Karl Marx is often described as one of the most influential thinkers of the last centuries in the West. He is certainly the most criticized figure. Criticism of Marx can be divided into several streams.
Sometimes it is based, for example, on the practice of socialist regimes. This provides vigorous arguments for political debate, but when we want to go deeper, it proves very difficult. We should find a connection between, for example, a particular decision of Mao Tse Tung and an idea of Karl Marx, and we should determine whether Mao Tse Tung would not have made the same decision if, for example, he did not know Marx at all. This leads to extremely difficult tasks.
Then there is the criticism based on the fact that something that Marx foresaw has not come true. For example, that there was no world proletarian revolution. But this critique is mostly led by Marxists themselves when they find such points and continually add to or modify Marx’s original teachings. After all, that’s what Marxism – Leninism – is for.
The third stream of criticism consists in laying out some view other than Marx’s and supplementing it with the claim that Marx misunderstood. This is typically how, for example, Jordan Peterson proceeds. But from the point of view of critical logical thinking, this is not a very strong critique. In the same way, Marxists can claim that, say, Jordan Peterson didn’t get theirs.
But there is another possibility. Namely, pointing out the internal contradictions in Marx’s teachings and the logical errors Marx systematically committed. This criticism is the strongest, but it is not very popular. It’s nice to wipe Marx out like that, but then you find out that your favourite character made the same mistakes. So it’s better to move on to Stalin sending people to the gulag.
Personally, that’s the view I’m focusing on. I draw on Karl R. Popper’s analysis and present it in a joint seminar with Josef Skala, a great expert on Marxism and former Communist regime official. Marx: for and against.