Historical materialism is a useless pseudo-science. It gives license to anyone who feels like it to dismiss marxism, socialism, with a wave of the hand.
We have suggested using the eonic effect/model as a tool to enforce close reading of texts, covering a balanced sample of all zones and regions, bypassing deterministic ‘laws of history’ fallacies, bringing free agents into the discussion and using empirical chronicles. The issue of economics is actually secondary and economic systems do not drive the evolution of civilization. What does the term evolution mean? In an historical context the term simply means development, but it is essential to see that ‘ organismic and historical evolution’ is not random. The eonic effect shows a non-random pattern in that regard. Unfortunately everyone is rendered so braindead by darwinism they cannot think about history. And biblical history is equally deranged and confuses the issue: the eonic effect resolve that religious history with ease.
Our approach unifies structural analysis AND free agency: history develops a pattern and shows directionality but at the same time free agency carries out the realization. No other model has that combined set. The facts require it.
Modernity is structure while free agency creates its realization. But modernity as such is more than free agency, as we can see if we zoom out.
The full model of the eonic effect might seem controversial, so you can use it in a simple empirical form as periodization. In that form it will protect you from many goofs. Consider Marx’s statement that class struggle drives history. Does it? Doesn’t look like it to me. Instant theory, and probably false. A lot of marxist insight can be brought into the eonic model, e.g. studies of class taking empirically. But Marx’s theories fail in all cases.
The eonic effect in its full form might show the way to finding what drives world history because it suggests there is frequency driver. Uh oh, another theory. But descriptively an hypothesis of cyclical frequency is quite OK, empirically, and not quite proven…
And you will discover world history is so complex you are better off staying away from theories. The eonic effect might produce a theory someday but for the moment it is a simple periodization. One that is not dogmatic, but useful and which corresponds to how we take history, sort of, if we actually study the subject.
And a thousand books is the minimum needed to start observing history.
In its simplest form we can simply periodize world history as three epochs or intervals, 3000 BCE to 600 BCE, 600 BCE to 1800 AD, and 1800 AD to plus/plus: it is an unfinished epoch underway, global modernity… For some reason this periodization works and it leaves the future open as it should. There is a lot more to the model but you begin to study empirical eras with that and you will find that this periodization fits the facts well. That it might conceal a subtle dynamic can be deferred to later study if you like. But the point is that empirical data is the bottom line and if you want you can study the economic systems as they arise factually in history. Marx’s system of stages or epochs just doesn’t work. Early socialists had it right the first time: democracy emerges in the early modern but if we add socialism to democracy we get real democracy. No grand theory needed there and we see democracy has a close correlation with the model. The same might be said of socialism and if we study ancient greek history we see that they were the real inventors of socialism, as an idea or a set of ‘utopias’.
Whatever the case ‘capitalism’ is not a stage of history and should have been blended into socialism from the start, as Marx/Engels before 1848/9 understood quite well.
The eonic effect shows something mysterious behind world history and it resolves the famous challenge of Kant to find some structure in world history. As our data increases the point becomes obvious.