Subject: Re: Do We Need a New Evangelist
From: Ian Lance Taylor <ian@airs.com>
Date: 2 Apr 1999 17:25:14 -0500

   Date: 2 Apr 1999 21:50:16 -0000
   From: Russell Nelson <nelson@crynwr.com>

   Ian Lance Taylor writes:
    >    Date: 2 Apr 1999 21:29:28 -0000
    >    From: Russell Nelson <nelson@crynwr.com>
    > 
    >     > d) be democratic
    > 
    >    It doesn't matter who makes the rules, as long as the rules treat
    >    everyone fairly.  Calls for democracy usually result when there are
    >    allegations of unfairness, which is what all your other objections
    >    address.
    > 
    > Do you really believe that?

   Yes.  I had to read Bastiat's _The Law_ to understand the value of a
   republic.  My government schooling failed to explain why the founders
   of our nation considered that freedom would be advanced by a lack of
   representation (e.g. only property owners not voting, e.g. the
   electoral congress, e.g. representational government).

As it happens, I do understand the benefits of a representational
government.  And I am scarcely a huge fan of democracy.  But I know
that there are many more reasons to call for democracy beyond
allegations of unfairness.

    > You really don't see any intrinsic value in a genuinely open
    > discussion?  It's not an open discussion if the same person always
    > makes the final decision.

   *This* isn't an open discussion, then.  I own the mailing list, I
   decide what gets posted to it.  My decision thus far has been that
   everything sent to the list gets posted.  And thus far it hasn't been
   a problem because that's been seen to be fair.

FSB is not a decision making body, so this seems irrelevant.

Am I really that unclear?

    > How about changing clause (d) to ``provide a feedback mechanism which
    > is guaranteed to have some effect greater than `we'll take that under
    > consideration.' '' After all, that's one of the main benefits of
    > democracy in this sort of situation: a way to ensure that the
    > leadership can be reined in if they head in the wrong direction.

   We have no power to force you to follow us.  If we wish to remain in
   the front of this parade, we *have* to keep our eyes over our
   shoulders.  There is no need to enshrine reality in rules.

I am, frankly, aghast.  If nothing else, this is a critical
misunderstanding on the part of a marketing organization of the value
of perception.

If I have not even minimal control, then I can only decide right now
that I am not following you.

Unfortunately, it's very hard for me to avoid it, because the world
already believes that OSI more or less speaks for the free software
community.

Does anybody on the list have any suggestions as to how I can support
free software while disclaiming OSI, without hurting the free software
community?

Ian