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Re: [Accessibility] Call to Arms

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: [Accessibility] Call to Arms
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 2010 22:52:37 -0400

    If I can't make money, software philosophy doesn't matter.

You're entitled to your views, but the GNU Project is based on the
opposite principle: freedom is the highest priority.  We consider
proprietary software an injustice, and our goal is to free people from

     the most important thing, a solution to disabled users.

If the "solution" includes proprietary software, it's not a solution;
it is the problem we are trying to eliminate.

    yeah I thought so. Look higher up in the definition of freedom to economic 

What you are calling "economic freedom" is not freedom at all.
I think you have stretched the definition of freedom out of
all sense.

    They can't use linked in or write an e-mail 
    message. Web forums, Facebook, Google, USENET, IRC are all off limits to 

That is unfortunate but it isn't a matter of freedom.  There was a
time when I couldn't do these things, but I had freedom.  However,
if I did them using proprietary software, I would not have freedom.

Billions of people today are too poor to do these things.  Poverty is
deprivation, but it isn't slavery.  Your concept of "economic freedom"
is a misguided concept that attempts to disguise poverty as slavery.
That is a mistake.

If we define all kinds of deprivation as deprivation of freedom, what
follows?  We believe that all people other than criminals deserve freedom.
We believe they all deserve the same freedom.  So does that mean must
all have the same wealth?  If I am denied some of the freedom Bill Gates
has because I have less money than he, does that mean I deserve to have
the same income he has?  Or the same wealth?

Either we become levelers, advocating the same wealth or same income
for everyone, or we have to abandon the principle that all deserve the
same freedoms.  For me, that's a reductio ad absurdam: circumstancial
limitations on a person's options do not constitute loss of freedom.

In other words, freedom is not a matter of how many options you have.
That is the wrong way to define freedom.

    How about liberating people from economic misfortune, social isolation, 
    disconnection from governmental services because of their disability?

These are deprivation, but not deprivation of freedom, so it is a
mistake to use the term "liberating" here.  Is giving food to a
hungry person "liberating" her?  Clearly not, although it is good for
other reasons.

Our primary goal is not "providing solutions", it is to eliminate the
injustice of proprietary software.

That's what we are doing.  You're welcome to help if you wish.

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