Science and Society 70 (2):275 - 297 (2006)

The Marxist tradition consists of a distinctive combination of social and historical theory, socialist values and political practice, with secular materialist underpinnings. The theory of history inspired by G. A. Cohen's work retains its vitality as a research program, and the socialist value base is also in reasonable shape. Any recovery of the tradition needs however to confront the negative legacy of Marxism's historical past. The theory of history does influence socialist political practice, as has been assumed by most Marxists but denied by Cohen. This influence is not necessarily conducive to classical socialist goals, however, and a considerable tension exists between the most defensible version of historical materialism and socialism's antimarket values
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