[Wikipedia-l] Marxists.org

Ray Saintonge saintonge at telus.net
Tue Aug 13 01:27:42 UTC 2002

Jimmy Wales wrote:

>The fine communists over at marxists.org have approached me about the
>possibilities of sharing content.  They have a lot of content that's
>under the GNU FDL, and they've expressed an interest in putting it
>into the wikipedia.
>I was brutally honest with them about my own personal opinion of
>Marxism, which is quite low, and they were more pleasant to me in
>return than I deserved.  I recommended that they subscribe to this
>list to chat about how best to put their stuff into the wikipedia.
>I recommended that they might want to add just a few articles a day
>for as long as it would take, rather than dumping everything in at
>once.  This would give people a better chance to respond.
>I'm just saying this now to invite everyone to go take a look at
>their site, so that we can have intelligent comments for them.
I speak as a person who believes that Marxists have gotten a bad rap 
over the years,  and that they failed because they antagonized people 
with big vested interests in keeping the economic system just as it is 
so that it can keep producing economic wonders like Enron.

I'm impressed with the democratic philosophy that they apply to the 
operation of their site.  They even include detailed reports on their 
internal financial operations.  The kind of dispute they had over 
developing their Chinese language version seems to be just the kind of 
arguments that we often have among Wikipedians.  They should fit in very 

Their site includes the Marxist Internet Archive (MIA), a series of 
important E-texts relevant to their interests.  This already 
includes.the first 30 volumes of the collected works of Lenin.  They 
would need to understand that we are not a Guttenberg style repository 
of E-texts.

One other thing that I've noticed over the years about dedicated Marxist 
volunteers is their immense capacity for work thankless in the face of 
overwhelming odds.  They also have a sense of humour. -- very important 
for survival on Wikipedia!  This quote is from their web site.

> Lastly, this year saw two MIA volunteers suffer devestating injuries 
> due to their volunteer work. While typing away feverishly at email 
> correspondence, one of our volunteer's hands locked shut. He aquired 
> severe tendonitis, caused by endless seams of email correspondence and 
> transcribing documents by hand, leaving him crippled and unemployed 
> for nearly a year, though still continuing to volunteer through speech 
> recognition technology. Trajedy struck another volunteer in the 
> summer, after staring at the computer screen for hour after hour, 
> proofing piles of digital transcriptions, fissures began to form in 
> his retina, breaking his eye sight down further and further until he 
> was no longer able to view the screen for more than several minutes. 
> He was forced to leave the archive, after trying at great lengths to 
> keep up with MIA correspondence and archive work. Please, everyone, 
> practice smart erogonomics <http://www.tifaq.com/> when working on the 
> computer!
Let's do our best to welcome them.


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