...is the creation of Isaac Asimov and the central element in his Foundation series. I'm not much of a fan, but it seems that he was anticipated both by J. S. Mill and (negatively) by Marx. Popper calls Mill's notion that sociology can be reduced to psychology "psychologism," and seems generally approving of Marx's rejection of it in favor of independent foundations for sociology, though of course rejecting Marx for the even greater crime of "historicism," the notion that the historical future is baked into the past, and determined by ineluctable laws of historical development.
Marx apparently made it his project to discover those laws, but like many another philosopher discovered mostly those laws that he wanted to believe.
I wish I could remember who said "prediction is hard, especially of the future.*"
*Well of course it was Niels Bohr. Google remembers all.