One aspect of the Stallman affair these days is how wrong the whole fundraising thing is handled in the US. If an institution has to take money from Type 3 and 4 of Lessig’s quote below, then the system is totally f***d up.
There’s a wonderful quote from Pestalozzi:
“Sie ersäufen die Gerechtigkeit im Mistloch der Gnade.” (as quoted by Thomas Bernhard)
“They are drowning justice in the menure pit of mercy.”
“I thank god that I’ve never been obligated to raise money for an institution like MIT, because I know that in every moment of that existence, I would be forced to confront a gap between what I believe is right and what every institution does. And yet, as a person charged with fundraising, I would be pressed to adopt the ethics of the institution, not the ethics of myself. Divide the entities or people who want to give to an institution like MIT into four types.
Type 1 is people like Tom Hanks or Taylor Swift — people who are wealthy and whose wealth comes from nothing but doing good.
Type 2 is entities like Google or Facebook, or people whose wealth comes from those companies. These are people who are wealthy because of their work within companies of ambiguous good. Some love them. Some hate them. Some think they are the key to all that’s evil in the age that’s coming. Some think they are the key to all that will be good.
Type 3 is people who are criminals, but whose wealth does not derive from their crime. This is Epstein, but not just Epstein. It may be that we’ll discover that Epstein got rich by blackmailing people whom he had encouraged or enabled to commit abuse. I doubt it, but it’s possible. Suffice it that when Joi was investigating whether that criminal continued his crime, no one was suggesting that his enormous wealth was the product of blackmail or sex slavery. He was, the world assumed, a brilliant, savant-like investor, who was also a sexual predator.
Type 4 is entities and people whose wealth comes from clearly wrongful or harmful or immoral behavior.”