When that community died in the early eighties, and by contrast with that, the world of proprietary software, which most computer users at the time were participating in, was morally sickening. And I decided that I was going to try to create once again a community of cooperation. I realized that, what I could get out of a life of participation in the competition to subjugate each other, which is what non free software is, all I could get out of that was money and I would have a life that I would hate.
July 13, 2004
Free Software - Free Society! Interview with Richard Stallman
A person doesn't devote his whole life to developing a new form of freedom without some pre-existing beliefs that drive him to do so. What drives you to spend so much time on software freedoms? First of all growing up in the US in the 1960s, I certainly was exposed to ideas of freedom and then in the 1970s at MIT, I worked as part of a community of programmers who cooperated and thought about the ethical and social meaning of this cooperation.
- Free Software