Gramsci: challinging the ruling class received wisdom

Antonio Gramsci, 1916Friday 19th October, 7:00 pm for 7:30, Unity House, Fennel Street Loughborough.

Introduced by Dr. Ray Sutton.

Antonio Gramsci was a thinker who argued that “in capitalist societies the interests of a dominant class were furthered when they were successful in promoting their sectional interests as being in everyone’s interest.”

Isn’t this exactly what Cameron, Osborne and the Tories are so skilfully doing at the moment? They have made Neo-liberalism the “dominant discourse”.

Antonio Gramsci was born in 1891 in Sardinia. He was a founder member of the Communist Party of Italy in 1921 and leader from 1924 to 1926, when he was arrested and imprisoned by the Mussolini fascist regime. Given 20 year sentence at a show trial in 1928. His health had never been good and he died a prisoner in 1937. He wrote 33 “Prison Notebooks” which were smuggled out.

The Notebooks contain sections on the role of intellectuals, education and culture, Italian history, “The Modern Prince” with reference to Machiavelli, Americanism and Fordism, and, most importantly and relevantly to today, on State and Civil Society, including the transition from the “Frontal Attack” to the “War of Position” , Civil Society and the concept of “hegemony”. It was this formulation which separated Gramsci from the orthodox Marxism of his time and made him so far ahead of his  time and so relevant to where we are now.

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