Gramsci and Education

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Tue Aug 19 12:19:38 MDT 2003

Peter McLaren wrote:
> The task as I saw it (about a
> decade ago when the article was first published) was to address the way
> Gramsci's politics have been domesticated by  many -- but not all -- writers
> in  the cultural studies field who in my view over-emphasize culture at the
> expense of Gramsci's political economy and communism...

Sometimes I think that the proper word is housebroken rather than
domesticated. In Perry Anderson's "Considerations on Western Marxism"
(ah, the good old days), there's a section on how Gramsci has been
turned into a kind of precursor to cultural studies rather than a jailed
communist revolutionary. I've been aware of Joseph Buttegieg for some
years now. He works closely with an old friend and Gramsci scholar Frank
Rosengarten, who was one of the millions of people who passed through
the SWP in the 1970. Frank was the quintessential absent-minded
professors who once told people at the Brecht Forum that he refused to
read Marx on principle, but read everything that Gramsci ever wrote.
What principle was involved I was always too afraid to ask. I would bump
into Frank from time to time in our upper east side neighborhood and
rant on to him about the need to understand Lenin in context. He always
listened to me with the same expression on his face my mother got when I
tried to explain object-oriented programming.


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