Gamsci's Theory

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On this paper, Leonardo Salamini revises the basic elements of Antonio Gramsci’s Marxist theory, as opposing to those of a number of Marxist theorists (including Marx himself), as a means to delineate a Gramscian sociology of knowledge. Salamini departs from a historical analysis of the possible reasons why Marxism has failed at attaining its ultimate goal: guiding men toward the configuration of a classless society. The author attributes the failure to the emergence of diverse ideological interpretations of Marxism which, by progressively departing from the traditional mainstream, have inevitably deformed the fundamental premises of the theory. Salamini traces the origin of such deformations to the time when a series of deterministic and positivistic notions of Marxism emerged to shape the doctrine of historical materialism. As a consequence, the collective will of the masses, the human element, was deliberately removed from the study of socio-historical processes.

Quite the opposite, Gramsci warned that Socialist revolutions fail as a result of the blatant disregard of the subjective components in Marxist theory. Additionally, Gramsci labeled Bukharin’s positivist notion of Marxism as highly deterministic and Croce’s idealist liberalism as too abstract and speculative. For Gramsci, ideas are concretized in objective social conditions, and historical processes are based on practical activity. Gramsci also criticized Lenin’s concept of hegemony by stressing the primacy of cultural and ideological direction of the masses over political (seizure of state power) hegemony.

In an attempt to refine Gramsci’s ideas, Salamini describes Gramsci’s notion of Marxism as the most comprehensive and universal world conception (Weltanschauung). Furthermore, Gramsci signals a plurality of world views (Weltanschauungen), in societies structurally and socially fragmented. According to Gramsci’s concept of historical bloc, a given social class maintains itself in power not by...
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