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To: gobucks

This guy's philosophy is the liberal guideline of how to live life..... He is the liberal god..... No your enemy, learn their gods.

Why read Gramsci?

Who is Antonio Gramsci and why are his life and writings important to us even though he died in an italian fascist prison over 60 years ago?

Antonio Gramsci was a co-founder of the Italian Communist party, one of the leaders of the 1920 "Ordine Nuovo" Turin factory occupation movement, and author of the Prison Notebooks. He was a revolutionary journalist and mass working class organizer and one of the great communist intellectual theorists of the twentieth century. His marxism was unorthodox, controversial and still not fully understood today. His prison notes were an in depth study of Italian culture and history for the purpose of understanding and defeating italian fascism and launching an italian proletarian cultural revolution. His thinking about fascism, marxism and cultural revolution was full of insights that are still relevant to our struggles today as we try to defeat a resurgent fascistic culture and build a totally new socialist world culture.

Along with Mao, he was one of a handful of early 20th century communists who fully appreciated the central importance of cultural revolution in the struggle for socialism. His insights on the importance of cultural, intellectual as well as political autonomy for working class liberation helped lay the intellectual foundations for the rebirth of revolutionary anti-capitalist working class struggle in Italy in the 60's and 70's. The "Autonomist" New Left in Italy, France and Germany as well as the US New Left with their distinctive emphases on counterculture were all Gramsci's intellectual children. Gramsci is a central part of who we are as revolutionaries in the US and Europe are today. In addition Gramsci has influenced the thinking of many 3rd world revolutionaries in Latin America, as well as new left activists in China, Russia and Eastern Europe looking for new, non-oppressive models of revolutionary struggle. I believe that Gramsci's ideas are one of a number of bodies of new thinking that we will need to synthesize to create a new revolutionary theory for the 21st century.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we need to study Gramsci to fully understand Fascism, how and why it was born in Italy and spread like a plague through out Europe in the 20's and 30's and is now a permanent and central feature of imperialist world culture. Unlike most other marxist and democratic opponents of fascism Gramsci wrote about fascism from inside the belly of the beast, as a historical and cultural eyewitness, from the sobering surroundings of a fascist prison cell. If we are ever to get to the dark and complex heart of the phenomenon that is fascism I'm convinced we have to study Gramsci's prison notebooks for that deeper take on fascism we all need.

Marx and Lenin taught that power flows from control of the means of production and the State. Gramsci argued that in addition to control of the economy and the State, in modern Capitalist society control of the culture was essential to seize and hold power. Gramsci's insights on the critical importance of cultural revolution certainly seem to have been borne out by the history of the last 60 years. Mass politics today have, more than ever, become culture wars between the Left and the Right. The historic defeat of socialism and the reemergence of mass rightwing secular and religious movements on a world-wide scale parallels Gramsci's and the italian working class's defeat by fascism in the 1920's in many ways.

It is an ironic and sad comment on the times that today Gramsci's writings are largely accessible only to a handful of intellectuals. Gramsci strongly believed that fascism could only be defeated and a new socialist culture built in Italy by ordinary working people winning intellectual and moral independence for themselves.

So it is particularly important that ordinary people be able to read and think about what Gramsci had to say about cultural revolution and fascism. "GRAMSCI FOR BEGINNERS' is a modest attempt to popularize Gramsci's writings and in so doing return the study of Gramsci to its working class cultural revolutionary roots.

8 posted on 04/20/2004 12:53:43 PM PDT by Porterville (I will enter the liberal land with the Gramsci torch and burn down their house of cards.)
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To: Porterville
Gramsci is a central part of who we are as revolutionaries in the US and Europe are today.

I tend to part company with comparisons of the US and any other country on the globe. Especially those of Europeans and European socialists. There were still monarchs and dictators that influenced these peoples lives, the US had shrugged of monarchy in 1776. The only process needed for the fledging republic of the USA was to extend its philosophy of government into the culture; i.e. Natural Law and philosophies of the Enlightenment.

The fact that the US is the most powerful and prosperous nation on the face of the earth is no accident. The tap-root is the founding Fathers notion to turn their backs on European government and culture and let our own take its course.Americans fought the revolution of Marx a hundred years before he wrote of revolution. We destroyed monarchy in the colonies and proceeded to establish an orderly Republic. Something that Europe had not seen since pre Imperial Rome.

The only lessons we have to learn from Europe and Europeans is what not to do.

18 posted on 04/20/2004 1:58:02 PM PDT by elbucko (The only good commie, is a dead commie & repeal the 19th Amedment.)
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