The attempt to turn back to theory such that the Marxist approach to knowledge itself can be explained is commendable. The (re)introduction of certain levels of abstraction - particularly the separation of the "mode of production" and the "social formation" - are important and remain influential, impressively they have become important in some forms of anthropological practice itself. But many the most important features of Althusser's work are themselves marred by the entire "problematic" or theory of theory that they are integrated within. There’s a circularity to Althusser’s claim of at once maintaining fidelity to Marx’s word while stating that Marx’s words couldn’t be Marxist enough. The autonomous theory still has to try and connect to reality, but it simultaneously wants to refute the “empiricist” subject/object relationship. Althusser’s solution is unclear, and perhaps contradictory.