Challenging historical materialism or moving beyond it would a shock to the marxist legacy from which it couldn’t recover. That is either a good thing: it will force a major upgrade, or it is a bad thing and some way should be found to carry the theory into a new context.
In the macro model, which we have suggested as a broader framework, there is (or was in the original version) a clear distinction of ‘macro or eonic sequence’, tecnhosequence, and econosequence, the latter two being the histories of technology and economies (the terms were later changed to technostream and econostream echoing the ‘stream’ and ‘sequence’ terminology). These three components are important to distinguish (and there could be others, the ‘art sequence’, etc…). The confusion arises from the way the ‘economic stream’ suddenly intersects with the macroseqeuence in the modern and becomes a de facto stage of history. This is what perhaps confused Marx et al. Despite the appearance of a capitalist stage of history in reality we have a chaotic ad hoc economic muddle of bandits on its way to being a real component of a higher civilization.
The ‘economic stream’ as history moves through history as a kind of interactive set of processes emerging within a larger context of civilizations, and the results are mixed in the sense of being partially independent of the macro process. The point here is that something like ‘historical materialism’, or its set of stages can be applied to the ‘econostream’ as an independent study. There it is possible to posit, or claim, that the econostream must converge to an economic endstate, with an ‘end of history’ type of argument (or hopefully something better than that braindead discussion). There is no contradiction to the claim that an endpoint of a directional process can’t occur inside the macro sequence. So we have a way to carry a version of mode of production theory inside the macro model: like our idea of floating fourth turning points a revolutionary process can attempt to bring about the endgame of capitalism as communism.
But our model distinguishes free action and system action, and we need to be clear that a postcapitalist state, some unknown convergent factor apart, has to be the result of free agents creating a new system after a definition of what that is to be.