These formulas don’t work anymore and we have many times critique historical materialism. Marxism ends up dogmatic and reductionist and its take on consciousness is just one of dozens of failed theories. The left in any case is not required to submit to marxism in this archaic form. And experience shows the bad results via bolshevism of these simplistic formulas.
We have suggested here a dozen alternate conceptions and also tried to reformulate the basics of a historical and economic thinking.
The strategy must be to renew the canon, make mars/engels part of the history and move beyond the bad theories that have crippled the left.
A realization of the inconsistency, incompleteness, and one sidedness of the old materialism convinced Marx of the necessity of “bringing the science of society… into harmony with the materialist foundation, and of reconstructing it thereupon.” Since materialism in general explains consciousness as the outcome of being, and not conversely, then materialism as applied to the social life of mankind has to explain social consciousness as the outcome of social being. “Technology,” Marx writes (Capital, Vol. I), “discloses man’s mode of dealing with Nature, the immediate process of production by which he sustains his life, and thereby also lays bare the mode of formation of his social relations, and of the mental conceptions that flow from them.” In the preface to his Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, Marx gives an integral formulation of the fundamental principles of materialism as applied to human society and its history, in the following words: “In the social production of their life, men enter into definite relations that are indispensable and independent of their will, relations of production which correspond to a definite stage of development of their material productive forces.