I think this argument hinges on a fallacy. You seem to be basically arguing
that we are here in this point of time now, and look back 10 years ago and
wish something crucial had been done differently.
You seem to be arguing that categorically all other things would be the
same, except this firmware issue would now be a lot better. But what if by
fighting the firmware battle 10 years ago, we'd lose other fights? Maybe
it's even completely a losing battle: maybe all the hardware that now got
closed firmware would still got nothing but closed firmware, but thanks to
the hard-line stance, this hardware would not run in Linux, and
consequently it would have that much less real-world users.
I think world domination is primarily a popularity contest. I find it
ridiculous to whine about closedness of firmware, and do actions that harm
driver support on Linux, when it isn't that stellar to begin with.
Meanwhile, everything keeps on working in Windows, and users will never
leave Windows if that is the case. And thus the battle for popularity is
lost, and with that, practically everything else.
And yes, let me retract "Linus Torvalds is an enemy of freedom" and replace
that with "Linux Torvalds is an accomplice to enemies of freedom". I was
not paying close enough attention to notice this distinction.