Given that Marxism (with or without Leninism) has been a catastrophic failure, what road should socialists advocate in a post-Marxist world? One avenue would be to re-examine some socialist approaches that were on the table before Marx set the movement on the disastrous path toward Stalinism. One in particular would be Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and his theory of Mutualism.
The long and short of Mutualism is worker owned cooperatives, or what is known as "market socialism." Instead of a single owner, or a small group of external shareholders, corporations would be owned and managed by the people who work in them. They would be cooperative entities within a market economy. There are several examples of this currently in practice around the world, the most prominent being the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation, in Spain.
The great advantage of this approach is that it does not require a complete top-down transformation of society before it can be implemented. It can work seamlessly within the capitalist economies that are already in place. All that would be needed is a mechanism to promote worker owned start-up companies, or worker buyouts of existing companies. Instead of seeking to overthrow capitalism from without, Mutualism would seek to gradually transform the nature of capitalism from within, one corporation at a time.
In my opinion, it is high time that socialists wake up to the fact that Marx and socialism are NOT synonymous and that Marx should be treated as a dead end, relegated to the dustbin of history. There is a groundswell of discontent with global capitalism around the world that could be productively channeled into fostering the growth of worker owned cooperatives. Toward this end, the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives was started in 2004. If they get but a fraction of the support and effort that went into promoting Marxism over the last century, we'll be well on our way toward building a better world.