Gramsci

marquit at physics.spa.umn.edu marquit at physics.spa.umn.edu
Sat Mar 4 18:06:30 MST 1995


> In vol.
> 6, no. 1 (1993) of the journal Nature, Society, and Thought there is an
> interesting article by the Hungarian philosopher Andras Gedo on how
> Croci's philosophical idealism and Lenin's dialectical materialism
> brought about, among other things, the new-Left's flirtation with Gramsci
> and then their abandonment of him when they realized what he was up to.

>>Could you explain this a little more, please?  This is fascinating, but a
>>little cryptic (I'll try and have a look at the article sometime soon,
>>but if you could provide a bit more of a summary that would be really
>>helpful).

Gedo is always difficult to summarize, since he
writes in a somewhat telegraphic style. He
argues that Gramsci was a student of Croci and was
influenced by Gramsci's "absolute historicism,"
which fundamentally reflected a position of
philosphical idealism. Gramsci was also a
Leninist when it came to political activity. This
was usually overlooked in the sixties and early
seventies and his call for cultural hegemony was
looked upon (now thiis  is my interpretation of Gedo)
as a focus on consciousness raising in lieu of revolutionary
Marxism in lieu of politically organized
class struggle. It subsequently became clear, however,  that Gramsci's
cultural hegemony was something he, Gramsci,
viewed a  necessary  condition for a socialist revolution--remember
Marx's 1844 comment that an idea becomes a
revolutionary force when it grips the masses. In
other words, Gramsci regarded the task of his
party to be to bring about a socialst consiciousness
in the working class (and allied classes) by
connecting theoretical education and propaganda
with concrete   political activity, that is, not
divorced from material forms of class struggle.
Gedo does not say this, but the Communist movement
with which Gramsci was associated  Gramsci's
focuson theorical preparation with
suspicion. He is now being paid more attention by
some the more traditionally oriented Communist parties
such as the German Communist Party
(DKP). See Hans Heinz Holzs book, "The Downfall
and Future of Socialism," published as a special
issue of "Nature, Society, and Thought." vol. 5, no.
3 (1992).



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