Throwing the Dice of History with Marx

The Plurality of Historical Worlds from Epicurus to Modern Science


By digging through the stratigraphy of the history of ideas we can find within and beyond Marxism an ‘aleatory current’ that values the role of chance in history. Using this perspective, the book builds a case for a historical materialism that is stripped of all teleology. Starting in the ancient Mediterranean with Epicurus, it traces the history of conceiving history as plural up to Marxism and modern science. It shows that concrete historical ‘worlds’ such as ancient Mesoamerica and Eurasia cannot be reduced to a single template. Affirming the potentiality of a future non-capitalist ‘world’, it invalidates any ‘end of history’ thesis.

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Marcus Bajema, Ph.D. (2015), Leiden University, is an independent scholar residing in The Hague, The Netherlands. He is interested in Marxist theory and history as comparative social science, having earlier published a book comparing Maya and Mycenaean early civilisations.
9789004533554 Introduction

1 The Aleatory Current in Philosophy and the Present Conjuncture

2 The Ancient Atomists on Nature, Humankind and History

3 Encounters with Ancient and New Worlds

4 Universal History from a Materialist Perspective

5 Marx and the Thesis of the Plurality of Worlds

6 ‘The Relics of Bygone Instruments’, Marxist Archaeology and the Thesis of the Plurality of Worlds

Research libraries, everyone interested in historical materialism, Marxist theory, and the history and reception of ideas on human development in Epicurean philosophy.
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