Last and First Men will try to create something that can replace historical materialism. But that won’t be another theory. Look at the American Revolution: no theory was needed for a democratic revolution. Ditto for a communist revolution.
Historical materialism saddles the left with a theory that has been challenged hundreds of times, is obscurely stated and falsely proven, mimics the nineteenth century positivistic cult of scientism, and staggers into the twentieth century world of quantum mechanics, unchanged and unrepentant.
The theory antagonizes people of all religions, yet is ignorant of the history of those religions, proposing bogus theory about their origins.
Many would wish a compromise on religion for socialists/communists. Not necessary: tolerance of monotheistic religions is all that is required.
The communist left must learn to produce religious understandings equal or superior to those of the members in each case, including buddhism. That’s a tall order, but the gesture is enough.
The left should adopt the stance that, at the worst, marxism is dead, and recreate the entire subject under the rubric of a new communism, without compromise.
Many of the problems would go away if these neo-communists would define the platform in specifics, create a model of a new communist society, with attention to its economics, rights legacies, democratic commitments and/or critiques. The failure of the Second Internationale, pace Marx, to define the communism in advance resulted in the Bolshevik hack, made up as they went along. The emphasis on the proletariat is a failure: why divide everyone into classes at all: the revolution is for and by one universal class, based on equality, and the proletariat might well serve as a focal point.
Unless the new communist left can create an economic model that is viable the public is not likely to listen given the endless diatribes against Bolshevism to be exhumed and held against them.
The neo-communist left has one overpowering ace in the hole: the clear and rising evidence of the coming and imminent disaster created by capitalism. The paeans to the great god Market are sounding hollow, and beginning to become hallucinatory.
Last and First Men looks at the potential of neo-communism to create a stable platform for a future evolution of man. But that potential must escape at all costs the fiasco of stupidity called Darwinism. The New Man is not going to come anytime soon, and not via Social Darwinist eugenics or the mechanics of the market (dolts to have thought so), but through something like Mahayana buddhism: a system of all for one and one for all. I don’t think buddhism will survive to the new age coming but its core will revinvent itself almost certainly, if it hasn’t done so already. The issue is not a religion, but a centuries long effort, in a stable neo-communist society to find a way for homo sapiens to truly realize his frustrated evolutionary potential, which almost every civilization since Pharaoh Narmer has dumbed down in mechanized consciousness and state conditioning. Man cannot evolve because he can’t even realize the potential created in the transition from homo erectus. Homo sapiens has yet to appear, what to say of New Agey nonsense about future evolution. Buddhism wasn’t successful in what it proposed, so we are not in the realm of a new specifics by reference to that legacy. The question of ‘god’ in the monotheisms is hardly relevant. Those who wish to believe in god should by all means do so. The idea that historical materialism demands atheism is hogwash, same variety we see in the curent New Atheists.
Bolshevism produced a worse variant. So the idea of a neo-communism must try again to balance the totalization of a global system without totalitarianism, and a new definition of democracy that doesn’t secretly abet the anti-democracy of capital domination….
The alternate totalization is producing the totalitarian system of global capitalism.