Questions of historical causation are elusive indeed, and I fear that while J. Israel’s perspective may be flawed the so-called materialist explanation is not better. The debate over idealism versus materialism is played out, and barren at this point. The result is a failure to produce any serious account of history at all.
To make the effect on ideas on history some kind of heresy because of Marx’s flawed theories of history is a waste of time at this point. It might help to stop applying causal theories to history in the name of Newton, materialism, Marx or anyone else.
Decoding_World_History version 11
A look at Decoding World History might help to see that neither the play of ideas nor material factors alone can explain much of anything.
The larger scheme of history produces a series of ‘effects’ that stand in relation to the whole and that is not so easy to analyze, certainly not in isolation.
Jacobinism was not a betrayal of the Radical Enlightenment and the French Revolution. It was a historically necessary effort to defend both.