Monday, July 04, 2005

Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) was an Italian Marxist communist, socialist, political theorist, and activist.

TABLE OF CONTENTS – FILE JULY 2005
Antonio Gramsci, socialist communist & philosopher

#1 - Gramsci's Grand Plan by Fr. James Thornton
http://thenewamerican.com/tna/1999/07-05-99/vo15no14_gramsci.htm

#2 - Why There Is A Culture War: Gramsci and Tocqueville in America by John Fonte - http://www.policyreview.org/dec00/Fonte.html

#3 - Who is Antonio Gramsci? You Better Learn! - Free Republic - http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a3a4c610569be.htm

#4 - Russia Hearkens to Gramsci's Ghost by John Vennari
http://www.fatima.org/library/cr48pg14.html
http://web.archive.org/web/20040604181335/http://www.fatima.org/library/cr48pg14.html

#5 - Toward the Total State by William Norman Grigg -
http://thenewamerican.com/tna/1999/07-05-99/vo15no14_total.htm

#6 - Who are the Real Radicals? by Jennifer King
http://www.rightgrrl.com/jennifer1.html

#7 - Blue State Culture by Anthony C. LoBaido (November 21, 2004).
The author blames Gramsci for everything bad in American culture. According to the author, "The Gramsci Strategy" has been systematically implemented in the United States over the last 50 years. http://www.sierratimes.com/04/11/22/lobaido.htm

#8 -DELETED- PostModern Cults: Promise Keepers Antonio Gramsci by Kenneth Sublett -http://www.piney.com/WinPostMod.html

#9 – Encylopedia article about Antonio Gramsci
http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Antonio-Gramsci

#10 – A few quotes attributed to Antonio Gramsci
http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Antonio_Gramsci
http://www.creativequotations.com/one/1947.htm

#11 – A long list of WWW Links to articles about Antonio Gramsci
http://www.factbites.com/topics/Antonio-Gramsci

#12 – Antonio Gramsci Links & Archives – From “Victory is Certain” Leftist Links Archive
http://www.victoryiscertain.com/gramsci/
http://www.victoryiscertain.com/linksarchive/index.html

#13 - Whose Gramsci, Right-wing Gramscism, by author Rob van Kranenburg, Reactionary right-wingers appropriate our strategy
http://www.italnet.nd.edu/gramsci/igsn/articles/a09_5.shtml

#14 - An Introduction to Gramsci's Life and Thought
By Frank Rosengarten
http://www.marxists.org/archive/gramsci/intro.htm




http://www.thenewamerican.com/tna/1999/07-05-99/vo15no14_gramsci.htm

Vol. 15, No. 14July 5, 1999Table of Contents
More on Communism
Gramsci's Grand Planby Fr. James Thornton


One of the most interesting aspects of the study of history is that very often men born in the most humble of circumstances nevertheless rise up to affect the course of human history dramatically. They may be men of action or men of thought, yet in either case their activities can father tremendous changes across the years. Antonio Gramsci was both a man of action and thought and, whatever the outcome of the events of the next several decades, he will almost certainly be reckoned by future historians to have been a remarkable figure.


Born in obscurity on the island of Sardinia in 1891, Gramsci would not have been considered a prime candidate to impact significantly the 20th century. Gramsci studied philosophy and history at the University of Turin, and soon became a dedicated Marxist, joining the Italian Socialist Party. Immediately after the First World War, he established his own radical newspaper, The New Order, and shortly afterwards helped in the founding of the Italian Communist Party.


Disillusioned Marxist


The fascist "March on Rome," and the appointment of Benito Mussolini to the prime ministry, impelled the young Marxist theorist to depart Italy. Casting about for a new home, he chose the most logical place for a Communist, Lenin's newly fashioned USSR. However, Soviet Russia was not what he had expected. His powers of observation wakened immediately to the distance that so often separates theory from reality. A fanatical Marxist insofar as political, economic, and historical theories were concerned, Gramsci was profoundly disturbed that life in Communist Russia exhibited little evidence of any deeply felt love on the part of the workers for the "paradise" that Lenin had constructed for them. Even less was there any deep attachment to such concepts as the "proletarian revolution" or "dictatorship of the proletariat," apart from the obligatory rhetoric.


On the contrary, it was obvious to Gramsci that the "paradise" of the working class maintained its hold over workers and peasants only by sheer terror, by mass murder on a gargantuan scale, and by the ubiquitous, gnawing fear of midnight knocks on the door and of forced-labor camps in the Siberian wilderness. Also crucial to Lenin's state was a continuous drumbeat of propaganda, slogans, and outright lies. It was all very disillusioning for Gramsci. While other men might have reassessed their entire ideological outlook after such experiences, Gramsci's subtle, analytical mind worked on the seeming paradox differently.


The death of Lenin and the seizure of power by Stalin caused Gramsci immediately to reconsider his choice of residence. Building upon Lenin's achievements in terror and tyranny, Stalin began to transform agrarian Russia into an industrial giant that would then turn all of its energies to military conquest. It was Stalin's design to build the greatest military machine in history, crush the "forces of reaction," and impose Communism on Europe and Asia — and later on the whole world — by brute force.
In the meantime, however, to consolidate and assure his power, Stalin systematically commenced the extermination of potential foes within his own camp. That, as it turned out, became an ongoing process, one that lasted until his own demise. In particular, men suspected of even the slightest ideological heresy in relation to Stalin's own interpretation of Marxism-Leninism were sent straight to torture chambers or death camps, or were hurried before firing squads.


Prison "Prophet"


His days obviously numbered in Stalinist Russia, Gramsci decided to return home and take up the struggle against Mussolini. Seen as both a serious threat to the safety of the fascist regime and a likely agent of a hostile foreign power, after a relatively short time Gramsci was arrested and sentenced to a lengthy term of imprisonment, and there, in his prison cell, he devoted the nine years that were left to him to writing. Before his death from tuberculosis in 1937, Gramsci produced nine volumes of observations on history, sociology, Marxist theory, and, most importantly, Marxist strategy.


Those volumes, known as the Prison Notebooks, have since been published in many languages and distributed throughout the world. Their significance comes from the fact that they form the foundation for a dramatic new Marxist strategy, one that makes the "spontaneous revolution" of Lenin as obsolete as hoop skirts and high button shoes, one that promises to win the world voluntarily to Marxism, and one based on a realistic appraisal of historical fact and human psychology, rather than on empty wishes and illusions.


As we shall see, Gramsci's shrewd assessment of the true essence of Marxism and of mankind makes his writings among the most powerful in this century. While Gramsci himself would die an ignominious and lonely death in a fascist prison, his thoughts would attain a life of their own and rise up to menace the world. What are these ideas?


Essence of the Red Revolution


Gramsci's signal contribution was to liberate the Marxist project from the prison of economic dogma, thereby dramatically enhancing its ability to subvert Christian society.


If we were to take the ideological pronouncements of Marx and Lenin at face value, we would believe — as have millions of their deluded disciples — that the uprising of the workers was inevitable, and that all that was to be done was to mobilize the underclass through propaganda, thereby sparking universal revolution. Of course, this premise is invalid, yet it remained inflexible doctrine among Communists — at least, for public consumption.


However, the hard core of the Communist movement consisted of ruthless criminals, clear-eyed in their understanding of the intellectual errors of Marxism, who were willing to employ any necessary means to obtain the power they sought. For such hardened, hate-intoxicated conspirators, ideology is a tactic, a means of mobilizing supporters and rationalizing criminal actions.


Those who accept uncritically the idea that "Communism is dead" fail to understand the true nature of the enemy. Communism is not an ideology in which one believes. Rather, it is a criminal conspiracy in which one enlists. Although Lenin professed to revere Marx's scribblings as sacred writ, once his Bolsheviks had seized power in Russia, Lenin freely modified Marxism to suit his needs. The same was true of Stalin. The Bolsheviks did not come to power in Russia by any uprising of the workers and peasants, but by a coup d'etat, orchestrated by a tightly disciplined Marxist cadre and ultimately consolidated by civil war. They also received — lest it be forgotten — critical help from Western political and banking elites.


In similar fashion, Communism did not come to power in Eastern Europe by revolution, but rather through the imposition of that system by a conquering Red Army — and, once again, through the corrupt connivance of conspirators in the West. In China, Communism came to power through civil war, aided by the Soviets and by traitorous elements in the West.


In no single instance has Communism ever achieved power by means of any popular revolutionary upheaval, but always by force or subterfuge. The only popular revolutionary upheavals recorded in the 20th century have been anti-Marxist "counter-revolutions," such as the revolt in Berlin in 1954 and the Hungarian uprising of 1956.


Looking back on the 20th century, it is clear that Marx was wrong in his assumption that most workers and peasants were dissatisfied with their places in, and alienated from, their societies, that they were seething with resentment against the middle and upper classes, or that they in any way were predisposed to revolution.


Moreover, wherever Communism achieved power, its use of unprecedented levels of violence, coercion, and repression have generated underground opposition at home and militant opposition abroad, making endless killing and repression endemic to Marxism and essential for Communist survival. All of these undeniable facts, when examined honestly, posed insurmountable difficulties insofar as further extensions of Communist power were concerned, and assured some kind of ultimate crisis for Marxism.


While the foregoing is obvious to perceptive observers now, looking back from the vantage point of our time and after more than eight decades of experience with the reality of Communism in power, we begin to understand something of the insightfulness of Antonio Gramsci when we realize that what is evident now, at the close of the millennium, was evident to him when the Soviet regime was in its infancy and Communism still largely untried conjecture.


Gramsci was a brilliant student of philosophy, history, and languages. This education imparted to him an excellent grasp of the character of his fellow men and of the character of the societies that made up the civilized community of nations in the early decades of this century. As we have already seen, one of the foundational insights given him by this education was that Communist hopes for a spontaneous revolution, brought about by some process of historical inevitability, were illusory. Marxist ideologues were, he asserted, beguiling themselves.


In the Gramscian view workers and peasants were not, by and large, revolutionary-minded and they harbored no desire for the destruction of the existing order. Most had loyalties beyond, and far more powerful than, class considerations, even in those instances where their lives were less than ideal. More meaningful to ordinary people than class solidarity and class warfare were such things as faith in God and love of family and country. These were foremost among their overriding allegiances.


Such attractiveness as Communist promises might possess among the working classes was, moreover, diminished by Communist brutalities and by heavy-handed totalitarian methods. Stirring the aristocratic and bourgeois classes to action, these negative attributes were so terrifying and sobering that militant anti-Marxist organizations and movements sprang up everywhere, effectively putting a halt to plans for Communist expansion. With all of this easily apparent to him, and, blessed in a way with the seemingly endless leisure afforded by prison life, Gramsci turned his excellent mind to saving Marxism by analyzing and solving these questions.


Subverting Christian Faith


The civilized world, Gramsci deduced, had been thoroughly saturated with Christianity for 2,000 years and Christianity remains the dominant philosophical and moral system in Europe and North America. Practically speaking, civilization and Christianity were inextricably bound together. Christianity had become so thoroughly integrated into the daily lives of nearly everyone, including non-Christians living in Christian lands, it was so pervasive, that it formed an almost impenetrable barrier to the new, revolutionary civilization Marxists wish to create.


Attempting to batter down that barrier proved unproductive, since it only generated powerful counter-revolutionary forces, consolidating them and making them potentially deadly. Therefore, in place of the frontal attack, how much more advantageous and less hazardous it would be to attack the enemy's society subtly, with the aim of transforming the society's collective mind gradually, over a period of a few generations, from its former Christian worldview into one more harmonious to Marxism. And there was more.


Whereas conventional Marxist-Leninists were hostile towards the non-Communist left, Gramsci argued that alliances with a broad spectrum of leftist groups would prove essential to Communist victory. In Gramsci's time these included, among others, various "anti-fascist" organizations, trade unions, and socialist political groups. In our time, alliances with the left would include radical feminists, extremist environmentalists, "civil rights" movements, anti-police associations, internationalists, ultra-liberal church groups, and so forth. These organizations, along with open Communists, together create a united front working for the transformation of the old Christian culture.

What Gramsci proposed, in short, was a renovation of Communist methodology and a streamlining and updating of Marx's antiquated strategies. Let there be no doubt that Gramsci's vision of the future was entirely Marxist and that he accepted the validity of Marxism's overall worldview.


Where he differed was in the process for achieving the victory of that worldview. Gramsci wrote that "there can and must be a 'political hegemony' even before assuming government power, and in order to exercise political leadership or hegemony one must not count solely on the power and material force that are given by government." What he meant is that it is incumbent upon Marxists to win the hearts and minds of the people, and not to rest hopes for the future solely on force or power.


Furthermore, Communists were enjoined to put aside some of their class prejudice in the struggle for power, seeking to win even elements within the bourgeois classes, a process which Gramsci described as "the absorption of the elites of the enemy classes."

Not only would this strengthen Marxism with new blood, but it would deprive the enemy of this lost talent. Winning the bright young sons and daughters of the bourgeoisie to the red banner, wrote Gramsci, "results in [the anti-Marxist forces'] decapitation and renders them impotent." In short, violence and force will not by themselves genuinely transform the world. Rather it is through winning hegemony over the minds of the people and in robbing enemy classes of their most gifted men that Marxism will triumph over all.


Free-Will Slaves


Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, a classic study of modern totalitarianism, contains a line that epitomizes the concept that Gramsci tried to convey to his party comrades: "A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude." While it is improbable that Huxley was familiar with Gramsci's theories, the idea he conveys of free persons marching willingly into bondage is nevertheless precisely what Gramsci had in mind.


Gramsci believed that if Communism achieved "mastery of human consciousness," then labor camps and mass murder would be unnecessary. How does an ideology gain such mastery over patterns of thought inculcated by cultures for hundreds of years? Mastery over the consciousness of the great mass of people would be attained, Gramsci contended, if Communists or their sympathizers gained control of the organs of culture — churches, education, newspapers, magazines, the electronic media, serious literature, music, the visual arts, and so on. By winning "cultural hegemony," to use Gramsci's own term, Communism would control the deepest wellsprings of human thought and imagination. One need not even control all of the information itself if one can gain control over the minds that assimilate that information. Under such conditions, serious opposition disappears since men are no longer capable of grasping the arguments of Marxism's opponents. Men will indeed "love their servitude," and will not even realize that it is servitude.


Steps in the Process


The first phase in achieving "cultural hegemony" over a nation is the undermining of all elements of traditional culture. Churches are thus transformed into ideology-driven political clubs, with the stress on "social justice" and egalitarianism, with worship reduced to trivialized entertainment, and with age-old doctrinal and moral teachings "modernized" or diminished to the point of irrelevancy.
Genuine education is replaced by "dumbed down" and "politically correct" curricula, and standards are reduced dramatically.

The mass media are fashioned into instruments for mass manipulation and for harassing and discrediting traditional institutions and their spokesmen. Morality, decency, and old virtues are ridiculed without respite.


Tradition-minded clergymen are portrayed as hypocrites and virtuous men and women as prudish, stuffy, and unenlightened.


Culture is no longer a buttress supporting the integrity of the national heritage and a vehicle for imparting that heritage to future generations, but becomes a means for "destroying ideals and ... presenting the young not with heroic examples but with deliberately and aggressively degenerate ones," as theologian Harold O.J. Brown writes. We see this in contemporary American life, in which the great historical symbols of our nation's past, including great presidents, soldiers, explorers, and thinkers, are shown to have been unforgivably flawed with "racism" and "sexism" and therefore basically evil. Their place has been taken by pro-Marxist charlatans, pseudo-intellectuals, rock stars, leftist movie celebrities, and the like. At another level, traditional Christian culture is condemned as repressive, "Eurocentric," and "racist" and, thus, unworthy of our continued devotion. In its place, unalloyed primitivism in the guise of "multiculturalism" is held as the new model.


Marriage and family, the very building blocks of our society, are perpetually attacked and subverted. Marriage is portrayed as a plot by men to perpetuate an evil system of domination over women and children. The family is depicted as a dangerous institution epitomized by violence and exploitation. Patriarchally oriented families are, according to the Gramscians, the precursors of fascism, Nazism, and every organized form of racial persecution.


The Frankfurt School


With respect to the subject of the undermining of the American family, and to many other aspects of the Gramscian technique, let us explore briefly the story of the Frankfurt School. This organization of leftist intellectuals, also known as the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research, was founded in the 1920s in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. There it flourished amidst the decadence of the Weimar period, both compounding and feeding off the decadence, and extending its influence throughout the country.


With Hitler's acquisition of the chancellorship in 1933, the leftist stalwarts of the Frankfurt School fled Germany for the United States, where they soon established a new institute at Columbia University.


As is characteristic of such men, they repaid their debt to the U.S. for sheltering them from Nazi brutality by turning their attention to what they regarded as the injustices and social deficiencies inherent to our system and society. Immediately they set about devising a program of revolutionary reform for America.
Max Horkheimer, one of the notables of the Frankfurt School, determined that America's profound allegiance to the traditional family was a mark of our national inclination towards the same fascist system from which he had fled. Explaining this connection between fascism and the American family, he declared: "When the child respects in his father's strength a moral relationship and thus learns to love what his reason recognizes to be a fact, he is experiencing his first training for the bourgeois authority relationship."


Commenting critically on Horkheimer's theory, Arthur Herman writes in The Idea of Decline in Western History: "The typical modern family, then, involves 'sado-masochistic resolution of the Oedipus complex,' producing a psychological cripple, the 'authoritarian personality.' The individual's hatred of the father is suspended and remains unresolved, becoming instead an attraction for strong authority figures whom he obeys unquestioningly." The traditional patriarchal family is thus a breeding ground for fascism, according to Horkheimer, and charismatic authority figures — men like Hitler and Mussolini — are the ultimate beneficiaries of the "authoritarian personality" instilled by the traditional family and culture.
Theodor W. Adorno, another notable of the Frankfurt School, underscored Horkheimer's theory with his own study, published in book form as The Authoritarian Personality, which he authored together with Else Frenkel-Brunswik, Daniel J. Levinson, and R. Nevitt Sanford. Upon closer examination, it became apparent to critics that the research on which The Authoritarian Personality was based was pseudo-sociological, flawed in its methodology and skewed in its conclusions. But, the critics were ignored.


America, Adorno and his research team pronounced, was ripe for its own, home-grown fascist takeover. Not only was the American population hopelessly racist and anti-Semitic, but it had far too acquiescent an attitude towards authority figures such as fathers, policemen, clergy, military leaders, and so forth. It was also far too obsessed with such "fascist" notions as efficiency, cleanliness, and success, for these qualities revealed an inward "pessimistic and contemptuous view of humanity," a view that leads, Adorno held, to fascism.


Through such unmitigated balderdash as one finds in the writings of Horkheimer, Adorno, and the other luminaries of the Frankfurt School, the structures of the traditional family and traditional virtue have been called seriously into question and confidence in them blunted. Elected government officials and bureaucrats have contributed to this problem through government taxation policies, which mulct the traditional family while subsidizing anti-traditional modes of life.


Additionally, these officials are inclined more and more towards the elevation of abominations such as homosexual and illicit heterosexual unions to the same level as marriage. Already, in many localities throughout the country and in numerous private corporations, benefits previously reserved to married couples are now granted to unmarried sexual "partners." Even the word "family" is slowly being superseded by the vague euphemism "household."


A Lawless Land


Americans have long boasted that their nation is a government of law, not of men. American law is derived directly from English common law and from the biblical and Christian principles that are at the root of English common law. One would therefore expect law to constitute one of the chief barriers against the subversion of our society. Instead, in the field of law, revolutionary change has become the order of the day, change so astounding that it could not have been imagined by Americans of 50 years ago. None would have dreamed of the outlawing of prayer and any expression of religious conviction on public property, the legalization of abortion as a constitutionally guaranteed "right," and the legalization of pornography, to mention but three.


Clearly expressed principles embraced by the Founding Fathers and set forth in our Constitution are now routinely reinterpreted and distorted. Those that cannot be reinterpreted and distorted, such as the Tenth Amendment, are simply ignored. Worse yet, the ideological agenda underpinning the radicalization of American law is blithely accepted by millions of Americans, who have themselves been radicalized without ever realizing it.


Crucial to the Gramscians' success is the disappearance of all memory of the old civilization and way of life. The older America of unregulated lives, honest government, clean cities, crime-free streets, morally edifying entertainment, and a family-oriented way of life is no longer vivid in the minds of many Americans.
Once it is gone completely, nothing will stand in the way of the new Marxist civilization, which demonstrates as nothing else that through the Gramscian method it is indeed possible to "Marxize the inner man," as Malachi Martin wrote in The Keys of This Blood. Then and only then, writes Fr. Martin, "could you successfully dangle the utopia of the 'Workers' Paradise' before his eyes, to be accepted in a peaceful and humanely agreeable manner, without revolution or violence or bloodshed."
It must be evident to all but the most simple souls that after the passage of a generation or two, such ceaseless social conditioning is bound to alter the consciousness and inner-substance of a society, and it is bound to produce significant structural crises within that society, crises that manifest themselves in numberless ways in virtually every community throughout the country.


The Good Fight


It may seem to some that the situation in our nation is hopeless and that no force or agency can possibly put a halt to the insidious strategies working to destroy us.
Despite the grim chronicle of the past 60 or 70 years, however, there is still much that may be done and much reason for hope. Families and individual men and women still possess, to a large extent, the freedom to avoid and escape the mind-altering social conditioning of the Gramscians.



They have the power to shield themselves from these influences and especially to shield their young. There are alternatives to public schools, television, trashy movies, and strident "rock" music, and those alternatives must be embraced. The propaganda and cultural strychnine must be excluded from our lives.
Those in charge of young people have an especially weighty responsibility. Despite all of the efforts of the radical left and of their sympathizers in the schools and media to transmute young Americans into savages, they must not be allowed to succeed, because disorganized minds — mental vortices of anarchism and nihilism — have no powers of resistance. Savages soon become slaves. Children and youths should be introduced to such bedrock concepts as honesty, decency, virtue, duty, and love of God and country through the lives of authentic national heroes — men like George Washington, Nathan Hale, John Paul Jones, and Robert E. Lee.


Similarly, they will better be able to retain civilized values and maintain healthy minds if they are encouraged to learn to love their cultural inheritance through great literature, poetry, music, and art. Parents must demand from their children the upholding of the morals, manners, and standards of their ancestors.
In school, the young must be required to adhere to high standards of scholarship. Most importantly, traditional religion must be an integral part of daily living.
We as citizens must also exercise our persuasive powers over our elected representatives. In doing this our mindset must be one of demanding absolute non-compromise from politicians. Likewise, in choosing elected representatives at every level, we must look to men and women who refuse to compromise.


Just as importantly, the honorable, uncompromising men and women we elect to represent us must be made aware of the Gramscian strategy of cultural subversion; they must be able to recognize the tactics and strategies being used to undermine the institutions upon which our liberties depend. Building that understanding will, in turn, require the creation of an educated and principled electorate that will impart this wisdom to our representatives — and hold them accountable once they have been entrusted with elective office.


We should never allow ourselves to be stampeded, herd like, into forming opinions and judgments stimulated and orchestrated by the sensationalism of the press and the other media masters. Instead, we must calmly resist their mind-control techniques. We must strive to be independent thinkers. Realizing that we are not alone, we should turn to tradition-minded churches, schools, and political and educational organizations, and there lend our voices and support to the creation of bastions of resistance to the Gramscian onslaught.


Finally, we must never give up our faith in the future and our hope for a better America and world. God, with His infinite power and boundless love for us, will never forsake us but will answer our prayers and reward our efforts, as long as we do not lose our faith. Marxism Ñ and whatever other flags the total state parades under these days — are not inevitable and are not the wave of the future. As long as we think and act in the indomitable spirit of our forefathers, we cannot fail.








http://www.policyreview.org/dec00/fonte_print.html

#2 - Why There Is A Culture War

Gramsci and Tocqueville in America

By John Fonte

As intellectual historians have often had occasion to observe, there are times in a nation’s history when certain ideas are just "in the air." Admittedly, this point seems to fizzle when applied to our particular historical moment. On the surface of American politics, as many have had cause to mention, it appears that the main trends predicted over a decade ago in Francis Fukuyama’s "The End of History?" have come to pass — that ideological (if not partisan) strife has been muted; that there is a general consensus about the most important questions of the day (capitalism, not socialism; democracy, not authoritarianism); and that the contemporary controversies that do exist, while occasionally momentous, are essentially mundane, concerned with practical problem-solving (whether it is better to count ballots by hand or by machine) rather than with great principles.



And yet, I would argue, all that is true only on the surface. For simultaneously in the United States of the past few decades, recurring philosophical concepts have not only remained "in the air," but have proved influential, at times decisive, in cultural and legal and moral arguments about the most important questions facing the nation. Indeed: Prosaic appearances to the contrary, beneath the surface of American politics an intense ideological struggle is being waged between two competing worldviews. I will call these "Gramscian" and "Tocquevillian" after the intellectuals who authored the warring ideas — the twentieth-century Italian thinker Antonio Gramsci, and, of course, the nineteenth-century French intellectual Alexis de Tocqueville. The stakes in the battle between the intellectual heirs of these two men are no less than what kind of country the United States will be in decades to come.

Refining class warfare

We’ll begin with an overview of the thought of Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937), a Marxist intellectual and politician. Despite his enormous influence on today’s politics, he remains far less well-known to most Americans than does Tocqueville.

Gramsci’s main legacy arises through his departures from orthodox Marxism. Like Marx, he argued that all societies in human history have been divided into two basic groups: the privileged and the marginalized, the oppressor and the oppressed, the dominant and the subordinate.

Gramsci expanded Marx’s ranks of the "oppressed" into categories that still endure. As he wrote in his famous Prison Notebooks, "The marginalized groups of history include not only the economically oppressed, but also women, racial minorities and many ‘criminals.’"

What Marx and his orthodox followers described as "the people," Gramsci describes as an "ensemble" of subordinate groups and classes in every society that has ever existed until now. This collection of oppressed and marginalized groups — "the people" — lack unity and, often, even consciousness of their own oppression. To reverse the correlation of power from the privileged to the "marginalized," then, was Gramsci’s declared goal.

Power, in Gramsci’s observation, is exercised by privileged groups or classes in two ways: through domination, force, or coercion; and through something called "hegemony," which means the ideological supremacy of a system of values that supports the class or group interests of the predominant classes or groups. Subordinate groups, he argued, are influenced to internalize the value systems and world views of the privileged groups and, thus, to consent to their own marginalization.

Far from being content with a mere uprising, therefore, Gramsci believed that it was necessary first to delegitimize the dominant belief systems of the predominant groups and to create a "counter-hegemony" (i.e., a new system of values for the subordinate groups) before the marginalized could be empowered.

Moreover, because hegemonic values permeate all spheres of civil society -- schools, churches, the media, voluntary associations -- civil society itself, he argued, is the great battleground in the struggle for hegemony, the "war of position." From this point, too, followed a corollary for which Gramsci should be known (and which is echoed in the feminist slogan) — that all life is "political."

Thus, private life, the work place, religion, philosophy, art, and literature, and civil society, in general, are contested battlegrounds in the struggle to achieve societal transformation.

It is perhaps here that one sees Gramsci’s most important reexamination of Marx’s thought. Classical Marxists implied that a revolutionary consciousness would simply develop from the objective (and oppressive) material conditions of working class life.

Gramsci disagreed, noting that "there have always been exploiters and exploited" — but very few revolutions per se. In his analysis, this was because subordinate groups usually lack the "clear theoretical consciousness" necessary to convert the "structure of repression into one of rebellion and social reconstruction."

Revolutionary "consciousness" is crucial. Unfortunately, the subordinate groups possess "false consciousness," that is to say, they accept the conventional assumptions and values of the dominant groups, as "legitimate." But real change, he continued to believe, can only come about through the transformation of consciousness.

Just as Gramsci’s analysis of consciousness is more nuanced than Marx’s, so too is his understanding of the role of intellectuals in that process. Marx had argued that for revolutionary social transformation to be successful, the world views of the predominant groups must first be unmasked as instruments of domination.

In classical Marxism, this crucial task of demystifying and delegitimizing the ideological hegemony of the dominant groups is performed by intellectuals. Gramsci, more subtly, distinguishes between two types of intellectuals: "traditional" and "organic."

What subordinate groups need, Gramsci maintains, are their own "organic intellectuals." However, the defection of "traditional" intellectuals from the dominant groups to the subordinate groups, he held, is also important, because traditional intellectuals who have "changed sides" are well positioned within established institutions.

The metaphysics, or lack thereof, behind this Gramscian worldview are familiar enough. Gramsci describes his position as "absolute historicism," meaning that morals, values, truths, standards and human nature itself are products of different historical epochs. There are no absolute moral standards that are universally true for all human beings outside of a particular historical context; rather, morality is "socially constructed."

Historically, Antonio Gramsci’s thought shares features with other writers who are classified as "Hegelian Marxists" — the Hungarian Marxist Georg Lukacs, the German thinker Karl Korsch, and members of the "Frankfurt School" (e.g., Theodor Adorno and Herbert Marcuse), a group of theorists associated with the Institute for Social Research founded in Frankfurt, Germany in the 1920s, some of whom attempted to synthesize the thinking of Marx and Freud.

All emphasized that the decisive struggle to overthrow the bourgeois regime (that is, middle-class liberal democracy) would be fought out at the level of consciousness. That is, the old order had to be rejected by its citizens intellectually and morally before any real transfer of power to the subordinate groups could be achieved.

Gramsci’s long reach

The relation of all these abstractions to the nuts and bolts of American politics is, as the record shows, surprisingly direct. All of Gramsci’s most innovative ideas -- for example, that dominant and subordinate groups based on race, ethnicity, and gender are engaged in struggles over power; that the "personal is political"; and that all knowledge and morality are social constructions -- are assumptions and presuppositions at the very center of today’s politics. So too is the very core of the Gramscian-Hegelian world view — group-based morality, or the idea that what is moral is what serves the interests of "oppressed" or "marginalized" ethnic, racial, and gender groups.

What, for example, lies behind the concept of "jury nullification," a notion which now enjoys the support of law professors at leading universities?

Building on the Hegelian-Marxist concepts of group power and group-based morality, jury nullification advocates argue that minorities serving on juries should use their "power" as jurors to refuse to convict minority defendants regardless of the evidence presented in court, because the minority defendants have been "powerless," lifelong victims of an oppressive system that is skewed in favor of dominant groups, such as white males.

Indeed, what is called "critical theory" — a direct descendant of Gramscian and Hegelian-Marxist thinking — is widely influential in both law and education. Critical legal studies posits that the law grows out of unequal relations of power and therefore serves the interests of and legitimizes the rule of dominant groups. Its subcategories include critical race theory and feminist legal theory. The critical legal studies movement could hardly be more Gramscian; it seeks to "deconstruct" bourgeois legal ideas that serve as instruments of power for the dominant groups and "reconstruct" them to serve the interests of the subordinate groups.

Or consider the echoes of Gramsci in the works of yet another law professor, Michigan’s Catharine MacKinnon. She writes in Toward a Feminist Theory of the State (1989), "The rule of law and the rule of men are one thing, indivisible," because "State power, embodied in law, exists throughout society as male power." Furthermore, "Male power is systemic. Coercive, legitimated, and epistemic, it is the regime." Therefore, MacKinnon notes, "a rape is not an isolated event or moral transgression or individual interchange gone wrong but an act of terrorism and torture within a systemic context of group subjection, like lynching." Similarly, MacKinnon has argued that sexual harassment is essentially an issue of power exercised by the dominant over the subordinate group.

Such thinking may begin in ivory towers, but it does not end there. The United States Supreme Court adopted MacKinnon’s theories as the basis for its interpretation of sexual harassment law in the landmark Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson (1986). This is only one example of how major American social policy has come to be based not on Judeo-Christian precepts nor on Kantian-Enlightenment ethics, but on Gramscian and Hegelian-Marxist concepts of group power.

Hegel among the CEOs

Quite apart from their popularity among academics and in certain realms of politics, Gramscian and Hegelian-Marxist ideas are also prominent in three other major sectors of American civil society: foundations, universities, and corporations.

As laymen and analysts alike have observed over the years, the major foundations — particularly Ford, Rockefeller, Carnegie, and MacArthur — have for decades spent millions of dollars promoting "cutting edge" projects on racial, ethnic, and gender issues.

According to author and foundation expert Heather Mac Donald, for example, feminist projects received $36 million from Ford, Rockefeller, Mellon, and other large foundations between 1972 and 1992. Similarly, according to a Capital Research Center report by Peter Warren, a policy analyst at the National Association of Scholars, foundations have crowned diversity the "king" of American campuses.

For example, the Ford Foundation launched a Campus Diversity Initiative in 1990 that funded programs in about 250 colleges and universities at a cost of approximately $15 million. The Ford initiative promotes what sounds like a Gramscian’s group-rights dream: as Peter Warren puts it, "the establishment of racial, ethnic, and sex-specific programs and academic departments, group preferences in student admissions, group preferences in staff and faculty hiring, sensitivity training for students and staff, and campus-wide convocations to raise consciousness about the need for such programs."

Alan Kors, a history professor at the University of Pennsylvania, has described in detail how Ford and other foundation "diversity" grants are put to use. As he noted in "Thought Reform 101" in the March 2000 issue of Reason, "at almost all our campuses, some form of moral and political re-education has been built into freshmen orientation." A "central goal of these programs," Kors states, "is to uproot ‘internalized oppression,’ a crucial concept in the diversity education planning documents of most universities." The concept of "internalized oppression" is the same as the Hegelian-Marxist notion of "false consciousness," in which people in the subordinate groups "internalize" (and thus accept) the values and ways of thinking of their oppressors in the dominant groups.

At Columbia University, for instance, new students are encouraged to get rid of "their own social and personal beliefs that foster inequality." To accomplish this, the assistant dean for freshmen, Katherine Balmer, insists that "training" is needed. At the end of freshmen orientation at Bryn Mawr in the early 1990s, according to the school program, students were "breaking free" of "the cycle of oppression" and becoming "change agents." Syracuse University’s multicultural program is designed to teach students that they live "in a world impacted by various oppression issues, including racism."

Kors states that at an academic conference sponsored by the University of Nebraska, the attendees articulated the view that "White students desperately need formal ‘training’ in racial and cultural awareness. The moral goal of such training should override white notions of privacy and individualism." One of the leading "diversity experts" providing scores of "training programs" in universities, corporations, and government bureaucracies is Hugh Vasquez of the Todos Institute of Oakland, California. Vasquez’s study guide for a Ford Foundation-funded diversity film, Skin Deep, explains the meaning of "white privilege" and "internalized oppression" for the trainees. It also explains the concept of an "ally," as an individual from the "dominant group" who rejects his "unmerited privilege" and becomes an advocate for the position of the subordinate groups. This concept of the "ally," of course, is Gramscian to the core; it is exactly representative of the notion that subordinate groups struggling for power must try to "conquer ideologically" the traditional intellectuals or activist cadres normally associated with the dominant group.

The employees of America’s major corporations take many of the same sensitivity training programs as America’s college students, often from the same "diversity facilitators." Frederick Lynch, the author of the Diversity Machine, reported "diversity training" is rampant among the Fortune 500. Even more significantly, on issues of group preferences vs. individual opportunity, major corporate leaders tend to put their money and influence behind group rights instead of individual rights.

After California voters passed Proposition 209, for example — a referendum outlawing racial and gender preferences in employment — Ward Connerly, the African-American businessman who led the effort, launched a similar antipreferences initiative in the state of Washington.

The Washington initiative I-200 read as follows: "The State shall not discriminate against or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, or public contracting."

This language was almost identical to California’s Proposition 209. Atlantic Monthly editor Michael Kelly reported in the Washington Post on August 23 that when asked his opinion on Proposition 209 during the referendum debate, Sen. Joseph Lieberman replied, "I can’t see how I could be opposed to it. . . . It is basically a statement of American values . . . and says we shouldn’t discriminate in favor of somebody based on the group they represent."

However, Washington’s business leaders disagreed. In his autobiography Creating Equal, Ward Connerly wrote that the "most important significant obstacle we faced in Washington was not the media, or even political personalities, but the corporate world. . . . Boeing, Weyerhauser, Starbucks, Costco, and Eddie Bauer all made huge donations to the No on I-200 campaign. . . . The fundraising was spearheaded by Bill Gates, Sr., a regent of the University of Washington, whose famous name seemed to suggest that the whole of the high-tech world was solemnly shaking its head at us."

Interestingly, private corporations are also more supportive of another form of group rights — gay rights — than are government agencies at any level. As of June 2000, for example, approximately 100 Fortune 500 companies had adopted health benefits for same-sex partners.

According to the gay rights organization, Human Rights Campaign, the companies offering same-sex benefits include the leading corporations in the Fortune 500 ranking: among the top 10, General Motors (ranked first), Ford (fourth), IBM (sixth), AT&T (eighth), and Boeing (tenth), as well as Hewlett-Packard, Merrill Lynch, Chase Manhattan Bank, Bell Atlantic, Chevron, Motorola, Prudential, Walt Disney, Microsoft, Xerox, and United Airlines.

Corporate reaction to gay activist attacks on Dr. Laura Schlessinger is another indication of how Hegelian-Gramscian the country’s business leaders have become. Sears and EchoStar have lately joined a long list of advertisers — Procter and Gamble, Xerox, AT&T, Toys R Us, Kraft, General Foods, and Geico — in pulling their advertising from the popular talk show host. Whether these decisions favoring gay (read: group) rights were motivated by ideology, economic calculation, or an opportunistic attempt to appear "progressive," they typify American businesses’ response to the culture war.

The Tocquevillian counterattack

The primary resistance to the advance of Gramscian ideas comes from an opposing quarter that I will call contemporary Tocquevillianism.

Its representatives take Alexis de Tocqueville’s essentially empirical description of American exceptionalism and celebrate the traits of this exceptionalism as normative values to be embraced. As Tocqueville noted in the 1830s (and as the World Values Survey, a scholarly comparative assessment, reaffirmed in the 1990s), Americans are different from Europeans in several crucial respects. Two recent books — Seymour Martin Lipset’s American Exceptionalism (1997) and Michael Ledeen’s Tocqueville on American Character (2000) — have made much the same point: that Americans today, just as in Tocqueville’s time, are much more individualistic, religious, and patriotic than the people of any other comparably advanced nation.

What was particularly exceptional for Tocqueville (and contemporary Tocquevillians) is the singular American path to modernity. Unlike other modernists, Americans combined strong religious and patriotic beliefs with dynamic, restless entrepreneurial energy that emphasized equality of individual opportunity and eschewed hierarchical and ascriptive group affiliations.

The trinity of American exceptionalism could be described as (1) dynamism (support for equality of individual opportunity, entrepreneurship, and economic progress); (2) religiosity (emphasis on character development, mores, and voluntary cultural associations) that works to contain the excessive individual egoism that dynamism sometimes fosters; and (3) patriotism (love of country, self-government, and support for constitutional limits).

Among today’s Tocquevillians we could include public intellectuals William Bennett, Michael Novak, Gertrude Himmelfarb, Marvin Olasky, Norman Podhoretz, and former Clinton White House advisor and political philosopher William Galston, and scholars Wilfred McClay, Harvey Mansfield, and Walter MacDougall. Neoconservatives, traditional conservatives of the National Review-Heritage Foundation stripe, some students of political philosopher Leo Strauss, and some centrist Democrats are Tocquevillian in their emphasis on America’s special path to modernity that combines aspects of the pre-modern (emphasis on religion, objective truth, and transcendence) with the modern (self-government, constitutional liberalism, entrepreneurial enterprise).

The writings of neoconservative Irving Kristol and National Review-style conservative Charles Kesler clarify this special American path to modernity. Like thoughtful scholars before them, both make a sharp distinction between the moderate (and positive) Enlightenment (of Locke, Montesquieu, and Adam Smith) that gave birth to the American Revolution and the radical (and negative) Enlightenment (Condorcet and the philosophes) that gave birth to the Revolution in France.

Like their ideological opposites, Tocquevillians are also represented in business and government. In the foundation world, prevailing Gramscian ideas have been challenged by scholars funded by the Bradley, Olin, and Scaife foundations. For example, Michael Joyce of Bradley has called his foundation’s approach "Tocquevillian" and supported associations and individuals that foster moral and religious underpinnings to self-help and civic action. At the same time, Joyce called in "On Self-Government" (Policy Review, July-August 1998) for challenging the "political hegemony" of the service providers and "scientific managers" who run the "therapeutic state" that Tocqueville feared would result in "an immense and tutelary" power that threatened liberty.

As for the political world, a brief list of those influenced by the Tocquevillian side of the argument would include, for example, Sen. Daniel Coats of Indiana, Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, and Gov. George W. Bush of Texas. All have supported Tocquevillian initiatives and employed Tocquevillian language in endorsing education and welfare measures that emphasize the positive contributions of faith and responsibility.

There is also a third category to be considered here — those institutions and and individuals that also oppose the Gramscian challenge, but who are not Tocquevillians because they reject one or more features of the trinity of American exceptionalism. For example, Reason magazine editor Virginia Postrel sees the world divided into pro-change "dynamists" and anti-change "stasists." Postrel’s libertarianism emphasizes only one aspect of American exceptionalism, its dynamism, and slights the religious and patriotic pillars that in the Tocquevillian synthesis provide the nation’s moral and civic core.

Similarly, paleoconservatives such as Samuel Francis, a leading Buchananite intellectual, oppose modernism and the Enlightenment in all its aspects, not simply its radical wing. Likewise secular patriots such as historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. embrace a positive form of enlightened American nationalism, but are uncomfortable with the religious and entrepreneurial (including the antistatist) traditions that complete the Tocquevillian trinity. Catholic social democrats like E.J. Dionne accept the religious part of the Tocquevillian trinity, but would like to curb its risky dynamism and deemphasize its patriotism.

A few years ago, several conservative and religious intellectuals writing in a First Things magazine symposium suggested that American liberal democracy was facing a crisis of legitimacy. One of the symposium writers, Judge Robert Bork, suggests in his book Slouching Towards Gomorrah that "revolutionary" upheavals of the 1960s were "not a complete break with the spirit of the American past," but inherent in the Enlightenment framework of America’s founding principles.

Bork and others — including Paul Weyrich and Cal Thomas — appear to have speculated that perhaps America’s path to modernity was itself flawed (too much dynamism and too little morality). What could be called a partial Tocquevillian position of some conservative intellectuals and activists could be contrasted with the work of American Catholic Whigs — for example, the American Enterprise Institute’s Michael Novak and the Faith and Reason Institute’s Robert Royal — who have argued, in essence, that America’s founding principles are sound and that the three elements of the Tocquevillian synthesis (entrepreneurial dynamism, religion, and patriotism) are at the heart of the American experience and of America’s exceptional contribution to the idea of ordered liberty.

At the end of the day it is unlikely that the libertarians, paleoconservatives, secular patriots, Catholic social democrats, or disaffected religious right intellectuals will mount an effective resistance to the continuing Gramscian assault. Only the Tocquevillians appear to have the strength — in terms of intellectual firepower, infrastructure, funding, media attention, and a comprehensive philosophy that taps into core American principles — to challenge the Gramscians with any chance of success.

Tocquevillianism as praxis

Writing in Policy Review in 1996, Adam Meyerson described the task of cultural renewal as "applied Tocquevillianism." In explaining one of his key points, Tocqueville writes in Democracy in America that "mores" are central to the "Maintenance of a Democratic Republic in the United States." He defines "mores" as not only "the habits of the heart," but also the "different notions possessed by men, the various opinions current among them, and the sum of ideas that shape mental habits" — in short, he declares, "the whole moral and intellectual state of a people."

One of the leading manifestos of the Tocquevillians is "A Call to Civil Society: Why Democracy Needs Moral Truths," published by the Council on Civil Society. It outlines the traditional civic and moral values (Tocqueville’s "mores") that buttress the republic. The document (endorsed by, among others, Sens. Coats and Lieberman, in addition to Don Eberly, Jean Bethke Elshtain, Francis Fukuyama, William Galston, Glenn Loury, Cornel West, James Q. Wilson, and Daniel Yankelovitch) states that the "civic truths" of the American regime are "those of Western constitutionalism, rooted in both classical understandings of natural law and natural right and in the Judeo-Christian religious tradition. . . . The moral truths that make possible our experiment in self-government," according to this statement, "are in large part biblical and religious," informed by the "classical natural law tradition" and the "ideas of the Enlightenment." The "most eloeloquent expressions" of these truths are "found in the Declaration of Independence, Washington’s Farewell Address, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and Second Inaugural Address, and King’s Letter from the Birmingham Jail."

The Tocquevillians, then, emphasize "renewing" and "rediscovering" American mores, suggesting that there is a healthy civic and moral core to the American regime that needs to be brought back to life. Moreover, if the first task is cultural renewal, the second task is cultural transmission. Thus, the "Call to Civil Society" declares that the "central task of every generation is moral transmission."

Religion, in particular, "has probably been the primary force" that "transmits from one generation to another the moral understandings that are essential to liberal democratic institutions."

Moreover, "[at] their best . . . our houses of worship foster values that are essential to human flourishing and democratic civil society: personal responsibility, respect for moral law, and neighbor-love or concern for others."

In addition, the statement declares that a "basic responsibility of the school is cultural transmission," particularly "a knowledge of [the] country’s constitutional heritage, an understanding of what constitutes good citizenship, and an appreciation of [this] society’s common civic faith and shared moral philosophy."

In the matter of practice, the past few years have also witnessed what could be called "Tocquevillian" initiatives that attempt to bring faith-based institutions (particularly churches) into federal and state legislative efforts to combat welfare and poverty. In the mid-1990s, Sen. Coats, working with William Bennett and other intellectuals, introduced a group of 19 bills known as the Project for American Renewal. Among other things these bills advocated dollar for dollar tax credits for contributions to charitable organizations, including churches. Coats’s goal in introducing this legislation was to push the debate in a Tocquevillian direction, by getting policy makers thinking about new ways of involving religious and other civic associations in social welfare issues. Coats and others were asking why the faith community was being excluded from participating in federal social programs. At the same time there are other Tocquevillians, including Michael Horowitz of the Hudson Institute, who favor tax credits, but worry that by accepting federal grant money the faith institutions could become dependent on government money and adjust their charitable projects to government initiatives.

In 1996 Congress included a "charitable choice" provision in the landmark welfare reform legislation. The charitable choice section means that if a state receives federal funds to provide services, it could not discriminate against religious organizations if they wanted to compete for federal grants to provide those services. The section includes guidelines designed simultaneously to protect both the religious character of the faith-based institutions receiving the federal funds and the civil rights of the individuals using the services. However, in 1998 the Clinton administration attempted to dilute the "charitable choice" concept in another piece of legislation by stating that administration lawyers opposed giving funds to what they described as "pervasively sectarian" institutions that could be inferred to mean churches doing charitable work.

Besides activity at the federal level, some states have started similar projects. Faithworks Indiana, a center sponsored by the state government, assists faith-based institutions with networking. In Illinois state agencies are reaching out to faith-based institutions through the "Partners for Hope" program. In Mississippi Governor Kirk Fordice launched the "Faith and Families" program with the ambitious goal of linking each of the state’s 5,000 churches with a welfare recipient.

Both Gov. George W. Bush in Texas and Sen. Joseph Lieberman in Congress have been friendly to some Tocquevillian approaches to legislation. Bush has promoted legislation to remove licensing barriers to church participation in social programs. He has also supported faith initiatives in welfare-to-work and prison reform projects. Lieberman supported the charitable choice provision of the welfare reform act and co-sponsored the National Youth Crime Prevention Demonstration Act that would promote "violence free zones" by working with grass-roots organizations, including faith-based organizations.

Legislative battlegrounds

Gramscian concepts have been on the march through Congress in recent years, meeting in at least some cases Tocquevillian resistance and counterattack. For example, the intellectual underpinning for the Gender Equity in Education Act of 1993 (and most gender equity legislation going back to the seminal Women’s Educational Equity Act, or WEEA, of the 1970s) is the essentially Gramscian and Hegelian-Marxist concept of "systemic" or "institutionalized oppression." In this view, the mainstream institutions of society, including the schools, enforce an "oppressive" system (in this case, a "patriarchy") at the expense of a subordinate group (i.e., women and girls).

The work of Harvard education professor Carol Gilligan, promoted by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), was influential in persuading Congress to support the Gender Equity in Education Act. Professor Gilligan identifies the main obstacles to educational opportunity for American girls as the "patriarchial social order," "androcentric and patriarchical norms," and "Western thinking" — that is to say, the American "system" itself is at fault.

In speaking on behalf of the bill, Republican Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine made a Gramscian case, decrying "systemic discrimination against girls." Democratic Rep. Patsy Mink of Hawaii likewise attacked the "pervasive nature" of antifemale bias in the educational system. Maryland Republican Rep. Connie Morella declared that throughout the schools "inequitable practices are widespread and persistent." Not surprisingly, she insisted that "gender equity training" for "teachers, counselors, and administrators" be made available with federal funds. As noted earlier, one of the remedies to "systemic oppression" is "training" (of the "reeducation" type described by Professor Kors) that seeks to alter the "consciousness" of individuals in both the dominant groups and subordinate groups. Thus, Sen. Snowe also advocated "training" programs to eliminate "sexual harassment in its very early stages in our Nation’s schools."

In a related exercise in Gramscian reasoning, Congress in 1994 passed the Violence Against Women Act. According to Democratic Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware, the "whole purpose" of the bill was "to raise the consciousness of the American public." The bill’s supporters charged that there was an "epidemic" of violent crime against women. Echoing Catharine MacKinnon (e.g., rape is "not an individual act" but "terrorism" within a "systemic context of group subjection like lynching"), the bill’s proponents filled the Congressional Record with the group-based (and Hegelian-Marxist) concept that women were being attacked because they were women and belonged to a subordinate group. It was argued by bill’s proponents that these "violent attacks" are a form of "sex discrimination," "motivated by gender," and that they "reinforce and maintain the disadvantaged status of women as a group." Moreover, the individual attacks create a "climate of fear that makes all women afraid to step out of line." Although there was no serious social science evidence of an "epidemic" of violence against women, the almost Marxist-style agitprop campaign worked, and the bill passed.

In 1991, the Congress passed a civil rights bill that altered a Supreme Court decision restricting racial and gender group remedies. The new bill strengthened the concept of "disparate impact"; which is a group-based notion that employment practices are discriminatory if they result in fewer members of "protected classes" (minorities and women) being hired than their percentage of the local workforce would presumably warrant.

Nine years later, in June 2000, the U.S. Senate passed the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which would expand the category of hate crimes to include crimes motivated by hatred of women, gays, and the disabled (such crimes would receive stiffer sentences than crimes that were not motivated by hatred based on gender, sexual orientation, or disability status). In supporting the bill, Republican Sen. Gordon Smith of Oregon declared, "I have come to realize that hate crimes are different" because although they are "visited upon one person" they "are really directed at an entire community" (for example, the disabled community or the gay community). Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts supported the legislation because, he insisted, "standing law has proven inadequate in the protection of many victimized groups."

In a Wall Street Journal opinion piece, Dorothy Rabinowitz penned a Tocquevillian objection to this Gramscian legislation. Rabinowitz argued that hate crimes legislation undermined the traditional notion of equality under the law by "promulgating the fantastic argument that one act of violence is more significant than another because of the feelings that motivated the criminal." Using egalitarian and antihierarchical (that is, Tocquevillian) rhetoric, Rabinowitz declared that Americans "don’t require two sets of laws — one for crimes against government-designated victims, the other for the rest of America."

The Supreme Court and the White House

Like the congress, the Supreme Court has witnessed intense arguments over core political principles recognizable as Gramscian and Tocquevillian. Indeed, the court itself often serves as a near-perfect microcosm of the clash between these opposing ideas.

A provision of the Violence Against Women Act, for example, that permitted women to sue their attackers in federal rather than state courts was overturned by a deeply divided Supreme Court 5-4. The majority argued on federalist grounds that states had primacy in this criminal justice area. In another 5-4 decision the Supreme Court in 1999 ruled that local schools are subject to sexual discrimination suits under Title IX if their administrators fail to stop sexual harassment among schoolchildren. The case, Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education, involved two 10-year olds in the fifth grade. Justice Anthony Kennedy broke tradition by reading a stinging dissent from the bench. He was joined by Justices Rehnquist, Scalia, and Thomas. Justice Kennedy attacked the majority view that the actions by the 10 year-old boy constituted "gender discrimination."

American Enterprise Institute scholar Christina Hoff Sommers in The War Against Boys noted that the court majority appears to accept the position of gender feminist groups that sexual harassment is "a kind of hate crime used by men to maintain and enforce the inferior status of women." Thus, Sommers explains, in terms of feminist theory (implicitly accepted by the court), the 10-year-old boy "did not merely upset and frighten" the ten-year old girl, "he demeaned her as a member of a socially subordinate group." In effect, the court majority in Davis endorsed Gramscian and Hegelian-Marxist assumptions of power relations between dominant and subordinate groups and applied those assumptions to American fifth graders.

Recently, a similarly divided Supreme Court has offered divergent rulings on homosexual rights. In June 2000 the court overturned the New Jersey State Supreme Court and ruled 5-4 in Boy Scouts of America v. Dale that the Boy Scouts did not have to employ an openly gay scoutmaster. The majority’s reasoning was quintessentially Tocquevillian -- the First Amendment right of "freedom of association." Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Rehnquist declared that "judicial disapproval" of a private organization’s values "does not justify the State’s effort to compel the organization to accept members where such acceptance" would change the organization’s message. The law, Rehnquist continued, "is not free to interfere with speech for no better reason than promoting an approved message or discouraging a disfavored one, however enlightened either purpose may strike the government."

The dissent written by Justice Stevens, by contrast, declared that the states have the "right" to social experimentation. Stevens noted that "atavistic opinions" about women, minorities, gays, and aliens were the result of "traditional ways of thinking about members of unfamiliar classes." Moreover, he insisted, "such prejudices are still prevalent" and "have caused serious and tangible harm to members of the class (gays) New Jersey seeks to protect." Thus, the dissenters in this case agreed with the New Jersey Supreme Court that the state had "a compelling interest in eliminating the destructive consequences of discrimination from society" by requiring the Boy Scouts to employ gay scoutmasters.

In 1992 Colorado voters in a referendum adopted Amendment 2 to the state constitution barring local governments and the state from adding "homosexual orientation" as a specific category in city and state antidiscrimination ordinances. In 1996 in Romer v. Evans, the U.S. Supreme Court in a 6-3 ruling struck down Colorado’s Amendment 2. The court majority rejected the state of Colorado’s position that the amendment "does no more than deny homosexuals special rights." The amendment, the court declared, "imposes a broad disability" on gays, "nullifies specific legal protections for this class (gays)," and infers "animosity towards the class that it affects." Further, the majority insists that Amendment 2, "in making a general announcement that gays and lesbians shall not have any particular protections from the law, inflicts on them immediate, continuing, and real injuries."

Justice Anton Scalia wrote a blistering dissent that went straight to the Gramscian roots of the decision. He attacked the majority "for inventing a novel and extravagant constitutional doctrine to take victory away from the traditional forces," and for "verbally disparaging as bigotry adherence to traditional attitudes." The court, Scalia wrote, "takes sides in the culture war"; it "sides with the knights," that is, the elites, "reflecting the views and values of the lawyer class." He concluded that: "Amendment 2 is designed to prevent the piecemeal deterioration of the sexual morality favored by the majority of Coloradans, and is not only an appropriate means to that legitimate end, but a means that Americans have employed before. Striking it down is an act, not of judicial judgment, but of political will."

Finally, Gramscian and Hegelian-Marxist concepts have advanced in the executive branch as well. In the 1990s, the federal government attempted both to limit speech that adversely effected subordinate groups; and to promote group-based equality of result instead of equality of individual opportunity.

In 1994, for example, three residents of Berkeley, Calif., protested a federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) plan to build subsidized housing for the homeless and mentally ill in their neighborhood. The residents wrote protest letters and organized their neighbors. HUD officials investigated the Berkeley residents for "discrimination" against the disabled and threatened them with $100,000 in fines. The government offered to drop their investigation (and the fines) if the neighborhood residents promised to stop speaking against the federal housing project.

Heather Mac Donald reported in the Wall Street Journal that one lawyer supporting HUD’s position argued that if the Berkeley residents’ protest letters resulted in the "denial of housing to a protected class of people, it ceases to be protected speech and becomes proscribed conduct." This is classic Hegelian-Marxist thinking -- actions (including free speech) that "objectively" harm people in a subordinate class are unjust (and should be outlawed). Eventually, hud withdrew its investigation. Nevertheless, the Berkeley residents brought suit against the HUD officials and won.

In 1999, to take another example, the Wall Street Journal reported that for the first time in American history the federal government was planning to require all companies doing business with the government to give federal officials the name, age, sex, race, and salary of every employee in the company during routine affirmative action audits. The purpose of the new plan, according to Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman, was to look for "racial and gender pay disparities." The implicit assumption behind the Labor Department’s action is that "pay disparities" as such constitute a problem that requires a solution, even if salary differences are not the result of intentional discrimination. The Labor Department has long suggested that the continued existence of these disparities is evidence of "institutionalized discrimination."

Transmission — or transformation

The slow but steady advance of Gramscian and Hegelian-Marxist ideas through the major institutions of American democracy, including the Congress, courts, and executive branch, suggests that there are two different levels of political activity in twenty-first century America. On the surface, politicians seem increasingly inclined to converge on the center. Beneath, however, lies a deeper conflict that is ideological in the most profound sense of the term and that will surely continue in decades to come, regardless of who becomes president tomorrow, or four or eight or even 20 years from now.

As we have seen, Tocquevillians and Gramscians clash on almost everything that matters. Tocquevillians believe that there are objective moral truths applicable to all people at all times. Gramscians believe that moral "truths" are subjective and depend upon historical circumstances. Tocquevillans believe that these civic and moral truths must be revitalized in order to remoralize society. Gramscians believe that civic and moral "truths" must be socially constructed by subordinate groups in order to achieve political and cultural liberation. Tocquevillians believe that functionaries like teachers and police officers represent legitimate authority. Gramscians believe that teachers and police officers "objectively" represent power, not legitimacy. Tocquevillians believe in personal responsibility. Gramscians believe that "the personal is political." In the final analysis, Tocquevillians favor the transmission of the American regime; Gramscians, its transformation.

While economic Marxism appears to be dead, the Hegelian variety articulated by Gramsci and others has not only survived the fall of the Berlin Wall, but also gone on to challenge the American republic at the level of its most cherished ideas. For more than two centuries America has been an "exceptional" nation, one whose restless entrepreneurial dynamism has been tempered by patriotism and a strong religious-cultural core. The ultimate triumph of Gramscianism would mean the end of this very "exceptionalism." America would at last become Europeanized: statist, thoroughly secular, post-patriotic, and concerned with group hierarchies and group rights in which the idea of equality before the law as traditionally understood by Americans would finally be abandoned. Beneath the surface of our seemingly placid times, the ideological, political, and historical stakes are enormous.

Feedback? Email polrev@hoover.stanford.edu. Or send us a Letter to the Editor.













#3 - Who is Antonio Gramsci? You Better Learn!!!
Philosophy Editorial EditorialPosted on 12/29/2000 02:01:41 PST by cayman99
GRAMSCI AND THE U.S. BODY POLITIC


By: Alberto Luzárraga


Why the interest in Gramsci? Certainly, he is not a household name for most people, but nonetheless he is relevant enough to be mentioned the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal. In a recent piece (12/19/00) by George Melloan, the columnist refers to an article published by John Fonte in the Policy Review of the Hudson Institute.


According to the WSJ writer, "[Fonte] defines the ideological split in America as a contest between present-day Tocquevillians and disciples of the 20th-century Italian philosopher Antonio Gramsci, who drew on the ideas of Friedrich Hegel and Karl Marx. The Tocquevillians incline toward individualism, religious belief and patriotism. The Gramscians see any society, including America, as an arena where the "marginalized" are necessarily at war with the privileged classes. Good old-fashioned class warfare, in other words."


As we know, political events do not happen in a vacuum. There are always causes. Ideas that were deemed a failure decades ago can be successfully implemented today. In the world of ideas, decades are often only an incubation period and today Gramsci s ideas are very much alive in the political arena.


Born at Ales, Italy on January 1891, Antonio Gramsci was the fourth son of Francesco Gramsci, a clerk in the local registrar s office. He suffered through a difficult childhood, eventually received a scholarship, and graduated from the University of Turin. In 1921 he became a founding member of the Italian Communist party. In 1922 he traveled to Moscow as a member of the Communist International and remained in Moscow for a year. It was the beginning of the Stalinist period.


Gramsci, a bright man, thought that Stalinist methods would not work in western societies. Violence and revolution, in his opinion, would generate a fatal reaction against the communist movement. He returned to Italy with more subtle and long term ideas and began to develop them. Shortly upon his return, Mussolini jailed Gramsci. The fascist regime saw his ideas as a danger to the State. It was from prison (where he died in 1937) that Gramsci wrote his 33 books. They contain very shrewd insights on how a "capitalist, bourgeois society" works and how it can be taken over peacefully and dominated through a systematic change of its ideas.


His methods became in fact, the "field manual" for the many that followed. If you understand Gramsci, you will understand the "peculiar" and "weird" theories that are in vogue today. And you will understand that they are not the work of "weird crazy people" but rather of calculating and quite intelligent operatives.


One word of caution howeve. Followers of the Gramscian doctrines are a mixed lot. It would be a service rendered to the socialists to call every Gramsci follower a full fledged socialist although many certainly are that. Socialists love absolute accusations in order to label people "extremist", one of their preferred epithets. Part of the methodology is to deviate attention by accusing others of what they are or do. We should not give them that chance. Moreover, although the Gramscian proposal demands from the common follower consent and acceptance of its ideas, this does not necessarily imply that all rank and file followers have a clear understanding of where they are going.


And then, many of the more adept Gramscian operators may not fully support his economic ideas. His relevance lies in the fact that for many ambitious and opportunistic political operatives Gramsci is seen as a modern Machiavelli with a good method to achieve power. And to them this is more important than a specific economic model. The important point to understand is the method. It is a road map that shows one of the favored strategies used by persons with an unlimited lust for power to climb and acquire notoriousness, while advancing their ideas.


So what is Gramsci all about? Well, let s start with his concept of "hegemony" a word frequently used by people not noted for their love of hundred dollar words. For Gramsci ,"hegemony" is not mere dominance by force. Rather, it is the set of ideas by which dominant groups in a society secure the consent of subordinate groups to their rule.


Note the emphasis on consent. A governing class must succeed in persuading the governed to accept the moral, political and cultural values suggested by those in power. Gramsci noted that this is the way "bourgeois societies" ruled. Extreme measures were only used when there was rebellion against the established mores.
Therefore his conclusion was: Let s do the same and capture the minds of the population, as well as the institutions of the bourgeoisie and do it with ideas that we will present as "common sense". The implementation will be through intellectuals and figures of influence gained to the cause by vanity, convenience or ambition and a by a new element, intellectual operatives that work with the people. All of it, coupled to constant use of the media.


In his words: "the mode of being of the new intellectual can no longer consist in eloquence & but in active participation in practical life, as constructor, organizer, "permanent persuader" and not just a simple orator&"
Gramsci understood what Marx did not understand: Economic crises by themselves would not subvert capitalism, because capitalism always managed to overcome the crises and emerged stronger.

Another theory was necessary for a different reality. One that recognized the importance of culture and ideology, and methods that went beyond the coarser forms of Marxist class struggle. Methods that would be efficient in capturing power in a western society. Methods that would fit the use of mass media because they were subtle and persuasive. If you gain the minds you gain the bodies. Even a partial victory is useful, because it weakens and diminishes your opposition.
Gramsci perceived that in a western society, the bond between the ruler and the ruled was what kept it together and this bond was what created "hegemony." And where was that bond? How was it cemented?


In the classical institutions, and through them of course. The family, the church, the schools, the civil society and its organizations, none other than the building blocks of the State.


The revolutionaries who wished to break the "hegemony" had to build up a "counter hegemony" to that of the ruling class. It was necessary to change the minds, to change the popular consensus, to change the way institutions work. In sum, to make the people question the right of their leaders to rule in the accepted way.
Success would consist in permeating throughout society a whole new system of values, beliefs and morality. A system that would become accepted by all in a way that would appear to be the normal thing to do.


How is it done? Besides the traditional intellectuals (those who see themselves as such) there must exist the "organic intellectual", i.e. the one that grows with a social group, and becomes its thinking and organizing element. The role of informal "educators" in local communities becomes essential. The educator must not be seen as a distant "brainy" figure but as "one of us", one of the neighborhood, another one of the group.


The same applies to the schools which Gramsci sees as a means used by social groups "to perpetuate a function, [namely] to rule or to be subordinate". Ergo, schools and curriculums must be controlled either directly or indirectly.
Once organized these groups would engage in incessant political activity and use massive means of communication. No armed conspiracies, just unrelenting propaganda. The introduction of Gramscian methodology in society, produces a constant clash for supremacy of ideas and a patient but persistent subversion of the building blocks of that society. Subversion is a many faced endeavor played by different people with different objectives but the modern method has a substantial Gramscian content.


Take a case in point. Why it is that we must often suffer a way of thinking that attempts to coerce us intellectually? Look around. How many times have you heard: You must not be "judgmental" or "intolerant." What does that mean in Gramscian terms? It means: You must accept our values and not argue. If you do not you are out the mainstream. Remember the Gramscian objective of turning their ideas into "common sense"?


Do you now understand, why we have political correctness?


Why we have neighborhood groups that look more like agitation and propaganda entities than neighborhood associations?


Why we have schools that push a peculiar curriculum and ignore parents, school budgets that make available funds for incredible courses, and teachers unions that often do not appear to represent teachers true interests?


Why we have churches that have become political discourse centers?


Why we have a myriad civil associations with goals that appear to be destructive and divisive?


Why we have mass media that often operate as propaganda machines rather than reporters of events?


The Wall Street Journal article continues: "Mr. Fonte says the Gramscian view has special currency in higher intellectual circles, particularly on elite college campuses. The plight of women, minorities, gays and other victims of cultural hegemony is a favorite subject of student indoctrinations, not to mention speech and thought control, in such places. The federal Violence Against Women Act produced a Supreme Court case in which a 10-year-old boy was charged with harassing a fifth-grade female classmate. It is no accident that the Gramscian New York Times editorial page thought that the most important thing Al Gore said in his eloquent concession speech was that he would continue to fight for people "who need burdens lifted and barriers removed." How he might have conducted his fight if he had been elected has never been clear; certainly not by cutting their taxes."


The only way to gain absolute power in the United States is through long range Gramscian tactics. There is hope however, if we don t take for granted what we now enjoy and fight to maintain power divided. The true strength of the American Republic is the division of power. This is why the would be revolutionaries so hate the Electoral College, States Rights, local self government, etc. The system devised by the Founding Fathers complicates their life tremendously. As the quoted article notes:


"Over and above these structural features, there are the multiplicity of interests and interest groups, the immense diversity of American society and the excessive rhetoric that characterizes the conflict of those separated in fact by minor differences." Underlying it all, however, "is the sheer power of the idea of freedom an idea so powerful that not even those opposed to freedom condemn it . . . ."


The last sentence is crucial. Even those that seek to destroy the system must pay lip service, at least, to the idea of liberty. They must talk about the people s right to vote while they work against it and seek to discredit the process.


The Gramscians in the United States cannot wage a war of conquest. They must wage a war of attrition and position. If we understand their tactics we can stop them and win. But it won t happen by staying at home and watching the game. We must all become involved. In the same way they become involved.

To use a Gramscian term, each one of us must become an "organic intellectual" of sorts, one that explains and convinces. Gramsci was right when he said that all men have intellectual concerns outside their field of activity.

The problem is that most citizens are so busy with their lives that they do not have the time to think things through. They need help and those who understand must help, each in his own way.

We have in our favor truth and true common sense. If they succeed it is only because we allowed the party with the harmful product to sell it to an unsuspecting public.




#4 - Russia Hearkens to Gramsci's Ghost by John Vennari


http://www.fatima.org/library/cr48pg14.html


http://web.archive.org/web/20040604181335/http://www.fatima.org/library/cr48pg14.html




Our Lady's Library


Articles, essays and stories from the pages of The Fatima Crusader Magazine



Russia Hearkens to Gramsci's Ghost


by John Vennari


We present here, one of the speeches given to the Bishops in Mexico City, by the editor of Catholic Family News. This well-researched talk is most timely for all of us. Here JohnVennari gives us a key to understand how Russia is deceiving the West.


We continue to lose ground because the cultural war against us continues to secularize our minds, preparing the West to openly embrace Marxism. This is the strategy of Gramsci. Read about this so as to arm yourself against it.


The Perestroika and Glasnost initiated by Mikhail Gorbachev is not the conversion of the Soviet Union as is naively proclaimed by many Churchmen in high place and even by the majority of Fatima Apostolates. The so-called "conversion" of Russia is nothing more than the implementation of a kinder and gentler Marxism/Leninism, one more acceptable to the West, according to the strategy of the Italian Communist, Antonio Gramsci, who died just before World War II.


The Italian Strategist


Antonio Gramsci has been the most successful of all the interpreters of Karl Marx. His name may not be a household word, but in our day and age, his influence affects every household - including the household of the Faith.


Gramsci's greatest contributions to Communist strategy were three:


1) His incisive critiques of classical Leninism


2) His stunningly successful blueprint for the reform of Leninism that has now swept the world.


3) His accurate prediction of the cardinal mistake that the Western democracies would make in their confrontation with Gramscian Communism, and with their own future.


The political formula Gramsci devised has done much more than classical Leninism and even classical Stalinism - to spread Marxism through the capitalist West. All that has happened both to capitalist and Communist powers since 1945 - and most dramatically since 1985 - has completely vindicated the judgment of this Marxist genius. To give the devil his due, Gramsci was a genius.


A Utopian Idealist with Common Sense


Antonio Gramsci was born in the village of Ales on the island of Sardinia in 1891. Eventually, Gramsci left for mainland Italy where he studied philosophy and history at Turin University. By 1913, he was a member of the Italian Socialist Party. In 1919, at age 28, he founded a pro-communist newspaper called The New Order. If the title for his newspaper was standard and predictable, his vision and strategy were not. He did not fit the mold of the average Marxists.


In 1921, in association with Palmiro Togliatti, Gramsci founded the Italian Communist Party. Political competition was fierce back then, because the next year Benito Mussolini came to power. Gramsci then headed for Moscow. He figured that it would be safer for him in Lenin's USSR than in Mussolini's Italy.


Antonio Gramsci was a Marxist in ideology, but he was his own man when it came to strategy.


Gramsci believed, like Marx and Lenin, that there was a force completely inner to mankind driving it on to the Marxist ideal of the "Workers Paradise". But there were other assumptions that his view of history and life that also made him see flaws in the Marxist/Leninist strategic ideal.


Marx and Lenin insisted that the entire world of human society was divided into just TWO opposing camps - the broad "structure of the great masses of people - the workers of the world: and the "unjustly" created "superstructure" of oppressive capitalism.


Gramsci knew otherwise, because he understood the nature of Christian culture, which he saw as still vibrant and thriving in the lives of the people all around him. Gramsci him self rejected Christianity and all its transcendent reality. Nevertheless, he knew Christian culture existed. Unlike the non-existent proletarian revolution, which existed only as a mirage of the future, Christian culture was a hard-rock reality that the people ate, drank and breathed.


The Binding Power of Christian Culture


Gramsci agreed that the great mass of the world's population was made up of workers. That was obvious. What was clear to him, however, was that nowhere - and especially not in Christian Europe - did the workers of the world see themselves as separated from the ruling classes by an ideological chasm. Christianity and Christian culture was the binding force that prevented this chasm. It bonded all the classes into a homogenous society.


If this were true, and it was, then Marx and Lenin had to be wrong in another of their fundamental assumptions. There would never be a glorious uprising of the proletariat. There would never be a Marxist inspired violent overthrow of the ruling "superstructure" by working "underclasses", because no matter how oppressed they might be, the "Structure" of the working classes was defined not by their misery or their oppression but by their Christian faith and their Christian culture.


Gramsci still nourished the Leninist conviction that the final birth of the "Paradise of Workers" would take place. But he knew that it had to be brought about in a way completely different from the Leninist concept of armed and violent revolution.


In strategy, timing is everything. In the 1920s, Antonio Gramsci could not put his ideas into action because he arrived in the Soviet Union in the twilight time of Communism's" glorious genius" Lenin. It would have been "politically Incorrect" and dangerous to criticize Lenin at this time. After Lenin's death, Joseph Stalin rose to power. Gramsci feared for his own life as a result, for he knew that Stalin may view him as a threat, and that he would probably end up in the infamous "Lubyanka" Prison, where he would be tortured into a confession of his "deviancy" and then killed.


Since Italy seemed to be the best of two bad choices, Gramsci turned his eyes back home. Once he returned, Gramsci was elected to the Italian Chamber of Deputies in 1924. He was arrested by Mussolini's regime in 1926. In 1928 he was sentenced by a Fascist court to twenty years imprisonment.


By that time, however, he had already converted the major Italian Communist thinkers and political leaders to his critique of classical Leninism and his own suggested reform of that Leninism. Being a dedicated Marxist, even imprisonment did not curb his zeal, for he spent the next nine years of his life writing. In 1937, at the age of 46, Antonio Gramsci died. Yet against all odds, he had produced nine volumes of material that pointed the way to achieve a Marxist world.


Beginning in 1948, six volumes of his Prison Notebooks were published.


The Gramsci Strategy


Gramsci realized that a worldwide revolution of the working class was unrealistic from the very beginning. In an "in with the good, and out with the bad" approach, he accepted the basic philosophical text of Marx, but rejected what he considered to be mistakes of both Marx and Lenin.


Intellectually, Gramsci was the product of the Roman Catholic society of Italy. He understood Hegel and Marx, who were the two primary philosophers of Communism. But he, more than most Marxists, had some understanding of Christian metaphysics in general, Thomism in particular, and was surrounded with the richness of Roman Catholic heritage. That understanding, and his own practical mind, allowed him to be far more sophisticated and subtle in his interpretation of Hegel's dialect philosophy of history than Marx had been.


The key element of Gramsci's blueprint for the global victory rested on Hegel's distinction between what was "inner" or "immanent" to man and what man held to be outside and above him and his world - a superior force transcending the limitations of individuals and of groups both large and small.


For Gramsci, the IMMANENT and the TRANSCENDENT were unavoidably paired and yoked. Marxism's "transcendent" was the utopian ideal. But the Marxist transcendent was too foreign to the Christian mind and Christian culture. So, Gramsci argued that since the immanent and the transcendent are paired, then unless you can systematically touch what is immanent and immediate to individuals and groups and societies in their daily lives, you cannot convince them to struggle for any transcendent.


What was essential, insisted Gramsci, was to Marxize the INNER man. To secularize him to the point of total godlessness. Only when that was done could you successfully dangle the utopia of the "Workers' Paradise" before his eyes, to be accepted in a peaceful and humanly agreeable manner, without revolution, violence or bloodshed.


Gramsci absorbed two major and supremely practical contributions from Vladimir Lenin.


first) Lenin's extraordinary geopolitical vision.


second) Lenin's invention of the PARTY STATE as the operational core of geo-politically successful Marxism. For in Gramsci's blueprint, Lenin's intricate international Party machinery would remain the basis for a worldwide Communist Party under the dominant control of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union(CPSU).


Not only did Gramsci believe that Marx and Lenin were wrong about "an IMMEDIATE" proletarian revolution. He also believed that Stalin was wrong in his terror methods - as these methods simply push religion and resistance into a menacing and concentrated underground that will bide their time, spring to the surface at the first opportunity, and will be an effective tool to be exploited by Capitalist circles abroad to the detriment of Marxism.


Gramsci had a better way. A subtle blueprint for Marxist victory. It was this:


Use Lenin's geopolitical structure not to conquer streets and cities, but to conquer the mind of civil society, to acquire a Marxist hegemony over the minds of the population that must be won.


He even insisted that it would be necessary to tolerate and promote pluralism.


Gorbachev Follows Gramsci's Pattern


Mikhail Gorbachev burst upon the world scene as the first Soviet leader big-minded enough to appraise, appreciate and fully embrace the Gramscian formula. One by one, the former Soviet satellites are seen as liberated from the direct control of the USSR. In his Gramscian pattern, Gorbachev worked toward a new governmental structure for the USSR itself and a new status for several "Socialist Soviet Republics" that flesh out the USSR. The Gramscian process requires such changes. Gorbachevism implicitly endorses them. Gorbachev in his Perestroika and Glasnost, which is interpreted as "The conversion of Russia as promised by Our Lady of Fatima" is nothing more than Gorbachev, being faithful to his hard-core Leninism, using the Gramscian formula, while adding his own updating and correctives.


Leninist flexibility, colored by Gramsci's subtle tactics and modified to supply whatever was lacking in Gramsci's blueprint for victory - this constitutes the Glasnost/Perestroika program. NOW, EVEN OUR LADY OF FATIMA IS BEING USED AS A GRAMSCIALLY, by those who say that this Gramscian ruse is actually the long-awaited Triumph of Our Lady's Immaculate Heart promised at Fatima.


A Confirmation from the Ukraine


Firm testimony that this frightful strategy is successfully in place was supplied by the Ukrainian Catholic Activist, Josep Terelya in the spring of 1992.


Mr. Terelya said:


"The communists are still in control. The whole party apparatus is totally in place. Nothing has changed. All those who were in power at the time of this so-called fall are still in power. Nobody has been thrown out. Nobody has lost a job. The communist party has only gone underground for a while until it emerges again. They continue to receive their pay, the salaries that they've been receiving.


"Yeltsin is another anti-Christ ... It's really the Masonic plot that is behind all this. It's really irrelevant what they call themselves - Socialist, communists or what-not, they are all materialists, they are all against God."














#5 - Toward the Total State by William Norman Grigg -


http://thenewamerican.com/tna/1999/07-05-99/vo15no14_total.htm


Vol. 15, No. 14


July 5, 1999



Toward the Total State


by William Norman Grigg



Has the left won America’s culture war? Some observers, including political organizer Paul Weyrich (who coined the term "moral majority"), appear to think so. For many Americans who cherish our nation’s traditions of individual freedom, limited government, and personal moral responsibility, the Clinton impeachment melodrama abounded in evidence that America has undergone a dramatic transformation.



If one were to credit the ubiquitous opinion polls and the outpourings of the "mainstream" media, the American people were nearly unanimous in their support for President Clinton, despite his ongoing personal depravity and his willingness to abuse both the powers of his office and the institutions of our judicial system in order to retain his position as the nation’s chief executive. The only holdouts were to be found among the "religious right," which — according to the custodians of "respectable" opinion — is a marginalized group unworthy of political influence.



While the outcome of impeachment was largely a product of the gangland tactics (including blackmail and character assassination) employed by the Clinton Administration against its opponents, as well as the institutional cowardice of the Senate, there is no doubt that America’s culture has undergone a dramatic transformation — a transformation engineered by the radical left. Writing in the Winter 1996 issue of the Marxist journal Dissent, Michael Walzer enumerated some of the cultural victories won by the left since the 1960s:



• "The visible impact of feminism."



• "The effects of affirmative action."



• "The emergence of gay rights politics, and … the attention paid to it in the media."



• "The acceptance of cultural pluralism."



• "The transformation of family life," including "rising divorce rates, changing sexual mores, new household arrangements — and, again, the portrayal of all this in the media."



• "The progress of secularization; the fading of religion in general and Christianity in particular from the public sphere — classrooms, textbooks, legal codes, holidays, and so on."



• "The virtual abolition of capital punishment."



• "The legalization of abortion."



• "The first successes in the effort to regulate and limit the private ownership of guns."



Significantly, Walzer admitted that these victories were imposed upon our society by "liberal elites," rather than being driven "by the pressure of a mass movement or a majoritarian party." These changes "reflect the leftism or liberalism of lawyers, judges, federal bureaucrats, professors, school teachers, social workers, journalists, television and screen writers — not the population at large," noted Walzer. Rather than building "stable or lasting movements or creat[ing] coherent constituencies," the left focused on "winning the Gramscian war of position."



While most Americans would be mystified by Walzer’s reference to Italian Communist theoretician Antonio Gramsci, those who wish to understand the ongoing culture war must first have some understanding of the Gramscian concept of the "long march through the institutions." The process described by Walzer, in which the cultural and bureaucratic organs of our society have fallen under the influence of "progressive" forces devoted to transforming our nation, is derived directly from Gramsci’s blueprint for Marxist subversion. Gramsci’s distinctive insight, as we will shortly see, was that the construction of the total state requires the seizure of the "mediating institutions" that insulate the individual from the power of the government — the family, organized religion, and so forth — and a systematic redefinition of the culture in order to sustain the new political order.



That process is well underway in our nation — and if it is consummated, Americans will learn that the culture war is a deadly serious effort to destroy the institutions and traditions that have protected Americans from the horrors of the total state.



"The scientific concept of dictatorship," wrote Soviet dictator Vladimir Lenin, "means nothing else but this: power without limit, resting directly upon force, restrained by no laws, absolutely unrestricted by rules." Benito Mussolini’s totalitarian formula was even more concise: "Everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state." Whatever its specific configuration or ideological pretext, the total state always requires that all human activities be made subject to its power. But to exercise that power, the total state relies, to a remarkable extent, on the cooperation of its victims.



No matter how vast the instrumentality of coercion or how vicious the intentions of the ruling elite, the masters of the total state are always dramatically outnumbered by their victims. No army of occupation is large enough to exercise total control over a tyrannized population; no secret police is capable of exercising incessant and all-encompassing surveillance. The triumph of the total state is made possible by the conquest of the human mind. "We are not content with negative obedience, nor even with the most abject submission," explained O’Brien, an agent of Big Brother’s "Ministry of Love" in George Orwell’s 1984. "When finally you surrender to us, it must be of your own free will. We do not destroy the heretic because he resists us.... We convert him, we capture his inner mind, we reshape him."



"Death by Government"



Of course, wholesale murder is very much a part of the totalitarian experience, as a way to dispose of those who prove unsuitable for "conversion." Lenin’s "scientific concept of dictatorship," when put into practice by criminals in positions of political power, has led to unimaginable horror. In the Soviet Union, Communist China, Cambodia, Vietnam, and elsewhere, the unchecked power of the state "has been truly a cold-blooded mass murderer, a global plague of man’s own making," writes Professor R.J. Rummel in his study Death by Government.



During the first nine decades of the 20th century, writes Rummel, "almost 170 million men, women, and children" have been destroyed through the "myriad ways governments have inflicted death on unarmed, helpless citizens and foreigners. The dead could conceivably be nearly 360 million people." In a particularly sobering observation, Rummel points out that while "library stacks have been written on the possible nature and consequences of nuclear war and how it might be avoided, in the life of some still living we have already experienced in the toll from democide (and related destruction and misery among the survivors) the equivalent of a nuclear war, especially at the high near-360 million end of the estimates."



America has been spared such horrors because it is uniquely blessed among all nations with a tradition of ordered liberty and limited government. Our nation’s founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, embrace a concept of government diametrically opposed to the Leninist "scientific concept of dictatorship": the rule of law, administered by a government that is itself subject to the law, deriving "its just powers from the consent of the governed," and created for the exclusive purpose of protecting the lives, rights, and property of the law-abiding.



But these institutional safeguards of liberty and the rule of law are dependent on a culture conducive to freedom. In a self-governing society, public morality and private morality cannot be compartmentalized; people who have abandoned what George Washington referred to as the "eternal rules of order and right" will be incapable of exercising the self-discipline necessary to maintain a free government. In his Farewell Address, Washington advised that there is "no truth more thoroughly established than that there exists in the economy and course of nature an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness; between duty and advantage; between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity." When such habits of virtue are cultivated and preserved, society can enjoy the blessings of limited government — one that will, in Jefferson’s words, "restrain men from injuring one another, [and which] shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned."



Quiet Revolution



In principle, and to a limited extent in practice, Bill Clinton and his Administration have embraced Lenin’s "scientific concept of dictatorship." Consider, for example, the fact that Mr. Clinton has brazenly and repeatedly ignored Congress’ constitutional authority to declare war — most notably in the undeclared Kosovo War, which Mr. Clinton has conducted in defiance of a pointed refusal on the part of the House of Representatives to declare war against Yugoslavia. In domestic affairs, Mr. Clinton has made good on his stated intention to bypass Congress entirely, ruling instead by executive decree. Former Clinton Administration lackey Paul Begala memorably summarized Mr. Clinton’s ruling doctrine in these terms: "Stroke of the pen, law of the land — kinda cool."



Just as disturbing is the fact that much of the Senate, and a significant portion of the House of Representatives, have embraced a complementary concept taught by Adolf Hitler: fuhrerprinzip, or the "leader principle." Under that doctrine, an autocratic executive claims access to the "collective will of the people," exercises power that is "independent, all-inclusive, and unlimited," and considers himself responsible "only to his conscience." Thus, the legislature exists merely to rubber-stamp the decisions of the imperial leader.



Obviously, America was not conquered by the Soviet Union or by National Socialist (Nazi) Germany. The institutions of our federal system of government still exist, albeit in a somewhat distorted form. Elections still occur at regular intervals, and citizens can still exercise their right to petition their elected representatives and express their political opinions in the public square. Nonetheless, the chief tenets of the most murderous dictatorships in history are now the operative principles of our national government. How did this dire situation come about? How can it be reversed?



America has undergone what historian Garet Garrett described as a "revolution within the form." Although the "forms of republican government survive," wrote Garrett, "the character of the state has changed." To illustrate how this was accomplished, Garrett quoted this observation from Aristotle’s Politics: "People do not easily change, but love their own ancient customs; and it is by small degrees only that one thing takes the place of another; so that the ancient laws will remain, while the power will be in the hands of those who have brought about a revolution in the state." (Emphasis added.)



Communist theoretician Antonio Gramsci urged those who sought to bring about a "revolution in the state" to pursue the course described (although not endorsed) by Aristotle: The steady, incremental subversion of free societies by conducting a "long march through the institutions" that define such societies. In some ways the Gramscian approach is kindred to that pursued by Britain’s Fabian socialists, who chose "patient gradualism," rather than violent insurrection, as the most effective means to collectivize society. Gramsci’s distinctive insight was to urge Marxists to escape from the shackles of economic theory and focus instead on society’s cultural organs — the press and other media, education, entertainment, religion, and the family. In order for revolutionaries to establish "political leadership or hegemony," advised Gramsci, they "must not count solely on the power and material force of government"; they must change the culture upon which that government was built.



Cultural commentator Richard Grenier recalls that during Gramsci’s incarceration in one of Mussolini’s prisons, he "formulated in his Prison Notebooks the doctrine that those who want to change society must change man’s consciousness, and that in order to accomplish this they must first control the institutions by which that consciousness is formed: schools, universities, churches, and, perhaps above all, art and the communications industry. It is these institutions that shape and articulate ‘public opinion,’ the limits of which few politicians can violate with impunity. Culture, Gramsci felt, is not simply the superstructure of an economic base — the role assigned to it in orthodox Marxism — but is central to a society. His famous battle cry is: capture the culture."



Gramsci recognized that the chief "fortresses and earthworks" impeding the triumph of Marxism were precisely those institutions, customs, and habits identified by Washington and the other Founding Fathers as indispensable to ordered liberty — such as the family, private initiative, self-restraint, and principled individualism. But Gramsci focused particularly on what Washington described as the "indispensable supports" of free society — religion and morality. In order to bring about a revolution, Gramsci wrote, "The conception of law will have to be freed from every remnant of transcendence and absoluteness, practically from all moralist fanaticism."



Layers of Strength



At this juncture, a question naturally arises: If the conspiracy to undermine our culture and constitutional system has enjoyed such success, why aren’t Americans living in abject, undisguised tyranny? If Lenin’s "scientific concept of dictatorship" and Hitler’s fuhrerprinzip have been accepted as ruling tenets by our apostate political elite, where are the gulags and gas chambers?



The answer to this question is quite simple: The institutions referred to by Gramsci as "fortresses and earthworks" have not yet been completely overcome by the forces of revolution. Yes, the American family is under siege, but its resilience has proven to be formidable. Parents still seek to instill habits of self-discipline, honesty, and genuine public service in their children. Millions of Americans from all religious denominations and traditions remain committed to living honorable lives defined by God’s law, and insist that their elected representatives, for the most part, pay at least nominal homage to that standard as well. The American tradition of individualism remains a vivid part of our national heritage. And despite decades of mass indoctrination regarding the supposed glories of collectivism, most Americans still cherish their individual rights — and are provoked to militancy when those rights are threatened.



These admirable traits — the "fortresses and earthworks" Gramsci sought to overcome — were celebrated by Robert Welch — a devoted champion of freedom — as "layers of strength" that should be fortified by conscientious Americans. The reason the enemies of freedom must pursue Gramsci’s long-term subversive strategy rather than more overt measures is because most Americans will not meekly submit to the will of their would-be masters.



Yes, our situation is grave. No, America does not enjoy any privileged immunity to the horrors that have descended upon many other countries during this century of rampant democide. In order to preserve our existing freedoms, and to restore those that have been stolen from us, it is necessary for Americans to understand the tactics, strategies, and objectives of the Gramscian conspirators who are waging a culture war against us.



http://www.thenewamerican.com/tna/1999/07-05-99/vo15no14_total.htm












#6 - Who are the Real Radicals?


by Jennifer King


kingfish@ucnsb.net


Featured Rightgrrl December 1998


November 09, 1998



When Nikita Kruschuv banged his shoe on the table and declared, "We shall destroy you from within" during the infamous "Kitchen Debate" - he knew what he was talking about.



There is a famous parable, in which an American family of the 1950's is suddenly deposited in America, circa 1998. Violent criminal offenses have exploded upward by 700%. Premarital sex among 18 year olds has jumped from 30% of the population to 70%. Tax rates for a family of four have skyrocketed 500%, consuming a fourth of their income. Divorce rates have quadrupled. Illegitimate births among black Americans has soared - from approximately 23% to more than 68%. Illegitimacy itself has jumped from a nationwide total of 5% to nearly 30% nationwide - a rise of 600%. Cases of sexually transmitted diseases have risen 150%. Teen age pregnancies are up by several thousand percent and teen suicides have risen by 200%. Between 1950 and 1979 - serious crime committed by children under 15 has risen by 11,000%. Our typical American family of the 1950's, finding their society in hopeless disarray, flees back to the 1950's - posthaste!



Most Americans would agree that our society has changed for the worst over the last 30 years. Pundits have discussed the obvious failures and expense of the New Deal and Great Society programs adopted by FDR and LBJ, but they argue that our current situation is an unfortunate, unforeseen consequence. This is naive. Enlightenment arises when one reads the writings of a 1920's era socialist, Antonio Gramsci.



The socialists are still sure that a true Earthly Utopia can be arrived at through collectivism and redistribution of wealth. Gramsci theorized that the average citizen of the West would never voluntarily embrace the "revolution" and reject their own faith and culture. Therefore, the citizens of the West must be systematically demoralized by the erosion and destruction of their culture from within. Mass media would be slowly transformed from a news gathering device to a tool of subtle propaganda. In place, it would encourage the demise of education, history, traditional heroes and religion. The loss of a common culture would result in immorality, rising crime and the seperation of people into small subgroups. According to Gramsci, the next phase would be the installation of totalitarian control when the people would cry out for an end to the chaos.



Interestingly enough, Gramsci's plan was somewhat implemented during the 1930's, in Nazi Germany. The Germans, wracked during the 1920's by inflation and instability, elected Hitler. Hitler confiscated the guns of the populace and divided the people by blaming various groups for Germany's troubles. In an act of stunning audacity, SS thugs burned the Reichstag and then blamed the Communists - allowing Hitler to grab still more authoritarian control. We all know what happened next.



America's founders were men who were highly educated in Western thought and philosophy. They founded this country under strong Judeo-Christian tenets. In order to undermine this culture, the populace would have to be taught to discard Biblical teachings and mores. How was this done?



Paganism, animism and gnosticism (New Age) belief systems were promoted. Humanism reigned supreme. While the people were debauching under the "sexual revolution" and "drugs as enlightenment" movements, American culture was taking a revisionist beating. The Founders, our schoolchildren are still taught, were nothing more than rascist, sexist, evil white male overlords. The Puritans weren't heroic settlers, seeking freedom of religion - no, now they're Evil White European Invaders squatting on the Noble Native American's land and giving them all syphyllis, to boot. The "melting pot" gave way to the "salad bowl", which is even now giving way to the "individual condiment jars sitting side by side on the same tray" theory.



Our movies, TV shows and pop music continue to mock traditional American values, patriotism and the family. Christians come in for special contempt - derided as "fascist", "oppressive", "totalitarian" and blamed for the murders of gays and abortion doctors. Feminists, unbelievably, still stand behind serial harasser Bill Clinton - sacrificing their credibility on the alter of partial birth abortion. Black "leaders" spew outrageous rhetoric about conservatives, and stop just short of exhorting blacks to riot if the Republicans win elections. Republicans, proposing to balance the budget and streamline big government, are denounced as "hating gays, hating women, hating minorities and hating the environment". Ridiculous and hysterical, to be sure, but dutifully reported by the mainstream media. Interesting that a recent March for Justice, comprised of 5000 people who want to fight corruption in our government and uphold our Constitution was not. But, they're conservatives.



Interesting, also, that "right wing" and "fascist", although misused deliberately for political reasons, essentially describe the same type of regime as "left wing", "socialist" and "communist". NAZI was an acronym for National Socialists. Hitler and Stalin were both socialist monsters who favored strong, central federal control.



Orwell was right. The agenda is exposed, for those who will open their eyes. The core of the Democratic Party is an extremist one - the radical, religious left. After all, there is no proof that a leftist/socialist/fascist/communist philosophy works. It has failed in every regime that has tried it. The only thing that keeps it going is a religious "faith" that somehow it will work, if only enough money is thrown at it. James Carville has come out and proclaimed the effort to save Bill Clinton and savage Ken Starr a "war". Indeed it is to the extreme radical religious left. This is why they lie to their own constitutents - this is why they scare black voters with outrageous and bigoted election eve commercials - this is why they can't fairly discuss the issues and instead resort to lying, distortion and actual voter fraud in order to maintain their status.



The radical religious left is hysterical, because they have come so far in 30 years, only to see a tidal wave of conservative, increasingly savvy middle Americans rising up to take back their country from the Sociocrats. They left's anxiety results from the fact that their indoctrination hasn't worked that effectively, and it has been blown out of the water by the unbiased news available through talk radio and the Internet.



The Democratic Party has been exposed as the one on the fringe: supported by radical, men-hating feminists, militant gays pushing their indoctrinist agenda and goofy "green" types who want to abolish private property rights and the internal combustion engine. The Democratic Party has even become the party of the rich - Clinton, while attending only 2 Cabinet meetings this year, has found the time to attend 102 Fundraisers - mostly among the Hollywood crowd, who keep supplying us with anti-American rhetoric, glorified drugs, violence and casual sex.



Now, what are we going to do about it?!








#7 - Blue State Culture by Anthony C. LoBaido (November 21, 2004).


{According to the author, "The Gramsci Strategy" has been systematically implemented in the United States over the last 50 years.}http://www.sierratimes.com/04/11/22/lobaido.htm



Blue State Culture Part I of 2 Parts
By Anthony C. LoBaido

Former President Bill Clinton recently told The New York Post that we as Americans should abandon the culture war. This suggestion and the non-response that singular comment generated from rightists and cultural purists is troubling in regard to the moral future of our children on many levels.

The culture war has probably been lost, mainly because the good guys didn’t realize the capacity, patience, dark nature and stealth of the enemy they were up against.

The great Marxist thinker Antonio Gramsci was imprisoned in Italy almost 100 years ago. During his time in jail he learned Italian peasants valued their faith, family and nation more than increasing their economic status. They had no “Marxist class envy.” They did not resent the rich. This floored Gramsci.

He soon came to realize that the culture of a nation (including novels, books, plays, newspapers, art, education, science and other aspects), would have to be slowly taken over for a Marxist-Leninist revolution to succeed.

This is known as “The Gramsci Strategy.”

There is no doubt that it is a fait accompli in the United States of America after almost a half century of systematic implementation.

Just look at Jesus Christ vs. Harry Potter in the public school system.

Yet before we decide to embrace William Jefferson Clinton’s idea on abandoning the culture war for good, let’s take a perusal on what exactly is going on in America’s culture at present.

Much of this so-called “culture” is produced in the Blue States (Madison Avenue and Hollywood), yet it must be acknowledged that many people living in the Blue States don’t approve of a lot of this trash. (Jews, Mexicans, Koreans, Puerto Ricans, Muslims, Catholics and many other ethnic and religious groupings). Moreover, many consumers of this trash are white, Republican-voting, Red State Christians who don’t reserve the “value voter” free ride they’ve received from the establishment media in the U.S.

The following is just a small sample this writer witnessed over the past year while watching American TV from inside the country and abroad. One can only imagine the full measure of sickening and blasphemous filth on the networks, cable and internet.

Conan O’Brien’s Late Night Show depicted the host reading a letter from someone in the U.S. who objected to “Jesus Christ” being used as a swear word so often on the show. Conan said; “This won’t happen again.” Then he put on a skit depicting Jesus Christ with a New York State driver’s license on line at a government agency to change His name. Jesus was upset with the long line and made everyone vanish. He then changed his name to “Lamont.” Then Conan said, “From now on when you hit your thumb with a hammer you will say “Lamont!” The audience laughed. Johnny Carson never did such things. This is a nation that dares to sing “God bless America?”

Planned Parenthood gave away free abortions in New York City right after 9-11 to “help people cope” with the World Trade Center terrorist attacks. Remember Bill Clinton sent 800 FBI agents to find Eric Rudolph, a defender of the unborn – and failed – yet sent only 300 FBI agents after the 1993 WTC bombers. That’s Janet “Waco” Reno in a nutshell. That’s their priorities on parade. Stop abortion and you take away more than half of their ability to undertake wickedness.

The Jewish, billionaire, Republican Mayor of New York, Mike Bloomberg, wants to turn New York State’s vast system of medical schools into a Mecca of abortion training for new doctors. That notion in hand, Bloomy flew off to Israel to pray at the Wailing Wall while wearing his Yarmulke. There’s going to be wailing all right. Jews butcher other Jews EVERY DAY in Israeli abortion clinics. And then Israelis wonder why the terror movement continues to grow; it’s a clear case of bloodshed touching bloodshed. Can we repent of this in the Amen Corner? Is this the holy Israel Hal Lindsey tells us about?

Jay Leno, on The Tonight Show, told the audience that the Secret Service agents watching President Bush Jr. were once caught watching porno during a mock assault raid on the White House. Jay said; “That was the great thing about Clinton. You could guard the President and watch porno at the same time.”

Then in a somewhat related manner Jay Leno came on for his routine after the President’s RNC speech and said, “Air Marshals have been suspended for drinking, doing drugs and losing their guns.” Jay added that the Marshals were suspended with pay, which he correctly regarded as “a paid vacation.” This is post 9-11 security? If it weren’t so funny it would be even sadder.

Dan Rather pitched softballs to Clinton on Sixty Minutes about “My Lie.” I mean, “My Life.” There was nothing about Wen Ho Lee, LORAL and the missiles to China, the 21 gun salute for the General who organized the Tiananmen Square Massacre, Rwanda, South Sudan, the body trail in Arkansas and of course, doing all the cocaine. Saturday Night Live did produce a hilarious skit about Clinton doing cocaine that really hit the mark. Remember that CNN footage of him yelling at that Secret Service agent? Why?

On The Jim Belushi Show an actor threw a DVD of The Robe on the floor in disgust. This is a classic film about the redemption of the man who crucified Jesus. Why that particular film? Why not The Trip to Bountiful? Why not Close Encounters of the Third Kind? Why choose The Robe? I think we all know the answer to that one.

There was a long-running TV commercial for a cell phone with old people dirty dancing and talking like “Oh-My-God,” sorority girls. This shows such disrespect for the elderly and now one can only wonder how Generations XYZ will act in retirement? There won’t be a Frank Sinatra doing the oldies in Las Vegas. Eminem will be doing Vegas. How frightening is that? Our mental patient, asylum escapee “artists” will be grandparents.

On the ever-popular Sex in the City (which was banned in Malaysia and Singapore until only very recently), a character suggested her friend’s “vagina order some French Fries.” This is television? This is entertainment? This is what America is selling around the world as “freedom and liberty?” What happened to The Partridge Family?

Jon Heyman of Newsday published a column stating that New York Yankees’ first baseman Jason Giambi reads pornographic magazines during the games in between innings. (Jason makes around US$ 15 million per season). So he can’t wait till after the game to read pornography? Did Mickey Mantle read pornography in between innings?

Jon Heyman, along with J.R. Nyquist, Henry Makow and William F. Jasper is one of the best journalists in America today.

Conan O’Brien was holding several children’s books. One was entitled, “Bi-Curious George.” The bi-sexual person was holding hands with a little child. There was another book with a little boy sitting on Michael Jackson’s lap and child sex was again implied. This was right before Mr. Jackson’s arrest. Very funny, huh?

Soon after that show Conan had a guest who is actor from Saturday Night Live. This actor made a joke about a Cub Scout Master putting something in the pocket of a little boy. (While speaking as the new governor of California.) This show was on either the night after the children’s books show or several nights later. That is what caught my attention -- the two shows having this same sick subject matter so close together. This is humor?

Saturday Night Live: Heather Graham was depicted as a babysitter in a skit. She was busy graphically discussing having sex with the parents of the child she’s sitting for. Fair Weather Heather is a noted hater of the Catholic Church. Of course! How else do you rise to such a position in society? She is a very beautiful young woman and a talented actress, but look at how she debased herself. Maybe the Lord will touch her soul?

Remember there are American and global forces which have made untold billions by debasing the morals of the world’s youth. These forces don’t like to be analyzed, catalogued, exposed, confronted, challenged or even questioned.

This is what happens when Christians are pushed out of the world of culture. Yet again, sadly many Christians are the prime market for this filth. It is like the Prodigal Son. We have lived in the pigsty so long that we don’t know it’s a pigsty. Evangelical Christians have more abortions, divorce more often and watch more pornography than the general U.S. population. We each have to look at our own lives and sift through this filth.

Saturday Night Live: A Jerry McGuire sequel/spoof showed the young child grown up and ejaculating on his own mother right on the set. Rene Zellewegger acted in this skit. To me she ruined her wonderful role in that movie by the same name. How sick! Who would think of such filth? Again, this is what it takes to rise to the top in Hollywood. Producer Lorne Michaels of Saturday Night Live should be ashamed. We can pity them.

Saturday Night Live: A skit showed children taking solid cat waste and making it into toys and food with something called “Litter Critters.” Children eating this waste were also shown. Remember the SNL of Bill Murray and Steve Martin in the 1970’s? This is the kind of “talent” that the SNL writers come up with? This is one of their best ideas?

South Park: Cartman sustains a head injury and then imagines he is a Vietnamese prostitute. Cartman tells everyone within earshot, “Me love you long time!” Sex with an adult is implied at the end of the episode. The other children (Kyle especially) laugh at Cartman after this implication.

This is America? This is our most popular cartoon? What in God’s name is going on here? They say it’s for adults but many children watch it. Just ask around. The show is produced by secular, pagan, yet very right wing Jews who often have a good message -- sometimes they go too far. Who is to say how far “too far” is? That is the essential issue of the day. Should we bring back a public standards commission for the media? Yes!

And now South Park is on in Spanish all over Latin America, because the morals of the Catholic nations have to be destroyed as well. (Abortion is illegal in Belize, Guatemala and many other nations of our Hemisphere). This is the Gramsci strategy at work. Brazil, now a strongly Communist state, is setting up sub-governmental Marxist structures and militias all over the nation. (See jrnyquist.com for a full report).

Now Brazil announced drugs will be legalized in that nation. South Park is on late at night in Brazil. Where is the Catholic Church in Brazil? Busy trying to separate the men from the boys?

The Lavender Mafia has driven out the good would-be priests. Just read the book “Goodbye Good Men” on the subject of how Catholic seminaries are now almost totally controlled by gays. Nostradamus predicted a blood disease tragedy that would afflict the Catholic clergy but not the faithful in the pews. This is happening now. No wonder the hard core lost pagans hate Christians. How disgusting is this?

On South Park’s “Mr. Hanky’s Christmas Special” I saw children eating solid human waste on their Christmas dinner. (Recall the innocent The Little Drummer Boy?) As they eat this waste they sing, “Yum, yum, yum!” This is how we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ as ostensibly the Savior of mankind? How sick is it going to get in the coming decades?

The Christmas Time in Hell episode on South Park depicted the late Princess Diana having sex with a noted American film critic. Saddam was having gay sex with Satan as well.

Many of our Christmas presents are made in Mainland China by persecuted Chinese Christians working in slave labor laogai gulags and factories. Readers might want to rent “The Spirit of Liberty Moon,” an incredible CBS Touched by an Angel episode dealing with the laogai. Now there is a union of technology and rhetoric. This writer heard the Chinese government pressured the “in-the-know” liberal elites in the U.S. to ban that episode from Blockbuster Video and to have the series cancelled.

So this writer personally bought up every copy of the episode for sale on the internet and mailed one to Harry Wu – the world’s greatest living human rights activist. Harry watched the episode and wrote me a letter saying how much it meant to him. (Readers can see this writer’s two articles on/with Harry that appeared on WorldNetDaily.com).

Adam Sandler went on a top late-night talk show to talk about his mother, Jewish holidays and his Hanukah gift of a battery operated anal probe. Can you believe he said that his mother “bought him extra batteries” to put in his anus? This is real talent! He is a Saturday Night Live veteran of course. What does Yahweh think?

Marky Mark went on a top late-night talk show to promote his show Entourage and mimicking Sandler, invoked his own mother with the most filthy talk about male and female organs. Of course people will look at Marky Mark and blame this all “on Jews” but it is not just Jews. It is everyone following along. All normal Jewish people oppose this filth. All normal people oppose it period. The question is how large is the remnant?

The Craft: Neve Campbell becomes a witch and shows teenaged girls “how to slit your wrists the right way.” It’s up and down, not across. Rent the film and watch this evil. It was directed by a radical gay man who must be obsessed with female power and perhaps the fear of dying of Aids. Who would teach children such an evil thing about suicide? This is the United States of America? This film was approved for release?

Newsday published a story in early January 2004 explaining that the DVD for the film Dirty Dancing sold one million DVDs in the past year. This film is about a dance competition in which the winner seeks to win the cash prize and use it for her friend’s abortion. Such a cute theme! This is like a tarantula crawling across a wedding cake, no?

A major athletic apparel manufacturer created a well-known ad of soccer star Renaldo standing in the exact same position of that giant statue of Jesus in South America overlooking the city. The ad says, “Control is everything.” This is the Gramsci control of the culture through idolatry coming full circle in Brazil. (South Africa, India and Brazil lead the anti-West “Non-Aligned Movement” of nations. They are a varied, powerful troika boasting land, precious metals like gold, drug wealth, high technology and more).

Elton John, singing in front of Cherie Blair, the wife of the British Prime Minister, brought out a troop of dancers dressed as Cub Scouts who in turn strip of their clothes (almost) to the max. This was even recorded in the pages of Time Magazine. Of course Elton John has been knighted by the Queen. This is the British Empire? This is just sad. You know, you want Breaker Morant and you get Waterworld. You want Jackie Robinson and you get Dennis Rodman. You want The Little Drummer Boy and you get South Park.

Perhaps inspired by this filth, Tony Blair, the British Prime Minister, tried to lower the age of consensual sex in the UK as far as possible. Blair, a self-avowed Christian, wanted to “bring the law more in line with the rest of Europe.” I heard in Spain that age is 12. This is the nation that brought Catholicism to the New World. France was the country of Joan of Arc. Germany the country of Luther. Europe has returned to the Dark Ages in the cultural sense and we are all living (once again) in the pre-Magna Carta era.

Thankfully Margaret Thatcher mobilized support and stopped Tony Blair in the House of Lords. But that is the mission of the debased elites. They want to sexualize even pre-teens. They are turning little girls into Brittany Spears by the age of seven. The seven to 12 age bracket is a multi-billion dollar market. And isn’t it strange how Blair could be such close friends with both Bill Clinton and George Bush Jr.? I mean beyond the ties of the CFR to the Royal Institute for International Affairs.

South Park: Kyle kicks his baby brother through a window of the school bus

Malcolm in the Middle: This is the Fox Network’s flagship family values program. I saw a group of fathers playing shuffleboard with their babies while wagering money. They slid the babies far across a gym floor with the aplomb of a man tossing aside a drumstick at a thanksgiving feast. This is the America of Susan Smith and Mark Barton.

South Park: Cartman, the leader of a Christian Rock Band called “Faith + 1” shouts “Bleep Jesus!” Why not “Bleep Allah?” Why not “Bleep Moses?” Orthodox Jews and Muslims would NEVER tolerate such blasphemy. What is the compelling public interest for this “free speech?” Is there not one American out of 300 million (give or take the millions of illegals selling oranges) willing to stand up to this filth?

South Park: Santa Claus shouts “Bleep you!” to Jesus after a singing duet. In reality, Santa DOES say this every single Christmas. Perhaps this is good rhetoric after all!

I saw singer Beyonce hosting a Nelson Mandela concert. She was singing with half-naked girls around her. Towering above was an icon of Mandela, a man drenched in the blood of Quatro Angolan Mbokodo camp, Shell House massacre, abortion, Church Street bombing, abandonment of Taiwan and embrace of Beijing (like a good little Republican boy!) and the mass genocide of the white South African farmers.

(Over 1650 plus killed out of 40,000 farmers since 1994, with another 9000 – 15,000 recorded attacks. It’s hard to keep up!) Sadly Nelson Mandela is a prototype of the Antichrist person (and or system) to come; a man who stands for death and terrorism and is drenched in blood, yet claims the Nobel Peace Prize. The madness of the old Soviet Union and Mao is alive in Africa.

NAMBLA or “The North American Man-Boy Love Association” meets in public libraries out in California while the Boy Scouts cannot meet in public places because they won’t allow homosexual leaders. (It must be said that many gay men would be great Boy Scout leaders). Still, can you believe this is America? Now the Pentagon is being sued for supporting the Boy Scouts.

San Francisco is the main bastion for this NAMBLA nonsense which all normal gay people would do well to distance themselves from. (Remember that non-gay, Blue and Red State people also hurt children sexually and otherwise!) That city was the home of Anton Lavey’s Satanic Church. You can see the church on the inside cover of The Eagles Hotel California album. Why? That church is the Hotel California.

Bryant Gumble: Not knowing he was still on the air, called a guest who does not believe homosexuals should become Boy Scout Masters, “A bleeping idiot.” Gumble is probably the least objective journalist in the world with his lunatic politically correct/entitlement biases that come out again and again. His views are legion. This is the mindset of Good Morning America. It’s more like Good Night America. Or should I say “Adios?”

Bush Jr. praised Ozzie in the White House, saying, “Mom loves your stuff Ozzie?” Like Marky Mark and Adam Sandler, Bush Jr. chose to debase his own precious mother’s name. I wonder if any of the three of them even remotely realize how bad this looks?

Ronald Reagan wouldn’t even let The Beach Boys play in a concert at the White House. He was concerned about “the wrong element.” Well the wrong element has now arrived for sure.

Reagan wouldn’t go into the Oval Office without a coat and tie on out of respect for Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt. Yet Bill Clinton was getting oral sex from a near child while eating a slice of pizza in that same office only a few years after Reagan departed.

Ask yourself; when we recently buried Ronald Reagan, did we bury the old America we grew up in?

Has Gramsci won? (For now).

Make no mistake. We are at war.

You’re either with us or you’re with the cultural terrorists.

Jesus Christ said for those who cause children to stumble, “Better they had hung a millstone around their necks and thrown themselves into the sea.”

With that in mind, let us be clear that it is not wrong to discern and yes even “judge” the aforementioned filth as evil. By doing this we can help to save our own souls and preserve the moral future of our children.

You can start by writing letters to the creators of the aforementioned trash and express your displeasure.

Red State, Blue State, Christian, Jew, Muslim, gay, non-gay, brown, black, white, yellow and American Indian; God is watching us all -- from a distance.

Anthony C. LoBaido is an American journalist, photographer, explorer and teacher who has worked in over 40 countries. His articles have appeared in WorldNetDaily.com, CBN, Pravda, Way Press International of Belgium, (translated into French) The Arizona Republic, Soldier of Fortune, Rense.com, The Sierra Times.com, the South African Mail & Guardian as well as having been cited by Court TV and the U.S. Congress’ House Ways and Means Committee. His book on the Kurds was published by Times-Lerner Ltd. of Singapore. His new novel Our Name is Legion can be found on Amazon.com. LoBaido will also be releasing his life story this autumn. It is entitled Carina.








#9 – Encylopedia article about Antonio Gramsci


http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Antonio-Gramsci



Antonio Gramsci (January 23, 1891 – April 27, 1937) was an Italian writer and a politician, a leader and theorist of Socialism, Communism and anti-Fascism.
Contents

· 1 Life

· 2 Thought

o 2.1 Hegemony

o 2.2 The Intellectuals and Education

o 2.3 Historicism

o 2.4 Critique of 'Economism'

o 2.5 Influence

§ 2.5.1 Influences on Gramsci's thought

§ 2.5.2 Later thinkers influenced by Gramsci

· 3 See also

· 4 External links
Life


Gramsci was born in Ales, Italy, on the island of Sardinia, a relatively remote region of Italy that was mostly ignored by the Italian government in favor of the industrialized North. He was the fourth of seven sons of Francesco Gramsci. His father's family was Arbëreshë and probably the family name was related to Gramsh, an Albanian town. Francesco had financial difficulties and troubles with the police, suffered imprisonment and finally had to move about through several villages in Sardinia until his family finally settled in Ghilarza.


A brilliant student, Gramsci won a prize that allowed him to study at Turin's university, where he read literature. He found Turin at the time going through a process of industrialization, with the Fiat and Lancia factories recruiting workers from poorer regions. Trade unions became established, and the first industrial social conflicts started to emerge. Gramsci had a close involvement with these developments, frequenting socialist circles as well as associating with Sardinian emigrants, which gave him continuity with his native culture.


His early difficult experiences in Sardinia had already shaped his view of the world. This, together with his experience on the mainland, had a part in his decision to join the Italian Socialist Party.


He became a notable journalist, even if his writings were mainly for political papers such as L'Avanti (the Socialist Party official organ); nevertheless his brilliant prose and his intelligent observations soon resulted in greater fame.


An articulate and prolific writer of political theory, Gramsci produced a great deal of writing as editor of a number of socialist newspapers in Italy. Among the many, with Palmiro Togliatti he set up (in 1919) L'Ordine Nuovo (also the name of an unrelated 1960s fascist group), and contributed to La Città Futura.


The group around L'Ordine Nuovo became allied with Amadeo Bordiga and the far larger Communist Abstentionist faction within the Socialist Party. This led to their organising the Communist Party of Italy (Partito Comunista d'Italia - Pcd'I) on January 21, 1921. Gramsci would be a leader of the party from its inception although subordinate to Bordiga until the latter lost the leadership at in 1924. Gramsci's theses were adopted by the PCd'I at its 1926 Lyons Congress.


In 1922 Gramsci appeared in Russia, where he represented the new party and met his wife, Giulia Schucht, a young violinist with whom Gramsci had two sons. [1]


The Russian mission coincided with the advent of Fascism in Italy, and Gramsci returned with instructions to foster the unity of the leftist parties against fascism. Such a front would obviously ideally have had the PCI at its centre, through which Moscow would have controlled all the leftist forces, but others disputed this potential supremacy: socialists did have a certain tradition in Italy too, while the communist party seemed relatively young and too radical. Many believed that an eventual coalition led by communists would have functioned too remotely from political debate, and thus would have run the risk of isolation.


In 1924 Gramsci gained election as a deputy for the Veneto. He started organising the launch of the official newspaper of the party, called L'Unità (Unity), living in Rome while his family stayed in Moscow.


In 1926 Stalin's manoeuvres inside the Bolshevik party moved Gramsci to write a letter to the Comintern, in which he deplored the opposition, but also underlined some presumed faults of the leader. Togliatti, in Moscow as a representative of the party, received the letter, opened it, read it, and decided not to deliver it. This caused a difficult conflict between Gramsci and Togliatti which they never completely resolved.


On November 8, 1926 the fascist police arrested Gramsci, despite his parliamentary immunity, and brought him to Regina Coeli, the famous Roman prison. He received an immediate sentence of 5 years in confinement (on the remote island of Ustica); the following year he received a sentence of 20 years of prison (in Turi, near Bari). His condition caused him to suffer from constantly declining health, and he received an individual cell and little assistance. In 1932, a project for exchanging political prisoners (including Gramsci) between Italy and the Soviet Union failed. In 1934 his health deteriorated severely and he gained conditional freedom, after having already visited some hospitals in Civitavecchia, Formia and Rome. He died in Rome at the age of 46, shortly after being released from prison; he is buried in the so-called Protestant Cemetery there.



Thought



Gramsci wrote more than 30 notebooks of history and analysis during his imprisonment. These writings, known as the Prison Notebooks, contain Gramsci's tracing of Italian history and nationalism, as well as some ideas in Marxist theory, critical theory and educational theory associated with his name, such as:


· Cultural hegemony as a means of maintaining the capitalist state


· The need for popular workers' education to encourage development of intellectuals from the working class.


· 'Absolute historicism'


· The critique of economic determinism



Hegemony


Hegemony was a concept previously used by Marxists such as Lenin to indicate the political leadership of the proletariat in a democratic revolution, but developed by Gramsci into an acute analysis to explain why the "inevitable" socialist revolution predicted by orthodox Marxism had not occurred by the early 20th century. Rather, capitalism seemed even more entrenched than ever. Capitalism, Gramsci suggested, maintained control not just through violence and political and economic coercion, but also ideologically, through a hegemonic culture in which the values of the bourgeoisie became the "common sense" values of all. Thus a consensus culture developed in which people in the working class identified their own good with the good of the bourgeoisie, and helped to maintain the status quo rather than revolting. The working class needed to develop a "counter-hegemonic" culture, said Gramsci, firstly to overthrow the notion that bourgeois values represented "natural" or "normal" values for society, and ultimately to succeed in overthrowing capitalism. Gramsci stated explicitly that, in the West, these bourgeois cultural values derived directly from Christianity, and therefore much of his polemic against hegemonic culture is aimed at religious mores and values.


The Intellectuals and Education


Gramsci gave much thought to the question of the role of intellectuals in society. He distinguished between a 'traditional' intelligentsia which sees itself (wrongly) as a separate class, and the thinking groups which every class produces from its own ranks 'organically'. The need to create a working-class culture relates to Gramsci's call for a kind of education that could develop working-class intellectuals. His ideas about an education system for this purpose correspond with the notion of critical pedagogy and popular education as theorized and practised in later decades by Paulo Freire in Brazil. For this reason, partisans of adult and popular education as well as of Marxist and political theory consider Gramsci an important voice to this day.


Historicism


Gramsci, like the early Marx, was an emphatic proponent of historicism. In Gramsci's view, all meaning derives from the relation between human practical activity (or 'praxis') and the 'objective' historical and social processes of which it is a part. Ideas cannot be understood outside their social and historical context, apart from their function and origin. The concepts by which we organise our knowledge of the world do not derive primarily from our relation to things, but rather from the social relations between the users of those concepts. Resultantly, there is no such thing as an unchanging 'human nature', but only an idea of such which varies historically. Furthermore, philosophy and science do not 'reflect' a reality independent of man, but rather are only 'true' in that they express the real developmental trend of a given historical situation. The majority of Marxists held the common-sense view that truth was truth no matter when and where it is known, and that scientific knowledge (which included Marxism) accumulates historically as the advance of truth in this everyday sense, and therefore did not belong to the illusory realm of the superstructure. For Gramsci, however, Marxism was 'true' in the socially pragmatic sense, in that by articulating the class consciousness of the proletariat, it expressed the 'truth' of its times better than any other theory. This anti-scientistic and anti-positivist stance was indebted to the influence of Benedetto Croce, possibly the most widely respected Italian intellectual of his day. Though Gramsci repudiates the charge, this historical account of truth has been criticised as a form of relativism.


Critique of 'Economism'


In a famous article, Gramsci claimed that the October Revolution in Russia had invalidated the idea that socialist revolution had to await the full development of capitalist forces of production. This reflected his view that Marxism was not a deterministic philosophy. The principle of the causal ‘primacy’ of the relations of production, he held, was a misconception of Marxism. Both economic changes and cultural changes are expressions of a ‘basic historical process’. The belief that the workers’ movement would inevitably triumph as the result of ‘historical laws’ was a product of the historical circumstances of an oppressed class restricted mainly to defensive action. Once the proletariat becomes able to take the initiative, such fatalistic beliefs were to be abandoned as a hindrance. The ‘philosophy of praxis’ (a euphemism for Marxism that he used to escape the prison censor) cannot rely on unseen ‘historical laws’ as the agents of social change. History is only human praxis and therefore includes human will. Nonetheless, will-power cannot achieve anything it likes in any given situation: when the consciousness of the working-class reaches the necessary stage of development, historical circumstances will be encountered which cannot be arbitrarily altered. It is not, however, predetermined by laws of history which of several possible developments will take place.


Influence


Although Gramsci's thought emanates from the organized left, he has become an important figure in current academic discussions within cultural studies and critical theory. Political theorists from the center and the right have also found insight in his concepts; his idea of hegemony, for example, has become widely cited. His influence is particularly strong in contemporary political science, on the subject of the prevalence of neoliberal thinking among political elites, in the form of Neo-gramscianism. His work also heavily influenced intellectual discourse on popular culture and scholarly popular culture studies.


His critics charge him with fostering a notion of power struggle through ideas that finds a reflection in recent academic controversies such as political correctness. They find the Gramscian approach to ideas, reflected in these controversies, to be in conflict with open-ended, liberal inquiry grounded in the classics of Western culture. To credit or blame Gramsci for the travails of current academic politics is an odd turn of history, since Gramsci himself (unlike most major 20th century thinkers) was never an academic, and was in fact deeply intellectually engaged with Italian culture, history, and current liberal thought.


Influences on Gramsci's thought


· Niccolò Machiavelli


· Karl Marx


· Benedetto Croce



Later thinkers influenced by Gramsci


· Perry Anderson


· Michael Hardt & Antonio Negri


· Louis Althusser


· Raymond Williams


· David Harvey


· Edward Said


· Judith Butler


· Ernesto Laclau & Chantal Mouffe



See also


· Reformism


· Superstructure


· Articulation (sociology)


· Risorgimento



External links


· Gramsci's Marxism and his writings


· resources, including bibliography


· the International Gramsci Society


· Gramsci's contribution to the field of adult and popular education


· Rare: a picture at the age of 15


· Gramsci's wife and sons


· The Praxis Prism – The Epistemology of Antonio Gramsci


Categories: 1891 births | 1937 deaths | 20th century philosophers | Italian philosophers | Marxist theorists | Italian politicians | Natives of Sardinia



· Click for other authoritative sources for this topic (summarised at Factbites.com).





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#10 – A few quotes attributed to Antonio Gramsci


http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Antonio_Gramsci


http://www.creativequotations.com/one/1947.htm





http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Antonio_Gramsci



Antonio Gramsci


From Wikiquote



Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937)


Italian Communist and Philosopher.



Sourced Quote:


"I’m a pessimist because of intelligence, but an optimist because of will."


Letter from Prison, Dec. 19, 1929.



Attributed Quotes:


"The challenge of modernity is to live without illusions and without becoming disillusioned."


"To tell the truth is revolutionary."



http://www.creativequotations.com/one/1947.htm



Before puberty the child's personality has not yet formed and it is easier to guide its life and make it acquire specific habits of order, discipline, and work . . ."



The challenge of modernity is to live without illusions and without becoming disillusioned.



"Every action of ours is passed on to others according to its value, of good or evil, it passes from father to son, from one generation to the next, in a perpetual movement."



"After puberty the personality develops impetuously and all extraneous intervention becomes odious. . . . Now it so happens that parents feel the responsibility towards their children precisely during this second period, when it is too late."



"I'm a pessimist because of intelligence, but an optimist because of will."







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#11 – A long list of WWW Links to articles about Antonio Gramsci


http://www.factbites.com/topics/Antonio-Gramsci





Encyclopedia4U - Antonio Gramsci - Encyclopedia Article
Antonio Gramsci ( January 22, 1891 - April 27, 1937) was an Italian writer and a politician, a leader and theorist of Socialism, Communism and anti-Fascism.
Gramsci was born in Ales, Italy, on the island of Sardinia, a relatively remote region of Italy that was mostly ignored by the Italian government in favor of the industrialized north (the problem of Sardinia had previously become part of the political activity of Giuseppe Mazzini in Turin 's senate).
Gramsci had a close involvement with these developments, frequenting socialist circles as well as associating with Sardinian emigrants, which gave continuity with his native culture.
www.encyclopedia4u.com /a/antonio-gramsci.html (1220 words)


AN INTRODUCTION TO GRAMSCI'S LIFE AND THOUGHT
Antonio Gramsci was born on January 22, 1891 in Ales in the province of Cagliari in Sardinia.
Antonio and Julka had two sons, Delio (1924-1981), and Giuliano, born in 1926, who lives today in Moscow with his wife.
Gramsci had a prodigious memory, but it is safe to say that without Sraffa's assistance, and without the intermediary role often played by Tania, the Prison Notebooks as we have them would not have come to fruition.
www.soc.qc.edu /gramsci/intro/engbio.html (1337 words)


Antonio Gramsci and informal education
Gramsci's emphasis on critical awareness, the importance of intellectuals being part of everyday life, and on the part played by so-called ‘common sense’; in maintaining the status quo have helped to open up the transformational possibilities of education.
Gramsci's analysis went much further than any previous Marxist theory to provide an understanding of why the European working class had on the whole failed to develop revolutionary consciousness after the First World War and had instead moved towards reformism ie tinkering with the system rather than working towards overthrowing it.
Gramsci, in his Notebooks, maintained that what was required was that not only should a significant number of ‘traditional’ intellectuals come over to the revolutionary cause (Marx, Lenin and Gramsci were examples of this) but also the working class movement should produce its own organic intellectuals.
www.infed.org /thinkers/et-gram.htm (3316 words)


Encyclopedia: Antonio Gramsci
On average, women in New Zealand do not give birth until they are 30 years old.
Antonio Gramsci ( January 22, 1891 - April 27, 1937) was an Italian writer (ethnic Albanian by his father) and a politician, a leader and theorist of Socialism, Communism and anti- Fascism.
Capitalism, Gramsci suggested, maintained control not just through violence and political and economic coercion, but also ideologically, through a hegemonic culture in which the values of the bourgeoisie became the "common sense" values of all.
www.nationmaster.com /encyclopedia/Antonio-Gramsci (1355 words)


Antonio Gramsci - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Gramsci was born in Ales, Italy, on the island of Sardinia, a relatively remote region of Italy that was mostly ignored by the Italian government in favor of the industrialized north (the problem of Sardinia had previously become part of the political activity of Giuseppe Mazzini in
Gramsci would be a leader of the party from its inception although subordiante to Bordiga until the latter lost the leadership at in 1924.
Gramsci's theses were adopted by the PCd'I at its 1926 Lyons Congress.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Antonio_Gramsci (1291 words)


Antonio Gramsci: Problems of Marxism
Gramsci says that these pure intellectuals "acting as the elaborators of the most widespread ideologies of the dominant classes and as leaders of the intellectual groups in their countries"; they absorb elements of marxism into their philosophical idealism "to provide new arms for the arsenal of the social group with which they were linked." (390).
Gramsci raises questions of how a "man of politics" approaches philosophy, etc. "in every personality there is one dominant and predominant activity: it is here that his thought must be looked for, in a form that is more often than not implicit and at times even in contradiction with whast is professly expressed." (403).
Gramsci argues that a different conception is appropriate to the philosophy of praxis: that of the unity of mankind resulting from the experimental method in science which is the first dialectical method in the unity between man and nature.
socserv2.socsci.mcmaster.ca /soc/courses/soc2r3/gramsci/gramarx.htm (5866 words)


www.theory.org.uk Resources: Antonio Gramsci
Gramsci had a prodigious memory; in his years in prison obviously he was not allowed to read communist books, so every quotation he made, especially about Marx, are the words (almost always exact) that he could remember.
Gramsci was more "dialectic" than "deterministic": he tried to build a theory which recognised the autonomy, independence and importance of culture and ideology.
Gramsci, Antonio (1971), Selections form the Prision Notebook, edited and translated by Quintin Hoare and Goffrey Nowell Smith, Lawrence and Wishart, London.
www.theory.org.uk /ctr-gram.htm (4036 words)


Antonio Gramsci - ArtPolitic Encyclopedia of Politics : Information Portal
Antonio Gramsci, ( Ales[?], Italy 1891 - Rome 1937), was an Italian writer and a politician, a leader and theorist of Socialism, Communism and anti-Fascism[?].
Gramsci was born in the island of Sardinia, a relatively remote region of Italy that was mostly ignored by the government in favor of the industrialized north (the problem of Sardinia became a relevant part of the political activity of Giuseppe Mazzini in Turin 's senate).
Gramsci was closely involved with these developments, frequenting socialist circles as well as Sardinian emigrants, which gave continuity with his native culture.
www.artpolitic.org /infopedia/an/Antonio_Gramsci.html (1212 words)


Antonio Gramsci
Antonio Gramsci ( January 22, 1891 - April 27, 1937) was an Italian writer and a politician, a leader and theorist of Socialism, Communism and anti- Fascism.
Gramsci was born in Ales, Italy, on the islandof Sardinia, a relatively remote region of Italy that was mostly ignored by theItalian government in favor of the industrialized north (the problem of Sardinia had previously become part of the politicalactivity of Giuseppe Mazzini in Turin 's senate).
Gramsci would be a leader of the party from its inception although subordiante to Bordigauntil the latter lost the leadership at in 1924.
www.therfcc.org /antonio-gramsci-3863.html (1202 words)


Boston.com / News / Boston Globe / Opinion / Editorials / Shockwaves from Madrid
He wants to have his own version of utopia realized immediately.
He has no time for persuasion, for political organizing, or for the ebb and flow of what the radical thinker Antonio Gramsci called the long march through the institutions.
If ETA or some splinter group of that secessionist movement did commit the Madrid atrocity, timing it to come just before Spain's general election on Sunday, the probable effect will be to enable the governing Popular Party to return to power with an absolute parliamentary majority.
www.boston.com /news/globe/editorial_opinion/editorials/articles/2004/03/13/shockwaves_from_madrid (509 words)


Antonio Gramsci
Gramsci is the darling of academic sociologists, who have used his insights (especially the concept of "hegemony") in countless obscure books and articles.
Of course, these intellectuals never give much mention to Gramsci's activism in the Italian Communist Party.
Gramsci: Pre-Prison Writings (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought)
www.dvdmaking.com /amazon/authorsearch_Antonio%20Gramsci/mode_books.html (167 words)


Gulli: "Praxis and the Danger: The Insurgent Ontology of Antonio Gramsci"
Gramsci's philosophy of praxis in particular (due perhaps to the fragmented nature of its exposition) is being used to show that difference can come about without upsetting too much the established order of things.
Gramsci's distance from a bureaucratic and dead orthodoxy, rather than be looked at as a measure of his coherence and of his unrelenting revolutionary stance, is considered a bit conciliatory and less threatening.
Gramsci's emphasis on the will, on human subjectivity and freedom, on the "superstructure," both in his early political writings and in his later notes in prison, would then seem to stem out of a philosophical tradition of which he was perhaps relatively unaware, but that he nonetheless felt deeply.
eserver.org /clogic/2002/gulli.html (11044 words)


[No title]
GRAMSCI AND "US" [5] Holub's book is another "Introduction to Gramsci," and as such, in an already crowded field, it has to differentiate itself and be seen to be offering something new and creative.
Gramsci as modernist is interesting precisely to the extent that he can also be characterized as a postmodernist %avant la lettre%, as it were: "To deal with Gramsci, loosely, in the context of Frankfurt School critical theory, in the context of modernism, is apposite.
Gramsci died intestate, as it were; his legacy--the body of his writings--has been contested, sometimes bitterly, ever since.
jefferson.village.virginia.edu /pmc/text-only/issue.593/review-1.593 (2910 words)


Antonio Gramsci -- Critical Assessments of Political Philosophers -- James Martin
Including articles translated from the Italian for the first time, this set is the first systematic collection of critical commentary on Gramsci.
Reprinting some thirty years of Gramsci criticism, the collection features individual volume introductions as well as a general overview introduction.
www.frontlist.com /detail/0415217474 (62 words)


Antonio Gramsci
This led to their organising the Communist Party of Italy ( Partito Comunista d'Italia - Pcd'I) on January 21, 1921.
Although Gramsci's thought emanates from the organized left, he has become an important figure in current academic discussions within cultural studies and critical theory.
He was especially influenced by Benedetto Croce, possibly the most widely respected Italian intellectual of his day.
www.sciencedaily.com /encyclopedia/antonio_gramsci (1366 words)


Subaltern, meaning ?of inferior rank?, is a term adopted by Antonio Gramsci to refer to those groups in society who are ...
Subaltern, meaning ?of inferior rank?, is a term adopted by Antonio Gramsci to refer to those groups in society who are subjec
Gramsci claimed that the history of the subaltern classes was just as complex as the history of the dominant classes, although the history of the latter is usually that which is accepted as ?official? history.
Gramsci, Antonio, Escritos Pol?cos, 4 vols, Lisboa, Seara Nova, 1976-1978.
www.terravista.pt /Aguaalto/1018/subaltern.html (1263 words)


Antonio Gramsci, "The Organisation of Education and Culture," from The Modern Prince and Other Writings (1959)
Our note: Part of Gramsci?s meditations on the modern system of schooling and call for a "unitary school" in answer to its failings, these excerpts are an interesting example of the way in which standards and merit-based advancement have been taken to be self-evident.
aad.english.ucsb.edu /docs/Gramsci.html (433 words)


kiss cultural theory: Galbraith, Gibson, Gramsci et al
Gramsci elaborated Marx's base-superstructure theory (economic base provided for cultural superstructure) with his theory of
Gramsci's theory, on the other hand, allows a much greater role for
These may be reproduced for non-commercial, educational purposes provided this notice is included and contents are not altered.
www.geneseo.edu /~bicket/panop/author_G.htm (1414 words)


Antonio Gramsci
"Gramsci remains essential reading for anyone concerned with the relationships between rulers and ruled, leaders and led, in democratic movements and political systems.
It was Gramsci who first took seriously the myriad of day to day activities engaged in by the mass of people.
Going to church, reading the paper, watching TV, shopping, all these activities are suffused with choices partly made, partly forced by political constraints.
www.cf.ac.uk /socsi/undergraduate/introsoc/gramsci.html (247 words)


Gramsci Links Archive | Antonio Gramsci
Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) was an Italian socialist, political theorist, and activist.
Bakhtin, Gramsci and the Semiotics of Hegemony -
Review: Jonathan Joseph, Hegemony: A Realist Analysis, London: Routledge, 2002; and Paul Le Blanc (ed.) From Marx to Gramsci: A Reader in Revolutionary Marxist Politics, New York: Humanity Books, 2002.
www.victoryiscertain.com /gramsci (209 words)


ANTONIO GRAMSCI, 1891-1937 -- THE NEW ORDER
Gramsci was born in 1891 on the island of Sardinia.
Gramsci decided to go to Russia to take part in the developing Communist USSR.
Gramsci realized that Russia was not a healthy place for him and he returned to Italy where he was very shortly apprehended and sentenced to a long prison term.
www.etherzone.com /2002/burn090602.shtml (871 words)


Philosophical Dictionary: Goldman-Grue
Like Croce, Gramsci deplored authoritarian government of every variety and argued that social classes are shaped as much by their characteristic patterns of thought as by their material circumstances.
Also see Dean Savage, Fondazione Istituto Gramsci, ELC, The International Gramsci Society, ColE, and BIO.
As stated by Hutcheson, Bentham, and Mill, the principle is that actions are right only insofar as they tend to produce the greatest balance of pleasure over pain for the largest number of people.
www.philosophypages.com /dy/g9.htm (814 words)


Antonio Gramsci
Italian Antonio Gramsci was a leading Marxist thinker.
Gramsci also rejected crude materialism, offering a humanist version of Marxism which focused on human subjectivity.
Gramsci used the term 'hegemony' to denote the predominance of one social class over others (e.g.
home.earthlink.net /~potterama/Michele/projects/hyper/gramsci.html (103 words)


The New American - Gramsci's Grand Plan - July 5, 1999
Antonio Gramsci was both a man of action and thought and, whatever the outcome of the events of the next several decades, he will almost certainly be reckoned by future historians to have been a remarkable figure.
Gramsci studied philosophy and history at the University of Turin, and soon became a dedicated Marxist, joining the Italian Socialist Party.
Gramsci's signal contribution was to liberate the Marxist project from the prison of economic dogma, thereby dramatically enhancing its ability to subvert Christian society.
www.thenewamerican.com /tna/1999/07-05-99/vo15no14_gramsci.htm (3850 words)


Who is Antonio Gramsci? You Better Learn!!! [Free Republic]
Gramsci understood what Marx did not understand: Economic crises by themselves would not subvert capitalism, because capitalism always managed to overcome the crises and emerged stronger.
Gramsci was right when he said that all men have intellectual concerns outside their field of activity.
Gramsci goes on to argue the virtues of a classical education, noting that "it will always be an effort to learn physical self-discipline and self-control" (p.320) but that such effort is necessary if pupils are to learn the skills serious study requires.
www.freerepublic.com /forum/a3a4c610569be.htm (4713 words)


Citizens Sue Kerry and Edwards - Dr. Eric Ross - MensNewsDaily.com™
The problem is, justices relish remaking our society to suit their own visions and beliefs, the roots of which, in Yale and Harvard, come from the European Socialists and Communists of the likes of Antonio Gramshi
Antonio Gramsci, the founder of the Communist Party of Italy died in Mussolini’s prison in April of 1937.
Tatiana, his Russian sister in law, managed to smuggle the 33 books he wrote in prison and send them via diplomatic mail to Moscow to be published.
www.mensnewsdaily.com /archive/r/r-misc/eric-ross091204.htm (2790 words)


The Antonio Gramsci Reader -- Selected Writings 1916-1935 -- Antonio Gramsci David Forgacs Eric Hobsbawm
The Antonio Gramsci Reader -- Selected Writings 1916-1935 -- Antonio Gramsci David Forgacs Eric Hobsbawm
A new edition with a new intro by Hobsbawm (to go along with the biographical introductions, and intros to each section) of this one-volume compendium of Gramsci.
Particularly valuable are the connections it draws across his work and the insights which the introduction and glossary provide into the origin and development of some key Gramscian concepts."--Stuart Hall
www.semcoop.com /detail/0814727018 (103 words)


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www.maxnetshop.co.uk /amaz/shop-mode-blended-input_string-Antonio%20Gramsci-locale-uk.html (102 words)


Prison Notebooks -- Volume Two -- Antonio Gramsci Joseph A. Buttigieg
Prison Notebooks -- Volume Two -- Antonio Gramsci Joseph A. Buttigieg
The long awaited second volume of the only complete critical edition of Gramsci's Prison Notebooks in English.
This volume contains Notebooks three, four, and five (of the 29 Gramsci wrote while in prison) and features Gramsci's entire group of notes on Dante, the first set of critical texts on the question of the intellectual, and the first of a series of reflections called "Notes on Philosophy."
www.semcoop.com /detail/0231105924 (96 words)


Cultural Agency: Antonio Gramsci, Minimal Vocabulary, October 30, 2003
Gramsci, on the other hand, saw state solidly founded and does not focus on withering, but sometimes writes on ?reabsorption of political society in civil society,? enlarging hegemony until it occupies all the space that the state had.
Gramsci inverts relation between institutions and ideologies, even within reciprocal action: ideologies become the primary moment of history and institutions secondary, and once you focus on moment of transition from necessity to freedom, ideologies are forces capable of creating a new history and collaborating in a new power.
Gramsci shows changes of meaning undergone by terms like nationalism and patriotism as apropriated by different fundamental classes and articulated to different hegemonic principles.
blogs.law.harvard.edu /culturalagency1/october2003 (2112 words)


Creative Quotations from Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937)
Research these websites for Antonio Gramsci books, papers, photos, posters and more
From a collection of quotations found on the Internet.
Check out these Ebay items for Antonio Gramsci!
www.creativequotations.com /one/1947.htm (220 words)


Gramsci, Antonio --? Encyclop椩a Britannica
In 1911 Gramsci began a brilliant scholastic career at the University of Turin, where he came in contact with the Socialist Youth Federation and joined the Socialist Party (1914).
"Gramsci, Antonio" Encyclopædia Britannica from Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service.
More results on "Gramsci, Antonio" when you join.
www.britannica.com /eb/article?eu=38400 (111 words)


PopCultures.com | Theorists and Critics | Antonio Gramsci
Discuss Antonio Gramsci on the CSC Discussion Forum
"Gramsci and the Twentieth Century: An International Conference: Cagliari, April 1997"
"Gramsci, Civil Society and New Trends in Arab Leftist Dicourse (An Abstract)"
www.popcultures.com /theorists/gramsci.html (62 words)


Resources on Antonio Gramsci
Available resources include an online searchable version of the complete Bibliografia gramsciana, a complete list of Gramsci's writings, related appendices and introductory materials, and the first eight issues of the Newsletter of the International Gramsci Society.
The research bibliography, which includes some 11,430 items, contains volume 1, the Bibliografia gramsciana, 1922-1988 by John M. Cammett, Rome: Editori Riuniti, 1991, and volume 2, the Bibliografia gramsciana, Supplement Updated to 1993, by John M. Cammett and Maria Luisa Righi, Rome: Fondazione Istituto Gramsci, 1995.
The newest October 1997 version of the online bibligraphy includes the Second Supplement, an additional 1175 references compiled by John Cammett.
www.soc.qc.edu /gramsci/index.html (155 words)


Niels Helsloot, Gramsci
2001e Gramsci, Antonio (1891-1937), in: Raj Mesthrie, ed., Concise encyclopedia of sociolinguistics, Oxford: Pergamon, 873
1998b Gramsci, Antonio (1891-1937), in: Jacob L. Mey, ed., Concise encyclopedia of pragmatics, Amsterdam: Elsevier, 1070-1071
On Gramsci's premise of coherence, in: Journal of Pragmatics 13, 547-566
www.nielshelsloot.nl /engels/gramsci.htm (92 words)


Narrative Theology And Post-Modern Cults: Antonio Gramsci
Antonio Gramsci analyzes the threat of revolution (or lack thereof) due to social, political, and economic forces.
Unlike his predecessor, Marx, Gramsci sees these forces acting with equal power; he does not view economic modes of production as a base, or structure, from which all other forces derive as Marx does.
Gramsci sees the peak of these battling forces as hegemony--
www.piney.com /WinPostMod.html (2637 words)


Gramsci, Antonio. The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001
Originally a member of the Socialist party and a cofounder (1919) of the left-wing paper L’Ordine Nuovo, Gramsci helped to establish (1921) the Italian Communist party.
When Benito Mussolini outlawed the party, Gramsci was imprisoned (1926–37).
His posthumously published prison writings, Lettere del carcere (1947), present his theory of hegemony, which explains how a dominant class controls society and emphasizes a less dogmatic form of communism that many intellectuals preferred to the increasingly ossified version represented by the former Soviet Union.
www.bartleby.com /65/gr/Gramsci.html (143 words)


Antonio Gramsci - THE REVOLUTION AGAINST 'CAPITAL'
The hardships that await them after the peace will be bearable only if the proletarians feel they have things under their own control and know that by their efforts they can reduce these hardships in the shortest possible time.
Signed ANTONIO GRAMSCI, Milan edition of Avanti!, 24 December 1917.
Republished by Il Grido del Popolo, 5 January 1918, with the following note: "The Turin censorship has once completely blanked out this article in Il Grido.
www.sozialistische-klassiker.org /Gramsci/Grame04.html (1144 words)


Antonio Gramsci
Gramsci was disillusioned by the unwillingness of the
Gramsci visited the Soviet Union in 1922 and two years later became leader of the communists in parliament.
Gramsci believed that the only way the power of the state could be overthrown was when the majority of the workers desired revolution.
www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk /2WWgramsci.htm (977 words)


Antonio Gramsci Books and Articles - Research Antonio Gramsci at Questia Online Library
Antonio Gramsci Books and Articles - Research Antonio Gramsci at Questia Online Library
Reclaiming Gramsci: A Brief Survey of Current and Potential Uses of the Work of Antonio Gramsci, in Symposium
Click here for more books and articles on Antonio Gramsci
www.questia.com /popularSearches/antonio_gramsci.jsp (232 words)


Amazon.com: Books: The Antonio Gramsci Reader: Selected Writings 1916-1935
Forgacs has produced a significant one-volume collection of most of the important writings of Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937), a political thinker who has gained great influence in recent years.
The most complete one-volume collection of writings by one of the most fascinating thinkers in the history of Marxism, The Antonio Gramsci Reader fills the need for a broad and general introduction to this major figure.
Antonio Gramsci was one of the most important theorists of class, culture, and the state since Karl Marx.
www.amazon.com /exec/obidos/ASIN/0814727018 (877 words)


Antonio Gramsci: i giorni del carcere (1977)
Antonio Gramsci: The Days of Prison (1977) (International: English title)
I have seen this movie and would like to comment on it
Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Antonio Gramsci: i giorni del carcere (1977)
us.imdb.com /title/tt0075688 (130 words)


Antonio Gramsci - AnthroBase - Anthropology: A searchable database of anthropological texts
Antonio Gramsci - AnthroBase - Anthropology: A searchable database of anthropological texts
This page links to texts on AnthroBase that contain substantial discussions of the work of Antonio Gramsci.
, to read about Antonio Gramsci in the AnthroBase Online Dictionary of Anthropology.
www.anthrobase.com /Browse/Cit/G/antonio_gramsci.htm (51 words)


International Gramsci Society
Welcome to the official web site of the International Gramsci Society, where you will find resources on the life and work of Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937), the Italian socialist, political theorist, and activist.
The IGS web site includes a biography and chronology of Antonio Gramsci's life, an archive of photographs and documents related to his life and work, as well as links to his writings.
In addition, the IGS web site includes academic and authoritative on-line essays and articles on Gramscian studies and concepts related to Antonio Gramsci's work, as well as electronic versions of the IGS Newsletters.
www.italnet.nd.edu /gramsci (156 words)


IGS News
The Fondazione Istituto Piemontese Antonio Gramsci, with the sponsorship of the city of Torino, announces The Giuseppe Sormani International Prize for a Work about Antonio Gramsci.
The Antonio Gramsci Center at the Autonomous University of Puebla (Mexico), scientific location of the International Gramsci Society (IGS-Mexico), is organizing the III.
Sixty-five years ago on this day in 1937, Antonio Gramsci died from a cerebral hemorrhage at the Quisisana clinic in Rome, just six days after his prison sentence expired.
www.italnet.nd.edu /gramsci/communications/news.html (609 words)


Italian 235 P001 Seminar: Antonio Gramsci, Critical Theory, and Cultures of Globalization
Italian 235 P001 Seminar: Antonio Gramsci, Critical Theory, and Cultures of Globalization
Istituto Tecnico per Geometri "ANTONIO GRAMSCI" (in Italian)
Sociology 2R3: Theories of Class and Stratification; Carl Cuneo's Notes
learning.berkeley.edu /holub/gramsci/resources.html (30 words)


Content Pages of the Encyclopedia of Religion and Social Science
His social theory is found in his Prison Notebooks.
Among the concepts of Gramsci that are useful to the social scientific study of religion are the historical bloc, which refers to the complex set of changing cultural and material forces that characterize a society, and organic intellectuals, who assist an oppressed class in articulating a revolutionary consciousness.
Portelli, Gramsci et le Bloc Historique (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1972).
www.hartfordinstitute.org /ency/Gramsci.htm (159 words)


IGSN 5 - A Biblio of the Works of Antonio Gramsci in 27 Languages
"Gramsci: carteggio 1923: un anno drammatico (Documenti inediti sulla formazione del gruppo dirigente comunista)", Rinascita, XXIII, 4 (January 22, 1966), 17-24.
"Gramsci e il delitto Matteotti con cinque articoli adespoti", Belfagor, 3 ( 1987), 249-57.
Gramsci al confino di Ustica nelle lettere di Gramsci, di Berti e di Bordiga.
www.italnet.nd.edu /gramsci/igsn/bibliographies/b05_3.shtml (6985 words)


Gramsci, Antonio on Encyclopedia.com
When Benito Mussolini outlawed the party, Gramsci was imprisoned (1926-37).
Reclaiming Gramsci: a brief survey of current and potential uses of the work of Antonio Gramsci.(Section 4: Literture's Location)
Politicizing Samuel Johnson: the moral essays and the question of ideology.
www.encyclopedia.com /html/G/Gramsci.asp (342 words)


Antonio Gramsci: New & Used Books Search Result for Antonio Gramsci
Antonio Gramsci: New & Used Books Search Result for Antonio Gramsci
Gramsci and Contemporary Politics: Beyond Pessimism of the Intellect
Gramsci's Politics of Language: Engaging the Bakhtin Circle and the Frankfurt School
www.fetchbook.info /Antonio_Gramsci.html (87 words)




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#12 – Antonio Gramsci Links & Archives – From “Victory is Certain” Leftist Links Archive


http://www.victoryiscertain.com/gramsci/


http://www.victoryiscertain.com/linksarchive/index.html




Antonio Gramsci
Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) was an Italian socialist, political theorist, and activist. For a brief overview of Gramsci's life and thought see

An Introduction to Gramsci's Life and Thought by Frank Rosengarten.



Gramsci's Writings (On-Line)
POLITICAL (PRE-PRISON) WRITINGS

Selections from Political Writings (1921-1926) - translated & edited by Quintin Hoare

SELECTIONS FROM THE PRISON NOTEBOOKS

Note: sections not linked are currently not available

I. Problems of History and Culture

II. Notes on Politics

1. The Modern Prince

2. State and Civil Society

3. Americanism and Fordism

III. The Philosophy of Praxis

1. The Study of Philosophy

2. Problems with Marxism

NON-ENGLISH WRITINGS

Gramsci Internet Archive (non-English)

GERMAN

Marxistische Bibliothek: Gramsci



Gramsci Sites
English

International Gramsci Society - Bulletins, articles, & searchable Newsletter

Gramsci for Beginners - Introduction to Gramsci with notes & glossary

Resources on Antonio Gramsci - Searchable Gramsci Bibliography available here.

Italian

AntonioGramsci.com - biografia, photos, Gramsci Square in Ales

International Gramsci Society - Italia

Fondazione Istituto Gramsci - Official Gramsci Institute in Rome, Italy

Portuguese

Gramsci e o Brasil - Gramscian view of Brazilian culture & politics

Spanish

Cátedra Libre Antonio Gramsci - Argentia - Archivo de textos gramscianos



Articles on Gramsci & His Ideas
Bakhtin, Gramsci and the Semiotics of Hegemony - Craig Brandist

Antonio Gramsci and Informal Education - Barry Burke

Common Sense or Good Sense? Ethnomathematics and the Prospects for a Gramscian Politics of Adults' Mathematics Education - Diana Coben

Notes on Gramsci's Concepts - Carl Cuneo

Rethinking Gramsci's Political Philosophy - Maurice A. Finocchiaro

Habitus, Hegemony, and Historical Blocks: Locating Language Policy in Gramsci's Theory of the State - P. Kerim Friedman (in .pdf format)

L'Economia Integrale, Fordism, and Post-Fordism - Bob Jessop

Antonio Gramsci's "Prison Notebooks" - Sofia Perrino

Overview and Analysis of some of Gramsci's Key Concepts - Monica Stillo

Gramsci: Hegemony, Ideology - Mick Underwood



Analyses of Rightwing Uses & Interpretations of Gramsci
Gramsci Rush: Limbaugh on the "Culture War" by Charlie Bertsch

Whose Gramsci? Right-wing Gramscism by Rob van Kranenburg

Intellectuals and Bizarre Interpretations of Gramsci by Marcus Green



Publishers of Gramsci's Writings
France

Gallimard

Germany

Argument-Verlag

Italy

Einaudi - Italian publisher of Gramsci's work

United Kingdom

Cambridge University Press

Electronic Book Classics - Gramsci's writings on CD-ROM

Lawrence and Wishart

United States

Cambridge University Press

Columbia University Press - Prison Notebooks - A Series in Social Thought and Cultural Criticism

Columbia University Press - Letters from Prison.

Harvard University Press

International Publishers



Book Reviews
Comrade Gramsci's Progeny by Tim Watson

Review: Antonio Gramsci, Prison Notebooks vol. 1, Ed. Joseph Buttigieg | David Harris, From Class Struggle to the Politics of Pleasure| Renate Holub, Antonio Gramsci: Beyond Marxism and Postmodernism

Gramsci, realism and revolution by Adam David Morton

Review: Jonathan Joseph, Hegemony: A Realist Analysis, London: Routledge, 2002; and Paul Le Blanc (ed.) From Marx to Gramsci: A Reader in Revolutionary Marxist Politics, New York: Humanity Books, 2002.




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#13 - Whose Gramsci, Right-wing Gramscism, by author Rob van Kranenburg, Reactionary right-wingers appropriate our strategy


http://www.italnet.nd.edu/gramsci/igsn/articles/a09_5.shtml



International Gramsci Society Newsletter

Number 9 (March, 1999): 14-18 < prev | tofc | next >

» translate

Whose Gramsci? Right-wing Gramscism

Rob van Kranenburg

We are in the proces of losing our foremost thinker of and on concrete historical scenarios, Antonio Gramsci, to a reactionary right-wing cause. Gramsci himself has become entangled in a position to which he had given much thought, namely, Ceasarism. Ceasarism can be said to express a situation in which the forces in conflict balance each other in a catastrophic manner: But Ceasarism "does not in all cases have the same historical significance. There can be both progressive and reactionary forms of Ceasarism; the exact significance of each form can, in the last analysis, be reconstructed only through concrete history, and not by means of any sociological rule of thumb. Ceasarism is progressive when its intervention helps the progressive force to triumph, albeit with its victory tempered by certain compromise and limitations. It is reactionary when its intervention helps the reactionary force to triumph, in this case too with certain compromises and limitations, which have however, a different value, extent and significance than in the former."[1]

Although Gramsci makes it very clear that Caesarism is "a polemical ideological formula, and not a canon of historical interpretation" (220), that "a Caesarist solution can exist even without a Caesar, without any great, 'heroic' and representative personality" (220), we may well add Gramsci's own name to his very own list which included Caesar, Napoleon I, Napoleon III, and Cromwell, to name but a few. Tony Bennett wrote a decade ago that, "It is always tempting these days and especially at the end of long essays to wheel out Gramsci as a 'hey-presto' man, as the theorist who holds the key to all our current theoretical difficulties." [2] Nevertheless his 'hey-presto' qualities seem to have faded somewhat in the progressive positions in cultural studies; but not, unfortunately, however, in extremely right-wing circles where his fundamental notion of hegemony is being hailed as a politically effective and productive way of gaining influence and political power. This seems to me to be one of the foremost fundamental productive questions in cultural studies: to what extent is Gramsci's notion of hegemony politically neutral, and if so to what extent are we willing to let it be compromised? Not only is Gramsci misunderstood, as in the new elitist focus of McGuigan who blames the uncritical embracement of mass consumption on the hegemony theorists who have closed their eyes to an economic grounding of all cultural production, a position which can be easily refuted within Gramsci's own framework: [END PAGE 14]

Can there be cultural reform, and can the position of the depressed strata of society be improved culturally, without a previous economic reform and a change in their position in the social and economic fields? Intellectual and moral reform has to be linked with a programme of economic reform indeed the programme of economic reform is precisely the concrete form in which every intellectual and moral reform presents itself. [3]

But within the progressive framework of cultural studies, his concept of hegemony is questioned as well, especially because "there are problems with distinguishing hegemony theory from the dominant ideology thesis; [4] the feminist perspective does "not accept such a privileging of capitalism over patriarchy as the determinate structure of ideological relations," and ethnic studies claims that " the national-popular concept is in danger of suppressing specific dynamics of black and ethnic struggles" [5]. Moreover, "the problems of reconciling it [hegemony] with a theory of pleasure are insurmountable" [6].

Unfortunately, the French Nouvelle Droite movement headed by Alain DeBenoist, and the Flemish extremely right political party Het Vlaams Blok have no such insurmountable problems whatsoever with Gramsci's notion of hegemony. On the contrary, they use it to their utmost ability and they're not being shy about it. The Nouvelle Droite was founded as an ideological perspective in the mid- sixties by the French theorist Alain de Benoist. Ironically, it is inspired as an active movement by Gramsci's Quaderni del carcere, and it literally calls the metapolitical struggle for cultural hegemony the Gramscism of the Right. I was first confronted with this rightwing theft of Gramsci by the journalistic writings of Marc Spruyt, who has since published a much needed, clear and precise account of rightwing party (meta)politics [7]. His book surely ought to be translated into English, especially given the specific French and Belgian context within which Gramsci is (mis)used in this manner. The lack of a translation enables the otherwise extensive works about Gramsci to completely miss this development: for example, Paul Ransome's Antonio Gramsci: A New Introduction (Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1992). Moreover, Ransome's very last words in the conclusion now become ominous:

To the extent that Gramsci's ideas provide Marxism with a new degree of flexibility and adaptability, it is likely that his influence will be felt for some time to come. Gramsci it seems has not been "relegated to the attic".

This conclusion about "adaptablity" acquires a very different and altogether uncomfortable dimension if we become aware whose attic it is that we may be speaking about. Gramsci's notes on hegemony in his prison writings are spread out throughout his text, deeply imbedded not infrequently within concrete historial situations and events as his was no disinterested academic exercise but a genuine attempt to understand the elements of a triumphant Italian fascism. We would however, not misrepresent him if we take his notion of hegemony to mean that in between [END PAGE 15] forced consent and active dissent we find passive consent, that cultural change precedes political change, and that changes must connect to an audience that is ready to respond. As Gramsci notes, "the supremacy of a social group manifests itself in two ways, as 'domination' and as 'intellectual and moral leadership'. A social group dominates antagonistic groups, which it tends to 'liquidate', or to subjugate perhaps even by armed force; it leads kindred and allied groups. A social group can, and indeed must, already exercise 'leadership' [hegemony] before winning governmental power (this indeed is one of the principal conditions for the winning of such power); it subsequently becomes dominant when it exercises power, but even if it holds it firmly in its grasp, it must continue to 'lead' as well.[8]

Gramsci's notion of hegemony, or rather on how hegemony is procured, is literally restated by the leader of the reactionary Het Vlaams Blok, Filip Dewinter: "The ideological majority is more important than the parliamentary majority, the former actually almost always precedes the latter" [9]. The theft of Gramsci by the Nouvelle Droite becomes especially unseemly in the case of the extreme right wing Flemish organization, Were Di, which finds its inspiration in the views of the Nouvelle Droite for three axiomatic foundations: "hereditary inequality, hierarchic society, elitist organisation" [10]. Now I will not overstate my case in claiming that most evidence in any court can be read both ways, that the corruption of notions and concepts has been reevaluated as appropriation or excorporation, but whenever there's a line to be drawn, it is most certainly in this particular moment when Gramsci's painstaking labour is turned against him and all he ever stood for. And, in as much as this is a moral stand, I plead firmly guilty. Because theoretically there is very little ground upon which to conclude that hegemony is not a politically neutral concept. There is but one moment in the Quaderni where Gramsci suggests that hegemony can only be understood in relationship with democracy:

Of the many meanings of democracy, the most realistic and concrete one in my view can be worked out in relation to the concept of 'hegemony'. In the hegemonic system, there exists democracy between the 'leading' group and the groups that are 'led', in so far as the development of the economy and thus the legislation which expresses such development favour the (molecular)passage from the 'led' groups to the 'leading' groups. In the Roman Empire there was an imperial territorial democracy in the concession of citizenship to the conquered peoples, etc. There could be no democracy under feudalism, because of the constitution of the closed groups estates, corporations, etc (56).

But of course this will not stop anti-egalitarian, totalizing users of his ideas as they work within parliamentary democracy towards a dictatorship in which any of these considerations become ineffective and academic. So we are experiencing Ceasarism with "Gramsci" as the discursive battlefield, a catastrophic moment where a sound, productive concept--"hegemony"--is being abandoned by progressive positions and revitalised by reactionary forces. And again it is Gramsci himself who gives us the basic clue from which we have to try to start our understanding of his [END PAGE 16] contemporary position. For his remarks on Machiavelli can now be read as referring to his current position:

The habit has been formed of considering Machiaveli too much as the man of politics in general, as the 'scientist of politics', relevant in every period [11].

This is exactly what has happened with Gramsci's notion of hegemony in progressive positions, they have overstretched its productive capacity to the extent that its inability to reconcile it with specific historical (contemporary) positions such as a theory of pleasure, a recognition of ethnic or feminist struggles has become to be viewed as a drawback of the original concept, an intrinsic inability that produces 'insurmountable' difficulties. But Gramsci of course would have been among the first to recognize that these are genuine critical contemporary problems that have to be taken into account in any reading of our concrete historical scenario; he, unfortunately, was concerned 'only' with his specific situation and his specific reading of the mechanisms of the making of Italian fascism. The position that suggests that the problems of reconciling hegemony theory with a theory of pleasure are insurmountable, has not understood Gramsci at all, does not acknowledge the plain fact that contemporary hegemony theory if it wants to be effective would include pleasure and a theory of pleasure as an important contemporary factor and yet another disguise of economic imponderables dressed up as cultural critique. And in the meantime, while we were talking, Gramsci has suddenly become an obscure man who died of pneumonia in a prison somehow, somewhere, and hegemony is something that has to do with the way the Nouvelle Droite sees things, right? Wrong:

Now they were walking down a narrow street, with old men on wicker chairs, and grandmothers playing with balloons to amuse their grandchildren. At the end of the street was suspended another gigantic portrait: a great domed head, like a beehive of thought, wearing glasses. That's Gramsci. He put his arm round her shoulders so that she could lean her head against his damp flannel shirt. Antonio Gramsci, she said. He taught us all. You wouldn't mistake for a horse dealer! he said [12].

NOTES

1. Selections from the Prison Notebooks of Antonio Gramsci, Quintin Hoare, Geoffrey Nowell Smith (ed), Lawrence and Wishart, London, 1971; p. 219. Hereafter cited as SPN.

2. Tony Bennett, "Marxism and Popular Fiction" In: Popular Fictions, Essays in Literature and History Peter Humm, Paul Stigant & Peter Widdowson (ed.) Methuen, London and New York, 1986; p. 263

3. Notes, p. 133

4. Mercer, "Complicit Pleasures", In T. Bennett, Mercer, Popular Culture and Social Relations, Milton Keynes, Open University Press, 1986, p. 66.

5. Ibid., p. 66

6. Ibid., p. 67 [END PAGE 17]

7. Grove Borstels, Stel dat het Vlaams Blok morgen zijn programma realiseert, hoe zou Vlaanderen er dan uitzien?, van Halewijck, 1995.

8. SPN, p. 254. A very similar passage in his notebooks reads: "A social group can, and indeed must already 'lead' [i.e. be hegemonic] before winning governemental power (this indeed is one of the principal conditions for the winning of such power)". (SPN, p. 47).

9. Filip Dewinter in Zwartboek `Progressieve leraars', cited from MarcSpruyt: Grove Borstels, p. 164.

10. Nationalistische Grondslagen, Were Di, 1985, p. 3.

11. SPN, p. 140.

12. John Berger in the story "Play Me Something" in his book Once in Europa Granta Books, London, 1991; p. 189.

For a look at the American rightwing use of Gramsci, see Charlie Bertsch's "Gramsci Rush: Limbaugh on the Culture War" (reprinted in the IGS Newsletter, no. 6)

Rob van Kranenburg is a cultural studies researcher at the Department of Teacher Training in Ghent and a member of ASCA (Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis). His work is online (http://simsim.rug.ac.be/schole) in his web site 'Schole: Teaching culture in a non linear environment'. The essay 'Whose Gramsci?, Rightwing Gramscism' was first published in 'Undercurrent'. The author would like to thank Erick Heroux for his editorial work on the essay.




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#14 - An Introduction to Gramsci's Life and Thought


By Frank Rosengarten


http://www.marxists.org/archive/gramsci/intro.htm





An Introduction to Gramsci's Life and Thought


By Frank Rosengarten



Transcribed to www.marxists.org with the kind permission of Frank Rosengarten.



Antonio Gramsci was born on January 22, 1891 in Ales in the province of Cagliari in Sardinia. He was the fourth of seven children born to Francesco Gramsci and Giuseppina Marcias. His relationship with his father was never very close, but he had a strong affection and love for his mother, whose resilience, gift for story-telling and pungent humor made a lasting impression on him. Of his six siblings, Antonio enjoyed a mutual interest in literature with his younger sister Teresina, and seems to have always felt a spiritual kinship with his two brothers, Gennaro, the oldest of the Gramsci children, and Carlo, the youngest. Gennaro's early embrace of socialism contributed significantly to Antonio's political development.


In 1897, Antonio's father was suspended and subsequently arrested and imprisoned for five years for alleged administrative abuses. Shortly thereafter, Giuseppina and her children moved to Ghilarza, where Antonio attended elementary school. Sometime during these years of trial and near poverty, he fell from the arms of a servant, to which his family attributed his hunched back and stunted growth: he was an inch or two short of five feet in height.


At the age of eleven, after completing elementary school, Antonio worked for two years in the tax office in Ghilarza, in order to help his financially strapped family. Because of the five-year absence of Francesco, these were years of bitter struggle. Nevertheless, he continued to study privately and eventually returned to school, where he was judged to be of superior intelligence, as indicated by excellent grades in all subjects.


Antonio continued his education, first in Santu Lussurgiu, about ten miles from Ghilarza, then, after graduating from secondary school, at the Dettori Lyceum in Cagliari, where he shared a room with his brother Gennaro, and where he came into contact for the first time with organized sectors of the working class and with radical and socialist politics. But these were also years of privation, during which Antonio was partially dependent on his father for financial support, which came only rarely. In his letters to his family, he accused his father repeatedly of unpardonable procrastination and neglect. His health deteriorated, and some of the nervous symptoms that were to plague him at a later time were already in evidence.


1911 was an important year in young Gramsci's life. After graduating from the Cagliari lyceum, he applied for and won a scholarship to the University of Turin, an award reserved for needy students from the provinces of the former Kingdom of Sardinia. Among the other young people to compete for this scholarship was Palmiro Togliatti, future general secretary of the Italian Communist Party (PCI) and, with Gramsci and several others, among the most capable leaders of that embattled Party. Antonio enrolled in the Faculty of Letters. At the University he met Angelo Tasca and several of the other men with whom he was to share struggles first in the Italian Socialist Party (PSI) and then, after the split that took place in January 1921, in the PCI.


At the University, despite years of terrible suffering due to inadequate diet, unheated flats, and constant nervous exhaustion, Antonio took a variety of courses, mainly in the humanities but also in the social sciences and in linguistics, to which he was sufficiently attracted to contemplate academic specialization in that subject. Several of his professors, notably Matteo Bartoli, a linguist, and Umberto Cosmo, a Dante scholar, became personal friends.


In 1915, despite great promise as an academic scholar, Gramsci became an active member of the PSI, and began a journalistic career that made him among the most feared critical voices in Italy at that time. His column in the Turin edition of Avanti!, and his theatre reviews were widely read and influential. He regularly spoke at workers' study-circles on various topics, such as the novels of Romain Rolland, for whom he felt a certain affinity, the Paris Commune, the French and Italian revolutions and the writings of Karl Marx. It was at this time, as the war dragged on and as Italian intervention became a bloody reality, Gramsci assumed a somewhat ambivalent stance, although his basic position was that the Italian socialists should use intervention as an occasion to turn Italian national sentiment in a revolutionary rather than a chauvinist direction. It was also at this time, in 1917 and 1918, that he began to see the need for integration of political and economic action with cultural work, which took form as a proletarian cultural association in Turin.


The outbreak of the Bolshevik revolution in October 1917 further stirred his revolutionary ardor, and for the remainder of the war and in the years thereafter Gramsci identified himself closely, although not entirely uncritically, with the methods and aims of the Russian revolutionary leadership and with the cause of socialist transformation throughout the advanced capitalist world.


In the spring of 1919, Gramsci, together with Angelo Tasca, Umberto Terracini and Togliatti, founded L'Ordine Nuovo: Rassegna Settimanale di Cultura Socialista (The New Order: A Weekly Review of Socialist Culture), which became an influential periodical (on a weekly and later on a bi-monthly publishing schedule) for the following five years among the radical and revolutionary Left in Italy. The review gave much attention to political and literary currents in Europe, the USSR, and the United States.


For the next few years, Gramsci devoted most of his time to the development of the factory council movement, and to militant journalism, which led in January 1921 to his siding with the Communist minority within the PSI at the Party's Livorno Congress. He became a member of the PCI's central committee, but did not play a leading role until several years later. He was among the most prescient representatives of the Italian Left at the inception of the fascist movement, and on several occasions predicted that unless unified action were taken against the rise of Mussolini's movement, Italian democracy and Italian socialism would both suffer a disastrous defeat.


The years 1921 to 1926, years "of iron and fire" as he called them, were eventful and productive.


They were marked in particular by the year and a half he lived in Moscow as an Italian delegate to the Communist International (May 1922- November 1923), his election to the Chamber of Deputies in April 1924, and his assumption of the position of general secretary of the PCI.


His personal life was also filled with significant experiences, the chief one being his meeting with and subsequent marriage to Julka Schucht (1896-1980), a violinist and member of the Russian Communist Party whom he met during his stay in Russia. Antonio and Julka had two sons, Delio (1924-1981), and Giuliano, born in 1926, who lives today in Moscow with his wife.


On the evening of November 8, 1926, Gramsci was arrested in Rome and, in accordance with a series of "Exceptional Laws" enacted by the fascist-dominated Italian legislature, committed to solitary confinement at the Regina Coeli prison. This began a ten-year odyssey, marked by almost constant physical and psychic pain as a result of a prison experience that culminated, on April 27, 1937, in his death from a cerebral hemorrhage.


No doubt the stroke that killed him was but the final outcome of years and years of illnesses that were never properly treated in prison.


Yet as everyone familiar with the trajectory of Gramsci's life knows, these prison years were also rich with intellectual achievement, as recorded in the Notebooks he kept in his various cells that eventually saw the light after World War II, and as recorded also in the extraordinary letters he wrote from prison to friends and especially to family members, the most important of whom was not his wife Julka but rather a sister-in-law, Tania Schucht.


She was the person most intimately and unceasingly involved in his prison life, since she had resided in Rome for many years and was in a position to provide him not only with a regular exchange of thoughts and feelings in letter form but with articles of clothing and with numerous foods and medicines he sorely needed to survive the grinding daily routine of prison life.


After being sentenced on June 4, 1928, with other Italian Communist leaders, to 20 years, 4 months and 5 days in prison, Gramsci was consigned to a prison in Turi, in the province of Bari, which turned out to be his longest place of detention (June 1928 -- November 1933). Thereafter he was under police guard at a clinic in Formia, from which he was transferred in August 1935, always under guard, to the Quisisana Hospital in Rome. It was there that he spent the last two years of his life. Among the people, in addition to Tania, who helped him either by writing to him or by visiting him when possible, were his mother Giuseppina, who died in 1933, his brother Carlo, his sisters Teresina and Grazietta, and his good friend, the economist Piero Sraffa, who throughout Gramsci's prison ordeal provided a crucial and indispenable service to Gramsci. Sraffa used his personal funds and numerous professional contacts that were necessary in order to obtain the books and periodicals Gramsci needed in prison. Gramsci had a prodigious memory, but it is safe to say that without Sraffa's assistance, and without the intermediary role often played by Tania, the Prison Notebooks as we have them would not have come to fruition.


Gramsci's intellectual work in prison did not emerge in the light of day until several years after World War II, when the PC began publishing scattered sections of the Notebooks and some of the approximately 500 letters he wrote from prison. By the 1950s, and then with increasing frequency and intensity, his prison writings attracted interest and critical commentary in a host of countries, not only in the West but in the so-called third world as well.


Some of his terminology became household words on the left, the most important of which, and the most complex, is the term "hegemony" as he used it in his writings and applied to the twin task of understanding the reasons underlying both the successes and the failures of socialism on a global scale, and of elaborating a feasible program for the realization of a socialist vision within the really existing conditions that prevailed in the world. Among these conditions were the rise and triumph of fascism and the disarray on the left that had ensued as a result of that triumph. Also extremely pertinent, both theoretically and practically, were such terms and phrases as "organic intellectual," "national'popular," and "historical bloc" which, even if not coined by Gramsci, acquired such radically new and original implications in his writing as to constitute effectively new formulations in the realm of political philosophy.