RMS (Zagreb on March 9th 2006): "... Many people suggest a two stage solution. They say, first, let's teach people to use Free Software, and then, once they're using it, we'll teach people to appreciate the freedom.
Well, this two stage solution might work well, if it were properly tried, but when people propose this, almost always they go and work on stage one. In fact, I've come to recognise that this two stage solution idea is really an excuse to work on stage one and ignore stage two. Stage two is what I work on. So if you really believe in a two stage solution, come join me and work on stage two because the problem is that so much of our community has focussed on stage one, and so much of our community has talked about practical benefits while ignoring freedom, that in fact, at this point, if you start using the GNU/Linux system, you may not hear anyone talk about freedom for years. In other words, our community has not just begun to forget about the goal of freedom, it has almost completely forgotten. With the result that now it is a struggle to teach people in our own community about the freedom which is the reason why we built this community.
Of all the operating systems in history, all except one were developed for commercial reasons or technical reasons. GNU was developed for the sake of freedom. The users need to know this. And I would like to ask you to join in helping to teach them this. This is why I dedicate myself now to spreading these ideas of freedom. There are more than a million contributors to Free Software now. The community doesn't need me that much as a programmer, and besides, I'm getting older, I probably can't do it as well as I used to. But there are not a million people teaching the users to appreciate the value of freedom and the value of specifically the freedom to cooperate in a community. This is where we urgently need more people..."Full story »