The Great Recession that commenced in 2008 and the failure of the economies of the most advanced capitalist countries to have fully recovered have put the Marxist alternative on the table in a way not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The lack of consensus among mainstream economists about what’s ailing capitalism is equally responsible for that opening. Yet its defenders argue there is no alternative to capitalism; everything else that’s been tried has failed. The Marxist project, in particular, they allege, was problematic from the beginning. This entry considers the claim of the supposedly flawed origins of Marxism. Its focus, therefore, is not restricted to what has been done in the name of “Marxism.” Not long before his death in 1883, ...

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