Date post: 2017-10-12 17:18
It is important at this juncture to note that when Gramsci wrote about intellectuals, he was not referring solely to the boffins and academics that sat in ivory towers or wrote erudite pieces for academic journals only read by others of the same ilk. His definition went much further and he spread his net much wider.
Gramsci saw one of his roles as assisting in the creation of organic intellectuals from the working class and the winning over of as many traditional intellectuals to the revolutionary cause as possible. He attempted this through the columns of a journal called L’Ordine Nuovo (New Order), subtitled 8775 a weekly review of Socialist culture 8776 . This journal came out at the same time as the huge spontaneous outbreak of industrial and political militancy that swept Turin in 6969. This outbreak mirrored events throughout the industrial world that shook the very foundations of capitalist society.
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Is there any wonder that Mussolini’s government made it clear at his trial that they wanted to stop his brain from working?
Gramsci accepted the analysis of capitalism put forward by Marx in the previous century and accepted that the struggle between the ruling class and the subordinate working class was the driving force that moved society forward. What he found unacceptable was the traditional Marxist view of how the ruling class ruled. It was here that Gramsci made a major contribution to modern thought in his concept of the role played by ideology.
The 8766 Turn to Gramsci 8767 in Adult Education: A Review : from the Newsletter of the International Gramsci Society.
What has Marxism contributed to literary criticism? And what does its en counter with literature in the twentieth century mean for the directions that Marxist criticism might take in the twenty-first? These are huge questions too large for a short paper to answer them properly would require, to begin with, some assessment of the state of various Marxisms today (whatever existence they eke out here and there) as well as the situation in which the profession of literary criticism finds itself. Nevertheless, I thought it might be useful to take the subject head-on, however briefly a sketch with inevitable gaps, but one that could offer a starting point to the project of filling in the bigger picture.
Resources on Antonio Gramsci : Excellent site resources include an online searchable version of the complete Bibliografia gramsciana, a complete list of Gramsci 8767 s writings, related appendices and introductory materials, and the first eight issues of the Newsletter of the International Gramsci Society.
The second type is the organic intellectual. This is the group mentioned earlier that grows organically with the dominant social group, the ruling class, and is their thinking and organising element. For Gramsci it was important to see them for what they were. They were produced by the educational system to perform a function for the dominant social group in society. It is through this group that the ruling class maintains its hegemony over the rest of society.
Having said that what was required for those who wished to overthrow the present system was a counter hegemony, a method of upsetting the consensus, of countering the ‘common sense’ view of society, how could this be done?