Gramsci without the Prince

in Historical Materialism
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Peter Thomas, in The Gramscian Moment, explains well how Gramsci strove to re-educate the communist movement in an expansive spirit, around the united front. He makes clear that the united-front approach advocated by Gramsci, based on working-class mobilisation and accompanied by clear communist criticism, was distinct from the policy of bourgeois alliances to be advocated by the Stalinist parties after 1935 under the name ‘popular front’. He demystifies the concept in Gramsci of working-class ‘hegemony’, from which so many speculations are spun, showing that it meant nothing other than working-class political leadership, achieved through sound use of united-front tactics. Yet Thomas makes the formula of ‘united front’ do too much, or bundles into it more than it can rationally contain. Meanwhile, the question of the revolutionary working-class political party is almost entirely absent in Thomas’s discussion.

Historical Materialism

Research in Critical Marxist Theory

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References

AndersonPerry The Antinomies of Antonio Gramsci, New Left Review, I 1976 100 5 78

BordigaAmadeo ‘The Lyons Theses’ 1926 available at: <http://www.marxists.org/archive/bordiga/works/1926/lyons-theses.htm>.

BrouéPierre The German Revolution 1917–1923 Historical Materialism Book Series 2006 Chicago Haymarket Press

EngelsFrederick ‘Social Relations in Russia’ Marx/Engels Collected Works 1989 24 London Lawrence and Wishart

GramsciAntonio HoareQuintinNowell-SmithGeoffrey Selections from the Prison Notebooks 1971 London Lawrence and Wishart

GramsciAntonio ‘Toward a Renewal of the Socialist Party’ Soviets in Italy 1974 Nottingham Institute for Workers’ Control

GramsciAntonio BoothmanDerek Further Selections from the Prison Notebooks 1995 London Lawrence and Wishart

GramsciAntonio ButtigiegJoseph A Prison Notebooks 2011a 1 New York Columbia University Press

GramsciAntonio ButtigiegJoseph A. Prison Notebooks 2011b 2 New York Columbia University Press

GramsciAntonio ButtigiegJoseph A. Prison Notebooks 2011c 3 New York Columbia University Press

MarxKarl The Revolutions of 1848: Political Writings 1973 1 Harmondsworth Penguin

RiddellJohn Toward the United Front: Proceedings of the Fourth Congress of the Communist International, 1922 Historical Materialism Book Series 2012 Chicago Haymarket Press

ThomasMartin Antonio Gramsci: Working-Class Revolutionary 2012 London Workers’ Liberty

ThomasPeter D. The Gramscian Moment: Philosophy, Hegemony and Marxism Historical Materialism Book Series 2009 Leiden Brill

TrotskyLeon WrightJohn G. The First Five Years of the Communist International 1953 2 London New Park

TrotskyLeon EastmanMax The History of the Russian Revolution 1967 3 London Sphere

1

Thomas 2009, p. 430.

2

Thomas 2009, p. 436.

3

Gramsci 1995, pp. 395–6, emphasis added.

4

Riddell 2012, p. 6; Broué 2006, pp. 469–70.

5

Bordiga 1926.

6

Thomas 2009, p. 241, emphasis added.

7

Gramsci 1995, p. 613.

8

Gramsci 1971, pp. 147, 185.

9

Thomas (ed.) 2012, pp. 24–5.

10

Gramsci 1974, p. 35.

11

Thomas (ed.) 2012, p. 27.

12

Thomas 2009, p. 240.

13

Thomas 2009, p. 226.

14

Thomas (ed.) 2012, p. 23.

15

Thomas 2009, p. 439.

16

Thomas (ed.) 2012, pp. 22–3.

17

Anderson 1976, pp. 43, 46, 61, 22, 31.

18

Thomas 2009, pp. 137–8.

19

Thomas 2009, pp. 162, 194.

20

Gramsci 1971, p. 238.

21

Gramsci 2011c, p. 161.

23

Gramsci 2011b, p. 52.

25

Marx 1973, pp. 76–7.

26

Gramsci 1971, p. 238.

28

Trotsky 1967, p. 272.

29

Gramsci 2011a, p. 217.

30

Engels 1989, p. 39.

31

Gramsci 2011b, p. 105.

32

Trotsky 1953, p. 189.

33

Anderson 1976, p. 53.

34

Gramsci 1971, p. 98.

35

Gramsci 2011a, p. 156.

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