ThoughtStorms Wiki

Foundational LeftWing thinker. (ReadWith) Marxism

Pushback on an attempt to claim he wasn't widely known or important before the Russian Revolution : https://johnganz.substack.com/p/an-attempt-at-intellectual-fraud

For some reason I've found myself writing a bunch of answers about him on Quora which are fairly comprehensive. (And often surprisingly upvoted)

Here are pages they've been copied to on ThoughtStorms + the link to the original

Quora Answer : Why did the Marx heap such scorn on Malthus when they agreed about the general glut controversy and when Ricardo's economic system was based on Malthusian population theory?

Feb 15, 2021

Beyond any concrete intellectual reasons, Marx was an optimist who thought the world could and would get better.

And Malthus was a pessimist who thought we were doomed.

Quora Answer : Do you agree with any of Karl Marx's ideas?

Aug 22, 2018


Phil Jones (He / Him)'s answer to Are the ideas of Karl Marx still relevant in the information age?

Phil Jones (He / Him)'s answer to Was Karl Marx a genius even if he was wrong on the big picture?

Phil Jones (He / Him)'s answer to Why did Marx think that capitalism exploits workers?

Phil Jones (He / Him)'s answer to Why are there still so many Marxists if Marx's labour theory of value has been discredited?

Am I a "Marxist"? I think not. Really.

There are prescriptions in Marx that I don't follow.

I fundamentally disagree on the value of revolutions : Phil Jones (He / Him)'s answer to Do the socialists of Quora believe the revolution will happen within their lifetimes?

I'm pretty cynical about the Hegelianism / dialectical historicism.

I don't even know Marx that well.


I believe the way to see Marx is as a foundational thinker like Newton or Darwin. He created a framework for thinking about problems. And a rich set of models. All of which we are free to discuss, criticize, revise or even invert.

Newton was, technically, wrong about a bunch of things too. And not trivial details. Newton was wrong about the fundamentals of the shape of time, space, movement. The nature of light etc. But that doesn't take from the importance or brilliance of his ideas. Everything else is built on them, even as we've revised our understanding fundamentally.

Same with Marx. Even when we find something fundamentally wrong in Marx, that doesn't mean it makes sense to go back to a pre-Marxian idea. Which is usually less insightful and useful. It means we have to revise the ideas in light of new evidence and understanding and move forward.

See also :

CategoryPerson, CategoryPhilosopher