Liberty or Death!
March 23, 2021 - a day which will live in infamy - the Free and Open Source community was suddenly and deliberately attacked by Silicon Valley. The tyrants of Big Tech, under the disguise of non-profit organizations, called for a hostile occupation of our community by issuing a blockade against Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation, and any other user who stands in opposition to their ideology of personal profit.
written by Jrmu 2021-04-03 - last edited 2021-04-03.
"Give me liberty, or give me death!"
They libeled Stallman of being an ableist and a transphobe, saying that users who disagree with their beliefs deserve no digital rights and have no place in the free software and tech community. They boldly declare that they will show no tolerance for disagreement and no mercy for dissenters, and that they are willing to impose embargoes and other acts of war to enforce their will.
This is no time for ceremony. It is nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery.
It is natural for us to indulge in the illusions of hope. We tend to shut our eyes against a painful truth. Silicon Valley uses free licenses! They are open source! But is this the conclusion of wise users, engaged in a great and challenging struggle for liberty? I want to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to prepare for it.
These organizations do not represent the free and open source community. Look at the signatures and you will see the representatives of Big Tech, the same corporate monopolies that have always been the archenemies of freedom.
I have but one lamp to guide my feet, and that is the lamp of experience. I can judge the future only by the past. And judging by the past, what has been the conduct of Silicon Valley? Do not allow yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Are boycotts and sanctions the work of love and reconciliation? Are their cancel mobs to be taken lightly? These are the implements of slavery, the methods which digital tyrants resort to.
What is the purpose of these sanctions, if not to force us into submission? Can you assign any other possible motive for it? Has not Stallman already apologized? Has the FSF engaged in any actual crimes to call for its starvation? No, sir, they have not. These sanctions are meant for us, they can be meant for no other.
If we wish to be free -- if we mean to preserve those liberties -- we must resist! I repeat, an appeal to code and to the God of hosts is all that is left to us!
There is a just God who presides over the destinies of networks, and who will raise up friends to fight our digital battles for us. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard from San Francisco!
Are features so dear, or money so sweet, as to be gained at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!