I am still trying to recover from Jordan Peterson’s condemnation of Marxism because of what Stalin did.
Jordan Peterson by rejecting Marxism, contextually implied that he knows what Marxism is. But he can’t because the term “Marxism” is ambiguous and vague. If we try to clarify, here are some of the issues which will face us.
Someone may say that Marxism is the view of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Such a claim would assume that their views were if not identical, at least so close as to be equivalent. Now, to determine whether this is so, requires doing scholarship — reading all of the writings of Marx and Engels. Someone who does such a thing may be called a Marx and Engels scholar, and this does not make them Marxists unless they also agree with what they read.
Now, in reading any text, there is an element of interpretation. And if there is any inconsistency in the texts, the interpretation, in order to restore consistency, must take a stand. I suppose a systematization of the writings of Marx and Engels will be akin to something akin to a systematized theology. But formulating a coherent system — even if one agrees with it — will not be Marxism, unless some of the claims are peculiar only
to Marx, and are adhered to.
In short, there are as many “Marxisms” as there are interpretations of Marx. Furthermore there may be some who, like Humpty Dumpty, call themselves “Marxists” (like Stalin) by sheer prescription or fiat.