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I was not unlike a lot of western intellectuals of Martin Krygier’s generation in never having been a Marxist, always the social democrat. We social democrats were never fully comfortable with liberals or Marxists, though when conservatives called us fellow-travellers of Communists, and Marxists besmirched us as fellow-travellers of liberals, we were comfortable with those accusations. Martin Krygier is the person who persuaded me decades ago that I should not be comfortable as a fellow-traveller of Marx. With the benefit of a century of hindsight, I had always had that social democratic cynicism about Marxism, but not really about Marx the scholar. Until I met Martin, I strongly felt that had I been alive in the nineteenth century, Marx and Engels were definitely the people I would have liked to hang out with and engage conversationally.
Martin persuaded me that Marx was not a scholar with beautiful theories that turned into ugly practices at the hands of ugly men like Lenin and...