The Great Man theory of social progress or art or anything is inherently colonialist and supports kyrarchy. It's a persistent idea in western culture and apparently nothing in a typical CS education ever challenges this. Computers are either invented by a series of great men or they exist in some sort of end-of-history eternal present. RMS is a great man. Therefore any toxicity in his actions is overlookable and toxicity in his defenders is at worst just over exuberance or at best necessary and therefore good.

I'm picking on CS here, but its hardly unique. I've been teaching a course this year that specifically invokes this model of history in the official design documents.


I'm sorry, I got a bit wordspill there. I obviously need more coffee. TLDR I agree totally with you and more of us need to look at history and the patterns of behaviour you can point at being similar. Also FSF is failing us all at the moment.

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