Gramsci's Political Thought (Historical Materialism Book)

Gramsci's Political Thought (Historical Materialism Book)

Language: English

Pages: 198

ISBN: 1608462773

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Focusing on the central concepts of the Prison Notebooks and relating them to the history of modern political ideas, Gramsci's Political Thought demonstrates that Gramsci’s ideas continue to be relevant for understanding today's world. Written by a leading Brazilian Marxist theorist, this book provides one of the most succinct and theoretically focused introductions to Gramsci's thought available in any language.

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seen from a strictly economistic perspective) seem to be not-yet ‘mature’ for transformation. With the Soviet Revolution and, more broadly, with the end of the First World-War, the issue of socialism became a priority all over Europe. Everything seemed to indicate that the era of world-revolution had begun. The Italian Socialist Party, which had benefited from a neutral position during the conflict (an attitude that, even though determined for the 14  •  Chapter Two most part by maximalist

bourgeoisie of the North. The South was a captive (though restricted) market, guarded by protectionism, and, more importantly, it was also a supplier of cheap labour for northern industry. This situation favoured not only the northern bourgeoisie, but also the great landowners of the South, who were thus protected by the state against radical transformations in the status of rural property. What is more, the large profitmargins enjoyed by the northern bourgeoisie, thanks to protectionism and to

and the same’ (Gramsci 1975, p. 1590; 1971b, p. 160). The statement can be misinterpreted (and it has been, by many scholars) as if Gramsci did not mean to affirm the material-ontological distinction between the two spheres. This not only runs against the very spirit of Gramsci’s reflections (objectively denying their novelty and originality), but also contradicts Gramsci himself, who, in another passage in the Notebooks, refers, in a dialectically correct way, to the ‘identity/distinction

implies, among other things, the articulation of direct and representative democracy) is in Gramsci’s work merely a seed, not fully developed, and perhaps unable to be developed at that time.14 Therefore, Gramsci’s universality does not exempt those Marxists inspired by him from two basic tasks: first, to concretise his general theoretical formulations, ‘applying’ them to their own historical time and their own national reality; and second, to continue the theoretical development of the concepts

an optimistic conception. We think the river necessarily runs to the sea.7 Things were not different among the representatives of the ‘maximalist’ group (they got the name for defending the ‘maximum-programme’), nominally opposed to reformism, who had conquered the leadership of the PSI in 1912. Giacinto Menotti Serrati, their main leader, revealed a conception of Marxism similar to Turati’s when he stated, in 1919: We base our whole maximalist conception on the Marxist doctrine and on its

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