Religious people often refer back to their ancient profits, such as the Buddha or Mohammad or mortal deities, such as Jesus Christ or Siva for example. They can claim they have a long heritage and roots that go back for over a thousand years.
But we also have that.
There actually were atheists, such as Theodorus, (Θεόδωρος ),5th century BC the Atheist of Cyrene, of Ancient Greece. So it is not a relatively new idea.
So where are the ancient influences for dialectic materialism? It's easy to just say "I'm and atheist," but dialectic materialism is a belief that replaces religion.As for ancient Greek materialist, Democritus(Δημόκριτος), Also the 5th century BC, was an influence and was admired by Karl Marx, who wrote a thesis about him। And Just as Marx had Frederick Engels to help him write, Democritus had Leucippus (Λεύκιππος), to collaborate on his work. They also live in the ancient world of Greece.Marx was influenced by Giordano Bruno, A monk burned at the stake in 1600, the official charge was supporting Capurnicus and his conception of the world. Mao was heavily influenced by Sun Tzu, for military strategy. Moa developed his own guerrilla war fare strategy and, Sun Tzu,( 孙子;) from Ancient China, 6th century BC, was definitely a huge influence. And Maoists promote the use people's war to gain real political power.
Lao Tzu (老子), also 6th century BC was quoted several times by Mao in his later writings. Could he have been a Maoist influence from Ancient China?
And let's not forget Spartacus, 1st century BC, who led a major rebellion against the Roman Empire. Engels wrote a book on the Peasant War of Germany, in the 1500 AD. For Americans, Thomas Jefferson and Tom Paine were the hard core supporters of the Republican movement in Europe. They both supported the French Revolution. That would be an outdated stand today, but in a time when the aristocrats of Europe still held a lot of power, it was the Republicans that help replace feudalism with capitalism, which is a part of Marx’s believe that feudalism leads to capitalism, which leads to socialism and then communism. It was Antonio Gramsci, a late writer for the Italian Communist Part, who said we can’t judge everyone in the past by modern standards.
We also had one of the more influential slave revolts lead by Nat Turner, in 1831.
We need to occasionally look back to our ancient roots. That way, Marxist can claim a long heritage of philosophers and go toe to toe with any Christian or Moslem wacko, that tries to make it look like we are flukes from the 1800s.