Meanwhile, only the tiny population of people who are programmers really even have a basic understanding of what Stallman's freedom is all about, and even they do not value it very high.
On a micro level I don't care about software freedom that much, because mostly I just want to get something done, and if 0.5% of my yearly income is going to commercial software that I find useful and have no desire to modify, then the freedom issues just don't even enter my conscience.
However on a macro level Stallman's slippery slope argument is correct. If the balance of software shifts to proprietary, then I feel the goodness of software in general is greatly reduced. If GNU/Linux didn't exist for instance, the technological landscape would be a shadow of what it is today.
But I digress... for free software to ever gain any mindshare in the non-developer community would require a stroke of marketing genius the likes of which I've never seen. It's just not reasonable to rank freedom with such a high priority for the average person who has no ability or desire to modify any software. There might be a redistribution angle, but again, it would have to be sheer marketing brilliance to convince anyone of that.