The ‘theory’ wreckage of historical materialism…

We have repeatedly suggested the need to reformulate a postmarxist version of socialism (with reference still to Marx, no doubt) that is a non-dogmatic restatement of the basic issues of praxis, hopefully beyond the mostly doomed efforts to concoct a science of history and/or the ‘evolution’ toward communism.
There the theories of historical materialism, and the associated ‘stages of production’ theory (e.g. ‘productive force determinism’) are a millstone around the neck of leftists.
Historical materialism belongs to the nineteenth century post-hegelian turn toward reductionist scientism and while the attempt to create an economic theory of history seemed a good one at the time such a procedure is no longer convincing and is certainly not science.
We are better off proceeding empirically on the issues of economic history and making the passage beyond capitalism a strategy of free agents, not historical forces. It seemed once that marx’s theories showed that communism would be inevitable. But he didn’t show that and a host of critics have mauled marxist for that and other reasons.
Further marxists were caught in marx’s (or engels’) attack on utopian versus scientific socialism. But if those theories are scientific then we end doing what we were doing all along: assessing the social and historical realm and considering the issue of socialism on the basis of values rather than spurious historical laws.

Source: The question of historical materialism – Darwiniana

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