We’re reading Marx in one of my classes as part of an exploration of various major economic theorists and how their ideas would reflect on music and musical labor (we previous did this with Smith and Weber), and like… it’s making me realize how much being exposed to Marx at a very formative age (I first read the Manifesto when I was like, 10) has informed my philosophical worldview even as I’ve read other people. Even though I probably wouldn’t call myself a capital-M Marxist. Particularly Marx’s ideas about history, and also my general philosophical inclination toward materialism over idealism. And how the latter is a big part of my beef with a lot of contemporary “social justice” rhetoric.
Also, how odd it is that so many current self-identified “Marxists” kind of go against his ideas? Marx was very much against the Great Man theory of history but so many Marxists treat him (and Lenin and Mao and others) like Great Men. They obsess over purely ideological disputes and purity, and seem like all they do when they gather in physical space is LARP a now 100-year-old revolution, when I feel like that materialist would much prefer them to look at how to apply and modify his ideas to the current material realities of class oppression.