Marxists Internet Archive: Charter

Charter of the
Marxists Internet Archive (MIA)

The Marxists Internet Archive will always be 100% Free

MIA encourages the free copying and re-distribution of all public domain materials on this site. Material that is explicitly noted as being copyright may be redistributed only with the explicit permission of the copyright holder(s), who must be contacted separately. Everything uploaded to MIA that is created by a volunteer is protected under the terms of the Attribution-Share-alike Creative Commons License and may be freely used and redistributed under the terms of that license.

We will always be a non-profit organization

The Marxists' Internet Archive will never be owned by any person, group or profit-oriented organization. All funds in excess of our expenses and a small reserve for emergencies will be redistributed to educate students and workers around the world, through the physical distribution of Marxist information (such as free CDs or pamphlets).

We will always be based on democratic decision making

Democracy is the central organizational principle of the Marxists' Internet Archive. All people are welcome to work on the MIA on this basis. All volunteers and administrators have the right to vote and raise issues to vote on, equal to every other MIA volunteer or administrator. To safeguard this democracy, no vote can alter the basic principles of the existing MIA Charter. However, amendments to the charter in order to enhance its meaning and clarity may be proposed. Such amendments will require the agreement of three quarters of those entitled to vote. Our Charter applies to all language sections of the MIA, and all material within them, without exception. The Steering Committee will endeavor to translate this Charter into all languages available on the MIA.

We will always have Full Disclosure

All of our budget, bylaws, Charter, legal information, and any source code created, will always be freely and openly available to all.

MIA will always remain politically independent

We will never allow MIA to be controlled, a part of, or affiliated with, any political party, coalition, or group. To ensure that MIA remains independent from the bottom up, volunteers of the same political party, coalition, or group, cannot make up more than a limited percentage of any actual vote (as outlined in the Bylaws), regardless how many volunteers of that political party, coalition, or group participate in the vote.

Our priority is to provide Archival Information

The Marxist Writers Archive, composed of authors who are not living, contains material written only by the authors themselves; with the exception of biographies on writers, which mainly contain primary sources, but may also include well researched works. The Encyclopedia of Marxism contains factual material, while it also employs quotes and direct links to marxist analysis in the Writers Archive and when necessary provides a foundation of marxist analysis to make facts comprehensible and to ensure a contemporary rendering. The History Archive focuses on primary sources, but it may contain and link to past or contemporary analysis by Marxists and other writers. When a history archive chooses to include analysis, such material should be clearly differentiated from primary sources and other purely factual or statistical material. The Subject Archive serves to present the relevance of certain concepts to Marxism, through the use of a variety of Marxist and Reference writers and sources.

How the MIA decides the placement of writers in either the Marxist or reference archives. (1)

Being a communist means working for the self-emancipation of the working class; it means striving to unite the working class, in all its diversity, in the struggle to overthrow capitalism. In the 1840s, Marx and Engels placed communism on a scientific footing through the theory of dialectical materialism. Marxists are those who have continued this ever since.

If any one of the following criteria apply, the MIA Collective may decide to place the writer into the Reference Archive: (i) they pre-date Marx and Engels, (ii) they specifically reject Marxism, (iii) their work is practically and theoretically unconnected or hostile toward the workers movement, (iv) their work is idealistic or lacking in dialectic.

Where a writer contributes to Marxist theory and practice for a part of their life, while other works lie outside of Marxism, then the whole of their writing will be placed in the Marxist Writers' Archive.

We will strive to present content in a way that is easy to access and understand

We aim to serve students and workers, we won't make assumptions of knowledge, but strive to present the content of this site in a way that makes sense. We strive to provide supporting information for archival material — in the form of editorial footnotes, encyclopedia articles, etc. — to enhance understanding of these primary sources. Such information will not present a particular interpretation or opinion, but elucidate facts in the most open and encompassing way.

1. In line with these criteria Stalin and Mao have been placed in the Reference Archive as a result of previous decisions taken by the MIA Collective.

See ByLaw 2E on “Selected Marxist Writers Index” for the English Language Section.

The first charter was ratified by consensus agreement of MIA on July 2000.
Revisions to the charter (points 1-6) were made by the Steering Committee on July to September, 2001.
A revision to Charter 7 was ratified (on a vote of 5 to 1) by the Steering Committee in August of 2002.
Charter 1 was rewritten and the MIA license typed changed to Creative Commons, by consensus agreement on December 6, 2004.

See Also:

MIA Bylaws
For a pre-history of the Charter & Bylaws, see: A History of MIA Voting Practices

Contact the Marxists Internet Archive Admin Committee for further information