Gramsci recognised the inestimable historical contribution of Muslim and Arab civilisations, writing on these in his newspaper articles, his pre-prison letters and the Prison Notebooks. The Islamic world contemporary with him was largely rural, with the masses heavily influenced by religion, analogous in some ways to Italy whose economy was still largely oriented towards a peasantry among whom the Vatican played a leading (and highly reactionary) role. In addition to factors such as the politics-religion nexus, what Gramsci was also analysing, without saying as much explicitly, was the upheaval caused by the disintegration and dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire, and the inter-imperialist rivalries over the spoils and the construction of new states from its ruins. Here he draws attention to the first hesitant and contradictory anticolonial stances being adopted among the traditional leaders, as well recognising the basis for more popularly-based movements. In both Catholic countries and, as Gramsci knew especially from the experience of his Comintern work, in parts of the Muslim world, these movements could at times assume a left and politically radical orientation. What emerges is a picture of conflicting hegemonies involving principally religion, class, the political ambivalence of many religious leaders, and a burgeoning nationalism contraposed to the supra-nationalist claims of religion. But the factor underlying everything is the potential of the masses who, if awakened from torpor and detached from European colonialism, were judged capable of rupturing previous imperially-determined equilibria.
GramsciAntonioBoothmanDerekBelliniCamillaBianchiEricaBoothmanDerekD’AlessandroMonicaFerraresiAdrianoFoschiMaria LuciaGuerrieriManuelLocatelliMarcoMalagutiLunaPalmieriFedericaRomoloAngelaTassinariCaterina‘The History of the Subaltern Groups: Rome and the Middle Ages in Italy’International Gramsci Journal201021420
Gramsci1994pp. 152 and 136. See the letters to his sister-in-law Tania of 21 March 1932 (Gramsci 1994) for the direct quote used and of 8 February 1932 for the question of pro-fascist and non-fascist Jewish intellectuals respectively.
Sraffa1991p. 52; letter to Tania of 1 March 1932. Sraffa himself though a frequent visitor to Italy had been at Cambridge University since 1927 called there by Keynes.
Q5§90 in Gramsci 1996 and Gramsci1995p. 136.
Carr1966p. 329 n. 3.
Q2§78 and Gramsci1995p. 196; translation quoted from latter version.
Gramsci1994Q2§90; and Gramsci 1995 p. 133.
Gramsci2007Q6§32 and Q7§71 respectively.
Gramsci1994Q1§149 paragraph headed by Gramsci ‘North and South’.
Gramsci1994Q2§40 dating to early June 1930.
Cf. Gramsci1994Q1§61 dating to early 1930 on the USA and repeated in Q22§2 for which see Gramsci 1971b p. 286.
Q15§5 in Gramsci1995pp. 222–3.
Gramsci‘Il fronte antisoviettista dell’Onorevole Treves [The Honourable Treves’s Anti-Soviet Front]’ in L’Unità18 May 1925 and also the following day after seizure of the 18 May issue; now in Gramsci 1971a p. 397; cf. again ‘La politica estera del Barnum’ Gramsci 1966 p. 219. The wording ‘republics of the Soviets’ is here preferred to ‘Soviet republics’ to emphasise the Soviets as institutions as Gramsci and others were doing at the time which is perhaps indicated by ‘soviettista’ used instead of ‘sovietico’ which later became dominant and took on the nature of an adjective almost of nationality. For strike action in the Middle East see for example the fairly frequent articles from Jerusalem of ‘J.B.’ published in Inprecorr.
Gramsci1996Q3§12; for its rewritten form Q25§1 see Gramsci 1995 p. 53.
Communist International1929pp. 28 and 5 respectively.
Cf. Maxime Rodinson (Rodinson1988p. 100) citing the ‘celebrated letter to the secretariat of their party by French communists in Sidi-Bel-Abbès in Algeria’ published in Carrère d’Encausse and Schramm 1965 pp. 268–71.
Cf. Ageron1972p. 31 n. 54.
Gramsci1992aQ1§48 (pp. 160–1).
Q16§37; Gramsci1975ap. 1646.
Cf. Q16§11 in Gramsci1995p. 66 and its first draft in Gramsci 1996 Q4§53; see also Q25§1 in Gramsci 1995 p. 53.
Gramsci1992aQ1§43; cf. also the rewritten version of Q19§26 in Gramsci 1971b p. 98.