> Self-selected "leaders" have usually (with a few exceptions) put their own interests first.
Honestly, if the basis of your ill-feeling towards Stallman is simply disillusionment, then please, deal with it in private. Being a "great" person is pretty much fundamentally incompatible with being a nice person, because part of it is having the ego and the mulishness to insist that you're right when everyone else is telling you not to be silly; and expecting people such as Stallman or PJ to be somehow immune from the vices, doubts and insecurities that plague the rest of us is asking them to be something other than human.
But as far as "self-selected leader" goes, what sets Stallman apart is that he didn't move. At a time when everyone was taking a route away from what he regarded as a core principle, he dug his heels in - but he also DID something about it. (Not just GNU; before that there was Emacs, and before that the wholesale recreation of the Symbolics OS for the Lisp Machines Inc machines. And of course, before that there was Emacs again.) Stallman didn't go anywhere; he just found himself a leader when people started looking to him for direction. So it went to his head. Are you seriously claiming it wouldn't have gone to yours? The person that is Stallman is of vanishing insignificance; anyone with his ability could have made his choices. What is significant - his refusal to compromise his ideals; his advocacy of freedom in moral terms, rather than pragmatic ones; his ability to read the writing on the wall - are the very qualities for which people dislike him, yet without those there probably wouldn't BE a free software movement today, let alone one causing Microsoft sleepless nights.
And for reference, I've never knowingly used the term "GNU/Linux", as far as I recall, and I have no inclination to start.
(PS. Conflict is responsible for more invention, art, and pretty much any creative human endeavour than anything else. Don't be so hasty to condemn it. Without it, we'd have hegemony, and we certainly wouldn't have freedom.)
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