Antonio Gramsci

An anti-Stalinist Gramsci

Submitted by Matthew on 13 January, 2016 - 11:05 Author: Martin Thomas

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.

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

Submitted by AWL on 23 June, 2015 - 5:15 Author: Martin Thomas

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


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.

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Gramsci defies a “terrible world”

Submitted by AWL on 18 November, 2014 - 4:24 Author: Martin Thomas

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.

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Gramsci in context

Submitted by AWL on 7 May, 2014 - 10:19

May 2014: a revised and 50%-expanded edition of the 2012 booklet Antonio Gramsci: working-class revolutionary, summarising Gramsci's life and thought.

The new edition is 50% enlarged, with a "Gramsci glossary", critically reviewing concepts and terms from Gramsci now widely used or misused in political discourse.

It presents the major ideas from, and engages in debate with, Peter Thomas's big study, The Gramscian Moment; disputes the "post-Marxist" readings of Gramsci; discusses the relation between Gramsci's ideas and Trotsky's.

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One-sided culture

Submitted by Matthew on 2 April, 2014 - 10:54

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.

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