These are some thoughts I had during the whole issue that led Richard Stallman to step down from FSF presidency. They may be out of time, but seeing that the cancel culture is only spreading, and many times endorsed by Big Tech, I thought I would share these thoughts here.
These mostly answer on the call for RMS to step down from GNU as well.
If I'm allowed to jack in with a little comment here. GNU is not something official, it is a project, an initiative and specifically RMS's initiative for creating a free software system.
So in that case, I find it obvious that the current leader and founder of it is not accountable to anyone. It's his project. I don't really understand why people want to get him out of his project. If you don't like it just create your initiative and stop creating GNU software. It's ok, sometimes we can't get on with everyone. The fine people at Software Free Conservancy did so.
I still don't like what happened in FSF. But then it was its choice. RMS seems that he still wants to lead GNU. It's his project and he doesn't seem to care a lot about marketing so I don't think he will let go. People who contribute to GNU are assumed to at least be in line with the minimal requirements for doing so. If someone wants a more community oriented governance they can create their own structure.
I would be very willing to hear why FSF shall cease to support GNU. Is RMS some evil figure that will destroy everything? Is GNU not true to its principles or the principles of FSF?
I truly accept that maybe the GNU community is not for everyone. That maybe some choices weren't really inclusive and that alienated parts of its community. I haven't personally observed that but I still believe that this is probably true, since lot's of people have said it happens. I accept that some people involved would like to have more power in what happens and how things are managed. But they were never promised that this would happen.
So please, and in truly good faith, people that feel so start your own movement. With the CoC you want, with the model of governance you want, fixing all the mistakes of GNU and FSF. But trying to hijack another movement? I find GNU acceptable under RMS' governance so I choose to participate in it. But then you may find it unacceptable. At the same time more initiatives are good. This way even people that have different values and ideas can still participate in free software communities. This would be wonderful. Imagine a group of left-wing free software hackers, a group of right-wing free software hackers, a group of non-political free software hackers (if such a thing exists), anarchists etc..
We don't need a mother-ship in free software. Decentralize the movement so it can have the widest possible appeal. That would be great for everyone. People would participate in communities they feel they can actually express themselves into.
What happens the last months only works against free software. We are just attacking each other. This needs to stop in my opinion.
For all I care, GNU could go down and burn and I'm not holding RMS in any special status. I don't think that any human can be held as a moral compass. He is just human. But trying to delete the man from the movement he started and offered his life in, it's sad. He has all the right to run the movement like he wants to. If you want something different fork, stop nagging. That's the free software ethos, that's the community ethos, that's the hacker ethos.
When I see people working in Salesforce, or worse, trying to hold RMS accountable for his commentary on what is rape or not, I can't help but laugh.
I'm writing this wall of text as an outcry of what happens lately. All in good faith. I try to understand all your reasons, I just don't agree with your actions. I would like to hear why you believe that it would be of value for the free software movement GNU getting hijacked instead of another movement spawning. Why cause conflict between people that feel aligned with GNU/RMS and those that don't? We work on the same thing. How we organize and engage in our communities is our choice. Why is that we shall have just one type of community?