It’s impossible to ignore the effects he has in his role and they are terrible.
But more to the point, Stallman does not just want open-source software. He wants free software, and just based on my informal observations, his ideas of free software seem to be losing traction these days. Yeah, there's a lot of open-source software, but BSD, Apache, MIT and other open-source-but-not-free licenses are taking the lion's share.
Even among projects that do use GPL, they mostly seem to prefer v2 rather than the more-free GPL3 and AGPL.
He thinks the Open Source movement misses the point, but he has no problems accepting their software as Free.
Do you honestly believe that his comments help push for more free software? I don’t.
I think that claiming to know what someone else wants falls in the same category as speaking on their behalf - something that should only be done in very limited circumstances.
It is the sort of position that can only be publicly lead by someone who is more than a little eccentric. Anyone else would not be able to walk their own walk.
I'm glad someone says the things he says and I think it would be a loss if nobody said these things anymore. He's as much a visionary as Steve Jobs was, only his vision does not get carried out be a multi-billion dollar company, so he needs to keep spreading it with his mouth. He doesn't care about selling the vision, because that doesn't work in a world where many people believe Ayn Rand is someone with deep insight in how the world could and should be organised.
it's just a social concept (one of many) of how we humans should organise our interactions with regards to software.
I believe it's an useful concept and probably so do you. For god's sake, we don't need a spokesperson!