[Wikipedia-l] More on marxists.org

Ray Saintonge saintonge at telus.net
Sat Aug 17 16:04:08 UTC 2002

Michael R. Irwin wrote:

>I think our current process works overall in the long
>run in that the bias is steadily eroded as diverse new 
>contributors discuss and improve it.  I think it is probable 
>that much bias still exists in many areas through lack 
>of diverse participation in the community or in specific
I think that Lee's woek on the Recent Changes page will help here.  As 
long as recent changes was at 2000 article per day, they would 
understandably fall off the table more quickly, often before anyone had 
a chance to review them at all.

>Perhaps if a few Marxists join us to hand trickle their
>material in we can request that they help us identify our own
>biases in other material as we assist them in NPOV'ing
>the new Marxist material.  In other words, that they
>participate fully in the community project with the goal
>of a complete NPOV enclyclopedia.  This could be a quantum
>leap in overall quality from some perspectives.
The very first thing that I look forward to here is for at least one of 
the people from marxist.org to visibly participate in these debates. 
 Thus far they've only had the opportunity to sit back to see how the 
wind is blowing in the Wikipedia debates.

>Jimmy Wales wrote:
>>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".
>However, I can see some validity to this particular theoretical
>His mistakes were apparently in assuming that we
>must regulate the capitalist out of existence entirely, if he
>did, and that only the greedy, wealthy, minority must be 
Any judgement of Marx must take into account the simple fact that he 
died in 1883, and he was limited in his opinions by events that preceded 

>The article mentioned restriction not obliteration.  It
>turns out that partial implementation of his theories in the
>U.S. in ways compatible with the equal protection clause of the
>U.S. Constitution, have had solid merit; while eliminating the 
>capitalists entirely did not work well for the Soviets.
The equal protection clause is one of the more marxist elements of the 
U. S. Constitution despite the fact that it was written before 1818. 
 There are many crypto-marxists in the United States, as long as you 
don't point out that their views correspond with Marxist ones.  Like the 
gays of 50 years ago, they're afraid to come out of the closet.

>>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."
Except for the words "almost exclusively" I have no problem with this. 
 This was the great contribution of the 2nd International.  Their 
accomplishments stalled with WWI, and it is only recently that France 
has seen the wisdom of further reducing the mandated weekly hours of 
work.  With President George III the US has shown signs of going 
backwards on this.

>>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.
Marx never mandated genocide.

>China is a bit more perplexing.  Are the Chinese people 
>gaining more "negative freedoms" relative to where they
>started when the Communist Party took over?
China has never abandoned the superiority complex that goes with being 
the middle kingdom.  Even its own brand of marxism had to be subservient 
to that principle.  The continuing occupation of Tibet and the claims to 
Taiwan have more to do with nationalism than with marxism.  


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