Subject: Re: Open letter to those who believe in a right to free software
From: Richard Stallman <>
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 1999 00:37:21 -0700 (MST)

I cannot prove that people's views on the rightness and wrongness of
certain actions--their political views--can affect their actions.
This is so obvious that if it is doubted, I have no idea what premises
would be considered true enough to use in the proof.  I see no reason
to try to prove it.

For those who agree with me that people's views are relevant, I think
your insistance that you can ignore them in your model shows the
limits of your model.

I certainly do not know as much of the details of economics as you do.
I also do not use your terminology, which means I say things which you
can paint as signs of ignorance which may or may not be real.

But you as expert are not entitled to brush aside fundamental issues
about what your field can or cannot do, just by accusing your
non-economist critics of ignorance.

    making claims about my statements that a careful reading of everything
    I have written to you in public and private (something you always
    insist on in reverse) would show are insupportable.

I made an effort to read your messages carefully when I received them.
If I misunderstood them, that could be my fault or yours or both.

I stand by the pont that what happens in the free software world
depends critically on what small numbers of people think, so that only
a model that can predict what small numbers of people think could
predict the future history of our community.

But I think the question of what the model could predict was a
digression in any case, so I have no more to say about it.