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View Diary: Beginning Gramsci (70 comments)

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  •  Good point. (6+ / 0-)

    Gramsci was indeed a Marxist, had lived in Russia, married a Russian wife, and returned to Italy at great personal danger to reinvigorate the somewhat moribund Italian Communist party. During his enforced time of contemplation while he was in prison, he hoped to develop a political theory that put Marxism into a historical context of all political theory, more especially Italian political theory. For this reason he built upon the work of Croce as well, who was a liberal but certainly not a Communist.
    I am currently reading a book by Benedetto Fontana who claims that few books about the relation of Machiavelli to Gramsci have been written in English, though there are many in Italian. From an initial skimming, my understanding is that he believes Gramsci was a humanist who had reservations about a purely mechanistic system, such as he (Fontana) believed Marx proposed.
    My personal take at this point is that people of varying personal philosophies would like to claim Gramsci as one of their own, a feeling with which I completely sympathise.

    "There's a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in". Leonard Cohen

    by northsylvania on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 04:11:33 PM PDT

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    •  Dang, we will need to get some translated it (6+ / 0-)

      seems. I would love to hear why they argue this; I admit to not being as knowledgeable on Machiavelli as I am on Hobbes, but this really seems to be a bit of a stretch. I think they are being unfair to Marx, but that is a common problem these days. He was not mechanistic, he understood the importance of subjective as well as objective forces for struggle and revolution; in fact, in his annoyance at the lack of British revolutionary zeal even with the highest level of exploitation he discussed this in detail. It was one reason behind the alteration in his perspective on the Irish national question in the hope that it would move the British workers' consciousness and make them realise the extent of their exploitation.

      "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

      by NY brit expat on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 04:26:51 PM PDT

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      •  How Right You Are! (5+ / 0-)

        Marx looked to "subjectivity", i.e., the working class to not only physically "make" the revolution, but to produce the ideas to guide it.

        He never strayed from his roots in Hegel's dialectical method, but applied it to human beings being the motive force in making history, not mechanical stages of technological development.

        Convict Bush, Cheney and their torture cabal. Support universal health care,unions, WikiLeaks and Occupy Wall Street! Time for a totally new, democratic economic system. Turn the corporations into worker cooperatives!

        by Justina on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 05:24:15 PM PDT

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        •  I don't think the stages of objective development (3+ / 0-)

          are mechanistic at all - or ownly to those who do not deal with a real dialectical process which requires both objective (economic development) and subjective(how we apply uit and relate to it).  For example, the change from an industrial economy to one based on electronic communication has radically changed and globalizecd our struggle --whether we see this as a negative "New World Order" or as a positive chance for class struggle to organize across nation-state lines depends on our subjective component.  
          I know one of the problems in he 60s was a willfulness on the part of the student movement to think that the objective conditions were riper than they were --we relied too much on subjective volunterism -- and consequently may have let a critical moment pass in the early 70s (toward the end of the Vietnam war) because we failed to organize more deeply in the working class.  But we may never really know.

          •  "because we failed to organize more deeply (6+ / 0-)

            in the working class"

            that's a subject we should be looking closely at, if  political/social/cultural progress is to be made in the usa

            (i'm much of a beginner in the literature being cited, but very psyched to be getting my marxist education furthered)

            who is in that class today?

            the sole practitioners of a skill, people who haven't received a sufficient education to have a skill, the under/unemployed, managers, professionals, and so on

            there must be a way to provoke such culturally, intellectually, physically disparate groups into a sense of community

            having connected to this group i've found the milieu both satisfying and provocative of my need to fathom human history in order to help change it from inequity to equity

            thanks to you all

            •  Personally, I like the 99% formaton -- you said (3+ / 0-)

              you connected to "this milleiu" -- could you clarify a little more?

              •  clarification i hope (2+ / 0-)

                i meant the anticap meetup group diaries and comments, but many kos diaries/comments have provided information in those areas which intrigue me most, i.e. the history of the socialist movement, and where it's at today;

                i want to see a world where a global initiative using all the resources and talents for the benefit of all, committing to an economic/cultural/political system predicated on sustaining the integrity of the planet

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