[Wikipedia-l] More on marxists.org

Jimmy Wales jwales at bomis.com
Fri Aug 16 20:42:45 UTC 2002

Michael R. Irwin wrote:
> Jimbo, you beg the question by ignoring that most economists
> treat each others views and models (properly in my view) the 
> way most scientists treat astrology.

I don't think so.  There are academic journals and scholarly jousting
back and forth, to be sure.  But serious economists don't treat
each other that badly.

>  Why should Marxist economics dogma be held to a higher standard
> than Keynesian derived models and predictions that do not work well,
> if at all, prior to NPOV'ing for inclusion in Wikipedia?  8)

Well, as you may have seen, I have no objection to including
information about Marxism in the wikipedia.  None at all.  Or
information about Keynesian models, rational expectations, game
theory, and so on.  

What I would object to is a generic article called "freedom" which
says "Freedom for the vast majority necessarily means restriction of
the freedom of a small minority to exploit the labour of others".  

And "Positive freedom has been built up almost exclusively as a result
of the struggle of the working class: initially the legislation
limiting hours of work, child labour and so on, later the creation of
free compulsory education, public health systems, right to form trade
unions, and so forth, freedoms which explicitly limit the freedom of
the capitalists to exploit workers, but give worker the opportunity to
develop as human beings."

See the entire entry here:

Now, my objection is not just that these things are wrong, nor that
they are the noble foundation of the great riproaring genocides of the
past century.

My objection is that these articles are extremely and irreparably

> For example:  Military logistics as practiced by the U.S. might 
> have some bearing on whether moneyless information can efficiently 
> drive distribution.  

No, I don't think so.  But my views on economics, and yours, are not
really the issue here.

> I have been told that Arrow did some extremely interesting
> Nobel Award level work on information augmenting money in market 
> distribution. This could be just the opportunity to engage in a 
> critical reading and dialogue with people carrying different 
> implicit assumptions in their world view.  Assuming of course 
> that they are as reasonable as most hard core Capitalists.

The role of information in the price system is a hot topic in
contemporary economics, but I don't think the wikipedia is an
appropriate forum for hashing out such a debate.

> I think we can do better than this but it will take some
> time and serious interest.   Perhaps, as the Marxists trickle
> in, we could send an engraved invitation to the John Birch
> society that their participation would be welcome?

John Birch society?

This objection suggests to me that you don't really get the point I'm
trying to make here.


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