Talk:Left-wing terrorism

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I was very distracted in this article following the initial background of the term. I felt that the history and examples are extremely relevant to the subject matter and thought you brought up many important facts. The majority of this article was spent providing examples of different groups practicing Left-wing terrorism in many different countries. I think that this article would have been more to the point and concise had you mentioned a few examples of major terrorist groups in this category. I know that the Red Army Faction and a few others you mentioned were very popular, however, I do not think it is necessary to mention numerous groups from many countries to get the point across. Overall this article was very factual and informative. I just would have trimmed some frivolous examples out. Madeline.mcclaran (talk) 03:25, 11 March 2017 (UTC)


Disambiguation[edit]

An editor continues to insert a "see also" link to Communist terrorism without providing any explanation.[1] See WP:DISAMBIG#Deciding to disambiguate: "Disambiguation is required whenever, for a given word or phrase on which a reader might search, there is more than one existing Wikipedia article to which that word or phrase might be expected to lead." It is unlikely that someone clicking on left-wing terrorism would actually be looking for "Communist terrorism" instead. Therefore the link is unneccessary and I will remove it. TFD (talk) 17:10, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

Then why leave the other two there? It is a see also after all, communist terrorism belongs there. The Last Angry Man (talk) 17:27, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
Good point. TFD (talk) 17:40, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
Is there any particular reason you feel this article does not need a see also? The Last Angry Man (talk) 17:44, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
It could be added, per WP:SEEALSO. TFD (talk) 17:58, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

Breaking news story[edit]

Before including events we need sources that identify them as left-wing terrorism. I have seen no sources indicating that the suspect intended "the overthrow of capitalist governments and their replacement with Marxist-Leninist or socialist regimes." TFD (talk) 19:06, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

I suggest that the name of this article be changed to "Left-wing revolutionary terrorism". There are various types of terrorism, and the lead of this article indicates that it is only directed at the revolutionary kind. Right-wing terrorism could likewise be changed to "Right-wing revolutionary terrorism". Changing the article names will help stop well-intentioned editors from putting the wrong kind of stuff into them.108.18.174.123 (talk) 00:43, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

I petition and have added that The 2017 Scalise shooting and the 2017 Chicago torture incident be added to a new list of "modern" events similar to how Right-wing terrorism does theirs. I mean this in an unbiased way, and to facilitate public dialogue, as I have also updated that page with recent incidents as well. Noblesseoblige22 (talk) 00:07, 16 June 2017 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Not Moved Mike Cline (talk) 15:36, 27 August 2012 (UTC)



– Both of these articles limit their scope to “overthrow” of governments. This needs to be reflected in the titles, which are now overbroad. There are many types of terrorism besides the revolutionary kind. Because the titles are now overbroad, inattentive editors are inserting information about terrorism completely unrelated to overthrow of governments. This results in faulty and misleading articles (not to mention creating a false inference of treason). Here is the pertinent policy: "Precision – Titles usually use names and terms that are precise enough to unambiguously define the topical scope of the article, but not overly precise."108.18.174.123 (talk) 02:38, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

  • Oppose We use the terminology of mainstream sources. TFD (talk) 02:50, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
Are there any mainstream sources that confine the term "left-wing terrorism" only to efforts at overthrowing governments? I am not aware of any such mainstream sources. "Revolutionary terrorism" is a standard term used by mainstream sources, such as [2],[3], [4], [5].108.18.174.123 (talk) 02:58, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
The article is sourced to mainstream sources TFD (talk) 03:14, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
This article cites Aubrey, Stefan M. The new dimension of international terrorism (Zurich 2004). Aubrey says, "Left wing terrorism (also referred to as Marxist-Leninist terrorism) is a political tool to replace western capitalist regimes based on a free market economy, with Marxist-Leninist or socialist governments." From a layman's point of view, the term "Marxist-Leninist terrorism" is much more precise, and much more suggestive of overthrowing a government, so I would much prefer it to the present article title which sounds much broader. Incidentally, Aubrey relies upon a categorization of terrorism from the Council on Foreign Relations website that seems to be outdated; I cannot find anything like this now at the CFR website. Anyway, as the set of links I provided shows, there is more than one categorization of terrorism in mainstream sources. Do you agree that a layman who sees the title "Left-wing terrorism" is likely to understand it as broader than Marxist-Leninist terrorism? And given the existence of the article Communist terrorism, how do you justify the existence of this article?108.18.174.123 (talk) 04:17, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
While you may see the term "Marxist-Leninist" as being more precise to the layman than left-wing, we use the terminology most commonly used by experts. If you do not like their terminology, then write to them, get them to change it, and come back to us. It is disingenous to argue that the name of this article should be changed to "Left-wing revolutionary terrorism" then say "given the existence of the article Communist terrorism, how do you justify the existence of this article". If you think that, then have that article merged into this one. TFD (talk) 04:51, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
Come on, let's be civil. I asked a sincere question. Given the existence of the article Communist terrorism, how do you justify the existence of this article? I also would like to ask two more things, please. Do you think the two articles need to be merged? Would you mind if we merge this one into that one? Thanks. I hope you understand that I have honest motives here; I'd like to prevent the kind of BLP violations that we've seen recently at the two articles in question, while obtaining titles that people will easily understand (to the extent that Wikipedia rules allow it). Cheers.108.18.174.123 (talk) 04:53, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
How do you justify the existence of the article "Communist terrorism"? The topic is not defined and it has been nominated for deletion 3 times, two of which were "no consensus".
Communist terrorism btw normally refers to names given by the governments of Belgium, South Africa, etc. to insurgencies supporting independence and is a relic of Cold War terminology. TFD (talk) 05:14, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
Interesting responses, thank you. The two articles (this one and Communist terrorism) appear to have virtually the same scope, despite the fact that this article title sounds broader. So it would seem that one of them definitely should be merged into the other, unless the scope of this one is broadened. That article was created first, but that fact is obviously not dispositive. That article's title is also less likely to be confused, but that may not be dispositive either. I'll step aside and see what others may have to say about it, and maybe that will get me to agree with you that the Communist terrorism article should be merged into this one, and the title of this article should remain unchanged. I don't want to agree with you, for the reasons I've already explained, but maybe I will have to. Let's see if anyone else wants to chime in. Cheers.108.18.174.123 (talk) 05:32, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
Communist terrorism is defined in the article as "terrorism carried out in the advancement of, or by groups who adhere to, Communism", while left-wing terrorism is defined as "tactics directed at the overthrow of capitalist governments and their replacement with Marxist-Leninist or socialist regimes". None of the examples of terrorism in the article Commmunist terrorismm are normally described as left-wing terrorism because their objective was not the establishment of communist regimes. Also, none of the groups described in left-wing terrorism were big-C Communist. TFD (talk) 05:44, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing that out. I'd just add that communist terrorism is defined a tad more broadly than that: "Communist terrorism describes terrorism carried out in the advancement of, or by groups who adhere to, Communism or related ideologies, such as Leninism, Maoism, or Stalinism....These groups hope to inspire the masses to rise up and begin a revolution overthrowing existing political and economic systems" (emphasis added).108.18.174.123 (talk) 05:58, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
So Communist terrorism, according to the article is terrorism carried out by Communists, while left-wing terrorism is terrorism carried out in order to achieve communism. Most of the terrorism in the article "Communist terrorism" was carried out in order to achieve national independence, not communism, was carried out with non-communists and stopped once independence was achieved. I advise you to read about the subject before commenting again. TFD (talk) 06:06, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
At least you grant that I can read.  :-)108.18.174.123 (talk) 06:08, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I don't agree that these articles should be limited to terrorism by groups trying to overthrow governments. The right-wing terrorism article doesn't appear to be limited in that way, and I don't think this one should be either. Doing so would exclude certain groups who would otherwise be logical inclusions: for example, the Official Irish Republican Army were arguably leftwing, arguably terrorist, but arguably were not trying to overthrow the British government as such. They should probably be listed here. Robofish (talk) 17:36, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Reliable sources overwhelmingly prefer the current title. While Google Scholar results only give a general picture, it shows that those sources use "Left-wing terrorism" over "Left-wing revolutionary terrorism" by 1,080 to 12.[6][7] Also, this article shouldn't be limited to the obviously much more narrowly defined "revolutionary." First Light (talk) 16:27, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose as making editorial judgement on the current content of the articles. Collect (talk) 16:46, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
I am seeing at least three commenters here who believe that the title of the article should be kept, but the scope of the content expanded so that it is not limited to terrorism that seeks to overthrow governments. This would definitely be an improvement, because the title would then correspond to the text, in the eyes of a layperson. However, it raises a couple problems. First, the reliable sources that use the term "left-wing terrorism" do seem to define it as only pertaining to overthrowing governments. Second, if we go against those sources by expanding the scope, then we would have to decide what the correct scope is. For example, if I stalk and harass Michelle Bachman because I don't like what she did to that poor lady in the State Department, and the press makes me a hero, would I qualify to be mentioned in this article?108.18.174.123 (talk) 18:05, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
That's why we depend on reliable sources to determine the scope of each article, rather than editors' opinions. Sources categorize terrorism according to objective, which in the case of the IRA was the re-unification of Ireland, hence nationalist terrorism. The IRA was not uniformly left-wing. TFD (talk) 18:55, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
Do you agree that the objective of left-wing terrorism is revolution? If so, why not at least put that in parentheses in the title: "Left-wing terrorism (revolutionary)"?108.18.174.123 (talk) 18:57, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
Because articles shown be named using the most commonly used term. Also it implies that there is "left-wing terrorism (non-revolutionary)". That would be defined as "a set of tactics directed at the gradual overthrow of capitalist governments by democratic means and their replacement with social democratic regimes". TFD (talk) 19:24, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
If we were to re-name this article "left-wing terrorism (revolutionary)", then I would redirect "left-wing terrorism" to "left-wing terrorism (revolutionary)", and also redirect "left-wing terrorism (non-revolutionary)" to "Terrorism#Types of terrorism". I think this would be preferable to the emerging consensus, which is simply to broaden the scope of the present article.108.18.174.123 (talk) 19:38, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
Why would you create an article and re-direct it to a section that does not mention it? If in the unlikely event someone did type in "left-wing terrorism (non-revolutionary)" they would be directed to a section with a link to "Left-wing terrorism" that re-directs to "left-wing terrorism (revolutionary)". In any case, can you provide any sources (books or articles) written about the subject? Also, the left-wing members of the IRA etc. were on the revolutionary, but only used terrorism in support of non-revolutionary, non-leftist objectives. TFD (talk) 19:53, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
If consensus at this talk page is any guide, this discussion is headed toward expanding the scope of this article. You're not in favor of that, TFD, and so it might be a good idea for us to discuss some solution that will make everyone happy. I have already pointed to reliable sources that use the term "revolutionary terrorism". It's a fairly common term. Regarding the term "left-wing terrorism", I can provide lots and lots and lots of reliable sources that define "left-wing" and that define the separate term "terrorism", much more broadly than left-wing attempts to overthrow the government.108.18.174.123 (talk) 21:13, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
Even if the article were or weren't expanded, it would not resolve the objection raised by three of the oppposes so far: Reliable Sources show little or no use of the term "left-wing terrorism (revolutionary)" or "left-wing revolutionary terrorism." Until reliable sources change, the article title won't change. The discussion about the scope of the article is only a side issue. First Light (talk) 21:37, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
If the title doesn't change, then I support the three opposing commenters' wish to expand the scope of the article, so that it is not limited to attempts to overthrow the government.108.18.174.123 (talk) 21:48, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
IP, this is a name change not a content discussion thread. You can read through content discussions in the archives. TFD (talk) 21:57, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
I always kind of had the idea that the content of an article is relevant to the name of that article. Silly me.108.18.174.123 (talk) 01:27, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose I concur with earlier comments, that the scope of the articles is artificially limited. Moreover, the limited scope forces editors to attempt predicting the future in deciding whether content should be included - never a good practice. Expand the articles instead of further narrowing their scope. Belchfire-TALK 06:09, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose All of my comments have been expressed pretty well by the above. The article's name should remain the same per RS, but the article should also be edited to rectify the artificial limitation of scope. Cheers, Zaldax (talk) 18:18, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

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Merge with Communist Terrorism?[edit]

Shouldn't this be merged with Communist Terrorism? --User:Dwarf Kirlston - talk 19:18, 7 December 2016 (UTC)

No. Left-wing terrorism is identified in literature on terrorism as one of the major types of political terrorism. Not all left-wing terrorists were communist andd not all actions described in Communist terrorism meet the definition of terrorism (for example Khmer Rouge rule.) TFD (talk) 23:07, 7 December 2016 (UTC)
Communist terrorism has it's own definition, where as this is strictly leftist which can include communist and socialist ideals but not solely one or the other. Bridgetflynn (talk) 22:33, 8 March 2017 (UTC)Bridgetflynn [1]

New Page completely[edit]

Left-Wing terrorism is not nationalist terrorism. Left wing, while may present some socialist ideals, is not strictly marxist terrorism. Left-wing can be anything from he environment to standardized wage. While this page does analyze and mention left wing groups, left wing is much broad and can be applied to animal rights groups even. The article does not specify between nationalist groups even though some of these groups are strictly nationalist and sources should be applied. Specifically the ELF Refutatory (talk) 00:49, 9 March 2017 (UTC) Refutatory

     I agree, the idea of left-wing terrorism is broad and caused by many affiliations and grievances.  Since it is such a broad topic, it is not only influenced by communist ideology.  The only subtopic is "History", while I believe the information could be displayed better with more topics, like the number of ideologies of Left-Wing terror groups. WesDuchene2.0 (talk) 17:56, 10 March 2017 (UTC)WesDuchene
Reliable sources distinguish between left-wing terrorism carried out to achieve socialism and terrorism carried out for other reasons such as ethnic/national independence or single issues such as animal rights or the rights of the unborn. Also, the article distinguishes left-wing from nationalist terrorism: "The rigidity of the demands of left-wing terrorists may explain their lack of support relative to nationalist groups." I don't think there are any nationalist groups incorrectly included here. Can you name any? TFD (talk) 19:39, 10 March 2017 (UTC)

Small critiques[edit]

Good article, but the continent of Africa seems to be grossly underrepresented. So much so that the word Africa is only mentioned once in the article and is not mentioned or cited again. I will do further research into finding specific left-wing terrorist groups that existed in Africa, but I am willing to bet there had to have been a few given the proxy wars that took place there during the Cold War. The article could also make mention of the Animal Liberation Front who has been known to take part in terrorist activities. Despite these small few things everything is well written and cited properly. I will edit my critique after I dig deeper into left-wing resistance in Africa. Marrelljones (talk) 04:06, 9 March 2017 (UTC)

This is a good article that hits on a lot of the main points about left-wing terrorism. But I agree with the previous responder. There could be more of a mention of what occurred in Africa in regards to left-wing terrorism. Africa was heavily involved in the Cold War, so it seems pretty likely that left-wing terrorism would have occurred in the continent. AlexKalban (talk) 17:29, 9 March 2017 (UTC)Alex KalbanAlexKalban (talk) 17:29, 9 March 2017 (UTC)

I think the reason for the neglect is that left-wing terrorism is under-represented in the sources. That could be because research on left-wing terrorism was developed in the 1970s and only examined current left-wing terrorism, while left-wing terrorists in Africa operated in the 1950s and early 1960s. Also, it could be that much of the terrorism in Africa such as by the ANC, was seen as ethnic/nationalist, rather than left-wing, even if carried out by mostly left-wing groups. The Animal Liberation Front and similar groups are more likely to come under special issue terrorism. the definition of left-wing terrorism in this article is "terrorism meant to overthrow conservative or capitalist systems and replace them with communist or socialist societies." That was never the objective of terrorist actions by the ANC or ALF. The ANC for example no longer carries out terrorist attacks even though South Africa is not socialist.
If you want to add groups, I would ask that you provide sources that connect them with left-wing terrorism.
TFD (talk) 17:53, 9 March 2017 (UTC)

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  1. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communist_terrorism