Seriously. I look back on it and realize that my first post here about him aside, really I've only ever lined up with him on one issue, the value of open source software. On that he's pretty sensible, but the man has completely lost his fucking mind, stuck somewhere between libertarian and neocon.
He opposes net neutrality and he's bought into a lot of the right-wing talking points about Obama. The latter is pretty ridiculous; though he doesn't go so far as to buy into the hysteria of Obama's "associations" with terrorism or his alleged religious preferences, he is completely sold on the whole ACORN lie. But the net neutrality thing -- that's a headscratcher from a practical standpoint. To him it makes sense -- he proposes working around the current internet situation with things such as white space and mesh networking. Uh...
Well, there's more to it than those two, but think about just those items. White space networking does not even exist yet in any meaningful sense; IEEE 802.22 has existed for four years and I had never heard of it until just now looking up the Wikipedia article above. As for mesh networking, well... it's a nice thing overall, and an important part of the OLPC initiative, but when you get right down to it, mesh networking is little more than a hardware-level elaboration on UUCP. Store-and-forward (even if it's almost realtime) is, by its very nature, ad hoc, and -- here's the kicker -- it still has to go out to the public network somehow. You can't route around it, simply because that's where all the content is. White space is fine as well -- I can think of at least a few good uses -- but the very agency that is making the white space initiative possible, the FCC, is one of the agencies that libertarians like Raymond want to get rid of.
I don't know what kind of world libertarians think they're out to create, but Raymond's idea of dealing with a lack of net neutrality regulations really seems to eventually lead to the same sort of corporatist, quasi-feudalistic society that every other libertarian plan seems to. (For that matter, I'm not sure which is worse -- if most libertarians don't realize this, or if they do.) I do know that there is one hell of a lot of rank dishonesty in the anti-net neutrality crowd (comparing it with the fairness doctrine? what the hell?!), but I'm inclined to think that people who take a stand like Raymond's -- principled, but completely and absolutely bonkers (not to mention breathtakingly ignorant for someone who has for years sought but never quite attained the status of alpha hacker except as a historian of the field) -- do more good for the pro-neutrality side by coming to conclusions that make no sense except in light of their fringe politics.
White space networking will be great. (And I'm hoping for some 4m amateur radio as well.) Mesh networking isn't too shabby either. But let's not kid ourselves -- a future of tiered public net service and a cluster of second-class users skulking around on darknets isn't the connectivity DARPA was hoping for when they opened the net to all comers.