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Re: Why the "social contract" should not be endorsed

From: Alexandre François Garreau
Subject: Re: Why the "social contract" should not be endorsed
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2020 22:23:19 +0100

Le mardi 25 février 2020, 20:30:35 CET Taylan Kammer a écrit :
> On 25.02.2020 19:45, Alexandre François Garreau wrote:
> > Also I was commenting on the fact supporters of CoC don’t even abide
> > by
> > them.  So it is likely they’re subjective enough not to realize they
> > just want to impose more burden to people they disagree with, without
> > added burden on them (in other words: they just want more enforcement
> > power, CoC serving as a justification for it).
> At face value I 99% agree with the proposed "GNU Social Contract"

Actually, as it is formulated, it is pretty minimal and it is hard to find 
inside of it something to disagree with.  The issue is more with what’s 
not in it, or rather with what’s outside of it, with the context… and even 
with its role/alleged necessity… and I think that’s why it got opposition 
at all.

> and
> even the CoC you're talking about here, yet I find myself agreeing with
> what you're saying.

It is quite standard and by the past I found myself pretty okay about it… 
but now with experience and having seen how bad faith can develop I fear 
somewhat its possible interpretations… so nah…

> It's not just people who are edging on right-wing/conservative ideals
> who get targeted with this.
> It's not just moderate/centrist people either.

Actually it may seem pretty paradoxal, but the political left is much more 
to be affected by divisiveness and flamewars.  The right is to be 
conservative, or even reactionary, to “agree” with the current or previous 
system, so it can be pretty uniform as people fundamentally are there by 
agreeing with something, all too often by considering and valuing 
authority and obedience…

While political left, traditionally (funnily oxymoric… let’s say “by 
definition”, then) is about opposing the current system, about disagreeing 
with it, or even continually criticizing it, rationalizing, etc. no wonder 
there are way more different way to disagree than to agree.

The problem is then many different people unite when it’s about being 
against something in common, but once it’s about what to take to replace 
it, people begin to disagree again… this is especially true about extremes 
and minorities in general (as extremes are just opinions minorities) were 
you can be more used to be with people agreeing *exactly* with a wide 
array of ideas with you, or at least being very similar to you (until you 
forget how are others), and be used not to think like the majority, and 
all too often not to give a shit about what do think others provided you 
believe to be right…

That, plus polarizations, internet bubbles, etc. ends up in, sadly, an 
increase of a certain nefarious research of “purity” within politics… but 
this is so wrong (and paradoxal) as normally it is the right which is 
meant to be “pure”, and the left is an attempt to make it “impur” by 
renewing stuff and bringing reason, freedom and diversity!

(let’s recall the abstract definitions of “pure” and “impure” is that when 
both things mix up, “pure” is what gets to become “impure” and “impure” is 
what is to “infect”/“propagate” to the rest)

GNU is often something considered pretty “purist”… yet actually it is not 
so much so: ports to non-free operating systems are tolerated, as well as 
the possibility of non-free software, as, when following more from 
initiative and will from user than incitation from community, being a 
chance to at least bringing more people to free-software than would have 
come otherwise… with the caution of it possibly happening in the other 
direction: but as we stay a minority, we have more to win than to loose… 
rather, GNU is more a “radical” or “extremist” thing than a “purist” one, 
because we’re to “infect”/“propagate” to chains until they’re gone… the 
goal is still “purist” though (eliminating proprietary software), but the 
means not (at least of the movement, not of GNU).

> There's currently a really big mass of life-long feminists, lesbian and
> gay rights activists, Jewish activists, Black activists etc., who are
> deemed heretics by white, middle class, male liberal ideologues.

I saw all too so much of that…

> (If anyone wants details, I can provide them.)

Please yes :) at least if there’s not only me.  Examples, especially in 
diversity, always are good to explain stuff ;)

> I fear that with the direction these guys want to take GNU, it will
> become a project aimed primarily at white middle class mostly-male
> liberals who fear and shun members of minority groups when they don't
> conform to their idea of what those minority groups should believe.


> Personally, I admittedly wouldn't have a problem with it if the GNU
> project and/or the FSF took a more "officially" left-wing and/or liberal
> stance on politics, but if they're going to do that I don't want it to
> become this super-narrow cult-like group of relatively privileged
> people who are completely convinced that their stance on how to improve
> society is unquestionably the most enlightened one, while they silence
> not just people with more moderate politics but even many who are
> essentially on the same side or at least have the same core values.

This is hard as I noticed than within free-software movement, there is a 
majority of left-wing people, a clear overrepresentation of extreme-right-
wing people, and massive amounts of radical and/or extreme-left-wing 

> I hope this mail reaches the right people.  I was preparing a more
> in-depth one but pulled back when I saw that the discussion is on fire
> so my input may not be heard.  Then I read your mail and it just made me
> want to pour it out there.  Maybe I'll finish up the other email too
> after the discussion has chilled out a bit.
> In any case I believe this is a really serious issue that needs to be
> talked about.

I am really so happy that someone else than me (I’m pretty verbose and 
unreadable sometimes ^^') wrote and posted this and I agree soooo much 
with you!  Thank you very much!

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