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Abstract

In this essay I explain both why Karl Marx remains an important thinker and why he is in some respects inadequate. I focus on the central issue of 'materialism vs. idealism,' and briefly explore ways in which contemporary intellectuals still haven't assimilated the insights of historical materialism. In the last section of the paper I examine the greatest weakness of Marxism, its theory of proletarian revolution, and propose an alternative conceptualization that both updates the theory for the twenty-first century and is more faithful to historical materialism than Marx's own conception was.

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