‘The Expropriators are expropriated’ (Marx 1976a: 929) is one of Marx’s most celebrated sentences, which is to be found towards the end of Chapter 24 of section 7 in Capital, Volume I. It is also one of the most enigmatic. I want to subject it to an exegesis at the same time literary, philological, philosophical, political and even theological: not for the sake of pure erudition (which would concern only ‘Marxologists’), but to revisit some of the problems which, today, any idea of an alternative to capitalism is confronted with, when it may appear that historical capitalism (the category proposed by Immanuel Wallerstein (1983)) has entered a transition towards something like an ‘absolute capitalism’, with some apocalyptic features. 1 I am pursuing simultaneously two objectives: first, to clarify the sense of this formula, through an elucidation of where it comes from and what it does express at this specific place in Marx’s text, written in a certain conjuncture; and second, to reflect on which problems that Marx addressed in his magnum opus, but left without a solution, it may indicate. And my underlying question will be: do we have, today, a clearer view of these problems? Or is it the case, on the contrary, that they have become even more enigmatic? Of course, it could be the case that all these questions belong, in fact, to a past that is foreclosed, only worth ‘the gnawing criticism of the mice’ (Marx 1987: 264); but even in that case, it would be worthwhile to undertake a rigorous scrutiny of a formulation and a thinker whose influence has been so great on our history and whose name remains a point of attraction for revolutionary expectations and the critique of dominant ideas.