@galaxis Pretty sure that's one of the motivators.
But it also gives fake competition which legitimizes their hijacking of the standardization process. HTML got pretty static while all the work that's being done is adding new JS APIs – at times even deprecating nice HTML5 things like <keygen> and making sure public key-based cryptographic logins are only doable well with JS.
They don't want you to be able to use the web without JS – the focus shifted completely from hyperlinked document delivery to untrusted multi-source application delivery thereby enabling and powering a huge global surveillance machine which they use to make their money.
The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!