It's funny, if you ask people if "computers" are important to our lives these days, most people would agree they are. Computers hold your bank account, your medical record, your voter registration, and your tax information. They calculate your paycheck, your credit card bill, your utility bills, and your taxes. For a lot of us, they hold our work, our hobbies, our family photos and movies, our music collections, movies, and games. Where I work most people sit at a computer 8 hours a day, and what they're doing is putting data into a computer.
But you ask people if software is important and they act like you're some kind of geek weirdo. What is a computer if not software? Does the hard drive or processor really make a difference? Does it matter to you what kind of CPU is tallying the vote you cast in the last election? Or does it matter more what software is tallying those votes?
Here's a thought: does anyone expect computers (and therefore software) to have *less* of an impact on our daily lives for the next 25 years?
I am not an accountant; I don't understand tax law, I haven't even done my own taxes for the last 10 years. So do I care that the tax laws are published and publicly available? Would I be just as happy if the IRS calculated what I owe in a "black box" and just released a mysterious figure to me? Clearly, no; because I know that even if I don't understand how my tax figures came to be, I know that I can hire someone independent to calculate it for me using publicly available laws.
Software freedom isn't an idealistic cause for me, it's not a religion; it's just a feature, and one that I've come to value highly because I have found that it has tangible pragmatic benefits.