WORKSHOP- The Revolutionary Ideas of Antonio Gramsci

It took five years for Mussolini to crush the Italian working class and get away with incarcerating its leaders. At Gramsci's show trial in 1926, the fascist judge sentenced him to 20 years gaol. In a reference to the tremendous impact Gramsci had had on the engineering workers while editing L'Ordine Nuovo and his subsequent leadership of the Communist Party in the 1920s, the judge declared: "we must stop this brain working for 20 years". Gramsci spent the last 11 years of his life in Mussolini's gaol.

The Revolutionary Ideas of Antonio Gramsci

one of a series of meetings about Marxist revolutionaries

Thursday, May 14, 2009
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Room (short name): 105-029 Room (long name): ClockT029
Clock Tower Building off Princes Street
Auckland, New Zealand



Marxists, such as V.I. Lenin, applied the concepts of political hegemony (indirect imperial rule) to establish the imperative need for the Working Class’s leadership of a democratic revolution. In turn, Antonio Gramsci sociologically developed hegemony into cultural hegemony (a class’s domination of a society by imposing its values) acutely explaining why orthodox Marxism’s “inevitable” socialist revolution had yet to occur in the early twentieth century.

To maintain the societal status quo and thwart revolution from below, Capitalism developed a “consensus culture”, wherein, the working class (proletariat) identified their best interests with the best interests of the (ruling class) bourgeoisie; besides force (arms) and power (coercion), Capitalism retains control via the hegemonic culture determining the substance of the social institutions (press, radio, Churches, labour unions, et al.) who propagate the ruling class’s ideology (values, myths, beliefs) that the working class accept-adopt as their own “common sense” view — the world as it is and should be.

Socialist Aotearoa hosts a series of meetings on Marxist revolutionaries- this week we look at the great Italian revolutionary Antonio Gramsci and the ideas of Cultural Hegemony.


Wicked, we are doing this meeting next week with Chris Bamberry, author of a Rebels guide to Gramsci.

Here's a brilliant article from this weeks paper.

Enjoy and have fun (and learn!)

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