“Increasingly I became convinced that social science is really history. That’s the subject matter of social science. You can’t split it up into economics and politics and social problems. They’re all intertwined. You have to concentrate on certain problems, certain questions. But to separate them out and make a distinct field came to me to seem to make impossible a really scientific—in the sense of a search for genuine knowledge—approach to social phenomena. It has to be historical at bottom. Marxism is the only approach which makes possible such a coordinated, integrated view of the historical process, and historical materialism in that sense is the basis of all social science

It’s easy to accept formulas. It’s very hard to think the way Marx thought, for who for whom formulas were not really of any great importance. The tendency of the falling rate of profit, the forces of production and the relations of production, modes of production—all of these things are easily formulated as schemas or models, which is very dangerous because you find yourself being guided by seemingly established truths which become the reality rather than simply a guide to the way you organize your thoughts and your researches and so on. When Marx came to doing his own interpretations, his major historical essays—particularly The Eighteenth Brumaire, Class Struggles in France, The Civil War in France—you don’t find any formularistic thinking. Those were the best known of his historical studies, but, of course, history permeates everything he wrote. Going back to his earliest works, which he and Engels did together—The Holy Family, The German Ideology—these are not in any sense dogmatic or textbook. They’re critiques of the work of his contemporaries. Every major work that Marx ever wrote has “critique” either in its title or subtitle. That is the way he thought that you had to approach problems(Paul Sweezy, 1999).”