gramscian analysis of u.s.

Mike Friedman mikedf at amnh.org
Sat Mar 1 22:07:33 MST 2003


Thanks for the info! Rupert's book looks interesting. The problem is that
very often -- and it seems to be the case, here -- hegemony is reduced to
ruling class ideology, but that is not how Gramsci presented it. For
Gramsci, hegemony represented all those ways that the ruling class achieved
the consent of the working class, and other 'subaltern' classes, to be
ruled. It's true that his concept encompassed ideology -- and not merely
capitalist ideology -- but also included psychological factors and the
market -- the very constitutive social relations of our society.

I was curious as to whether or not anyone had done an all-round systematic
study of the mechanisms through which the U.S. ruling class had established
and maintained its hegemony, this consent of the governed. What started me
on this train of thought was the Saul Landau article, "Now It's Personal:
Bush is a Global Menace," which I posted yesterday. Landau noted that,
"Consciously or not, W's policies threaten to destroy the very pillars of
social peace on which U.S. society has stood for decades."

I don't think it is an original idea to see our period as one in which the
consent of the ruled may be fractured, creating unforeseen
opportunites  for organizing, in which Gramsci's "war of position" gives
way to his "war of maneuver."




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