Even though all Marxism-based utopias failed miserably, Marx still retains some power over the radical left today. Most people have never read his works, both in the West and in the post-communist parts of Europe and Asia. Therefore, they are defenceless against Marx-inspired demagoguery. For some odd reasons, Marx still has the fluid of being a deep intellectual knowing a lot about humanity. (Maybe it is the patriarchal beard, who knows?)
In fact, Marx was a shallow pseudo-intellectual pretending depth by wordiness. His work is full of mutual contradictions and logical errors.
Just two illustrations of how Marxism is logically and intellectually inconsistent. First, the Marxist notion of freedom and society:
Freedom consists in converting the state from an organ superimposed upon society into one completely subordinate to it; and today, too, the forms of state are more free or less free to the extent that they restrict the “freedom of the state."
Society is a vague term which expresses the interconnectedness of all human life and the social nature of human beings, but should never be used as if it were an entity capable of having will or opinion, or counterposed to its institutions.
In the former paragraph, Marx writes about the state as being subordinate to society. In the latter, society is characterised as an amorphous and vague thing, which should never be referred to as an entity. Society cannot have an opinion, writes Marx.
Can you see the logical discrepancy? Society cannot have will but can subordinate the state. Not just that: it is the Marx's definition of freedom. Would you buy it?
If this is not enough, then there is Marx's definition of communism. Communist society is the central notion of Marxism and used to be the official ultimate goal of communist parties worldwide, from Soviet Union to Luxembourg. Now, what is the definition of communism?
Believe or not:
To each according to his needs, from each according to his ability.
Yes, this was the officially accepted definition of communism, which they taught school kids in the communist countries. Of course, even the kids found it ridiculous. Marx, however, offers an alternative definition of communism; an even more ridiculous one:
... in communist society, where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic.
This is utopian to the point that even communist regimes kept this part of Marx's writings in secrecy. It was just way too much; even the kids would laugh at it.
Do you still believe Marx has any intellectual value?