The Free Software Movement was created out of the realization that it is unethical to disrespect others' 4 essential software freedoms, that accepting such disrespect harms oneself and society, and that encouraging others to accept it harms society.

As the first steps towards the ultimate goal of enabling anyone to live without these chains, this movement started developing Free Software. First, development tools to be used to develop more Free Software, and a copyright license that respected and defended the 4 freedoms; then, a complete Free operating system, incrementally replacing each non-Free part of preexisting operating systems with similar Free Software, even if not functionally complete.

Several years later, there was a large body of excellent Free Software, in many cases very superior to the non-Free Software it had replaced, and in many other cases innovative on its own. Some people felt an urge to spread it to others, especially to businesses, so they started a marketing program, that consciously chose to move the ethical and moral issues pertaining to freedom to a backstage, focusing instead of technical and economical advantages of Free Software, so as to make the Free Software more easily acceptable by their target audience.

Their campaign was highly successful in achieving its goal, namely, reaching businesses such that many of them started using and even developing Free Software. However, because the moral and ethical issues had been taken out of the picture, many of them who enjoy and develop Free Software do very little to reject non-Free Software or encourage others to do so. In fact, many of them promote the peaceful co-existence of both Free and non-Free Software, encourage others to accept them as facts of life, and even include non-Free Software in their personal preferences and business plans.

Without the moral and ethical background, the moral imperative to reject non-Free Software, that gave birth to the Free Software Movement, does not arise, and the apparent success in spreading Free Software without its principles is used to support the criticism to the more principled approach.

Fortunately, this marketing program chose to avoid the use of the term 'Free Software', which made it relatively easy to identify its proponents and their different focus, motivations and goals.

The Free Software Movement then proceeded to point out the short-sightedness of this approach: it would indeed make Free Software more popular, and instantly give more freedom to those who tried it, even along with non-Free Software, but that wouldn't provide them with the moral and ethical incentives to defend and propagate the freedom they'd achieved, and to seek and even fight for the freedom that they're still missing.

But insisting that freedom was the most important issue created a conundrum. While it has succeeded in convincing people as to its importance, and as to the importance of carrying freedom in the term used to refer to the software, it brought into the Free Software Movement the conflict between two different approaches.

The original approach focuses on educating users about the philosophy, through speeches and exemplary behavior, such that they find Free Software themselves in their own pursuit for freedom. This ensures a slow but sustained growth of the movement, until there are enough people who demand respect for their freedoms for any attempt to disrespect them to be unsuccessful.

The other approach focuses on getting users exposed to Free Software while attempting to educate them about the philosophy. Users who receive the software before they understand the philosophy, the moral imperative to reject non-Free Software and demand respect for their freedoms, will tend to be more tolerant to non-Free Software, and less tolerant to functional shortcomings of Free Software.

As a result of this more populist approach, that makes spreading Free Software an end in itself, many users and promoters of Free Software nowadays honestly believe that tolerating non-Free Software, and even spreading it along with Free Software, are good things to do, because they make Free Software more popular, and people who start using it become instantly freer.

However, users who learn by example to be tolerant to some non-Free Software, from others who present themselves as members of the Free Software Movement, will tend to assume this example is representative of the Free Software philosophy that they are still learning. Some may even mistake the non-Free Software they received as Free Software.

Even if they don't, if they like the software and are fond of communities, they will tend to regard themselves as members of the Free Software Movement, and take part in spreading it, along with the misunderstood notion of tolerating non-Free Software and their otherwise limited and distorted understanding of the Free Software philosophy.

And then, because this approach is so effective at spreading Free Software, it becomes more and more popular. As this approach gains acceptance, because of its popularity and apparent success, a few will fully understand the philosophy, but more and more self-proclaimed members of the Free Software Movement will be spreading a message of tolerance to non-Free Software, that is the exact opposite of the Free Software philosophy.

This growing tolerance essentially guarantees that fewer and fewer Free Software users will join us in demanding respect for our and their own freedoms. They will instead oppose our principled approach, effectively hijacking the Free Software Movement.

We invite everyone who cares for software freedom to join us in the more principled approach, that doesn't sacrifice the viability of the ultimate goal for the sake of immediate gains in freedom that will quickly turn against our own goals.