Subject: Re: Essay RFC delayed.
From: "Eric S. Raymond" <>
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 1999 03:37:14 -0400

Ean R . Schuessler <>:
> Frankly Richard, I agree. You should be more of a sport. Think of the
> benefits you would recieve. Look at all your other colleagues that
> grew rich while you were splitting these philosophical hairs. Its not
> too late! If you "play ball" the establishment can probably still
> arrange for a retainer of some type, or maybe even an equity position
> in some hot "Open Source" IPO!
> Stop torturing yourself with these troublesome ideological positions!
> What if a few companies get rich at the expense of the people? It's
> inevitable anyway. Capitalize on your "brand name recognition" before
> its hopelessly marginalized. Maybe Eric could be your agent! He has
> certainly proven himself an adept promoter. Just look at what he has
> done for his own reputation. Why, he invented "Open Source"!

Right.  I take it you would have preferred to live in a ghetto for another
twenty years, watching the likes of Microsoft gradually smother the net
until there was no space left for people like RMS at all?

I've been watching our tribe lose, and lose, and lose again since around 
the time you were learning not to drool milk on your bib.  I got lucky
enough to be in a position to do something about it, and I did.  

RMS is going to live to see a world of almost entirely ``free''
software.  And he's going to get it because Linus Torvalds is better
at managing developers than he is and because *I* figured out exactly
how to sweet-talk the suits into buying the freedom.  We two are the
best allies RMS has ever had -- and even if *you* never grow up enough
to realize it, I suspect RMS has got that figured out by now.

And yes, I have stock in Red Hat and options in VA.  It pleases me
that I'm going to be wealthy; only idiots think wearing a hair-shirt
is a form of virtue.  But only a bigger idiot could observe my
behavior and ever dream it was motivated by money.  I doubt you're
that stupid, though I admit you seem to be working hard at it above.

The bottom line is that *I want to win*.  I want to win for our tribe
and for all the users out there who get shafted by crappy closed
software every single goddamn day and for every programmer who has
ever woken up in the middle of the night hating his job because all
his tools and platforms suck so bad.  I want to win more than you do
and more than RMS ever did.

Neither of you, precious idealists that you are, ever wanted victory
enough.  Neither of you ever had enough desire to get down in the mud
and do what was *necessary*, even if it meant becoming a travelling
media whore and learning suit-speak and giving up your life and your
privacy and your hacking time.  *I* did.  And I'm glad I did.

And I'll stay glad I did no matter how many jerks sneer at me for it.
The price is high, but the prize is worth it.  *Despite* you.
		<a href="Eric">">Eric S. Raymond</a>

All governments are more or less combinations against the
people. . .and as rulers have no more virtue than the ruled. . .
the power of government can only be kept within its constituted
bounds by the display of a power equal to itself, the collected
sentiment of the people.
	-- Benjamin Franklin Bache, in a Phildelphia Aurora editorial 1794