This article is a critical engagement with three closely related essays recently published in New Proposals. Authored by Bram Büscher, Jim Igoe and Sian Sullivan, respectively, these essays take issue with the market-based approach to natural resource management, arguing, among other things, that it fails to live up to its own aspirations. While we concur, we identify some key assumptions and claims made by Büscher, Igoe and Sullivan, raising some questions about their veracity and the take-home lessons they convey. We do so as constructive and sympathetic critics, ones steeped in the rich tradition of Marxist theorising that the three authors draw from. The present paper aims to give readers of the essays one critical tool-kit with which to interrogate the plenary arguments presented by Büscher, Igoe and Sullivan.