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Re: Debian should not engage in politics and stay neutral [was: This is not the direction that will lead to hearing each other]

On 4/7/21 7:27 PM, Sam Hartman wrote:
> I wasn't thrilled with Steve's message; I sent him what I hope are some
> constructive comments privately.
> Bringing up nazis is rarely going to  calm things down or promote
> constructive discussion.
> And yes, he did that.
> But Adrian!  You really doubled down on the tension.
> I appreciate that you are frustrated and disagree strongly with some of
> what Steve is saying.
> I hear that you would like to have a discussion on how our diversity
> statement interacts with organizations people affiliatef with.
> Doubling down on the nazi thing isn't going to give us a constructive or
> healthy discussion.
> There are ways to have the discussion you are looking for that will be
> more constructive and that will not promote quite so much of aflame war.
> It sounds like you aren't feeling heard.
> The particular example you picked is only likely to escalate things so
> that none of us are hearing each other.
> Please let us find a way to step back, listen to your concerns, but also
> respect the other people involved.

To the contrary, I haven't found anything in Adrian's post aggressive,
and very much, he is pointing at a topic we may want to address.

It's been said that RMS current issue is his *personal* view on some
topics, which aren't related to his work at FSF. One may agree with him
or not, or find what he wrote unacceptable or not, disgusting or not.
This isn't what I would like to discuss.

The point is: is there some restrictions on political views that the
Debian community/project would like to enforce? I've heard someone
complaining that the Debian project hasn't made a statement about black
live maters and George Floyd. Is it ok if I believe in Communist and
strongly support the Chinese government, including the social
engineering part? Am I allowed to be a Trump supporter, denying the
climate change is man made?

More disturbing things now... What if I'm working for NSA, and
contribute to Debian so that the US government can spy even better on
everyone? What if I'm working in Russia, and contribute to Debian for
improving the army missile guidance system? Or if I'm contracted by the
Chinese government so that they can use Debian to better track their
citizens? Is all of that OK as a contribution to Debian?

What if I were fighting against same sex marriage? Or if I was at the
head of a company hiring people $1 per day to make shoes in Indonesia?

My own view on this is *very* liberal. In my view, we should allow
absolutely all of the above, without any restriction. Why? Simply
because otherwise, it's impossible to draw the line and set reasonable
limits, without having infinite flame wars in our lists, which distract
us from our very important missing: being the best free operating
system. BTW, what's the RC bugs count for Bullseye? :)

I've joined Debian because of its technical excellence, and I'm staying
because I believe in software freedom. I am trying to force myself to
not have too many interference on the interactions I have with other DDs
because of political topics (and that, even though it itches a lot as I
really love to share my ideas). I very much would like other DDs to try
to do the same if possible. It would be great if we all agree that
Debian is *not* the place to have this kind of political debates. There
are other places to do that. Engage yourself in politics, if you want,
but outside of Debian. I will deeply respect it, and will enjoy talking
politics with you (I very much enjoy any political talks, and I do have
very strong opinions on some topics), but simply, outside of Debian is

The DFSG and social contract are there so that there's one thing we must
agree on. I haven't signed up for one side of the political spectrum.
Please respect this.

Though as time passes, I'm seeing all of these lines increasingly
blurred. I hope for Debian to not become too engaged (promoting views I
share or not).

And there's what Adrian wrote:

> If membership in Debian would imply anything about political opinions,
> this could get some of our members into untenable positions where
> I would be worried about their safety.

which I very much agree with. We also don't want Debian to become banned
from some countries because the project is too much engaged into
political debates (no need to name a particular country here I suppose...).

I'm sure I'm not the only person with this opinion. Please let me know
I'm not alone.


Thomas Goirand (zigo)

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