Antonio Gramsci

Antonio Gramsci

"Gramsci in context": a book from Workers' Liberty (second edition: first edition was titled "Antonio Gramsci: working-class revolutionary) The SWP and Gramsci "Gramsci with the feet cut off" ("Counterfire" and Gramsci) Discussing Gramsci: pluralism and hegemony "To produce a new stratum of intellectuals" "Gramsci is ours": review of Antonio Santucci's "Antonio Gramsci" "The formation of intellectuals" "New York and the Mystery of Naples": notes on a 47-minute video about Gramsci Antonio Gramsci: life and ideas The revolutionary ideas of Antonio Gramsci, by Peter Thomas "The Gramscian Moment"...

An anti-Stalinist Gramsci

The first, and longest, essay in this book is a warm appreciation of the interaction between Gramsci and Trotsky. The Prison Notebooks contains some sharp and, as even the mild-mannered Rosengarten puts it, "unfair" attacks on Trotsky's ideas. Yet, as Rosengarten documents, Gramsci had learned a lot from Trotsky in 1922-3. He was sympathetic to the 1923 Left Opposition. He opposed Stalinist "Third Period" policy in much the same way that Trotsky did, and "did not give any credence to the Stalinist slander of Trotsky". In jail he made efforts to get some of Trotsky's writings. Both Gramsci and...

Turin, Gramsci, and Italy’s “red years”

At Ideas for Freedom 2015, 2-5 July at Birkbeck College, London, Becky Crocker and Martin Thomas will run a workshop on the events in Turin and in the rest of Italy between 1919-20. Here Martin Thomas explains some of that history. The red years: 1919-20 I The Russian workers’ revolution of October 1917 and the end of World War 1 in November 1918 were followed by a wave of economic turmoil and working-class radicalisation across Europe, and especially in Italy. Strikes, many of them victorious, surged in early 1919. The Italian Socialist Party (PSI) was led by declared revolutionaries, known...

Gramsci defies a “terrible world”

Antonio Gramsci was a leader of the Italian Communist Party in its early days, when it was a real revolutionary party, and is now famous for the Prison Notebooks he wrote when jailed by Italy’s fascist regime between 1926 and just before his death in 1937. In this new collection of his letters from between when he was 17 and living away from home in order to study for entrance to university, and his jailing in 1926, the longest section is from just six months, between December 1923 and May 1924. Gramsci was then in Vienna, working with the Communist International (Comintern) to construct a new...

One-sided culture

Discussing why the old Italian socialist movement had failed so badly in and after World War One, Antonio Gramsci saw it as having been dominated an oratorical culture, lacking the theoretical depth for which a stronger stream of written debate would have been needed. Registering the difficulties facing the internationalists in Germany in World War One, Rosa Luxemburg noted ruefully that her comrade Franz Mehring was interested only in literary efforts, not in getting out onto the streets and into the factories to agitate by word of mouth. Gramsci was not dismissing speeches, and Rosa...

Marxism in the 1960's and 1970's

Jelle Versieren’s generous review of Antonio Gramsci: working-class revolutionary (Solidarity 311) offers a wealth of background information and context-setting. A central assessment, however, seems to me skewed. He writes that the “new wave of energy” in the intellectual affairs of the left over the whole long period from 1956 (Khrushchev’s denunciation of Stalin, and the consequent turmoil in the Communist Parties) through the turmoil of the late 1960s and early 1970s to the early 1980s (when “Eurocommunism” mutated into a drift towards plain bourgeois liberalism) produced two main...

Gramsci, Lenin, philosophy and the future of working-class politics

1. Gramsci, Lenin and Western Marxism | 2. The Modern Prince | 3. The many Gramscis: Post-Marxism, contemporary philosophy and class politics ([Althusser]) | 4. Post-Marxism | 5. Anderson’s interpretation of Gramsci | 6. Gramsci and philosophy This is a longer version of the article than in the printed paper. Gramsci, Lenin and Western Marxism Martin Thomas starts off his broad evaluation of Gramsci, through the prism of Peter Thomas’ instant classic The Gramscian Moment: Philosophy, Hegemony and Marxism (2009), with the accurate remark that Eurocommunist and Post-Marxist/New Labour/postmodern...

Antonio Gramsci: Marxist ideas for difficult times

Click here to hear the recording of an introduction on this issue by Martin Thomas at a Brisbane Workers' Liberty meeting, 23 March 2013. See below for materials for a session planned for "Ideas for Freedom", Workers' Liberty summer school in London, 23 June 2013. (The session couldn't be run as planned because the printed materials for it were lost in transit). (click on the image to download the spider diagram at readable size). The diagram above shows 30 of Gramsci's comments on socialist party-building in Italy arranged to show the clusters and relations of ideas. Other spider diagrams...

Gramsci, crisis, struggle

Following “year one” of the Russian Revolution, Antonio Gramsci wrote a piece for the newspaper Il Grido del Popolo [1918] in which he argued that”‘just as a poem exists in the fantasy of the poet before it reaches the printed paper, the advent of social organisation exists in consciousness and will . . . What is demanded is the external, printed paper.” Here, in the crucible of revolutionary processes stretching across Europe, there was a striving towards a realisation and recognition of new organisational and political forms to achieve social transformation. The “Modern Prince”, as a...

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