AbstractThe title of this article poses a question that has long excited the world community in connection with the enormous popularity and spread of Marxism. And the answers to this question have been (and are) fundamentally different. Orthodox Marxists were convinced that both science and ideology combined ideally in Marxism. Hence one of the definitions of Marxism as scientific and therefore the only true ideology. Until recently, this was the only possible official party response in our country. In the West, opinions were divided: from total rejection of any manner of scientific content in ideologized Marxism to the recognition of serious scientific elements in Marxism. In the second case, there was the frequent attempt to separate Karl Marx, the major scholar, from Marx, the revolutionary ideologue. Homage was paid to the former, whose "iron logic," "brilliant proofs," and "masterful description of capitalist activity" were recognized. The second image was treated with one or another degree of negativity; it was assigned principal responsibility for the fact that Marx's historical forecasts about the fate of capitalism failed to correspond to actual developments.