"A historian is entitled in his practice to make a provisional assumption of an epistemological character: that the evidence which he handles has a ‘real’ (determinant) existence independent of its existence within the forms of thought, that this evidence is witness to a real historical process, and that this process (or some approximate understanding of it) is the object of historical knowledge. Without making such assumptions he cannot proceed: he must sit in a waiting-room outside the philosophy department all his life. To assume thus does not entail the assumption of a whole series of intellectually illiterate notions, such as that facts involuntarily disclose their own meanings, that answers are supplied independently of questions, etc. We are not talking about pre-history, even if, in some quarters, pre-history survives and even sits robbed in chairs. Any serious historian knows that ‘facts’ are liars, that they carry their own ideological loads, that open-faced, innocent questions may be a mask for exterior attributions, that even the most highly-sophisticated supposedly-neutral and empirical research techniques - techniques which would deliver to us ‘history’ packaged and untouched by the human mind, through the automatic ingestion of the computer - may conceal the most vulgar ideological intrusions. So: this is known: we have been sucking our own eggs for as long as philosophers have been sucking theirs."
— E. P. Thompson - The Poverty of Theory (via thepovertyoftheory)
One of the most importants marxists scholars these days that isn’t known by most of the mainstream intelectuality is Ellen M. Wood. She uses the theorical contributions of E. P. Thompson against determinism and structuralism to create a renewal of the Historical Materialism.
I strongly recomend this book. It’s a colection of articles about historical materialism and how the idea of capitalism is totally incompatible with the practice of democracy.