from free in practice, i.e. he is missing any concept of substantive freedom or constitutive practice.
Most users can make this distinction easily.
Free in theory but utterly constrained in practice is something most users don't care for. Since most users are not coders, most are much freer in practice with software that "just works." Sure, they *could in theory* be more free with free software that does less, since they could just rewrite the missing parts themselves, without IP encumbrances, but in practice, they would have to dedicate time and resources to learning how to code and architect software that most do not have the time and resources to dedicate.
The choice between "live without functionality that makes you more practically free" and "sacrifice other important parts of your life and study to become a programmer instead if you want that functionality" does not feel like freedom to most users, it feels like constraint.
On the other hand, "take this money that you already have, buy a product that you can already afford, and do the entire list of things you'd like to do" feels very much like freedom to most people.
Stallman's argument is a long-view, edge-case worry that will never affect most users. I'd argue that for 90 percent of the users out there, limiting themselves only to free software would actually make them less free in practice, because the actual, real-world universe of things they could likely manage to do with their tech on a day-to-day basis as a result would, in practice, be shorter.
Stallman's myopia is not new—it goes fairly far back in western philosophy. But as has long been pointed out, finding a way to drop out of society may be the path to the greatest freedom in theory, but in practice, society (roads, planes, trains, automobiles, electricity, grocery stores, and so on) makes most of us more free, even though it comes with a bunch of restrictions (a.k.a. laws) that don't afflict the lone "natural man" that has no connection to it.
But in fact the lone "natural man" is unlikely to ever be able to duplicate, in practice, every enablement and enabling facility that society is able to grant—even if he is free to duplicate them himself, without rules, when outside of society—in theory.