Gramsci question

Discussion in 'theory, philosophy & history' started by MightyTibberton, Jan 16, 2018.

  1. MightyTibberton

    MightyTibberton Well-Known Member

    Is there a good place to start with Gramsci?

    (For a political theory lightweight to be honest, not much more than some Chomsky.)

    Thank you.
    Ralph Llama likes this.
  2. sealion

    sealion Well-Known Member

    Ask Gramsci
    MochaSoul and MightyTibberton like this.
  3. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    A good summary of Gramsci? That's difficult. His work is argued over. I wouldn't say I'm an expert.

    As I've read Marx Das Capital volume one a few years back. I'd say reading the person themselves rather than introduction works better.
    MightyTibberton likes this.
  4. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Warning: posts may cause vasovagal presyncope

  5. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Warning: posts may cause vasovagal presyncope

    Out of interest, if you've not read much political theory, why are you starting with Gramsci? He's not easy to read, and there are other places I'd go long before looking at him.
  6. MightyTibberton

    MightyTibberton Well-Known Member

    Because he's come up at least twice in the past couple of days on social media. A Green Party account I follow mentioned him and that link to the free stuff was shared by the journalist, Paul Mason. He's a name I've heard through the years , often from people I admire, without knowing much about him.

    I will try with some of the stuff in the free link and see how I go.

    Happy to hear of any more accessible stuff too.
  7. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Warning: posts may cause vasovagal presyncope

    Gramsci's Political Thought - An Introduction, by Roger Simon (1982) is very accessible, but comes with the caveat that the writer's own position intrudes (this always happens with secondary sources, the trick is to know what their angle is and compensate for it). It's very basic, but if you use it as a roadmap for passages in the Reader you've linked to already you should find it useful.
  8. MightyTibberton

    MightyTibberton Well-Known Member

    That's very kind, Danny, I appreciate the tip.
    danny la rouge likes this.
  9. catinthehat

    catinthehat Failed VK = Replicant

    If you want to start from real basics Gramsci features in most A level/Higher Sociology courses and there are a lot of study guides etc on the internet. This was one of the resources used by my undergraduate students which didnt make them cry much.
    MightyTibberton likes this.
  10. MightyTibberton

    MightyTibberton Well-Known Member

    Thank you!
  11. Smokeandsteam

    Smokeandsteam Well-Known Member

    MightyTibberton this is a really good point by Danny.

    If you haven't got a basic grounding in political theory then jumping straIght in with Gramsci/hegemony doesn''t allow you to locate his work and ideas both in terms of periodization and the how it developed and added to Marx and marxist thought. My advice is to start with a primer on poltical theory.

    Also all writing about Gramsci (rather than by) needs to be studied bearing in mind the political angle of the writer.
  12. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Warning: posts may cause vasovagal presyncope

    Yup. I'd read Marx long before reading Gramsci.
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  13. Smokeandsteam

    Smokeandsteam Well-Known Member

    I didn't - and therefore read Gramsci without grasping how his ideas linked, developed and strengthened wider marxist thought. He is certainly 'on trend' among the Corbyn left but a lot of them don't seem to locate hegemony as a contribution to and a development of a wider traditon of thought and ideas.
  14. Idris2002

    Idris2002 the liberation forces make movies of their own

    If I was going to read Gramsci, I'd read some Italian political history, from Garibaldi's time up to Mussolini's, and I'd also go back and read Machiavelli.
    MightyTibberton likes this.
  15. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Above posts are why Im not sure what to advise. The way his writings have been used is a subject in itself.

    From Stuart Hall the cultural theorist to those who think this use of Gramsci work is a distortion. That he was a revolutionary marxist not a reformist.

    Also to bear in mind is that Gramsci wrote his most lasting work in prison. So , whilst not writing in code , wrote in a way that was careful as he did it in a difficult situation.

    The link that Danny put up of the really helpful links Butchersapron posted include short piece by Perry Anderson "The Antinomies of Antonio Gramsci". In around sixty five pages gives description of his thought and a critical look at it. Its a particular angle on his work and Perry is quite clear on that. He also looks at why Gramsci work became well known much later. I reckon its a good short intro.

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