The core chapter of Last and First Men plunges the leftist reader into the mystery of the ‘Axial Age’, and this at first doesn’t bode well with historical materialism.
Actually, it may be time to ditch historical materialism, certainly the term itself, in the process trying to restate the core idea of cultures and economies, class and ideology. There is no reason why the reductionism of the scientism of the Marx period has to be the permanent framework of marxism.
In the process the left could take the lead on issues of history/evolution, and religion/secularism, and much else. The future is going to show a competition between legacy religion, attempts to create new religions, and the broad framework of so-called secularism as the main highway of modernity.
The results are likely to be chaotic and require a coherent framework with which to do the job right: that of LFM is able to synthesize the range of views that can’t easily be blended together.
The questions here are critical and the creation of crippled ideologies like historical materialism has stalled the left and made it irrelevant.
A broader set of assumptions can help to start over with a neo-communist project that can really communicate with 21st century minds.