We have been critical of historical materialism here, and in Last and First Men, but yesterday we suggested a dialectical approach looking at historical as a classic stepper in a progression. And the next phase of negation and reconstruction is appropriately now in order to create a change of habits and a passage away from a form of materialism that noone is going to find believable outside a narrow Marx cult. The passage to 1848 by Marx/Engels via The German Ideology was a classic moment for the early affirmation of the ‘essential’ historical materialism,i.e. the dynamics of economies in world history and their relation to class, ideology,and theory. This more general interpretation of ‘histomat’ makes its emergence a classic historical moment, but we need to move to a larger perspective now (the core of historical materialism as state above is actually better stated outside the ‘ism’) that can integrate the whole of modernity as a transformation recreated beyond capitalism. It is hard for the old guard to see beyond the contracted versions of the original marxist stream, but it is important now to break all old habits and create a new energy. Breaking old habits is not the same as rejecting their core content!
Sidney Hook’s classic is a good account of the cinematic moment of The German Ideology in 1848.