Leftypedia:Guidelines

From Leftypedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The aim of Leftypedia is to create a broad space for leftist counter-hegemonic theorizing, allowing kinds of content that might not be considered encyclopedic by the standards of Wikipedia but are interesting to the left. "The left" is understood to be the Marxist tradition along with fellow travelers, meaning primarily the anarchist and democratic socialist traditions. Karl Marx is taken as an anchor-point to judge which content is appropriate to the Wiki.

Quantity over quality[edit]

As of now, the site handles a policy of quantity over quality so it can accumulate a base of writings and authors. These articles can later be improved according to whatever standards we settle on. Our standards are currently largely indeterminate. We encourage writers to uphold one they themselves are comfortable with.

Nevertheless, there are a couple of guiding principles that we wish to incorporate into the site.

Avoidance of tendency-based slant[edit]

New articles are allowed to have a tendency-based slant, but this should always be corrected in due course, so that materials on this site eventually come to represent the left as a whole. It is unreasonable to expect leftists to understand the sensibilities of all other leftists. Rather than forcing them to uphold such an impossible standard of political correctness, we encourage other users to edit articles they take issue with. In so doing they should avoid erasing anything previously written out (except if it's blatantly non-leftist), and instead rephrase them to make clear they represent a specific subsection of the left. They can explain and substantiate their disagreements later in the article, again indicating the subsection of the left these are coming from.

The site doesn't deny or affirm the validity of either "full tankie" or "radical liberal" politics, but does demand that any writing bordering on these extremes be put in its proper context. If it is not it is liable for deletion.

You can use the "Slanted" template to indicate any statements you take issue with. In order to do this, simply put "{{slanted}}" behind the relevant section.

Added value[edit]

Articles need to have added value in terms of leftist understanding. A biographic entry about Marx, in and of itself, does not contribute to a better understanding of Marxism. His 'early life' is not relevant to Marxism and we can hardly provide a Marxist perspective on it. Moreover, it means entering into competition with Wikipedia which is far more exhaustive on these issues. At most the site should contain a succinct overview of such matters in order to give readers an idea of them.

Rather than provide a general encyclopedia for topics tangentially related to leftism, the task of Leftypedia is to develop what is relevant to radical left-wing politics. It is in this that its contents and priorities differ from other reference works. Questions that are of too niche interest to be appropriate on Wikipedia can be elaborated in full on this wiki. Another way this site differentiates itself is by allowing a broad leftist anti-capitalist slant to its content. Wikipedia requires an indifferent attitude towards the content it presents, which makes it difficult to elaborate leftist criticism or stress the importance of certain facts to the left.

Wikipedia[edit]

Wikipedia articles can be used, but only very rarely. This is when the articles in question are exhaustive and can hardly be improved upon from a leftist perspective.

For more information about Leftypedia's role in respect to Wikipedia's, see the FAQ.

Secondary sources[edit]

When dealing with important leftist theorists, you should try to perform analysis that cites these theorists directly. For instance, you should avoid citing Lenin to make a point about Marx, or citing Stalin to make a point about Lenin. This avoids the perpetuation of common misconceptions and oversimplifications, teaches readers where often-cited doctrines originate, and encourages them to engage with source materials themselves.

A key goal is to, to the extent that this is possible, make this site a replacement for reading primary sources for leftists who do not have the time or capacity to do so themselves. It should make questions previously addressed by leftist theorists browseable in a non-linear way, and easy to reference on demand. Such a source may prove vital for a better educated and emboldened left-wing movement.

Ideal is to quote brief fragments, provide an elaboration, and back this elaboration up with a secondary source or two.

These standards do not apply when referencing simple matters of fact backed up by non-theorist sources.

Copyrighted content[edit]

We take the following provisions in order to comply to copyright law:

  • Copyrighted images should not be uploaded outside of clear instances of fair use.
  • Copyrighted texts should not be copied to make up the body of an article.
    • They also shouldn't be quoted to do the work of the body. Avoid quoting entire passages.
    • Translating a text into your own words can also qualify as plagiarism. Instead try bringing together information from multiple sources.
  • Text under free licenses can be copied and adapted to the wiki, given that
    • this license allows for free modification of the text,
    • a box template is placed next to the references section at the bottom of the page, giving attribution to the original creator, and informing readers of the license, (Example: Template:MIAE)
    • the site administrator is informed of the creation of this template.
  • Links to copyrighted material found on other sites are fine, unless these sites are specifically dedicated to the illegal distribution of copyrighted materials.
    • i.e. don't link to sources you found on Library Genesis or Scihub. Just provide a formal citation. People can search for it themselves.
    • You're free to create guides teaching people how to use these sites, but don't make any explicit endorsements of them.