Nationalism and Wikipedia

A lot of text may be written about this subject. A week or two ago I started to write a blog article about what Wikipedia means to the different cultures. After a couple of days of work, I realized that the issue is too complex to be described inside of one article. However, I’ll try to give a series of articles related to this issue and at the some point in time I will try to make some conclusion.

After a number of times of being irritated by some nationalist or other type of implicit or explicit cultural POV, I started to laugh whenever I see such problem. So, here is one example…

I am starting with preparing for the exam “Introduction to comparative grammar of Indo-European languages”. The first steps are, of course, related to getting general knowledge about the subject. The main template for Indo-European languages related articles is Template:Indo-European topics.

At the bottom of the template there is a link to Urheimat (theories). This article is about theories of the ancient homeland of Indo-Europeans.

At the end of this article there is a link to the article Nationalism and ancient history. Article is interesting (and I mentioned it in the previous post), but for 9 months there were template for merging this article with the article Historiography and nationalism (this is the version before my changes; you may see present article here). I removed this template. There are a lot of differences between general historiography and myths based on the ancient history. General nationalist historiography is responsible for 19th century style nationalism, which is serious, but not as much as racist theories based on “researching” ancient history, anthropology and genetics. However, this is not the point of this story.

At the end of the article Historiography and nationalism there is a list of “related articles”. And that list is very funny because I may imagine how it was made (I am not looking into article history, so you may see did I guess the process well or not):

  • The first part of the list consists completely relevant topics:
  • Then, someone realized that the articles related to Nazi Germany should be added. Maybe those articles were added during the adding of the first articles. However, development of this list will explain why even such examples are not so good idea:
  • Of course, there is a Polish example. I am not so sure what were the intentions behind adding article about partitions of Poland: Maybe someone added this as a Polish national myth, but… Take a look at the section “Historiography” of this article. It seems that some Polish wanted to point that there are “anti-Polish-nationalist myths”.
  • Then, maybe, some Pakistani added the article Indigenous Aryans to the list. This article would be relevant inside of some list of nationalist myths, but such list would be very very long…
  • Then, probably, some Indian added Pakistan Studies to the list. The same + if it is a criteria, then all particular cultural studies should be listed there.
  • After that, almost for sure, some Greek added Macedonism to the list. The same as for “Indigenous Aryans”.
  • We are still on Balkans. It looks like some Albanian added Battle of Kosovo there. The same as for “Indigenous Aryans”.
  • And, at the end, we moved a little bit East. I may bet that it was some Turk: Armenian genocide. Some people think that killing between one and two millions of humans should be treated as a nationalist myth.

I removed all of them.


~ by millosh on September 29, 2007.

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