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LanceVance's avatar

Was Marx Marxist?

Asked by LanceVance (645points) January 8th, 2009

I know it sounds funny, but I’ve read it somewhere that his works were quite contradictory at a particular work. So… was he?

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6 Answers

Grisson's avatar

Karl or Groucho?

asmonet's avatar

“his works were quite contradictory at a particular work.”


wundayatta's avatar

Are you after this idea that the governments that said they followed Marx’s philosphy, in fact were something quite different? Those governments became known as “Marxist” and thus, when people compare his writings to what actually happened, Marx does not appear to be Marxist.

tinyfaery's avatar

I think you might be referring to the difference between theory and practice. Yes, Marx was a Marxist in theory, but not in practice.

LanceVance's avatar

at a particular point*, sorry for inconvenience.

Flavio's avatar

Of course. The basis for Marxism is a dialectical approach to understand history and philosophy. Marx built on the work of Smith, Ricardo, Kant, Hegel and many others. He also worked very closely with Engels. A marxist today is someone who uses dialectical materialism to analyze contemporary politics and economics. Of course Marx used the tools he developed to understand politics and economics in his time, so he is a Marxist. However, he really disliked the designation of “marxist” and would probably not have called himself so.
A good review of Marxism can be found in a book by Ollman, Dance of the Dialectic: STEPS IN MARX’S METHOD

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