Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) was an Italian Communist founder and party leader, imprisoned by Benito Mussolini‘s Fascists for 11 years. In jail he wrote his Prison Notebooks where he outlined his ideas about hegemony.
The concept of hegemony has ancient roots, but Gramsci was the first to use hegemony to describe the idea of a ruling class socially and economically dominating others within a given society.
The contemporary sociological meaning of the term hegemony points to an entire system of cultural values and practices existing within interconnected and (apparently) legitimate social institutions (e.g. markets, legal system, government, education, religion and media) which the powerful allegedly use to oppress the powerless.
Gramsci died in Rome shortly after gaining his freedom.
- Hegemony (earthpages.wordpress.com)
- Prizewinning Book – ‘The Gramscian Moment’ – by Peter D. Thomas (rikowski.wordpress.com)
- 10 Most Legendary Political Prisoners of All Time (brainz.org)
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870-1924) was a Russian politician and Marxist revolutionary who believed that, once communism was fully in place, existing bureaucratic structures would slowly disappear—hence his oft-quoted belief in the “withering away of the state.”
From observable history, however, it seems that communism has never been achieved as Marx envisioned it. And most, if not all, of the countries that have attempted communism arguably have exhibited authoritarianism, corruption and stagnant mediocrity, this often enforced by vulgar militarism.
Today, some writers suggest that Marx was right in saying that Capitalism “carries the seeds of its own destruction” by pointing to things like WikiLeaks as apparent proof of that position.¹
¹ See for instance, “The Destructive Role of WikiLeaks-o-phobia in World Politics” by Hasan A. Yahya: http://www.articlesbase.com/philosophy-articles/the-destructive-role-of-wikileaks-o-phobia-in-world-politics-3823109.html#ixzz180ozByLo
- Lenin Lighting 2010: Videos & Photos (fremontuniverse.com)
- Russian vandals blow up Lenin statue (msnbc.msn.com)
- Russian Lenin statue damaged in attack (thehimalayantimes.com)
- Lenin’s Embalmers: preserving history with humour (theglobeandmail.com)
- The Great Communists of Our Times (socyberty.com)
- Leon Trotsky Militant Communist Revolutionary (socyberty.com)
- Economic Forcast : Taxation and Inflation Lenin (gunnyg.wordpress.com)
- In Hungary, an Appetite for Socialist Memorabilia (online.wsj.com)
- Bolsheviks revolt in Russia: This Day in History – 11/6/1917 (jeffpruett.wordpress.com)
- A Brief Historical Analysis of Communism (socyberty.com)
Marxism is a scary word for some who believe in capitalism. But it could be argued that no one knows just what Marxism really is because Karl Marx didn’t express his ideas in a coherent, systematic manner.
Countless writers on Marx have tried to provide the analytical rigor which many claim is lacking in his work. The result is an equally countless number of interpretations of Marx’s ideas.
On a theoretical level, Marxism has been adapted and expanded to account for political and economic phenomena that Marx didn’t adequately address, some of which were nonexistent in his time.
As for the implementation of his ideas into real social practice, parts of the so-called Third World have adapted his ideas to mostly agricultural forces of production, often combined with militaristic relations of production.
According to G. A. Cohen the relations of production refers to the uniquely social aspects of production in a given society, usually the legal or brute force mechanisms of exploiting labor, extracting surplus and maintaining a state of social dominance of the few over the many.
And Cohen says that the forces of production refers to the way a given society actually produces commodities. The forces of production include raw materials, tools, technology and knowledge of how to organize labor power and use available tools. While some writers use the term ‘economics’ to include the forces of production, Cohen and other theorists say that economics more properly refers to the relations of production.
In both the so-called Third World and the economically wealthy G8 countries, Marx’s analysis doesn’t adequately account for the possibility of various forms of corruption.
Search Think Free » Dialectical Materialism, False Consciousness, Ideology, Lenin, Religion
- Philosophy of Modern Times. First Period (socyberty.com)
- Marx – Labor Theory of Value (ask.metafilter.com)
- 7 reviews of Communism (rateitall.com)
- Mutualism versus Marxism (jockcoats.me)
- Marxism 2010: fixing a broken system | Alex Callinicos (guardian.co.uk)
- Karl Marx (socyberty.com)
- Trotsky: The Balance of Power (socyberty.com)
- Karl Marx: Founding Father of The Irs (socyberty.com)
- From the Archives: Rousseau in a Burnoose: (brothersjuddblog.com)
- Cuba: Crash Landing (marccooper.com)
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According to this schema, the relations of production refers to the uniquely social aspects of production in a given society, usually the legal or brute force mechanisms of exploiting labor, extracting surplus and maintaining social dominance of the few over the many.
By way of contrast, the forces of production refer to the way a given society actually produces commodities.
- Revisiting Marx (essay in PDF)