOY Author, -

ūüĎć . The simplier is to ask your name to be added via email, write to:
digitalautonomy at riseup.net
(replace ' at ' with '@' to get the email adress, src: https://rms-open-letter.github.io/ )

link Felix   -

Thank you very much :-)

link Vincent   -

Thanks for sharing. It's a bit sad. The FSF was benefiting a lot from your contributions.
I don't want to comment too much the decision of the FSF. I think things aren't black or white. I agree RMS was not always appropriate but I think there's a bit of cancel culture too.
I'd like to think it's good to give another chance to anyone. We all make mistake, we all learn. I hope we'll see a new RMS with a better self and fighting for our freedom along with everyone else. Let's not fight each other, let's accept our differences, let's grow together trying our best.
Thanks for all you have done for the FSF. I hope it's just a pause. Time will tell :)

link David REVOY Author, -

Yep, sad. No worry, I'll always keep open mind. ;-) but so far his come back didn't came with any 'I changed' blog post or annuncement. All it did so far was this type of storm: https://twitter.com/nixcraft/status/1373905399707955202 . Time will tell, sure. But here my expectation are pretty low as I can see clearly the personality cult being back; and his blog will quickly re-become the (unofficial) voice of the FSF (and all free/libre software) for the best and for the worst. Too bad, I could imagine dozens of talents for FLOSS on that free seat at the FsF for board director. But with RMS and this type of management, I do not identify anymore. That's why I prefer to tell it because the feeling is strong.

link Jeckos150   -

David, peux-tu juste rappeler ce que sont : FSF, RMS et FLOSS pour ceux comme moi qui découvrent ces termes et l'univers auquel ils appartiennent?


link David REVOY Author, -

Ha désolé pour toutes abréviations et accronymes, voici:
- FSF: Free Software Fondation.
- RMS: Richard Matthew Stallman.
- FLOSS: Free/Libre and Open Source Software.
Un bon point de départ pour un article neutre et qui couvre assez bien cet univers est la page Wikipedia en Français sur RMS:

link Halla Rempt   -

I feel that this was a real case of abuse: get people to participate, get people involved, and then, drop this on them. People who want to support free software now are made to look like they support RMS. Even if there have been no hands on butts -- this is abuse. This, to me, feels like intentional betrayal.

link David REVOY Author, -

Thank you for puting words on it, this is probably what I felt on Sunday night and all monday and I couldn't identify.
I see it affected a big part of FLOSS communities.

The FSF published a message not long ago:
"No LibrePlanet organizers (staff or volunteer), speakers, award winners,
exhibitors, or sponsors were made aware of Richard Stallman's
announcement until it was public."
(src: https://hostux.social/@fsf/105940087386027694 )

It looks like they aknowledge the issue (a bit late, I was waiting for that on Sunday evening), and also have serious internal issue.
I met very nice poeple while working with them. I'm sure some of them have certainly a hard time now...

link Denis Salem   -

Hello David.

Like you I'm artist. I push myself to provide good free art and good free software. And on top of that I try to be exemplary as much as possible in my behavior and public talking and/or art. I am on the left side of the ideological border. And yet... I feel very concerned by the "cancel culture" whether or not it's a build-up expression. Actually it's all about the idea of ostracism which I'm concerned about. Some of my lefties fellow lately called me "an useful idiot" because of using the expression "cancel culture" which is indeed a build-up expression from alt-right movement. YET, the application of ostracism is something very, very dangerous even as tool for fighting oppression, racism, sexism and any possible fight for freedom and equity. I think it's a "culture" because it is acknowledged as a mean of fight. I personally feel uneasy sometimes with some rhetoric from the far left and I would take part of the mutual thinking, in my political group about some social issues, and the way to solve them but...

The first major issue with "cancel culture" is that it lead to an obvious inability to question your own ideological group in its actions and/or theories, fearing to be yourself cancelled. The later lead to an escalation in ideological self confirmation which ultimately leads to abuse and cyber bullying. The reason such abuse happens is that crowd are not known for being wise and measured in its action. It's terrifying that people from far left are cancelled by their own fellows for... Almost nothing to me.

I have to say right now, before keep going, that I don't like RMS. He is a very rude person, and I have personally be a witness of his misconduct toward peoples and especially women, back in 2017 at the RMLL. For the rest of the allegations, I don't know and I don't have the time to investigate further more.

There is no doubt that one may won't be affiliated to this person. I wouldn't. Yet I would never call for him being cancelled. Because It's bullying, and it's bad. It's really, really bad.

What if it happens to me, trying my best to be consistent and progressive? What about you?

Their is, generaly speaking, an huge lack of humility. While your not calling for cancelling RMS but just explaining why you don't want to appears as his supporter (which your plain right by the way, and thank you for doing that) I would tell people that there is an huge gap between expressing the will to not be associated to a group/person and calling for cancelling a group/person. The later is extremely violent, cruel, and can lead to abuse and even inequity. Which is the exact opposite of the progressive way of life I idealize. People should be forgiven, but to do so, they need the occasion to express regret or change their mind and of course, they must have the will to do so. The pure and irrevocable rejection of an human being cannot lead to something good. Never.

It must be remained that, even if the term of "cancel culture" came from the alt-right, the applied principle being this expression is fortunately discussed and questioned by some peoples and media from the left, but not enough to me.

Here is an example : https://www.madmoizelle.com/cancel-culture-definition-1037892

I would conclude by calling people to be humble and nuanced.

Being humble doesn't imply to be weak.

Being nuanced doesn't imply to sustain the status quo.

Cheers to you, fellow free software enthusiast.

link arg arg   -

The open letter alone (https://rms-open-letter.github.io/) calling for the resignation of RMS has something of a witch hunt about it. David is a signer of that, so which makes Davids blog post.

Makes sense you dont see a cancel culture. You are a port of it and your argument from your blog post was not honest in this case.

link David REVOY Author, -

@Denis Salem and @arg arg

The fact that the list means nothing to you (or a 'witch hunt') **doesn't mean** it's the same to other humans. That's something I learned while managing a FLOSS project. As an heterosexual cisgender male, I avoided many suffering in my life and carreer so far (eg. I never had to suffer sexism or transphobia). It's normal I haven't grew a 'compass skill' that switch to alert mode when I'm in presence of this indicators. That doesn't mean this indicators doesn't exists or that I should discredit them if they "mean nothing to me". I educated myself about many problematics threw the years (reading, documentaries, experiences) and I start to understand patterns and access the POV of others. This knowledge comforts me to make my own choices. If RMS sincerly wanted to clarify/disambiguate/fix issues and develop a real empathy for a community he did hurt; it would have been done since a long time...

Sure I signed the list.

link Miriimi   -

Those who sign this demand for resignation only show that they have not understood the concept of freedom. It's about everyone, and I mean everyone, being able to use the SW without restrictions. And that is exactly what rms stands for like nobody else. Without him, there would have been restrictions on certain uses long ago.
Those who now demand the resignation are the same who want to prohibit terms in coding. All this is exactly the opposite of freedom. They do not notice that they lead themselves ad absurdum. Freedom means for them to prescribe an opinion to others.
When rms is gone, exactly this group of people will tear the Free Software scene to pieces, because everyone wants to impose his allegedly blessed opinion, which is appropriate in today's world.
Unfortunately, they forget the most important rule for freedom: freedom is always the freedom of others first.

link thaniell   -

The problem here is you don't see the indicators. You support the development of an unfree society in which witch hunts are a regular method to enact your own policies. Gosh, I was always thinking it's the bad conservative right that has their ideology guide who they work with and their overreach that helps hold people back based on their background, personal mindset or just being a bit different. But the "progressive" left now does exactly the same. If there are comparisons to totalitarian regimes it's because the mechanisms are the same, ostracize people with deviating opinion publicly to diminish their power and put down people with uneasy opinions no matter whether does opinions are real or perceived or are having an effect on their work. It's really hard to not feel ashamed for me who has supported LGBTQ+ issues always, but currently in most of the west the tables turned, and you don't show backbone by standing up for these issues, you show backbone for standing up to cancel culture no matter which direction it comes from - and there aren't just "two sides" in this.

link Ale Abdo   -

Ni! I'm kind of disappointed that so many people think that respectfully holding a few controversial opinions on taboo subjects, even recognizing excesses and excusing oneself, is such a bad offense that it justifies outing a brave and valuable figure from any position of leadership in the movement he helped define, build and advance for decades.

The kind of objections raised in the ""public incident list" David mentions (https://rms-open-letter.github.io/appendix) boils down to religious moralism coupled with misinterpretation of his words. When I saw the link I expected a list of actual bad stuff I hadn't heard of, I honestly expected to be surprised. But I only found a repetition of the well known refuted attacks. This is really cancel culture, nothing else. :(

link David REVOY Author, -

I disagree about reducing that petition to 'cancel culture' (I already mentioned what I think about this expression on another comment). I don't think the mentioned incidents just "boils down to religious moralism" or are "just a few controversial opinions on taboo subjects". This opinions were hurtful to a part of the community and I have hard time to read comments of those not aknowledging this.

Many comments tells they have factual proofs, it all was clarified, disambiguated and "well known refuted attacks". I tried to find that but difficult. Can you help with giving me your sources or reference material?

link Miriimi   -

Only because you deny that it don't becomes more true.


It describes exactly what happens here.

link Ale Abdo   -

I'm sorry I did not provide the links earlier, but I didn't have the time to recover them yesterday. These two pieces explain to what point, in 2019, RMSs words were distorted to cause rage and loose all connection to what he meant and to the context:




link Felix   -

Sorry but for me this doesn't makes sense @Ale Abdo, how can someone hold controversial opinions respectfully? Controversial opinions like this are always an offense... and for me someone with such opinions shouldn't be a leader of the FSF
If you need more reasons:

link Ale Abdo   -

Ni! Of course you can hold controversial opinions respectfully. The whole of a free and democratic society is based on that possibility. I can, and have had, mutually respecting disagreements with, for example, people who believe marriage and monogamy are a God mandated rule.

The way you presented it, given that people can be offended by anything (it suffices that they grew up under a different norm and take deviance from that norm as an offense), no opinion can ever be presented respectfully. Which doesn't seem like a meaningful definition of respect.

Cheers .~¬ī

link Felix   -

Yes thank you for the explaination! I just can't imagine someone holding ,for example racism, respectfully, I didn't thought about this in general.

What I wrote about people offended by controversial opinions: Sorry that I presented it like that, i meant it differently. I think this opinions are offensive to some people, not that every controversial opinion is an offense! Is that more clear?

link Ale Abdo   -

Ni! Cheers Felix,

Hm.. I don't think it is much more clear. As I mentioned, any opinion can be offensive to some people. A lot of people out there get seriously offended by questioning traditions such as marriage - specially if it concerns their communities.

And yes, you can indeed hold a racist opinion respectfully, even in extreme cases.

But perhaps a less extreme and quite comon case makes it more clear: many ethnic communities resist to marry their children to people from other "races", because they consider the other inferior, or not godly enough, or maybe unpleasant to the eyes. They can do so respectfully: my race marries my race, your race marries yours. We respectfully agree that from each of our points of view the other is not my equal.

They're both perfectly racist, but in a respectful way.

Not my dream society, but actually still very common on Earth even in so called Western societies.

Hope this is useful,

link Felix   -

thanks for the explaination!
But even holding a opinion like this respectfully doesn't change the original opinion and in case of RMS this is problematic. This opinions are also not just a few, for example:

link T   -

Hi David, I've never felt compelled to comment on your blog before this, but I can't help but feel disappointed that this is the stance you've taken. After assessing the actual details of the matter, I dislike the amount of unnecessary division brought on by the related petition, hosted on a proprietary platform paradoxically put together by supposed free software advocates.

However, it is your decision. Regardless, I will continue to follow you for your work on your art, your support for Krita, and your extraordinary commitment to free software as you've detailed on your blog over the years. Though, understandably not as extraordinary as Stallman's.

link Stefano   -

While I understand your point, I am however firmly convinced that the only possible way to overcome any disagreement in an amicable and, above all, productive way is dialogue. As a consequence I think that you made a mistake: not because what Stallman said or did is not questionable, but because what is questionable should be questioned with dialogue and discussion, and not swiftly condemned without appeal.
You are French. You should know that at the end of the Great War, France refused any agreeable dialogue with Germany, feeling that the Germans were on the wrong side and got what they deserved. But that was a wrongful stance, so wrong that just a little more than a couple decades later, when France had much sounder reasons to be angry at Germany, great men like Jean Monnet and Robert Schuman tried, instead, to reach out to the Germans, to avoid that disagreement could become resentment and resentment could turn to hate.
As I said, some of what Stallman said and did is questionable, and I disagree with him over those issues, for what it is worth. However I cannot let go the fact that the famous open letter is disingenuous and hypocritical and slanderous. It is disingenuous because everybody knows that Stallman was a bohémien guy, a weird nerd, who lived and slept and had his residence in his office, and so that mattress is far less creepy, his proud for that mattress far less troubling, than what they maliciously want you to believe. It is slanderous because you do not report hearsay as a matter of fact, even if it is true; because there could be other hearsay that paints things in a different way and there is no way to know if the reporter chose surreptitiously to write only what cast RMS in a bad light. It is hypocritical because those people who are now condemning him without appeal for being a diverse kind of human, a freakish geek, those are the same people who claim to love, and sustain and protect diversity; but, I tell you, I never found people who hate diversity so much, who are so unwilling of talking out their differences with others, as them.
The consequence of all this should be clear by now. Even in this little (pardon me if I say "little") blog, you have already seen calls to boycott and counter-boycott from every side. Everybody has reasons to feel dissatisfied with the others, and that dissatisfaction could quickly turn into resentment and... you already know the rest by now.
If I were you, I would stay in the FSF and voice my opinion: that way, hopefully, I could make a better man out of Stallman and, at least, a better man out of me. This way everybody will swallow in bitterness.


link David REVOY Author, -

====Note: ====
I'll not reply more here since I start to see the same patterns at work over and over again and I have more precious things to do with my time (and you too, I hope).
You can read my replies to other here as you would read a F.A.Q.

link Miriimi   -

Because Stallmann had a crappy opinion for a while - which, by the way, he has already revised for 2 or 3 years - and because he dared to only hypothetically question the morality that distinguishes between a 17-year-old and an 18-year-old, he should now be ruined?! How many children and minors has Stallmann really violated, abused or traumatized? Is it already forbidden to be of the opinion that an abortion of fetuses with Down syndrome is meaningful and good?

Welcome to the dark age of the 21st century!

The last time the USA had something like this was in the 1950s, but presumably the woken neoconservatives want to go straight there again, to a social state in which the mere questioning of morality must in itself lead to ostracism. Jo Mc Carthy greets kindly from the grave. And I personally would not be surprised at all if some of the signatories have signed already because of it in order not to be seized by the moral storm and to be canceled immediately with. But that is only my personal and highly subjective assumption. Because you didn't give this reasons in the original Blog post David, looks for me you want to hide that.

This whole outrage and moral storm has nothing to do with free software itself.

Iam disappointed and I hope you never be a victim of this shit because of what you paint or think. You think that's not possible? Then you underestimate the movement. Time will tell.

However. That's all I have to say too.

link Pedro de las Casas   -

I'm very happy that the people who don't support Richard Stallman are finally going away. At last we will be back to purity, honour and not living on our knees to Google, Microsoft and Red Hat. And if we have to say goodbye to GNOME, Debian and Red Hat, then goodbye! They brought it on themselves.
So, welcome home again, Dr. Stallman.

Pedro, masgnulinux.es blog editor.

link Felix   -

And what do you think about all these problems?

link Pedro de las Casas   -

What problems? The problems that don't exist and you want to create?
The problems have been created by others with very bad intentions.

link Felix   -

For example:

I dont want to create any problems! For what reason? What benefits should I have from that?
And why should others create these problems? What intentions do you mean?

link Pedro de las Casas   -

Link doesn't work, but i see, maybe another feminazi. I can't watch that stuff, it gives me testicular pain. I don't care about the opinions of sick resentful philonazis.
I care about technical reasons and the free software philosophy, I don't care whether the free software philosophy wears a skirt or trousers, I think it's stupid to bring in problems created from outside for political purposes, for posturing and to get in the press.
Red Hat wants to dominate the FSF. And products like GNOME go hand in hand with Red Hat (that's what Red Hat pays them for), as well as the graphical server.
Again, the FSF was created by RMS and he should be in the leadership. If you don't like it, create a software foundation with skirts and trousers.

link Felix   -

Are these ones working?
What's a feminazi?
These problems are not created from outside, they are coming from the inside. Red Hat is a totally different topic than this.
Also: could you be so kind to answer the questions in my previous reply? Thank you!

link Pedro de las Casas   -

When I speak of a problem, I am not referring to you personally, but to the ideology of cancellation, which is all about publicity and getting into the media.
And by intentions I mean Red Hat, which wants to dominate the FSF.
As for the links, I don't give a shit what the sick Nazis say ABOUT JOKES. Because jokes are jokes, and these sickos want to change even what we have to talk about and what we can't talk about or make jokes about.
For my part I will continue to make jokes that I feel like. Is it the case in France, can we in our freedom speak out against Mohammed the prophet without fear of having our heads cut off or does the ideology of cancellation not come into it? Are we free to say what we want without the sexual fanatics coming to denounce us? Merit, you climb the ladder on merit, not on what you have between your legs.
F--- them all, be free, be free, think and speak what you want without censorship.
Long live Stallman and long live freedom. Down with censorship.

[admin edit: replaced F words]

link Felix   -

Ok, because in my opinion "The problems that don't exist and you want to create?" sounds very much like referring personally.
Why should Red Hat want dominating the FSF and not the Linux Foundation, also this is a clompletely different topic which has nothing to do with RMS.
As for the links:
Stop calling people Nazis when the are no Nazis! This is a word that shouldn't be used for people who have another opinion! And could you write a comment without using the F-word or sth. else!?
I have to doubt that you have read the sites completely. This weren't just jokes! Also: you can't make jokes when you feel like, there is a border where jokes stop and an offense start. You are free to say your opinion but this opinions stops somewhere! Thats not censorship, your freedom ends where for example my freedom starts and my freedom ends where your freedom starts! Speaking about religion is another thing that has nothing to do with RMS and this discussion!

link Felix   -

I forgot to mention:
You said "If you don't like it, create a software foundation with skirts and trousers." and now my question is:
Where should this lead us as a community? When everybody who doesn't like the direction the FSF goes and imediatly founds a new foundation. Wouldn't it be better to work for a better FSF for everybody?

link Pedro de las Casas   -

Yes, same Foundation without that:
List of anti-Stallman signed for Cancel, like their are already cancelling Stallman.
Their are spanish and spaniards and some other people, like Daniel Foré or this blog owner.
Same medicine.
"Please do not donate money to any of them".
Do you want to ruin Richard's life? Then let's ruin the lives of those who want it ruined.

link anonymous   -

Thanks for standing up to your principles, David! We have never met but i'm a long time reader/fan. Your contributions to designs for the community are priceless, we need more open-minded people like you in the ecosystem.

To the others who are obviously not aware of simple facts: despite what the open letter says, the problem with rms is not words on his blogs which he may or may not have reflected upon since publishing them. The problem with rms is disrespectful and harassing behavior toward certain people especially women. This has been a well-known problem in our community for decades, that rms really has a problem with women. His behavior as an individual is a problem, but the bigger problem is that his behavior is glorified by the people who put rms on a throne as the spiritual leader and truest representative of the free-software movement. This means as a community, we are regarded as defendants and enablers of such hurtful behavior, excluding us from quite many people who are interested and radical about software freedom, but also about other kinds of freedom.

To be clear i'm strongly opposed to ostracism as a tool for social change. I believe there are power struggles in this world and we should build community power to effect social change, but the angry mobs on Twitter engaging in cyber-bullying against anyone they disagree with are a huge threat to meaningful insight on complex topics. I'm not saying angry disagreement and finger pointing is out of place, but organized hate campaigns designed to psychologically destroy individuals is not the same. But to be clear, ostracism is not what the theorists of "cancel culture"denounce, and none of that is taking place here, quite the contrary.

What neo-fascists (and people influenced by them indirectly) refer to as "cancel culture" is a strawman designating all forms of human accountability. Like i said previously, i'm opposed to vicious hateful harassment campaigns against individuals who have engaged in hurtful behavior... i believe both reason and violence are useful tools at our disposal to reach some form of justice, depending on the circumstances. But i don't believe destroying someone's life is going to reap any benefits for society at large.

But here with rms and the FSF, what we see is a community that is fed up by abuse perpetrated in its name, demanding accountability from those that claim to represent it. Is a petition/demonstration/action to demand the removal of corrupt/hurtful politicians and cops a deranged manifestation of cancel culture? Certainly not, so why would it be different with leadership of the entity that claims to represent the Free Software Movement?

Many voices within and without the FSF have long denounced the misogyny at its core and fought against it. This reached a tipping point when rms withdrew from the board in 2019, and many persons who had felt excluded/unwelcome in the FSF have since then joined the ranks again. They were denied justice for far too long, and now they saw an opportunity to take part in our community without placing themselves in psychologically-damaging situations, and without compromising on their ideals in other areas of life (such as fighting patriarchy).

To be clear, as an anarchist i am against (most forms of) representation, as i believe in direct self-organization as a means of collective action. But if someone is claiming to represent me, i ask for them to do so correctly and to be irreproachable. That much is not only dear to anarchists, but also to others who understand society and governance to be a form of "social contract", such as the liberals, whether they're progressive or conservatives.

So rms intended to represent us, and failed. As a consequence, he was gently pushed out of his leadership position at the FSF, while remaining head of the GNU project. No witch hunt, no harassment campaigns. Just plain accountability. But now the board of the FSF is reintroducing rms without any kind of apology/reflection and we're supposed to accept this silently in the name of the cult of personality? The board acted in secret, because they knew the community at large was strongly opposed to rms making a comeback, for good reasons. There is now indicator whatsoever that rms has reflected on his poor behavior in the past (everybody makes mistakes, but we're talking repeating patterns here) which would make him a better person to represent/lead the FSF than he was a few years back.

This brings a few questions for us as a community:

1) How do we deal with a board which has conspired against the community? They acted in secret because they knew the broader community was opposed to rms' return in leadership position

2) How do we ensure a future "board" (if we accept such a thing at all) could not betray the community like it just did?

3) How do we defend free software ideals from the open-source and business enthusiasts who just want it dead? For sure i can't choose a side between "rms-style misogyny" and "user-hostile software"... i want neither of those.

If we as a community are not able to address these questions, the FSF will largely die, and the free software ecosystem will suffer at large, and big corporations will profit. There is a growing body of free-software activists and organizations denouncing the FSF's move. For decades now criticism of rms has been more than polite and understanding of his neuroatypy, but this huge F--- Y-- from the FSF board to the community draws the line.

If we want free software to stand for human emancipation at large, then we need a more horizontal organization, and we need more concern for other human struggles for emancipation. If software freedom is envisioned as the single most important issue, and not as a struggle among other struggles for social change, then we are failing as a community to promote human emancipation and social change.

Please take time to reflect on that. What's dearest to your art? Blind cult of personality of a very competent/radical person, who despite all the good they've done have repeated patterns of harmful behavior? Or free-software and human emancipation?

[admin edit: replaced F words]

link Corious   -

You speak of "the community" as if you were their representative . As if you know what they want and what not. But there is no "the community". No black and white. They are all individuals with their own opinions. But it is always the same people who shout the loudest and think the talk for all in the good cauae. But they only impose their opinion on everyone and mean to exclude everyone who does not bow to it and agrees with it. Like now with RMS.

The FSF does not need anyone for whom freedom is not an absolute good. And the signers of the letter have expressed that here again and they should better leave the movement forever.

link Stefano   -

Standing up for one's principles means speaking out one's opinion even when that opinion may not please the audience and could spark troubles for the speaker. Trying to silence someone else is never an act of courage or an act based on good principles.
Boycotting a product, a thing, may be right or wrong, but it is legitimate. Boycotting a human being is never legitimate nor right: it is an act of abuse and prevarication.
Think twice before advocating for abuse.

link Felix   -

There is a clear difference between boycotting a human being and wanting someone not to be the leader of the FSF!

link Denis Salem   -

Your input bring me a better understanding of the situation.

I kept thinking about this all day and feel very concerned by this topic. I'm pleased to see there is nuances in your long comment. Nuances i'm having hard time to find in most of the rethoric from left-wing militants about this matter. You made many good points to me on why RMS should not represent anymore freesoftware movement.

Thank you for that.

link Ale Abdo   -

Ni! Thanks for your thoughts,

What is happening with the attacks on RMS is very far from accountability.

Folks are attacking him again based on very strong misconstrued slander. They've piled up on the false accusations from 2019 (see, e.g., https://sterling-archermedes.github.io/ or https://jorgemorais.gitlab.io/justice-for-rms/index.html).

Maybe this could have been from the start about his behavior towards other folks and women, and tuned proportionally, but it isn't. It is an inflated campaign based on falsehoods. To channel disapproval of his social behavior through disproportional and dishonest means only worsens the problem.

Among other consequences, this contradiction divides us and has a toll on our time and energy and capacity to coordinate efforts. And our common opponents already reap the rewards. It also presents itself as a false solution, because it attacks a false problem. It has not been him, nor any position he holds, that has been stopping Free Software communities from being more inclusive.

The near totality of the functioning of such communities and of obstacles for women to get interested in computers and freedom have nothing to do with Richard's character. By contrast, one could much more easily argue that painting the founder of the movement in a much worse light than his actions actually call for could actually be deleterious and push people away.



link Khalid   -

When all is said and done, there's not a shred of evidence except, "he did this, he said that", and that would be fine if he was allowed to refute the allegations. I'm pretty sure most organisations have tribunals, but to fire him over an article and rumour is cowardly. They're being judge, jury and executioner. And for what? To appease a fourth wave feminist on a power trip. Disgusting. History won't be on your side.

link Poitiers   -

Do people with fine gloves, with precious hands complain about Stallman returning to what he created and whom we can thank to the point of exhaustion that he is the one who has fought the hardest for free software because in the past he was perhaps misogynistic, forgetting that Asperger's? What fine gloves they have, criticising a possible misogyny while perhaps voting for the most corrupt politicians in their countries. Double standards.
Stallman created the FSF and it is up to him to guide what he created.If you don't like it, create a different foundation, perhaps called "Feminist Open Source Foundation for Cancellation Culture, Red Hat and Hall & Oates" and leave all of you who are of that damn new ideology, get on a balloon and leave the Free Software Foundation in the hands of worthy people, not in the hands of a Sex-Party-Shop, whose only direction is to divert what is really important: Defending Free Software and preventing Trojans from destroying it from within, which is what Red Hat wants to do in order to take over the FSF and do everything as it pleases.
Welcome, Richard Stallman.

link Oleg Schelykalnov   -

It's a very sad to see people join mobs without even thinking about reasons. Well, at least I could cancel my plenges on Patreon.

link calimeroteknik   -

@Miriimi I continued to support pepper&carrot even when it stopped supporting me back so to say, because I believe in the ideal it's carrying, much stronger than in whatever personal friction that may happen. I think you should reconsider this epidermic reaction of removing your support.
I consider that it's much, much more important for David's webcomics to remain that beacon of hope for the comic industry. And this remains true, no matter who he votes for, who he supports, and his reasons for that, which deserve your consideration too.

On the topic of RMS; after a lot of reading, it does seem that both of the open letters (pro and against) make fair points. Going further, in-depth reading with an open mind on this topic eventually led me to think it could be in fact reasonable to support either side, or even to hesitate. It does raise questions of the utmost importance that cannot be taken lightly.

link Chopper   -

Are you sure about that? Most artist that join 'social movement' ends up using what makes them famous as political tools; David might use Pepper and Carrot for his own agenda...

link Miriimi   -

I supported David mainly for his engagement in Krita not for the comic industry revolution. But Thanks for you word. My trust is just lost and David mention multiple times that he give a f**** because in his opinion people like me are just fake trolls. I can spend my money to other artists for their krita engagement instead.

link David REVOY Author, -

I'm back temporary to write informations about fake comments, add words for Pepper&Carrot supporters and answer about the fear of seeing political ideas in Pepper&Carrot.

=== Note about fake comments ===

With all the comments/email/PM I received over the last 48h promising to **unfollow** and/or **drop support**, you could imagine I'm affected. Well, it's not the case and I can proof it.
The funding of Pepper&Carrot is publicly visible online. It's a choice of transparency I do because this info could be hidden too. You can see the current stat/graph with this links under:
- https://graphtreon.com/creator/davidrevoy (graph of Patreon data/Youtube/Twitter)
- https://en.tipeee.com/pepper-carrot (doesn't has a public graph,but a number)
- https://liberapay.com/davidrevoy/ (as a graph in footer)
But as you can see by yourself it's flat. If you know these platforms, you know I can't manipulate this numbers. So, that's why I imagine most of this comments/mail/replies are fake threats because by their numbers I should have a clear crease on the graph... They just use repugnant strategy to introduce themselves as supporters to try to convince other supporters by a snowball effect and punish me financially. That tells volumes about who I'm dealing with.

=== Note to Pepper&Carrot supporters ===

I want to thank here the supporter of Pepper&Carrot scrolling this thread for being around. Episode 34 is a long production and now I'm really low financially. I'll need time after episode 34 to rebuild my bank account to a position of security and your support will help a lot. Also, I'll respect the choice of everyone and appreciate nuanced opinions as long as they respect each other. I'll also never push on anyone to choose a petition, a clan or anything. I don't expect any FLOSS project to join the petition, I'll never push someone to that too. It's my own decision. I remind here the URL of our COC: https://www.peppercarrot.com/en/static14/documentation&page=409_Code_of_Conduct . If a long term supporters reading that still has a real issue with my position; I'll appreciate them using the built-in messaging tool in these patronage platforms to help me to see the authentic message coming from a real patron. Thank you.

=== Note about pushing ideology into Pepper&Carrot story ===

For the one fearing of getting a direct political message in the comic to attempt to serve my benefits or grow influence for a political agenda: I'll not do that. I hate message too direct or pushed on the reader. I'm not building a political carreer, I'm a beta-tester, FLOSS instructor and webcomic artist. When a political message happens in a story, it directly quick me out of the story. I hate that. I prefer subtle critic or praise in background of a story and about a timeless philosophical concept, something the reader can take or skip for growing/thinking. Pepper&Carrot already has plenty of that in background (as any comic/animes/books/movies/video-game/medias). Pepper&Carrot also has a beta-reading team that could intercept and question direct political message or any message not respecfull of the audience. So, the project has a built-in mechanism to avoid this type of issues.

link Miriimi   -

You have a small logic flaw in your supporter thesis. Apart from the
book purchases, for example, I supported you directly via Paypal instead
of using a platform like Patreon, because I think that these are all
just leecher platforms that present themselves as a "good platform that
only wants to support artists", but in reality only enrich themselves on
their content. I reject such platforms in principle. There is something
like that not only with artists. Whether it's food delivery services,
flight agents, apartment rentals, cab services, they all work according
to the same leecher principle.

But you would also have to know yourself that support can take place not
only directly financially, but also via retweets, general
recommendations, fanart, etc. etc. From this I can only conclude that
you do not value the community as a whole. Accordingly, I will also
financial contributions to you basically stop and at the same time still
use your content within the framework of the licenses :-) ...

I've also often noticed that it upsets you when someone uses your
content differently than you imagine. This is supposedly not "fair use"
for you. That actually means that you find freedom good only as long as
it is useful to you. Even if you always claim that it's not about money
or fame for you, that contradicts itself very much and that you look at
the question of support directly on the direct money from Patreon & co.
already looks deep. But that actually rounds off the whole thing, that
the exclusion of RMS is no problem for you. You have your very own
concept of freedom, which is only ok as long as it does not affect your

This doesn't have to apply to you, of course, but for many, involvement
in open source and free software is just a "niche" for their marketing
strategy and business model. This is also true for all the big companies
that put money into open source to have a significant influence on it.
I'm really sick of it.

link calimeroteknik   -

Miriimi: your remarks are interesting and do raise relevant questions. At the same time, you come off as resentful and in bad faith in many of your sentences, which unfortunately is a cornerstone of trolling. I believe that David cannot hear you out if you talk to him that way, first because he has an intuitive personality, and secondly because (and this is interesting, but not ironic) he is currently subjected to the same type of stressful public attention as Richard Stallman himself.

First off, one factual response:
To my knowledge, David has only ever complained about *illegal* usage of his work (breaching the license), which is fully legitimate and not whimsical, as it was clear in the license from the start. Do you have a counter-example where someone used his works, while respecting the license terms, and he made an upset post about it? I will consider this accusation void until you prove me wrong with an example.

Now, I want to say that anyone who decides to say "I will stop supporting David due to this position he takes" is, I believe, doing something a bit hypocrite, because that's (ironically) smelling of cancel culture against David. Is it "fair" to say that *because* he is supporting an open letter that does indeed (if you check carefully) include several biases typical of canceling? If you make the same mistakes as the person you oppose, you're not showing a good example.

I recommend the video "Canceling" by Contrapoints about this topic.

My support to David goes like this:
- His intuitive feelings are legitimate (about Richard Stallman behaving badly, because he has).
- This blog post we are commenting on, is consistent with that, and with David's personal opinion that leaders should be virtuous. He is entitled to his opinion, and you to respect it as such.
- I believe he is not aware that the open letter he has signed makes reasoning mistakes and suffers from bias. To quote just one: they make the mistake of construing an inclusive vision of society that differs from theirs, as transphobia. Factually, that is not the same thing. On this point here, what happened is presumption of guilt associated with .

Then again, I believe that David signed the open letter because :
- He clearly signed it too fast to take the time to do all the digging that I'm not even finished doing about every detail of accusation in the open letter. Fact checking is a lot of work…
- Assuming the only two possible choices are "stay" and "leave" for Richard Stallman, the choice that is consistent with David's personal ethics is "leave". I believe this is is why he signed, by intuitively trusting rather than fact-checking things in-depth. I will assume it is not virtue signalling, for lack of proof, but unfortunately for David this means I consider he cut corners here.

I believe that the righteous part of David's actions is expressing his reasons independently, which he has done in this blog post. As such, I stand behind this blog post.
However, I stand against David's decision to sign a petition that bases certain accusations on misrepresentations of reality.

Futhermore, disagreeing with David on this doesn't change my opinion of his work. There's no way I'm falling for the fallacy of rejection by association.
People make mistakes, it's a lot of work to accept to change your mind by exchanging ideas, and everyone needs to put in the effort if we want society to work.

link Pedro de las Casas   -

I think that, If David joins the ideology of Cancellation, it is very fair that the rest of us want to use that ideology, his same weapon.
It is the most elementary and basic of justice.What should not be done is to join the Cancellation and pretend that people follow him and understand him, because there are more and more of us who follow Mr. Stallman and everything that is happening does not serve for anything other than to receive more support for the founder of the FSF. And if a person, artist or not, joins a philonazi ideology, he has to expect its fruits.
In fact all this is great for Mr. Stallman because the networks are burning in defense of him and the supporters of the Justice Warriors are looking ridiculous, a shame.

link T   -

"philonazi"? Be careful what you're talking about. Nazi German murdered millions of people. It was a planned and executed genocide. Even cancelling millions of people wouldn't be comparable, let alone just *one*. No one is calling for any hate towards the person themselves, let alone hate crimes - so I don't see any basis for it to be called like that.
You used the word "feminazi" in some comments above, too. Calling everything "nazi" doesn't make your point stronger; instead you just look inconsiderate and lacking empathy. There are still people around who were hurt, directly or indirectly, by actual nazis; they are around here, on the internet, reading your and/or your nazi-word-using buddies comments.
I really hope - although don't expect - you'd think about what kind of words you choose to describe ideology you don't agree with.

link calimeroteknik   -

When people are listening to one another, being ready to revise their viewpoint if presented with good arguments, nobody looks ridiculous.

When it's a burning fight, it's everyone who looks ridiculous, because everyone's priority is to win, rather than try to mutually help one another correct the mistakes they make. Nobody is better than your contradictor at helping you find your mistakes. On every detail of disagreement, one of the two has to be wrong, and we don't know in advance who it is.

link calimeroteknik   -

I also disagree with the "tit for tat" revenge: don't cancel someone who cancels, unless it's really a desperate case. Alternatively, it should be more helpful to explain why canceling is not the solution.

link Pedro de las Casas   -

It is too late.
Millions of poor against a few rich with a new fascist ideology.
I have nothing more to say here. I looked in case there were regrets and there are none.
Traitors to Stallman will not pass.

link Felix   -

First of all:
Would you be so kind to answer my reply to your comment above.....

Too late for what? So everyone who is pro RMS is one of the "million poor people" and everybody who doesn't want RMS to be in the FSF is one of "a few rich and has a fascist ideology"? I don't see any fascism here, could you explain that? Who do you calling a traitor, and why? This is not a war or a fight....!
I think this kind of comment is not very helpful or shows that you want to discuss respectfully, for me it looks like black/white thinking and exaggeration....

Or am I totally wrong with that? If yes, tell me...

link Stefano   -

It's been explained to all of you since the beginning. You can disagree with someone, even vehemently, and that's fine. However trying to silence that person, and especially trying to force your will on others to the effect of silencing someone else, because that person may say things you do not like, is fascism.
The infamous open letter is trying to force an independent and free organization to expel one member from its board: that is an attempt at mob rule. You do not like RMS in the board of the FSF? Fine, you may stay as a dissenting voice, you may leave the FSF for another organization that better fits your ideals (e.g. the FSFE, some other diversity focused software organization), you may quit the movement altogether. You may not intimidate other people with blackshirt tactics. You may not claim moral superiority when you pollute your motivations with slander and hypocrisy.

Then again, the signatures for the open letter in support of RMS ( https://rms-support-letter.github.io/ ) have surpassed that for the letter against him, even without the backing of corporations and organizations. That shows where most of the people stay.

link Felix   -

@Stefano I disagree with this!
I'm not trying to silence and I'm not forcing my will on others! I wrote a reply to explain my opinion and to discuss respectfully. Is this a blackshirt/fascist tactic? I do not think so and it is disrespectful to imply this....!

@Pedro de las Casas could you please stop comparing this to war, fascism and Nazi's?
This whole thing is not a war or a fight!
So I visited your website and read a few articles.... Why do you make a fight out of this? For me this sounds like a call for war and extremism (that you accuse me of). And I can't imagine RMS thinking this approach to be good! This behavior damages the free software movement more than it helps! Why should it be good to destroy each other because of different opinions?
And why are you ignoring other opinions than yours? Instead you are complaining about them, call the ones with these opinions fascist instead of replying and bringing good reasons or argumentation why they are wrong....


link Felix   -

I have to correct myself here,
forget this part "and extremism (that you accuse me of)", it is false to accuse this as extremism here (especially because I was against using the term "fascism" in this discussion). Also it is false to accuse that you accuse me being extremistic here, you never said that, but for me it sounded like you are accusing me being a fascist.
I dont know why I wrote this, sorry for that,

Cheers :)

link Pedro de las Casas   -

I warned yesterday. It's too late, this is unstoppable, Stallman's supporters outnumber the fascist traitors and in a few hours they will double the signatures.
Luckily I have a website that is read by thousands and thousands of Hispanic people and I have called for a war against the cancel culture. And Latin countries, mostly for Spain, Argentina and Brasil are united in defense of Richard.
Last night Stallman told me that he will not give up. So go set up another "open source" foundation and the red devil's hat.
Thousands of people have started to donate nothing to the traitors. We will defend Stallman with blood if we have to, and we will stop Red Hat from getting its grubby hands off the FSF. And Mozilla is going to be ruined very soon. Let's start a new direction with people committed to the real free software movement.
That's the price to pay for fascist reaction.

link M   -

‚ÄúI don't like that man. I must get to know him better.‚ÄĚ

‚Äē Abraham Lincoln


link Uso   -


At first I love your work, and don't plain to stop backing you, whatever you do, as long as you continue making great work on Pepper and Carrot.

Now about Stallman and the open letter:

I think there's a lot of things to say about RMS, so let's at first talk about Who he is:

- He's autistic we can see that the way he talk, and analyse question ask to him...

- If you look at political note on his site it's clearly leftish, and stand against all form of discriminations. (like he did for BLM: https://www.stallman.org/archives/2021-jan-apr.html#22_March_2021_(NYC_BLM)), he give his support to Berny Sanders...

- He have a way to analyse things differently as how most peoples would, He is usually more focused on the philosophical underpinnings, and pursuing the objective truth and linguistic purism, while underemphasising people’s feelings on matters he’s commenting on.

Now let's talk about the letter itself:

Most if not all claim made against him are wrong: he's not misogynist, even less transphobe, and debatably not ableist and peoples might think that due to him been autistic and the way he express himself which make his argument easy to misunderstanding and misrepresentation.

Let's take the arguments made against him in the appendix cancel letter 1 by 1 :

The Epstein comment:
his view was that from the point of view of Minsky, Virginia Giuffre was willingly.
Not that she was willing to have sex with him. (because the subject of the sentence is the point of view Minsky, not Virginia Giuffre)
saying that he thought Epstein victims could be "entirely willing" is wrong or dishonest.

The comment about minor having sex:
First he's argument was always about teenager not child.
the thing is that RMS care only about who's getting hurt, refuting emotional arguments, and when talking about sensitive subject sure as teenager sex, it's very hard to not get emotional, most peoples will consider that as inherently bad, due to they emotion, and Stallman absolutely refuse that kind of biases, so he had to think about whatever sex with teenager is ok or wrong, and at which age is it ok.
He couldn't just assuming this as bad as most peoples would do.
At first he thought that if both peoples consent, when no one was getting hurt, he though that been 13/14 was old enough to decide of your body.
At some point some peoples explain to him it would psychologistically hurt the teen, and this is what change his point of view on the subject, when he understand why teen would get hurt from sex, He refuse emotional argument he needed a concrete one.
Because at the end what's important for RMS is that no one suffer, and he had to had prof peoples suffer from teenager sex in order to disapprove it.

His Down’s syndrome comment:
Stallman is pro abortion, he's argument was really that woman should abort if they embryo have Down’s syndrome. but he also said that they should take care of the child if he's born.
Maybe this can be consider as ableist, but this definitively need more explication as why this is ableist, as the letter blatant accusation that remove half of his view on the subject.

His "Transphobic" comment: some trans peoples already say why it's not transphobic https://github.com/rms-open-letter/rms-open-letter.github.io/issues/401

The Last Arguments are about RMS been creepy as hell with women, and if you look online, in fact with everyone, It's true, but I hardly see that as not due to his autism, and the thing is, he might have act in some super creepy way, but I don't think he ever did that with bad intentions.

So assuming he's not misogynist, ableist, nor transphobic, as claim the letter, the only argument that stay against RMS is that he express himself badly, and choose his fight wrongly, basically been autistic.

Therefore lie apart the only interesting question the letter seems to ask is:
"can autistic peoples lead a big organisation sure as FSF"

Now we could debate whatever it should be him that represent the FSF, we could imagine RMS still leading the FSF but been less present on conferences, or having a more background role.

But that's not what the letter is calling for, the letter call for his removal from FSF.
Calling for his complete removal is just a way to say that autistic peoples as him, have no place in society, and sincerely, I find that a little Sanist (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanism), and that's why I sign the RMS support letter: https://rms-support-letter.github.io/

On that know that I really like your work, But totally disagree on RMS.
Thanks for Pepper and Carrot anyway :)

link David REVOY Author, -

Thank you for the nice words about Pepper&Carrot.
If RMS says he's not autistic [1] and never was confirmed by a trained psychologist [2], then why not stop saying he is?
Especially if it's your main argument to justify everything and insinuate his critics have a will to do sanism. (Btw, how sanism against someone even not diagnosed is possible?)
If it was the reason to everything; be sure the FSF itself would have communicated about it since long time to use it as a disclaimer...
[1] https://www.computerworld.com/article/2551458/asperger-s-oxymoron.html
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Stallman#Personal_life

link uso   -

He basically say in that article he have a "shadow version" of it:

"I wonder about it, but that's as far as it goes," he said. "Now, it's clear I do not have [Asperger's] -- I don't have most of the characteristics of that. For instance, one of those characteristics is having trouble with rhythm. I love the most complicated, fascinating rhythms." But Stallman did acknowledge that he has "a few of the characteristics" and that he "might have what some people call a 'shadow' version of it."

I did assume he has Asperger, maybe it's was wrong for me as it hasn't been prove.

Sanism against someone even not diagnosed is possible, because you can discriminate against the trait that correspond to an aspies, judging them negatively because you don't like the way they think, the way they analyse things, which can correspond to how an aspie would think.

yes a big part of my argument is about sanism, but I think there's also a port of my argument that is about liking the way he have to do what seems right to him, even if everyone telling him he's wrong, the way he need prove of been wrong in order to change, to have unbiased and construct argument.

link uso   -

And to be honest, him been aspie, should have been irrelevant to my argumentation, It was nasty for me to use that, and some cheap way to undermined argumentation of peoples accusing him(but the cancel letter start by undermining RMS with very cheap accusation barely proven).
For what I see RMS is definitively someone with uncommon behaviour in society, which can make other peoples feel uncomfortable around him.
But I don't think he ever did that on purpose, I really do think he is trying to be better, and judging him for not trying enough, Me who don't have the same problem he have, I find it profoundly unjust.

link anon   -

Autism isn't a reason or even an excuse for disrespectful comments or behaviour. If anything it's disrespectful to imply that autistic people are inherently prone to being intolerant, misogynistic, etc. They may have trouble communicating, especially emotionally, but that doesn't mean that they are any more likely than anyone else to be disrespectful, or hold controversial opinions. The distinction really shouldn't be made in this case because it isn't an excuse for alleged behaviour.

link uso   -

Stallman isn't misogynistic nor intolerant, peoples who say so, are either misinformed on the person, or pure liar.

As prove you can read his political note: https://www.stallman.org/archives/2021-jan-apr.html
Or article that explain his controversial comment:

link uso   -

also that article that explain how media manipulate his saying in 2019:

link uso   -

Also, I see most argument made against him, as miss-characterisation of his arguments, changing the meaning of what he meant to say.
Whatever Stallman have autism or not, the only real problem I see he can be accuse of, lie apart, are his trouble communicating. Which could be consider as Sanism, but whatever he's autistic or not, someone should not be remove from an organisation for communicate badly.

(Sorry for the spam, I just want my argument to be clear, and not mischaracterised )

link Vinicius   -

The founder of a freedom movement is been censored and canceled from its movement, by his free speech right. If you are against RMS freedom, FSF movement is nether your place nor your philosophy, go to any open source such movement, that does not care our real freedom.

link David REVOY Author, -

About free speech right; you use it wrong.
Read https://xkcd.com/1357/

link Senjoro Mensogo   -

All I would say here is imagine if there were a Free Culture Foundation. Now imagine if the head of this hypothetical FCF foundation said some pretty controversial things that had nothing directly do to with the topic of Free Culture.

Then, as it happens, people pushing a new idea called "Ethical Culture", which says you can't use something under an 'Ethical Culture' license if you hold certain beliefs or would use it in a certain way, begin clamoring to have the president and entire board removed from the foundation and replaced with people who supported their idea.

Tell me, how should I feel about such a move? And metaphors aside, does anyone REALLY think RMS is the reason we have a hard time getting tech illiterate people to get why Free Software is important?

link calimeroteknik   -

I would like to take a pause here to explain essentialism: it is a very strong form of ad hominem. For example, calling someone "misogynistic" is to attack the person directly, rather than the words.

Essentialism allows to dehumanise the target, which is one of the surest ways to treat one of your fellow humans badly.

Secondly, it is interesting how people keep calling RMS misogynistic after the sources for that accusation show that in terms of opinion, he is not, and that he also defends things that make him the opposite.
Therefore, I would be interested to learn why some people call him that. Could the reason for that persistent accusation be that he very often behaves badly towards people in general and women in particular?

link SamWang   -

Hi everybody!

[ Where do I speak from ]

I'm a french guy. I never gave any money to David Revoy (I don't pay via Internet for about 15 years) but I deeply appreciate his work and I wrote some comments on early Peppep&Carrot comics.

I just read all the 86 comments published on this page at the time I'm writing this. It took me about 4 hours to do so, knowing that I also read many of the texts presented as sources. I globally spent around 50 hours on the subject (around 30 hours during the past 4 days ; around 20 hours at the time Richard Matthew Stallman ‚ÄĒ alias RMS ‚ÄĒ resigned as president of the Free software fundation ‚ÄĒ alias FSF ‚ÄĒ and from its board of directors, in september 2019).

I like RMS very much. I never worked with him. I met him once personally and we talked face to face. We exchanged a few emails.

[ my points ]

1) Thank you all for your writings, I appreciate your involvment in :

- the fundamentals of free sotware movement ;
- the fundamentals of free speech ;
- the fundamentals on mutual respect ;
- the fundamentals of some philosophical and ethical problems ;
- the investigation about moral qualities and defects and behavioral integrity of RMS, in order to dermine if it's suitable for you or not that he's president of the FSF again.

2) "cancel culture" is a real problem (I tell this especialy to David Revoy who thought it's not). David, I invite you to watch this video (duration 52:22) made by a french guy about a controversy that took place in 2017 at Evergreen University in Washington State, USA, video titled (in french) "Evergreen et les dérives du progressisme", published on jully 2019 on the Youtube channel named "Sanglier Sympa" :

Note : the video author gives somes english speaking video sources in the description text.

3) The behavior of RMS is obviously a problem for some people but I respect the FSF board of directors decision, notwithstanding the form it took.

May the force of wisdom be with you !

link Guillaume   -

David, you have all my support. MRS might be a gifted genius, but that's not incompatible with being a douchebag. It's sad, but I do not see him as a programmer anymore ... a cult guru at best.

You're right with what you said. Better say what you think out loud and be flamed by his worshipers than stay silent and acknowledge his perverted thoughts.

I'll leave that here: https://youtu.be/R2SKenHRhMg

link calimeroteknik   -

@Guillaume thank you, that video is really excellent; it defends its accusations the right way with his personal insights into the mindset. Much in concordance with David's reasons in this blog post, too.
It does give some support to libelous claims(*) against RMS but I'll just ignore that part, as the personal experience part about the mindset and the issues it poses with society at large is really relevant.

(*) namely those debunked here https://www.wetheweb.org/post/cancel-we-the-web

link SamWang   -

Hi everyone!

My message is divided into two sections : first I present the April's weekly press review adressing the issue (April is a french assocition promoting free software), second I present 3 web pages (in english) with really thoughtful and argued point of view.

[[ The April's weekly press review adresses the issue ]]

Yesterday, March 30, 2021, April's [1] weekly press review was published [2] on the french website LinuxFr.org [3]. The links provided are articles in French. The first section mentions an article from Numerama titled "Pourquoi le retour de Richard Stallman agace le monde du logiciel libre" (translation : "Why the return of Richard Stallman annoys the world of free software"), as well as 3 other pages : 2 articles that present the controversy, one from ZDNet France and another from 01net, and the April's press release on the subject, which tells that April association "regrets the decision taken by the board of directors of the Foundation for Free Software" (translated from the original sentance "L'April regrette la décision prise par le conseil d'administration de la Fondation pour le Logiciel Libre"), without any explanation why, which seems problematic to some people, even if supporting an argued position exposes to all the risks of cleavages which are already largely fed.

[1] For those who don't know April association, here is an english translation of the introduction to the article "April_(association)" https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_(association) from the french Wikipedia :

April is the main association for the promotion and defense of Free Software in the French-speaking world. Since the beginning [1996] it has maintained close relations with the Free Software Foundation and is responsible for the translation of the philosophy section of the GNU Project.

[2] Here is the URL for this April's Press Review for Week 12 of 2021 (in french) :

[3] For those who don't know LinuxFr.org, here is an english translation of the introduction to the article "Linuxfr" https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linuxfr from the french Wikipedia :

LinuxFr.org is a French-speaking community site dealing with computer news mostly related to free software, founded on June 28, 1998. It is fed by its community of users in a contributive way.

[[ 3 web pages (in english) with really thoughtful and argued point of view ]]

The first comment (among 13 in total, at the time I'm writing this) on the Linuxfr.org page mentioned above is very interesting to me (and seeing its note at the time I write this message, namely 7 (+8/-1), readers have appreciated it). I propose you a translation :


The free software world is rather annoyed by the attacks against Stallman, if we believe the more than 4300 individuals who signed an open letter supporting him here: https://rms-support-letter.github.io/ , too bad that neither this press review nor the article mentions him (for a media that wants to get clicks it's not surprising, it doesn't sell, it needs a crispy article completely in charge).

For those who are looking for a really thoughtful and argued point of view about Stallman and what he is accused of, you can see here (in english, sorry) :




A free software supporter completely disgusted to see so many organizations and media jump on the lynch mob bandwagon, without taking the time to understand what RMS really said or did.

[End of quote]

I hope this will help to forge a realistic point of view. I wish you a good day. Cheers.

link SamWang   -

[[ Enlgish version (french one follows) ]]

Since my previous account of the cumulative time spent reviewing the Stallman case, 10 hours have been added to reach 60 hours.

Having carefully read the content of two (the first and the third) of the three articles in english presenting a really thoughtful and argued point of view about Stallman and what he is accused of, mentioned by a commenter on Linuxfr.org, whose comment I have translated above for you, I discovered among other things that RMS has lost its home in the process of social ostracization.

Here it is : Richard M. Stallman, currently 68 years old (born March 16, 1953), notwithstanding the fact that he can be difficult to live with for those around him because of his strong ego, especially the angers he can show, including towards his friends, has not only suffered a filthy cabal with distortion of his words, in the purest, harshest, most imbecilic and despicable of the cancellation cultures, has not only abusively lost his position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2019, has not only resigned, in September 2019, under social pressure, from his position as president of the Free Software Fundation (FSF) which he founded on October 4, 1985, but has also lost his house in this process of social ostracisation (cf. the first of the three articles, published on February 20, 2020 by Lo√Įc Dachary, a free software developer), I suppose for financial reasons (this certainly happened between September 2019 and February 20, 2020).

Now, given the personal stake for RMS (given the illegitimate dimension of the attack on his dignity and the psychological, social and financial consequences for him), given the civilizational stake (given his past and still current contribution, because he continues to work, with his intellectual and moral rigor in the application of the principles of free software as he formulated them), I ask everyone, as much as possible, to take time to consult the three sources mentioned above, at least the first one (the shortest) and the last one (a bit longer), knowing that the second source is an even longer text, but very structured and airy, requiring a more important investment of time (which I will do right now) You can use an automatic translation tool on the Web, for example https://www.deepl.com (with the free version, it is possible to deal with the limitation in number of characters by copying and pasting successive paragraphs).

This message is (among others) a way for me to transmute the anger that is rising...

[[ French version ]]

Depuis mon précédent témoignage du temps cumulé passé à étudier le dossier Stallman, 10 heures se sont ajoutées pour atteindre 60 heures.

En ayant lu attentivement le contenu de deux (le premier et le troisième) des trois articles en anglais présentant un point de vue vraiment réfléchi et argumenté à propos de Stallman et de ce qu'on lui reproche, mentionnés par un commentateur sur Linuxfr.org, dont j'ai traduit ci-avant le commentaire pour vous, j'ai notamment découvert que RMS a perdu sa maison dans le processus d'ostracisation sociale.

Voici : Richard M. Stallman, actuellement √Ęg√© de 68 ans (n√© le 16 mars 1953), nonobstant le fait qu'il peut √™tre difficile √† vivre pour son entourage de par son fort √©go, notamment les col√®res qu'il peut manifester y compris √† l'encontre de ses amis, a non seulement subi une cabale immonde avec d√©formation de ses propos, dans la plus pure, la plus dure, la plus imb√©cile et ignoble des cultures d'annulation, a non seulement abusivement perdu son poste au Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) en 2019, a non seulement d√©missionn√©, en septembre 2019, sous la pression sociale, de son poste de pr√©sident de la Free Software Fundation (FSF) qu'il avait fond√©e le 4 octobre 1985, mais a √©galement perdu sa maison dans ce processus d'ostracisation sociale (cf. le premier des trois articles, publi√© le 20 f√©vrier 2020 par Lo√Įc Dachary, d√©veloppeur de logiciel libre), je suppose pour des raisons financi√®res (cela s'est certainement produit entre septembre 2019 et le 20 f√©vrier 2020).

Maintenant, vu l'enjeu personnel pour RMS (étant donné la dimension illégitime de l'atteinte à sa dignité et les conséquences psychologiques, sociales et financières pour lui), vu l'enjeu civilisationnel (étant donné son apport passé et toujours d'actualité, car il continue à travailler, avec sa rigueur intellectuelle et morale dans l'application des principes du logiciel libre tels qu'il les a formulés), je demande à chacun, autant que possible, de prendre du temps pour consulter les trois sources précitées, tout au moins la première (la plus courte) et la dernière (un peu plus longue), sachant que la deuxième source est un texte encore plus long, mais très structuré et aéré, demandant un investissement en temps plus important (que je vais faire de ce pas). Vous pouvez vous aider d'un outils de traduction automatique sur le Web, par exemple https://www.deepl.com (avec la version gratuite, il est possible de s'accommoder de la limitation en nombre de caractères par copiés/collés de paragraphes successifs).

Le présent message constitue (entre autres) pour moi une façon de transmutter la colère qui monte...

link Anonymous   -

I think your blog post is completely understandable, but I really wish you did not sign the open letter. It is wildly inaccurate, and by giving your name to it, you legitimize its inaccuracies. For example, while it claims that Stallman is transphobic, his actual stances paint a very different picture:

Stallman should be held accountable for his own actions, and not for the fabrications of the open letter's authors.

link David REVOY Author, -

Picking from the news reported in Stallman's very dense daily journal of "world news" do not convince me about being his actual stances. It's nice to read ‚ąísure‚ąí (to quote Xfiles; I could tell "I want to believe") but you can also probably find a bit of everything on them, often without any comments and coming by... thousands. Just open a link, and scroll: thousands.

It doesn't convince me (but thank you for sharing the link that convince you) because RMS also has more detailed blog-post, articles, public emails on mailing-list so if he wanted to specifically address this issues; disambiguate and clarify them (as any important public figure would have done, imo) be sure it would have been done since years. It could also have been adressed on Sunday, during the Libreplanet livestream while I was listening to it... The opportunity of being clear ("put things on the table" as we would say in France) aren't missing. Digital paper doesn't cost much and an official statement takes, what, 15min?

So... If you have to digg in his thousands and thousands of daily reports from 2015 to 2020 to find these proofs, it's because a real blog post or video on the topic is missing as far as I know... Sure, it is still better than nothing, but it doesn't convince me. He receives so many similar accusions on this topics since years that I find it 'hard to buy' a community needs to check the noise of his daily news to grab evidences.

In the light of my experience of working with communities, I rarely saw a case where an individual told clearly they were transphobic or mysogynistic (or any other rooted 'fears'). That's logic, if you think about it. So, unfortunately, these traits appears only in behaviors, in what the person "does or doesn't" and often in confusing statement to appeal other with the same deep "fears". Often, all of this comes with the lack of public apologies to aknowledge they could have been hurtful. Confusion is always a good indicator. (if moderators are around; they'll know what I'm speaking about)...

But confusion is not the same things as nuances. I respect nuanced opinions, it's easy to tell "I'm ok with this part, and not that part" while clearly disambiguate/clarify if asked about a blury toxic position. I respect the one who haven't signed the petition; I'll never put pressure on them, or advice them to do. It's a personal choice. That's why I'm sad to read others trying to use soft or hard pressure to ask me to "remove my signature" or "reconsider it"... I received threat and intimidations over the last days... Not cool at all. All I have to feel better is to know these behaviors aren't representative of the audience as a whole. But they still do a lot of noises :-)

For those wanting to listen to a good podcast on the topic to go further, I advice:

link SamWang   -

Dear David Revoy, I wrote in french the long and deeply thought text that follows. I give it to you without doing the effort of translating it in english. Non french speaking people who would want to understand it will have to make an effort for tranlating it, sorry for that.

[[ Sur la X-phobie ]]

Dans les mots comme homophobie (rejet des homosexuels), transphobie (rejet des transsexuels), et plus généralement dans les mots comportant le suffixe "phobie" (parlons des mots construit sur le modèle "X-phobie"), "phobie" est à prendre dans un sens déformé relativement à l'étymologie (phobie = peur), un sens non littéral, puisqu'il est question de rejet. Il peut s'agir d'un rejet impliquant de la peur et induisant un comportement de fuite ou d'agression. Il peut aussi s'agir d'une attitude dénuée de peur, impliquant soit de l'indifférence teintée de mépris, soit du mépris manifesté (de l'agressivité), voire de la haine.

Si la peur peut mener au rejet voire à la haine, l'expérience de la peur en tant que telle, avant toute autre éventuelle émotion perturbatrice, ne constitue pas une agression intentionnelle. Exprimer son ressenti, par exemple de la peur, peut tout à fait se faire dans le cadre d'une communication non violente. Ressentir sa propre peur en méditation et l'accueillir pour l'observer se déployer est d'ailleurs un outils cognitif très favorable (c'est même la voie royale, voire la seule voie) pour s'en libérer.

Par exemple, ou pourrait supposer le cas déplorable d'une femme violentée dans une relation avec un homme, voire dans toutes ses relations avec les hommes. Supposons du moins qu'elle l'ait vécu intérieurement ainsi (même s'il n'y pas eu de violence réelle dirigée contre elle). On pourrait supposer qu'elle ait développé une peur des hommes, voire une peur [quasi-] systématique, ce qui impliquerait qu'elle s'en méfie (au moins un peu, voire beaucoup), et par exemple qu'elle s'en distancie, ce qui constitue une forme de rejet sans agression projetée vers les hommes, mais avec une forme de discrimination. Est-ce moralement répréhensible ?

Ceci √©tant, une telle peur en pr√©sence d'un individu m√Ęle qui en serait √† l'origine (y compris sans que celui-ci en ait conscience, y compris sans qu'il manifeste un quelconque m√©pris, ni m√™me un quelconque rejet), particuli√®rement si elle est irraisonn√©e, non ma√ģtris√©e, peut mener d'un c√īt√© √† la fuite, comme d√©crit au paragraphe pr√©c√©dent, ou bien √† l'affaiblissement √©motionnel, cognitif, et m√™me du tonus musculaire, ou bien encore √† une agressivit√© (√©ventuellement incontr√īl√©e, ou bien avec d√©termination volontaire) dirig√©e vers l'objet de la peur.

Je viens de présenter le triptyque suivant : fuite / dépression / agression. Plus précisément, je l'ai présenté comme étant la collection de comportements pouvant succéder au ressenti de la peur. En cas d'agression visant un être doué de conscience, ou une catégorie d'êtres, comme conséquence du ressenti de la peur, il peut être moralement légitime de le réprouver, particulièrement si l'agression est un mode de comportement intellectualisé et systématisé dans le processus de défense, oblitérant toute place à l'accueil de l'autre, à la compassion et à l'amour.

Une personne percevant qu'elle est la cible d'une telle agression (consécutive à un ressenti de peur) pourrait en être affectée. Ceci étant, même le comportement de fuite consécutif à la peur pourrait être interprété comme étant de l'indifférence (ce qui n'est pas le cas ici) et induire une affliction pour une personne se percevant comme étant la cause ayant provoqué la fuite, se percevant ainsi comme étant rejetée.

Ainsi, la peur n'implique pas nécessairement l'agressivité. Par contre elle implique typiquement la discrimination comme outils cognitif dans un processus de défense qui peut être moralement légitimé, du fait de sa propre faiblesse perçue et du risque perçu relativement à l'objet de la peur.

Par ailleurs, il y a des cas de X-phobie (compris au sens moderne -- et trahissant la langue -- de rejet de X, s'accompagnant d'indifférence teintée de mépris ou de mépris manifesté) qui ne supposent pas l'étape de la peur, mais simplement du rejet de l'autre. Un tel rejet peut s'accompagner d'indifférence, ou bien du mépris, éventuellement jusqu'à la haine, éventuellement avec de l'agressivité exprimée verbalement ou physiquement.

Dans un tel cas, la X-phobie (comprise comme un rejet des personnes de catégorie X, rejet teinté d'indifférence ou de mépris, à caractère systémique, avec la particularité qu'il n'y a pas de peur sous-jacente) est plus facilement moralement critiquable. Une personne qui est l'objet d'un tel rejet, du fait de certaines de ses caractéristiques et sans avoir moralement fauté, peut se sentir affectée, y compris par de l'indifférence, mais aussi se sentir agressée, particulièrement s'il y a un mépris manifesté activement.

S'il te plait, David, observe √† quel point, dans cet expos√© que je viens de r√©diger sp√©cialement pour r√©agir √† ton message, nous sommes loin de la b√™tise de la "cancel culture" la plus crasse, et probablement plus loin dans la subtilit√© que tes r√©flexions pr√©alables sur le sujet, au vu de ton message auquel je r√©ponds. Typiquement, nous ne sommes pas intellectuellement entrain√©s √† traiter ces questions en profondeur. Actuellement et de fa√ßon croissante, nous sommes plut√īt t√©moins, voire impr√©gn√©s et m√™me [gravement] affect√©s, d'un discours id√©ologis√©, pour une part induit par ing√©nierie sociale malveillante et d√©l√©t√®re aid√©e de lourds financements (!), et beaucoup d'entre nous ne sommes pas profond√©ment connect√©s avec notre propre ressenti, qu'il soit √©motionnel ou d'une autre nature, ce qui oblit√®re grandement notre capacit√© de perception et donc d'analyse.

[[ Sur les menaces que tu as reçues et sur les intimidations que tu as perçues ]]

Je trouve les menaces non appropriées, mais je comprends le processus psychologique grossier qui peut mener à cette situation (grossier surtout avec quelqu'un comme toi, qui manifeste de l'intelligence, de la sensibilité, du respect, de la pondération, de l'accueil bienveillant). A titre personnel, je n'ai pas voulu t'intimider ni intimider les personnes qui assument de porter un regard critique sur Richard Stallman. Moi-même je porte un tel regard, sur lui comme sur chacun, sans complexe. Ce qui me déplait, c'est l'instrumentalisation conscientisée de propos déformés ou abusivement interprétés à des fins malveillantes. Je ne pense pas que ce soit ton cas, ni ici ni peut-être jamais dans ta vie.

Sens-toi libre de reprendre mon texte à ton compte si tu en trouves l'utilité, que ce soit dans sa forme originale, dérivée, traduite... Et qu'il en soit ainsi pour chacun.

link David REVOY Author, -

Merci dans tous les cas pour l'appel à la bienveillance et pour prendre le temps d'écrire une opinion développé et argumenté.
Il est tant pour moi de mettre se sujet de c√īt√©, d'avancer et continuer mes prochains projets. J'en souhaite tout autant pour tout le monde.

link calimeroteknik   -

Yes, the most surprising thing is that after very careful examination, I have not been able to confirm that any item of proof quoted in the open letter against RMS justify any of the (extremely serious) accusations made.

This has a name: libel. It is a punishable felony or crime, depending on the jurisdiction.
I'm not saying this to pressure David ‚ÄĒ it would be useful however, to check what the implications are for people signing the open letter. As I already noted, I believe one should not sign a petition without checking its sources.

This changes nothing to the established and proven fact that Richard Stallman has shown a very disagreeable character in numerous occasions. But let's not mix disapproval and libel.

link calimeroteknik   -

Here are (to my knowledge, the first) actionable accusations against Richard Stallman at the board of directors of the FSF:

Now this is not libel and is indeed the basis that should be used for a petition to ask for RMS to leave the board of directors. I suggest the authors of the petition should remove the libel and use that instead, after sourcing it.

link uso   -

Note that this is a valid point against RMS been leader of FSF,
The open letter doesn't call RMS for not been leader (because he's not), but it call for RMS not be on FSF board, it call to remove full FSF board, it call to boycot every events where RMS would be present, and to remove RMS from all his leading position, even those that include code management more than peoples management.

Also there's a lot of story about RMS lacking empathy, and well, maybe he have Asperger, maybe he have not, but autistic peoples are pretty much always bully for been different and not for been autistic, so I really don't see how calling full boycott of RMS is not pure neurodivergence discrimination. (that assuming Peoples have made enough research to differentiate the lie from the reality in the open letter).

Also there's a site in support of stallman: https://stallmansupport.org/ it debunk a lot of lies that have been made against RMS.

Comments are closed.