I think a future communist left has to completely leave behind the marxist/lenisist corpus. The prejudice and negative memory is too great. There is absolutely no reason why discourse can’t assemble the history of marxism, select certain ideas for development and restatement, and yet move into a new and fresh statement of what is relevant and active.
The overall corpus is potent yet flawed, and almost everyone will resist anything like a leninist repetition. And yet in the end, it will tend to veer towards that. We need to really answer the ‘end of history’ question, and that is not easy. And yet it is fairly clear in principle: communism emerges from democracy so that democracy can emerge from communism.
We should do what older leftists refused to do: plan in advance and create what Marx disliked: versions of ‘blueprint communism’ that we can assess in advance, and make the basis of intent in communicating to skeptical majorities.
There are many weak spots in Marx’s thinking. We need to move past the ‘holy founder’ fallacy that has come to animate the left, where any critique of Marx/marxism is buried at once in jargon rehash.
But the core of marxism is reasonable enough and could survive handily a ‘translation’ into a framework larger than historical materialism. The latter attempts to make some very extreme speculative claims about a theory applied to world history. Such theories are almost always false: instead the general drift of economic determination in history and modernity would be enough.