ProleWiki was started in September 2020 with much fanfare. In the early months already, dozens of editors had joined and believed in the project. This early success forced the project to quickly adopt mechanisms to ensure its survival and continuity, which we will detail in this document.
This document is not binding to our principles; it details how ProleWiki acts, and how it has been acting in the past. It was written and validated by the administration team, consisting currently of Forte and CriticalResist.
While ProleWiki strives to establish a proper democratic centralist structure, we have learned from the past that it is not currently feasible based on our numbers.
ProleWiki remains quite young. We passed our 2 year anniversary just a month ago. Due to the very large scope such a project entails, we have lots of decisions to make -- on editing guidelines, on principles, on who to let in as an editor, on pages to patrol for changes, etc. These decisions require decisional power guided by the original vision set out for ProleWiki, the reason it was founded: to be a proletarian encyclopedia for Marxist-Leninist learning.
Furthermore, we need to protect our aims and objectives (as found in the Principles) and due to our activity and interest from many comrades with different ideological outlooks (as well as outright detractors, for example fascists), the administration believes it needs to have this decisional power to safeguard the project.
The administration was not always what it is. In the early days of ProleWiki, we saw a lot of hype and the administration team was gigantic, to say the least. This was a mistake; it was too early to make an assembly out of the administration. It became impossible to take any decision as not everyone was equally interested in participating. Soon, ideological differences came up without any way of settling them. We were paralysed and spent more time in struggle sessions than actually writing on the wiki. That was about the time we decided to make our principles clear.
The administrators remaining after this initial wave were simply those that stayed interested in the project and did not leave. One was invited but left due to lack of time to commit, another was removed for betraying the project, leaving just two administrators currently. New administrators are approached individually based on their trustworthiness, involvement in the project, and general personality. While we are only two administrators, we would like to form a triumvirate of three administrators at the very least so as to diversify our range of ideas and capacity to act.
At this time, we look for administrators that align with the principles of the project. Learning from our past, we do not want a repeat of the fiasco from when the administrator team included anyone that momentaneously wanted in.
There remains lots of work to do on the wiki. Our editorial guidelines, our principles did not come out of nowhere, but were the results of days and weeks of assessing, debating, and writing – labour. To say nothing of the technical aspects, such as setting up and maintaining hosting, bringing outside talent to the project when needed, setting up namespaces, templates, and other MediaWiki software specificities. We cannot, at this time, be bogged down in struggle sessions or looking over the shoulder of every editor to patrol their edits. Not while we are so few to participate.
Currently, our editors act mostly as auditors towards the administration. They are encouraged to voice their criticisms on our principles and decisions, but the decision remains with the administration. This is the only way ProleWiki is currently able to function and keep working.
Editors have to request an account on the wiki by answering questions, which the administrator team can either accept or deny. These questions are based on our principles. Originally, this measure was put in place to counter spam from bot accounts. However, we soon found it necessary to keep this measure in place so as to avoid defacement. It did happen, before this measure was in place, that people anonymously edited pages to fit their biases. This would mean extra work from our editors to undo the defacement – time that could be spent on writing instead. These defacers usually are not interested in helping the wiki or actually providing knowledge, they are interested either in undermining the project or being contrarians to the "established" outlook of ProleWiki. Essentially, without any interest for the well-being of ProleWiki and appreciation for the work that went into providing them this platform, they use it as their personal soapbox.
We must remember that ProleWiki exists on the internet and is not in charge of a country. There are people online, and we have had to deal with them, that want nothing more than to wreck projects, or care more about the purity of the ideological content than actually building something. Whereas in real life they would be investigated before their attempt or even be powerless to effect change, on ProleWiki they would find their voice amplified if left to their own devices.
Conversely, we have accepted users that did not agree 100% with our principles and let them edit on the wiki as well, to encourage different viewpoints and interpretations of Marxism-Leninism.
Our current system evidently works and rarely gives rise to difficulties or issues. In two years of existence, we have found active editors and the wiki now contains almost 1800 articles, with many being incredibly detailed. This averages out to 2.5 articles a day. People that are interested in simply writing can do so without worrying about the politics going on behind ProleWiki, and the people that want to take a more involved role can submit requests to the administration for discussion.
ProleWiki remains a Marxist-Leninist encyclopedia as an inalienable principle of the project. ProleWiki is not Wikipedia, and does not claim to be neutral or unbiased. ProleWiki is not a catch-all Marxist encyclopedia that lets all currents and ideologies express themselves equally: it is a proletarian encyclopedia, and we believe Marxism-Leninism to be the most advanced revolutionary theory towards the liberation of the proletariat.