Every once in a while, I find someone (a pop philosopher, a consultant, a journalist, etc.) selling an idea about alienation, fairness in the workplace, profit redistribution, or any other dimension of enterprise theorizing that may be enriched by Marx. Of course, with 10k consultancy sessions on the line, these people very rarely address the elephant in the room. The clearest, most elegant, and most accurate explanation of the matter comes, not from some piece of solopreneur literature, but a 19th-century German philosopher. Why spend 10 minutes trying to explain "in simple terms", with "real-life" examples, what the genius could synthesize in a few compound words before any of us were even born?
Some conversations, especially public-facing conversations that find their way into the Sunday columns of the New York Times, would be absurd and demodé if Marx had seeped into the fabric of ideology.
McCarthyism has gotten us stuck in conversations that should have been solved years ago. Not necessarily with the adoption of socialism at an international scale (the only scale possible), but because some things would have been understood as obvious.
When I hear a non-Marxist explain issues such as work alienation, the explanation sounds extremely weird to me. It's as if it were all a big tip-toeing around an enormous crater at the center of the argument. A crater where Marx should be.
Trend forecasting - well, forecasting in general, is political. Not merely in its intentions, of course. Even the most "neutral" trend forecasting is politically charged. It doesn't have to be overtly political. What future we consider likely, what we believe the next trend will be, what we fear will happen next, are all politically conditioned.
Shocker: Our worldview is politically biased. And it's biased in ways we don't perceive or understand. When we're neutral, we're biased. And, if those political biases involve discarding useful categories because their conclusions may be at odds with the ideology that has proven itself the most useful - or the most correct in our sentimental plane, we're done. That crater at the core of an explanation can also be a blind spot that nullifies a strategy. It's a vulnerability.
Philosophical ignorance condemns one to a superficial view of the world. Practical, functional, but severely limited. Nothing new will come out of someone who refuses to learn what the subcutaneous forces at work are.
Everyone should read Marx, not necessarily because everyone should be a communist, but because he's one of the greatest, most influential philosophers in the history of humanity. Marx foresaw contemporary life 200 years ago. I don't care about the anti-Marxist sentiments of ideologues who can't even see one month into the future without a party line.
Ignoring the products of one of the greatest minds in the history of humanity (products which can also be appropriated as tools), due to some media-induced, cartoonish prejudice is grotesque. Read Marx.
Further reading: "Abraham Lincoln and Marx were pals and influenced each other"