The roots of Linux really don't matter to the discussion. Linux is much more widely distributed than it has ever been in the past, and while it's important to respect and understand how it got where it is, there is no particular reason one needs to "stay true to its roots" when Linux is now on phones, tablets, desktops, servers, embedded systems, and more. You want to fight that "derailment", but that train left a long time ago. Using that as a reason to fight systemd is the same as sticking your fingers in your ears and going "La la la. I'm not listening."
And anyway, this is FOSS we're talking about. You can't stop people from forking and shaping things to suit their purposes, so what exactly are you trying to accomplish?