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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In this brief piece, Gramsci reveals two things: one, that, thanks to Lenin, he was already able to convert his old and deep-rooted rejection of the fatalist and mechanistic view of Marxism into a positive, concrete dialectical method, aimed at the materialist analysis of reality; two, that he had already absorbed – thanks again to the influence of Lenin, but also going beyond him – certain insights which later, in the Notebooks, would lead him to consider the ‘war of position’ as the proper

method for the conquest of hegemony and power in the more complex Western societies. Thus, the battle against Bordiga was fought in the name of Lenin, but not in the name of a Lenin conceived as a chest of ready-made definitions, a Lenin understood as the creator of an abstract and doctrinaire ‘Leninism’ (similar to what Stalin was beginning to propose), but in the name of the dialectical and materialist method that lies at the basis of practical action and of the main political formulations of

follows from it, is something that transcends knowledge and connects itself directly with action that aims at influencing the behaviour 54.  Gramsci 1975, pp. 1378–9; 1971b, p. 326. 55.  Gramsci 1975, p. 1375; 1971b, p. 353. Methodological Observations on the Prison Notebooks  •  73 of other people. It is interesting to observe that the late Lukács defined ideology in very much the same way: Even if it is a form of consciousness, ideology is not absolutely identical with the cognitive

was involved was not a social group which ‘led’ other groups, but a State which, even though it had limitations as a power, ‘led’ the group which should have been ‘leading’. . . . The important thing is to analyse more profoundly the significance of a ‘Piedmont’-type function 26.  Gramsci 1975, p. 1228; 1971b, pp. 119–20. 27.  Gramsci 1975, pp. 2139–40; 1971b, pp. 279–80. 104  •  Chapter Six in passive revolutions – i.e. the fact that a State replaces the local social groups in leading a

imagine a state that, though oriented by a totality, is anything but totalitarian: in so far as it is a concrete totality – that is, differentiated – the Hegelian state is necessarily a pluralistic state.14 Extending this further, but hopefully still remaining true to the spirit of Hegelian thought, we could suggest that this is a state where hegemony (the preponderance of universality or of the public) is organically linked with pluralism (with the preservation and development of particularities

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