History and Historiography

Major Theories Of History From The Greeks To Marxism

The Blue Tribe/Red Tribe conflict is essentially a religious conflict. The Blue Tribe is a religious coalition of adherents of the neo-pagan, Enlightenment-derived religion of reason, progress, and human perfectibility, various forms of “progressive” Christianity, and secularized neo-Christianity (like Marxism). The Red Tribe is a coalition of adherents of the traditional American civil religion, and Americanized, twisted versions of traditional Protestantism (essentially the megachurch, Americanized, Zionist version of Positive Christianity), and some actual traditional religion.

By George Novack


Historical materialists would be untrue to their own principles if they failed to regard their method of interpreting history as the result of a prolonged, complex and contradictory process. Mankind has been making history for a million years or more as it advanced from the primate condition to the atomic age. But a science of history capable of ascertaining the laws governing man’s collective activities over the ages is a relatively recent acquisition.

The first attempts to survey the long march of human history, study its causes, and set forth its successive stages along scientific lines were made only about 2500 years ago. This task, like so many others in the domain of theory, was originally undertaken by the Greeks.

The sense of history is a precondition for a science of history. This is not an inborn but a cultivated, historically generated capacity. The discrimination of the passage of time into a well-defined past, present and future is rooted in the evolution of the organisation of labour. Man’s awareness of life as made up of consecutive and changing events has acquired breadth and depth along with the development and diversification of social production. The calendar first appears, not among food gatherers, but in agricultural communities.

Primitive peoples from savagery to the upper stages of barbarism have as little concern for the past as for the future. What they experience and do forms part of an objective universal history. But they remain unaware of the particular place they occupy or the part they play in the progression of mankind.

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