In what follows, I note how two standard contemporary reference works describe Marx and then contrast those to Marx’s “auto-bibliography” which presents a different set of texts as important to the author’s self-conception. I then focus on one of the latter set of texts and suggest an approach to understanding Marx that emphasizes his identity as a revolutionary theorist and which, perhaps helps us better understand why he did not give priority to working out a theory of the state in a traditional theoretical manner. At the very least, I hope that this discussion will draw attention to the priority that Marx gave to his revolutionary commitment, a priority that may become neglected when Marxist thought and scholarship is detached from political practice.

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