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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 and socialist traditions along with fellow travellers, meaning primarily the anarchist and social democratic traditions.

Quantity over quality

As of now, the site handles a policy of quantity over quality so it can first 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. Nevertheless, there are a couple of guiding principles that we wish to incorporate into the site.

Avoidance of tendency-based slant

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

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 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

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.

The 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 for articles dealing with simple matters of fact. Directly quoting secondary sources is discouraged.

Copyrighted content

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 shouldn't be quoted to do perform the function 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 a free license can be copied and adapted to the wiki, given that:
    • the 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. (see list of site administrators)
  • Links to copyrighted material found on other sites are fine, unless these sites are specifically dedicated to the illegal distribution of copyrighted materials.
    • 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.

Other legally ambiguous content

  • Advocating illegal violence against concrete real-world targets is prohibited.
  • Advocating violence in the abstract is fine.
  • Providing guides for illegal activities is allowed, as long as the reader is informed about their illegality, and notice is given that neither the site nor the author advocate engaging in them.